• Fracking Fiasco: The Banks That Fueled the U.S. Shale Bust

    Published by Oil Change International and Rainforest Action Network. September 2020 DOWNLOAD THE REPORT A new report by Oil Change International and Rainforest Action Network (RAN) shows how major banks have continued pouring money into fracking companies in recent years, despite numerous warnings that the sector has been financially unsustainable, in addition to the well-documented environmental, health, and climate impacts of the shale industry. This analysis compiles data from 51 U.S. fracking-focused companies, receiving USD 224 billion in financing since the adoption of the Paris Agreement. (January 2016 — August 2020). Nearly 40% of that financing came from JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo alone,…


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  • “No One Knows Where This Came From”—Trump Bans Offshore Drilling

    By: Zoya Teirstein, Mother Jones September 13, 2020 Something weird happened at a Trump campaign appearance in Jupiter, Florida, on Tuesday. President Trump—long-time antagonist of environmental regulations and big-time proponent of oil and gas development—announced a decade-long ban on offshore drilling off the coasts of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. “This protects your beautiful Gulf and your beautiful ocean, and it will for a long time to come,” Trump said in a speech in Jupiter touting his environmental record. He signed a presidential memorandum extending a moratorium on leasing drilling rights off Florida’s Gulf Coast and expanded that ban to a portion of…


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  • EPA rule extends life of toxic coal ash ponds

    By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill July 30, 2020 The Trump administration is extending the life of giant pits of toxic coal sludge, a move critics say further risks contamination of nearby water sources. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) late Wednesday announced it had finalized a new regulation for the more than 400 coal ash pits across the nation, where coal residue is mixed with liquid and stored in open air, often unlined ponds. “Today’s action makes changes to the closure regulations for coal ash storage that enhance protections for public health while giving electric utilities enough time to retrofit or replace unlined impoundment…


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  • Robeson County residents tell DEQ to deny air permit for Active Energy wood pellet plant

    By: Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch June 24, 2020 A proposed wood pellet plant faces vehement opposition from many Robeson County residents, including elected officials, and environmental advocates, who say the facility would not only pollute the air, but also would be financially risky and environmentally unjust. The NC Department of Environmental Quality held a virtual public hearing Monday night to receive formal comments on a draft air permit for the plant, owned and operated by Active Energy Renewable Power, in Lumberton. More than 125 people attended, and of the roughly 50 who spoke, just four asked DEQ to approve the air…


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  • Why ‘I can’t breathe’ is resonating with environmental justice activists

    By: Denise Chow, NBC News June 10, 2020 The death of George Floyd in police custody sparked a movement that has focused national attention on institutional racism that permeates nearly every aspect of society. And that includes climate change. Now, climate activists and scientists say a similar reckoning needs to happen in the environmental movement, which experts say has had a long, uneasy relationship with racial politics. “There’s a level of racism in the movement itself, where some folks think that talking about these issues is a distraction,” said Jacqueline…


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  • Duke Energy gave half a million to political group before primary, new filings show

    By: Elizabeth Ouzts, Energy News Network April 29, 2020 North Carolina law allows the utility to hide which candidates benefited from its political spending. Duke Energy funneled half a million dollars through a tax-exempt political group to pay for polling, television ads, and mailers in advance of North Carolina’s March primary, new documents submitted to the Internal Revenue Service show. At least three state legislative candidates got help from the entity named Citizens for a Responsible Energy Future, according to media reports and filings with other federal officials. But that aid accounted for less than a tenth of the group’s total expenses, leaving…


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  • What the Negative Price of Oil Is Telling Us

    By: Neil Irwin, The New York Times April 21, 2020 The coronavirus pandemic has caused a series of mind-bending distortions across world financial markets, but Monday featured the most bizarre one yet: The benchmark price for crude oil in the United States fell to negative $37.63. That means that if you happened to be in a position to take delivery of 1,000 barrels of oil in Cushing, Okla., in the month of May — the quantity quoted in the relevant futures contract — you could have been paid a cool $37,630 to do so. (That…


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