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Strong El Niño Helped Lower U.S. Heating Costs

Strong El Niño Helped Lower U.S. Heating Costs

Was your heating bill a bit friendlier to your wallet this winter? If so, there’s a good chance you can thank El Niño. The exceptionally strong El Niño in the Pacific has been driving chaotic weather across the globe for months, but it also contributed to a mild winter in the U.S., which was about 15 percent warmer than the winter of 2014-2015.… Read More

Utilities Cut Coal Use Amid Clean Power Plan Fight

Utilities Cut Coal Use Amid Clean Power Plan Fight

Critics of the Obama administration’s most sweeping climate policy hailed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in February to temporarily block it, saying the ruling on the Clean Power Plan could breathe new life into the flagging coal industry. But even as those critics await further rulings on whether the plan is constitutional, utilities are … Read More

Low Oil Prices Force Slowdown of U.S. Tar Sands Project

Low Oil Prices Force Slowdown of U.S. Tar Sands Project

A Canadian company’s efforts to produce oil sands in the United States are not dead, but thanks to crude oil prices that have dipped below $30 per barrel, they may be in critical condition. U.S. Oil Sands, the Alberta-based company working on a project slated to produce crude oil from oil sands on public lands in Utah, is slowing its PR Spring oil… Read More

Countries Embrace New Rules to Limit Airline Emissions

Countries Embrace New Rules to Limit Airline Emissions

The United States and 22 other countries on Monday struck a first-ever international agreement to cut carbon emissions from commercial airplanes as a way to reduce their impact on climate change. The agreement, announced by the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization, or ICAO, calls for a 4 percent reduction in fuel consumption from new … Read More

Dutch Lawmakers Call for Halt to Wood Energy Subsidies

Dutch Lawmakers Call for Halt to Wood Energy Subsidies

Dutch parliamentarians voted last week to suspend plans to provide subsidies for wood energy until the country’s economic affairs ministry has explained how and when all of the nation’s coal power plants will be shuttered. Billions of dollars in Dutch government subsidies have been earmarked to help the owners of coal power plants blend wood pellet… Read More

Europe Probes Wood Energy Market, Climate Impacts

Europe Probes Wood Energy Market, Climate Impacts

U.K. efforts to meet climate targets by subsidizing wood burning at power plants instead of relying on lower-carbon energy sources are being probed by European officials for their impacts on American manufacturers and on the environment. The U.K. is planning to use billions of dollars in climate fees imposed on electricity customers to help two… Read More

Coal Slides to New Low As Source of Electricity

Coal Slides to New Low As Source of Electricity

The amount of electricity generated using coal in the U.S. slid to its lowest level since at least 1970 in November, according to data released this week by the Energy Information Administration. Coal-fired power plants generated 29 percent of the U.S. electric power supply in November, dropping from nearly 35 percent in July and 39 percent for … Read More

New Rules Would Cut Methane Vented on Public Lands

New Rules Would Cut Methane Vented on Public Lands

The Obama administration on Friday proposed new rules that would lead to a crackdown on oil and gas wells that vent or flare methane into the atmosphere on public and tribal lands. Methane is about 35 times as potent as carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas driving climate change over the span of a century, and it’s the chief component of natural gas… Read More

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Lightning-Caused Wildfires People cause most wildfires. But lightning-ignited fires burn by far the most territory.

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