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Teens play basketball at a public park in Port Arthur, Texas. Karen Kasmauski / International League of Conservation Photographers

African Americans Disproportionately Suffer Health Effects of Oil and Gas Facilities

African American communities face a disproportionate risk of health issues caused by gas and oil pollution, according to a report issued Tuesday by two advocacy groups.

The report from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Clean Air Task Force noted the importance of Obama-era U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations that finalized standard for methane and ozone smog-forming volatile organic compound (VOCs). The report states that if the Trump administration's dismantling of environmental regulations continues, the situation for African Americans will worsen.

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Syncrude and Suncor oil sands bitumen processing facilities near Fort McMurray, Alberta. Andrew S. Wright

Canada Methane Emissions Far Worse Than Feared

The Canadian oil and gas industry could be emitting methane at rates 25 to 50 percent higher than official estimates, according to new research.

A study published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology compared measurements taken from airplane surveys of fossil fuel infrastructure in Alberta to emissions reported by industry—which is only required to report intentional emissions from flaring, and not estimate leaked emissions—and other figures.

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Bakken shale gas flare in North Dakota. Hitting Home/Flickr

Trump Administration Ordered to Enforce Methane Restrictions, Pursues Further Delay Instead

A federal court ordered the Trump administration Wednesday to reinstate an Obama-era methane rule it stayed this summer—the same day the Interior Department made a different kind of legal attempt to further delay the rule's implementation.

The Bureau of Land Management stayed the regulations on oil and gas producers in June, following a failed vote in the Senate to repeal the rule under the Congressional Review Act. However, U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte of California ruled this week that the administration had not offered sufficient reasoning for the stay, and ordered the rule to be reinstated immediately.

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Kyle Spradley / MU College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources / Flickr

Grass-Fed Beef Will Not Help Tackle Climate Change, Report Finds

By Daisy Dunne

Billed as a more environmentally friendly way to rear cattle, grass-fed beef has been the red meat of choice for many a climate-conscious carnivore.

Indeed, research has suggested that grazing cattle can help offset global warming by stimulating soil to take up more carbon from the atmosphere. This process, known as soil carbon sequestration, is one way of reducing the amount of human-induced greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

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Rice drying in Nepal. foto_morgana / Flickr

World Can Meet Growing Food Demands and Limit Warming to 1.5°C, Study Says

By Daisy Dunne

Agriculture and food production is responsible for around 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Slashing the sector's emissions is considered to be key to limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, which is the aspirational target of the Paris agreement.

However, adopting negative emissions strategies, such as soil carbon management, will be essential to help the farming industry reduce its carbon footprint without threatening the global food supply, the lead author told Carbon Brief.

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New Study Finds Methane Emissions From Cows 11% Higher

Actual global methane emissions from livestock are much higher than previous estimates and could help account for the dramatic upswing in methane emissions over recent years, according to new research.

A study published last week in the journal Carbon Balance and Management updated measures used to calculate livestock methane emissions, finding that emissions in 2011 were 11 percent higher than their projected IPCC estimates.

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Kevin Dooley / Flickr

Can Emissions Shrink While the Economy Grows?

What does climate change have to do with economic growth? Canada's prime minister and premiers signed a deal in December to "grow our economy, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and build resilience to the impacts of a changing climate." The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change outlines plans for carbon pricing, energy-efficient building codes, electric vehicle charging stations, methane emission regulations and more.

Is the framework correct in assuming we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and grow the economy? If not, which should be given precedence?

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Oil pumping station on Lake of Parentis, France. Wikimedia Commons

France Plans to Ban Fossil Fuel Production

By Hannah McKinnon

Unprecedented and "never-before-seen" impacts of climate change are all around us. From Hurricanes' Harvey and Irma to massive flooding in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal to forest fires burning through the west coast of North America—climate change is here and now, and it is catastrophic.

Fortunately, unprecedented and never-before-seen climate policy is also starting to take hold. While the devastating impacts of climate change demand a rapid response and emergency support, the true measure of political commitment is how far governments will go to stop digging us deeper into this hole.

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Meeting Paris Goals Means Dealing With Climate Impacts of Eating Meat

By Ashley Braun

Environmental groups place a lot of attention on trying to stop new oil, gas and coal development since current fossil fuel projects would likely already blow us past the less-than 2°C upper limit for warming laid out in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. In fact, there's a whole movement, known as "Keep It in the Ground," predicated on this idea.

But when faced with a resurgence of support for fossil fuels from the White House, perhaps just as important is talking about how to "Keep It in the Cow," according to some reports. Right now, experts predict agriculture is set to eat up half the greenhouse gas emissions the world can release by 2050 and still stay below 2°C (3.6°F) of warming.

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