Solar Employs More Workers Than Coal, Oil and Natural Gas Combined

U.S. solar employs more workers than any other energy industry, including coal, oil and natural gas combined, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s second annual U.S. Energy and Employment Report.

6.4 million Americans now work in the traditional energy and the energy efficiency sector, which added more than 300,000 net new jobs in 2016, or 14 percent of the nation’s job growth.

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Revolving-Door Cronyism’: Groups Line Up Against Fossil Fuel Lawyer for Interior

Published on Thursday, April 29, 2021by Common Dreams

Kenny Stancil, staff writer

A coalition of 30 environmental groups on Thursday urged U.S. senators to oppose attorney Tommy Beaudreau’s nomination for deputy secretary of the Interior due to his extensive record of working on behalf of fossil fuel corporations.

“Tommy Beaudreau simply possesses too many conflicts of interests with the fossil fuel industry and a lackluster record within the Department of the Interior during the Obama administration to serve in such a critical role managing our nation’s public lands and irreplaceable natural heritage, not to mention tackling the climate crisis that has been caused by the very industry that Mr. Beaudreau has represented for years.”

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One researcher’s quest to quantify the environmental cost of abandoned oil wells

Naveena Sadasivam & Christopher CollinsPublishedApr 05, 2021TopicClimate + Energy

This story is part of a collaboration with The Texas Observer, with support by the Pulitzer Center.

Amy Townsend-Small has been chasing methane her entire professional life. The quest has taken her from Southern California freeways to sewage plants to animal feedlots. Sniffing out the potent greenhouse gas, which traps 86 times as much heat as carbon dioxide after it’s emitted into the atmosphere, has required her to breathalyze cows and take chemical measurements at large manure lagoons. When fracking took off around 2010, Townsend-Small shifted her focus to a new and growing problem: methane leaks from oil and gas activity. 

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A Friday Night Massacre in Colorado

APRIL 5, 2021

BY PHILIP DOE

Last Friday night I listened to the state of Colorado and the Suncor Corporation vote as one against independent monitoring and public health analysis of the Suncor refinery’s massive air pollution.

The Suncor refinery’s nay vote was cast by its public relations flak, Brandy Radey. It was her opinion that since the corporation was already monitoring its own pollution independent verification was unnecessary. This is a little like Jeffrey Dahmer arguing he didn’t need a butcher’s license since he was already doing it, and doing it quite well, thank you.

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Colorado gave local governments more power to regulate oil and gas. And some are using it.

Mark Jaffe and Michael Booth3:49 AM MDT on Mar 31, 2021

Empowered by a new state law and regulations, towns, cities and counties across the Front Range are flexing their muscle and moving to regulate oil and gas operations that come to town.

Two years ago this month, sweeping legislation was signed into law reorienting Colorado’s approach to regulating oil and gas development. That in turn led to a complete overhaul of the state’s drilling rules. Those new regulations went into effect Jan. 15.

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Colorado air pollution control managers ordered staff to falsify data and approve permits “at all costs,” whistleblowers say

Michael Booth9:35 AM MDT on Mar 30, 2021

State air pollution control managers endangered the health of Coloradans by unlawfully approving noxious gas permits for industry without federally-mandated modeling or monitoring, according to a whistleblowing complaint filed Tuesday by technical employees inside the agency.

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Cancellation of Fracking Project in Texas Shows Power of Grassroots Organizing

Brett WilkinsCommon DreamsPUBLISHEDMarch 23, 2021

In what Indigenous and environmental activists hailed as a testament to the power of grassroots organizing, a leading U.S. fossil fuel company on Monday announced the cancellation of a planned fracked natural gas terminal in southern Texas.

Reuters reports liquefied natural gas developer Annova LNG said it will immediately discontinue work on the Brownsville export terminal “due to changes in the global LNG market.” The company’s facility would have been capable of exporting 6.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of liquefied natural gas. The project was one of three proposed fracked natural gas terminals in the Rio Grande Valley.

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INSIDE THE OIL INDUSTRY’S FIGHT TO ROLL BACK TRIBAL SOVEREIGNTY AFTER SUPREME COURT DECISION

Alleen Brown
March 10 2021, 7:51 a.m.

IN A LANDMARK decision last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that the eastern half of the state of Oklahoma is reservation land, legally “Indian Country.” Although Oklahoma officials spent a century ignoring treaties signed by leaders of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, the justices asserted that the treaties remain the law of the land — meaning, most likely, that the reservations of four other tribal nations that share a distinct legal and political history in Oklahoma also stand.

McGirt v. Oklahoma, a major victory for Indigenous nations, is now having legal consequences well beyond the state. The Supreme Court ruling, however, was only the beginning of a new battle to redefine Oklahoma’s identity.

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Youth Climate Activists Seek Court Ruling That US Fossil Fuel-Based System Is Unconstitutional

Published on Wednesday, March 10, 2021byCommon Dreams

by Jessica Corbett, staff writer

While still preparing for a potential U.S. Supreme Court battle, lawyers representing youth climate activists are shifting to a new strategy for the landmark Juliana v. United States case against the federal government with a motion to amend the complaint to seek a ruling that the nation’s fossil fuel-based energy system is unconstitutional.

The suit, launched in 2015, argues that the federal government’s actions directly contributed to the climate crisis. After the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last month that the court doesn’t have the authority to force the government to prepare a climate recovery plan, attorneys for the 21 plaintiffs—now aged 13-24—filed the amendment motion (pdf) Tuesday in a federal court in Eugene, Oregon.

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New IEA Data Shows World on Path to Resume ‘Carbon-Intensive Business-as-Usual’

By Guest • Tuesday, March 2, 2021 – 14:22

By Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams

Following warnings that the coronavirus-triggered drop in planet-warming emissions would be short-lived without structural changes, the International Energy Agency released data Tuesday showing that global CO2 emissions from the energy sector were 2 percent higher in December 2020 compared to the same month the previous year.

The Paris-based agency said the figures reflect a lack of concrete action by global governments to follow through on pledges to meet net zero emissions by 2050 and predicted 2021 emissions would continue the upward trend barring sufficiently bold action.

“The rebound in global carbon emissions toward the end of last year is a stark warning that not enough is being done to accelerate clean energy transitions worldwide. If governments don’t move quickly with the right energy policies, this could put at risk the world’s historic opportunity to make 2019 the definitive peak in global emissions,” said IEA executive director Fatih Birol.

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Water Protectors Say Enbridge Is Pressuring Local Governments to Silence Them

Mary Annette PemberIndian Country Today PUBLISHEDFebruary 27, 2021

Palisade, Minnesota — Even in the bitter cold, the pretty little park along the Mississippi River is inviting, a typical gathering spot for community events with its broad trees and public pavilion.

But Berglund Park stood empty recently as families and community members huddled around warming fires in an open field nearby, listening to music and eating Indian tacos as they learned about the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline cutting through their community.

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