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Bobby Magill

Bobby Magill

Editorial

Bobby Magill is a Senior Science Writer at Climate Central, focusing on energy and climate change. Prior to joining Climate Central, Bobby covered Western energy and environmental issues as a freelance writer for Popular Mechanics and as an award-winning reporter for the Fort Collins Coloradoan newspaper in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the Daily Sentinel newspaper in Grand Junction, Colorado. His work has also appeared in USA Today, High Country News, NewWest.net and other publications. His coverage of oil and gas drilling and fracking at the Coloradoan earned a commendation from the Columbia Journalism Review as a "model for other reporters on this beat in the West and beyond." Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., Bobby was a wilderness guide in Colorado and New Mexico and holds a B.A. in Communications with a specialization in Mass Media from the College of Charleston. He lives in New York City. 

Most Recent News Entries:

Budget Guts U.S. Carbon Capture, Storage Research

Budget Guts U.S. Carbon Capture, Storage Research

As with many other federal climate-related programs, President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget nearly snuffs out funding for carbon capture and storage, or CCS, research and development, possibly dramatically slowing the advancements in that technology.… Read More

White House Budget Aims to Kill ‘Crazy’ Climate Science

White House Budget Aims to Kill ‘Crazy’ Climate Science

As The White House released its budget request for the 2018 fiscal year on Tuesday, the Trump administration made good on its promise to target deep cuts to federal spending on climate, energy, science, research and other programs widely seen as critical to America’s ability to adapt to a warming world and reduce its impact on the climate.… Read More

Focus on Carbon Removal a ‘High-Stakes Gamble’

Focus on Carbon Removal a ‘High-Stakes Gamble’

The manmade emissions fueling global warming are accumulating so quickly in the atmosphere that climate change could spiral out of control before humanity can take measures drastic enough to cool the earth’s fever, many climate scientists say. The most important way the earth’s rising temperature can be tempered is to reduce the use of fossil… Read More

Climate, Energy Programs Get Budget Reprieve

Climate, Energy Programs Get Budget Reprieve

Lawmakers are set to vote this week on a bipartisan appropriations bill that would keep the government running through the remainder of the 2017. The spending package fully funds the government and keeps many climate, renewable energy and environmental programs funded at close to 2016 levels. The deal almost fully funds most agencies compared to… Read More

First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Shutters Diesel Power Plant

First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Shutters Diesel Power Plant

America’s first offshore wind farm just helped to shut down a small diesel-fired electric power plant on Block Island, R.I. Block Island officials on Monday switched on a connection between the island and a cable linking the wind farm to Rhode Island’s mainland power grid. … Read More

Environmental Rules Played Minor Role in Coal’s Decline

Environmental Rules Played Minor Role in Coal’s Decline

Environmental and climate regulations that cut pollution from coal-fired power plants have played only a minor role in the decline of the coal industry, which has been hurt mainly by expanding use of natural gas and less demand for electricity, according to a Columbia University report published this week. U.S. coal use fell by about 30 percent … Read More

How Trump’s Monuments Review Could Impact Climate

How Trump’s Monuments Review Could Impact Climate

President Trump has directed the Interior Department to “review” all large national monuments created since 1996 to recommend ways for Congress to shrink or abolish them. The directive came in the form of an executive order signed by the president Wednesday morning. It requires the department to make preliminary recommendations within 45 days and … Read More

Pollution From Canada’s Oil Sands May Be Underreported

Pollution From Canada’s Oil Sands May Be Underreported

Canadian scientists have found that the standard way of tallying air and climate pollution from Alberta’s oil sands vastly understates pollution levels there — by as much as 4.5 times, according to a Canadian government study published Monday. The study shows that air samples collected using aircraft may be a more accurate way to tally air and … Read More

A Cooler Future May Hinge on Removing CO2 From the Air

A Cooler Future May Hinge on Removing CO2 From the Air

Climate pollution equal to about 27 times humans’ 2015 carbon dioxide emissions may have to be removed from the atmosphere and locked underground forever in order to keep the globe from warming beyond 1.5°C (2.7°F) above preindustrial levels, according to a new study. The research, led by scientists at the International Institute for Applied … Read More

Scientists: Get Used to Wildfires in a Warming World

Scientists: Get Used to Wildfires in a Warming World

Communities across the Western U.S. and Canada may have to adapt to living with the ever-increasing threat of catastrophic wildfires as global warming heats up and dries out forests across the West, according to a University of Colorado study published Monday. Residents living in neighborhoods adjacent to forests — known as “wildland-urban … Read More

Carbon Emissions Factor Into Major Oil Sands Shakeup

Carbon Emissions Factor Into Major Oil Sands Shakeup

As global companies abandon the Canadian oil sands at a time of low oil prices and huge losses, some of them are also concerned that producing one of the world’s most carbon-laden fossil fuels may be bad business in a warming world. A wave of sell-offs began last year when Murphy Oil and Norway’s Statoil decided to pull out of the oil sands. Royal… Read More

Electricity’s Carbon Footprint in U.S. Shrinks, Sets Record

Electricity’s Carbon Footprint in U.S. Shrinks, Sets Record

All the right things came together in 2016 for the U.S. to shrink its carbon footprint in some dramatic and record-breaking ways, according to federal data released this week. For two years in a row, carbon emissions from electric power plants in the U.S. fell by about 5 percent each year — the first time in more than 40 years of recordkeeping… Read More

Americans Used A Lot Less Coal in 2016; Here’s Why

Americans Used A Lot Less Coal in 2016; Here’s Why

Coal use fell last year for the third year in a row — after slight increases in 2012 and 2013 — and has been steadily declining in the U.S. since it peaked a decade ago, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. The ongoing decline is occurring even as the Trump administration promotes coal as a way to boost energy independence and… Read More

Congress’ ‘Political Theater’ Threatens Science, Climate

Congress’ ‘Political Theater’ Threatens Science, Climate

As the Trump administration embarks on a deregulatory frenzy aimed at weakening federal climate action, Congress is matching his enthusiasm. Dozens of GOP-sponsored bills have been introduced that seek to hamstring the government’s ability to protect the environment, cut greenhouse gas emissions and consider peer-reviewed science in its decisions… Read More

Removal of Energy ‘Burdens’ Could Have Huge Impacts

Removal of Energy ‘Burdens’ Could Have Huge Impacts

A provision of the “energy independence” executive order signed by President Trump this week is so broad in scope that legal experts say it could affect numerous government responsibilities far beyond those that deal directly with energy and climate change. The order, which takes steps to rescind Obama-era climate regulations, calls for each … Read More

Trump Moves to Dismantle U.S. Climate Rules

Trump Moves to Dismantle U.S. Climate Rules

President Trump signed a sweeping executive order Tuesday rescinding numerous federal climate policies and calling for the review and replacement of the Obama administration’s most ambitious effort to control climate pollution — the Clean Power Plan. The order is Trump’s most aggressive move yet to dismantle federal climate regulations even as … Read More

Trump Budget Blueprint Eviscerates Energy Programs

Trump Budget Blueprint Eviscerates Energy Programs

The White House’s proposed “America First” budget forcefully kicks many federal climate-related energy programs to the curb, representing a possible turn away from renewable energy and a broad disinvestment in the research and development needed to transform the U.S. energy system into one better able to adapt to climate change.… Read More

Climate-Friendly Energy Star Program Could be Cut

Climate-Friendly Energy Star Program Could be Cut

Energy Star, the program that certifies toasters, air conditioners, computers and buildings for energy efficiency, could be killed by the Trump administration as part of its effort to shrink federal spending. The administration wants the program to be “zeroed out” in the 2018 Environmental Protection Agency budget, according to news reports and a … Read More

Congress Targets Species Act and Its Climate Benefits

Congress Targets Species Act and Its Climate Benefits

Often photographed clinging to Arctic ice floes as its habitat melts away into warming waters, the polar bear is the poster child for U.S. efforts to save wildlife on the brink of extinction using the Endangered Species Act. But the act is quickly becoming a target of the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans.… Read More

EPA Withdraws Request for Methane Data

EPA Withdraws Request for Methane Data

The Environmental Protection Agency has withdrawn an Obama-era request for methane emissions information from 15,000 oil and gas companies nationwide — a decision the Trump administration made after 11 states said the request amounted to “harassment.” The EPA responded to the states’ complaints within one day, saying it will look into whether it’s… Read More

Trump Wants to ‘Zero Out’ EPA Programs

Trump Wants to ‘Zero Out’ EPA Programs

The Trump administration wants to “zero out” many climate-related programs and grants that help state and local governments enforce environmental laws, according to a memo sent this week to state governments by the National Association of Clean Air Agencies. It’s part of a proposal to cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s $8.2 billion budget … Read More

Senate Mulls ‘Kill Switch’ for Obama Methane Rule

Senate Mulls ‘Kill Switch’ for Obama Methane Rule

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote soon on whether to use the Congressional Review Act to kill an Obama administration climate regulation that cuts methane emissions from oil and gas wells on federal land. The rule was designed to reduce oil and gas wells’ contribution to climate change and to stop energy companies from wasting natural gas. The… Read More

America’s Climate Pollution is Falling, EPA Report Says

America’s Climate Pollution is Falling, EPA Report Says

After two years of increases, greenhouse gas emissions fell in 2015, reducing America’s overall climate pollution to below 1994 levels, according to a draft Environmental Protection Agency report published Tuesday. The decline in 2015 was mainly because that year’s mild winter reduced demand for heat across the country, and electric power … Read More

Dakota Pipeline Greenlighted As Fossil Fuels Move to Fore

Dakota Pipeline Greenlighted As Fossil Fuels Move to Fore

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is cancelling an environmental review of the Dakota Access Pipeline and will grant approval of an easement that allows the final link in the pipeline to be constructed. The decision on Tuesday makes good on President Trump’s executive order advancing the controversial project, which has been the subject of months… Read More

Food Security, Forests At Risk Under Trump’s USDA

Food Security, Forests At Risk Under Trump’s USDA

U.S. food security, forest health, and the ability of farmers to respond to climate change are all at risk if President’s Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture brings climate change skepticism to the agency, agricultural researchers and environmental law experts say. That concern takes root not only in Trump’s own statements … Read More