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Area 1002 of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain. Wikimedia Commons.

GOP-Controlled Senate Paves Way for Oil Drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The Senate Republicans' narrow passage of the 2018 budget plan on Thursday opened the door for oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR).

But Democratic lawmakers and environmental groups criticized the GOP for sneaking the "backdoor drilling provision" through the budget process. Past proposals to drill in the refuge have consistently failed.

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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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Energy

New Mexico's Largest Utility Will Stop Burning Coal, Despite Trump's Clean Power Plan Rollback

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt announced Monday that the Trump administration is rolling back the Clean Power Plan to end the previous administration's "war on coal" but there's a big problem: Obama didn't kill the coal industry—the market for cheap natural gas and increasingly affordable renewable energy did.

Case in point, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that New Mexico's largest utility still plans to phase out coal as a power source in 2031. The Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) currently uses coal for 56 percent of its energy generation but wants drop use to 12 percent by 2025.

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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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Welcome to DC's #DirtyEnergyWeek

By Andy Rowell

The ultimate corporate greenwashing experience starts in Washington, DC Monday, when some of America's dirtiest polluters participate in what is being billed the "National Clean Energy Week." In the current political "post-factual" era, it would be easy to be fooled.

The promotional material sounds great. What is there not to like?

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A speaker at a chapel constructed by opponents of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline in a cornfield owned by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ.

Judge Awards Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Builder Rights to Seize Last 5 Holdout Properties, Including Nun's Land

Builders of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline now possess the five remaining holdout properties in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, following a federal judge's decision Wednesday.

The ruling from Judge Jeffrey Schmehl granted Transcontinental Pipe Line Co.'s (Transco) motion to condemn the rights of way on the properties and granted the company immediate possession of the land, Lancaster Online reports. This includes land owned by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ near the town of Columbia.

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Exxon, Shell Censured for Claiming Natural Gas Is 'Cleanest' Fossil Fuel

By Farron Cousins

For many years, a standard talking point from the fossil fuel industry and those who speak on the industry's behalf has been that natural gas is a cleaner alternative to conventional energy sources like coal and oil. This talking point is at least partially responsible for many people—including former President Barack Obama and his Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz—believing that natural gas can act as a "bridge fuel" in the eventual shift from coal and oil to renewable sources of energy.

But the truth is a lot more complicated than a talking point, something which a Dutch advertising watchdog has recognized as it takes two fossil fuel companies to task over misleading ads about natural gas being the "cleanest of all fossil fuels."

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The USGS Core Research Center collaborated with the USGS Energy Resources Program to drill a core from the Mancos Shale to aid in the oil and gas assessment. Joshua Hicks, USGS

Fracking New Mexico: BP Just Found 'Significant New Source of U.S. Natural Gas Supply'

By Andy Rowell

Amidst the continued dire warnings about climate change, censored scientists and stranded assets, the oil industry keeps on doing what it does best: keeps on belligerently looking for more oil and gas.

Earlier this week, BP announced it had discovered what it is labelling a "significant new source of U.S. natural gas supply" in New Mexico in the Mancos Shale, just across from the Colorado border.

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Energy company filings (shapefile), Energy Information Administration. Leanne Abraham, Alyson Hurt and Katie Park/NPR

Thousands of Miles of Pipelines Enrage Landowners, Threaten the Future of Our Planet

By Kristen Lombardi and Jamie Smith Hopkins

They landed, one after another, in 2015: plans for nearly a dozen interstate pipelines to move natural gas beneath rivers, mountains and people's yards. Like spokes on a wheel, they'd spread from Appalachia to markets in every direction.

Together these new and expanded pipelines—comprising 2,500 miles of steel in all—would double the amount of gas that could flow out of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. The cheap fuel will benefit consumers and manufacturers, the developers promise.

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