Notes From Underground: Fracking — The Bridge to Nowhere, Part I

According to its proponents, natural gas is supposed to be the bridge between old, dirty energy and new, clean, sustainable energy. But if the benefits it provides are temporary, illusory, and carry great risk to public health and the environment, fracked natural gas is not so much a bridge as it is a short pier [...]

CSPW’s New Climate Action Plan Oversight Series: Continuing Rick Piltz’s Work on the CAP

By Rebeka Ryvola When President Obama announced the Climate Action Plan (CAP) in June of 2013, it was a landmark moment. The first-of-its-kind plan aims at achieving comprehensive action on climate change by way of a three-fold goal: cutting domestic carbon pollution, adapting the US to irreversible climate change impacts, and leading the international community [...]

Dr. David Goodrich’s Tribute to Rick Piltz: A Reflection of the Current Crisis in California

During his career in climate, Dr. David Goodrich was Director of both the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) Office in Washington and the Global Climate Observing System Secretariat in Geneva. He retired in February 2011 as Director of NOAA’s Climate Observation Division. Three months later he rode his bicycle from Cape Henlopen, Delaware to [...]

Notes from Underground: Out of Our Sight, Out of Their Minds

Appropriate – is it not? – that the word “underground” carries connotations of secrecy, subversion, and conspiracy. In the context of fossil fuel production and transportation, underground is home to a number of activities about which the public has a dire need to be well informed. Instead, we remain largely misinformed, or not informed at [...]

A good federal court decision against a coal mining expansion: There are no remedies for failure to consider climate change impacts

Arch Coal leasing area, Colorado (Photo: WildEarth Guardians) Confirming and finalizing a preliminary decision made in July, a Colorado judge has killed a federal permit to allow expanded coal mining in the Gunnison National Forest, after Arch Coal’s application had been approved by the Obama Administration. The Bureau of Land Management failed to [...]

2018-10-26T13:11:43-04:00September 15th, 2014|Energy, Obama Climate Plan, Science-Policy Interaction|

Climate and energy infrastructure: On cumulative impacts of multiple tar sands pipelines

U.S. permits for multiple proposed Canadian tar sands pipelines should be considered in light of an overall climate change strategy, rather than the current practice of considering each energy infrastructure proposal on a project-by-project basis. “The administration’s commitment to aggressive greenhouse gas reduction policies simply cannot be squared with a piecemeal approach to tar sands [...]

On Obama’s new actions to support state and local climate preparedness

New Jersey beach house on stilts that survived Hurricane Sandy (Photo: FEMA) It’s been a long time coming, but climate change preparedness has finally moved into the mainstream of national policymaking. Responding to the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience he established in 2013, the President announced a [...]

Federal coal mining permit blocked for failing to consider climate change impacts

Arch Coal leasing area, Colorado (Photo: WildEarth Guardians) Federal regulators failed to consider the social cost of carbon emissions in approving a proposed coal mine expansion in Colorado, said a U.S. district court judge last week in blocking the permit. The reasoning in this case should be applied to other federal decisions on [...]

U.S. National Climate Assessment: Resources and media

The 2014 National Climate Assessment: Climate Change Impacts in the United States, was given final approval and released by the Obama administration today. “Climate change presents a major challenge for society,” the report warned. “There is mounting evidence that harm to the nation will increase substantially in the future unless global emissions of heat-trapping gases [...]

White House climate change preparedness event and Climate Data Intiative

On March 19 the White House, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are hosting an event aimed at highlighting government and private sector efforts to enhance climate change preparedness.  Also today, in conjunction with this event, the Administration is launching a Climate Data Initiative — “a [...]