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Energy
First gas from the Oselvar module burns on the flare of the BP Ula oil platform in the North Sea. Varodrig / CC BY-SA 3.0

Oil and Gas Operations Release 60 Percent More Methane than EPA Thought, Study Finds

A study published Thursday found that U.S. oil and natural gas operations release 60 percent more methane than currently estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to a press release from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at University of Colorado, Boulder.

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The collapsed coal ash impoundment and closed power plant at Dan River Steam Station (Duke Energy), Eden, North Carolina. The impoundment failure caused the 2014 Dan River coal ash spill. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Pruitt Grants Oklahoma Leniency to Dispose of Toxic Coal Ash Without Federal Oversight

On Monday, Oklahoma became the first state to be granted a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to dispose of its own coal ash, The Associated Press reported.

The move displaces the federal government as the body responsible for coal ash disposal in EPA head Scott Pruitt's home state. Coal ash is the residue left over from burning coal for power that often contaminates groundwater. It is a change that industry has lobbied for and environmental groups have opposed.

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Climate
Pexels

Global Carbon Emissions on the Rise Again Due to Coal Comeback

Global carbon dioxide emissions from energy use increased 1.6 percent in 2017 following three years of stagnation, according to a new report from British oil giant BP.

The analysis, published Wednesday, further emphasizes worldwide failure to meet the goals struck by the Paris agreement to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

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Renewable Energy
The Centralia Power Plant in Washington state. Robert Ashworth / CC BY 2.0

Major Coal-Fired Power Plant in Washington to Go Solar

By Starre Vartan

It was once Washington state's largest coal pit, a terraced, open-to-the-sky strip mine, five miles from the city of Centralia and halfway between Seattle and Portland, Oregon. Today, the coal beds are quiet and blanketed in green, but an adjacent TransAlta power plant with three tall stacks still churns out electricity the traditional way, with coal now supplied from Wyoming.

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Energy
Paul Lowry / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Taxpayers Still Shelling Out Billions Annually in Fossil Fuel Subsidies

The world's richest countries continue to subsidize at least $100 billion a year in subsidies for the production and use of coal, oil and gas, despite repeated pledges to phase out fossil fuels by 2025.

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EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt speaking in Alabama in July of 2017. Office of Senator Luther Strange / Wikimedia Commons

New Reports Highlight Industry Influence on EPA Head Pruitt

New evidence emerged Friday and Saturday revealing how U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt's close relationships with industry leaders and lobbyists might impact his environmental decisions.

On Friday, the lobbying firm Williams & Jensen disclosed evidence that its former chairman J. Steven Hart, whose wife rented a Washington, DC condo to Pruitt, did in fact lobby the EPA on behalf of three clients during Pruitt's tenure despite his denials, The Hill reported.

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Energy

Trump Administration Plans Costly Taxpayer Bailout of Unprofitable Energy Industries

The Trump administration is planning to bail out unprofitable coal and nuclear plants by mandating grid operators buy electricity from them in the name of national security, Bloomberg reported late Thursday.

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Coal ash threatens the middle fork of the Vermilion River. Eco-Justice Collaborative / CC BY-SA 2.0

Groups Sue Utility Company for Leaking Coal Ash Into National Scenic River

Illinois environmental groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging that a utility company is violating the Clean Water Act by letting coal ash leak into a protected river.

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Health
Miners surface on the elevator at Virginia-Pocahontas Mine #4 near Richlands, VA in April 1974. Jack Corn / U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

'History Going in the Wrong Direction' as Worst Form of Black Lung Disease Rises Again

By Andrea Germanos

Spotlighting the terrible human impact of the nation's continued reliance on coal, new research shows the most severe form of black lung disease, progressive massive fibrosis (PMF), is on the rise—big time.

"This is history going in the wrong direction," said lead researcher Kirsten S. Almberg, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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