Trump adds ‘mother in love with fracking’ to EPA team

The Hill

By Devin Henry

December 01, 2016

A Colorado think tank chief who opposes key Obama administration energy regulations has been added to Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) transition team. 

Trump officials named Amy Oliver Cooke, the vice president and director of the Independence Institutes’ Energy Policy Center, to his EPA landing team on Thursday. 

Cooke has spoken out against Democratic environmental polices both in Washington and Colorado. In a September op-ed in the Denver Post, she said the EPA’s landmark Clean Power Plan (CPP) rule is “backstopped by a cap-and-trade scheme,” and that Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) was “like Obama ... intent on imposing climate policies over the will of the people.” 

In a Wednesday blog post, Cooke wrote, “in 2017 the EPA will be very different under a President Trump administration. During the campaign, Mr. Trump said the Clean Power Plan is DOA.”

Read enough? We think this makes PA specific methane rules even more important. Click here to take action to #CutMethane.

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Google Street View cars to seek methane leaks in Pittsburgh

Leaking methane from natural gas pipes in Pittsburgh will be detected by sensors attached to Google’s Street View cars under an agreement announced on Tuesday.

The tech giant will be working with Carnegie Mellon University, the Environmental Defense Fund, the People’s Natural Gas utility, and the office of Governor Tom Wolf to develop a map of methane leaks in the city, officials said.

The program is the first in Pennsylvania and follows others in 10 other U.S. cities.

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Trump could roll back Obama rules on methane, a potent greenhouse gas

Across the globe, climate change activists are watching closely whether a Donald Trump administration would halt recent progress toward slowing the warming of the planet. The main focus thus far has been on the prospect that Trump would withdraw from the international Paris climate agreement and hobble the domestic Clean Power Plan.

Yet Trump is also expected to seek to reverse or undermine another set of Obama policies meant to curb climate change that focus not on carbon dioxide, the most notorious greenhouse gas, but rather methane — the second most important one. It’s the main component of natural gas, and actually causes a much larger amount of global warming than carbon dioxide does, at least over short time periods, although it does not last nearly as long in the atmosphere.

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Air pollution damages arteries of even healthy young adults, new study shows

The Independent

By Ian Johnston

October 25, 2016

Tiny particles produced by burning fossil fuels were thought to be mainly a problem for young and elderly people with medical conditions

Tiny particles of air pollution can damage the inner lining of veins and arteries in young and healthy people, putting them at greater risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, according to new research.

Air pollution is thought to cause the premature deaths of about 40,000 people a year in the UK, with children and older people with medical conditions thought to be the most at risk.

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Fracking Linked to Cancer-Causing Chemicals, Yale Study Finds

Ecowatch

By Lorraine Chow

October 26, 2016

Yet another study has determined that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, might be a major public health threat. In one of the most exhaustive reviews to date, researchers from the Yale School of Public Health have confirmed that many of the chemicals involved and released by the controversial drilling process can be linked to cancer.

"Previous studies have examined the carcinogenicity of more selective lists of chemicals," lead author Nicole Deziel, Ph.D., assistant professor explained to the school. "To our knowledge, our analysis represents the most expansive review of carcinogenicity of hydraulic fracturing-related chemicals in the published literature."

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With kids in tow, parents call on Wolf to regulate methane

WITF

By Katie Meyer

(Harrisburg) -- A group of parents from around Pennsylvania are urging Governor Tom Wolf to regulate methane emissions.

They held a conference in the Capitol Thursday, flanked by their children, whom they say are affected most harshly by pollution caused by the state's oil and gas industry.

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Fossil Fuel Production Emits More Methane Than Previously Thought, NOAA Says

Inside Climate News

By Bob Berwyn

Oct 11, 2016

The exhaustive global study found emissions from oil, gas and coal sites are between 20 and 60 percent higher than many earlier estimates.

Emissions of planet-heating methane from fossil fuel production are between 20 and 60 percent higher than widely cited estimates, including those used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the science body whose assessments influence climate action around the world.

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General Electric’s new drone can sniff out gas leaks

SlashGear

Brittany A. Roston

Oct 10, 2016

General Electric is developing drones that are able to sniff out methane emissions and gas leaks, something that could help stamp out future leaks faster than currently possible. The technology has been proven necessary by several high-profile leak disasters in the recent past, and will help meet an EPA mandate to find and stop leaks wherever they occur. The drone is being developed under GE’s “Project Raven” moniker, and is indicated as a way for the oilfield industry to operate more efficiently.

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Court ruling on Act 13 is a sign of hope for stronger oil-and-gas regulations

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Letter To The Editor

by Christine Snyder, Penn Township

October 5, 2016

Finally, with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision on Act 13 (“Justices Strike Down Pa. Law on Shale Gas,” Sept. 29), it looks like our state is starting to take people’s right to a healthy environment seriously. But considering that the oil and gas industry has been underregulated since its arrival in our state, we have a lot of work to do to protect our health. 

The current regulations are not enough. Most urgently, there are still no regulations to stop methane leaks and other dangerous air pollutants and particulates from oil and gas operations. The Pennsylvania Constitution promises us the right to clean air. The state government should be protecting the health and safety of its residents — not the profits of the fossil fuel industry. 

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How climate change is screwing up your favorite season

Grist

By Emma Foehringer Merchant 

Sep 22, 2016

It’s officially fall. If you live in many parts of the United States, that means trees gilded with reds, golds, and ochres; a sneaking chill in the air; and warm, amber days yielding to nippy evenings. Everything smells like potpourri, crunchy leaves, and a tinge of smoke.

Enjoy the idyllic autumnal days while they’re still around. Recent evidence indicates climate change might zap everything colorful and crispy out of fall. While scientists can’t exactly predict what future falls will look like, research indicates big changes are coming.

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