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Today's Climate

06/29/2020

New Data Reveals Hidden Flood Risk Across America

Across much of the United States, the flood risk is far greater than government estimates show, new calculations suggest, exposing millions of people to a hidden threat—and one that will only grow as climate change worsens. Under the new calculation, 14.6 million properties are at risk from a 100-year flood as opposed to the 8.7 million properties federal government maps show.

(The New York Times)

Oil Giant BP Exits Petrochemical Business in $5 Billion Deal With Ineos

The fossil fuel producer BP has sold its petrochemicals business to Ineos in a $5 billion deal that will boost the oil company's stressed balance sheet. The sale comes as a historic decline in oil prices, triggered in part by the coronavirus pandemic, has damaged the finances of oil producers around the world, accelerating BP's need to cut costs and restructure.

(The Guardian)

Fading Winters, Hotter Summers Make the Northeast America’s Fastest Warming Region

Climate scientists don't fully understand why Connecticut and the other Northeast states have warmed so dramatically. But the region hosts about half a dozen of the nation's hot spots where warming has already exceeded 2 degrees Celsius. Connecticut is one of the fastest-warming states in the contiguous United States, one analysis shows. 

(InsideClimate News)

Energy Department Aims to Boost Coal With $120 Million Innovation Program

The Energy Department on Friday announced that it is investing $122 million to help create new uses for coal and develop new methods to extract critical minerals from it, arguing the move will benefit both coal-producing states and the overall economy. Opponents of the plan say that money should be used to move the economy away from the fossil fuel industry, which has been in decline for decades.

(The Hill)

Trump Nominates Controversial, Longtime Acting Head of Land Management Bureau as Director

President Trump on Friday nominated William Perry Pendley, who has controversially served as the acting head of the Bureau of Land Management for months, to lead the agency. Pendley has faced backlash over what opponents say is a conflict of interest at the agency, and his nomination comes amid a lawsuit that argues the repeated temporary extensions of Pendley's role was illegal.

(The Hill)

American Climate Video: An Ode to Paradise Lost in California’s Most Destructive Wildfire

Living in Paradise, California, Holly Ratliff had been through wildfires before. She always expected to come home after each evacuation. "You kind of get desensitized to it," she said. This is part of our American Climate series documenting how climate change is impacting people across the country.

(InsideClimate News)

Floods in India's Assam Force a Million People From Their Homes

Heavy flooding triggered by monsoon rains has forced more than a million people to flee their homes in the northeast Indian state of Assam, authorities said on Monday, warning that the crisis was becoming more critical by the hour. The Brahmaputra River, one of the largest rivers in the world, which flows from Tibet into India and then into Bangladesh, burst its banks in Assam over the weekend.

(Reuters)

Crushed by Covid-19, Airlines Lobby for a Break on Emissions Offsets

Still reeling from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, airlines are asking a U.N. agency to alter an agreement that would offset international aviation emissions beyond 2020. Climate advocates say the change could cost the scheme years of valuable time.

(InsideClimate News)

Pandemic’s Cleaner Air Could Reshape What We Know About the Atmosphere

Researchers are collecting data around the world as the coronavirus pandemic leads to reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The data will inform science and policy for years to come. "This is a giant, global environmental experiment that has been done in a very controlled way," one atmospheric scientist said.

(The New York Times)

Trump Plan Would Open Huge Area of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve to Drilling

Since early in the Trump administration, the U.S. Interior Department has sought to open new areas of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska to drilling, including the area around Teshekpuk Lake, a region that has long been considered too ecologically sensitive for drilling.

(InsideClimate News)

Pennsylvania Grand Jury Faults State Officials for Lax Fracking Oversight

A Pennsylvania investigative grand jury has concluded that the state's environmental and health agencies have systematically failed to protect the state's citizens from the risks of fracking. The report alleges insufficient oversight by Democratic and Republican administrations alike.

(InsideClimate News)

California’s Clean Energy Programs are Mainly Benefiting the Rich, Study Finds

A new study from UCLA researchers found that people living in "disadvantaged communities" within Los Angeles County use less electricity and natural gas than wealthier neighborhoods, and are less likely to have electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids or rooftop solar. This is important as California works to implement climate policies that provide equitable benefits.

(The Los Angeles Times)

New Rule in California Will Require Zero-Emissions Trucks

By the year 2035, more than half the trucks sold in California will have to be zero-emissions due to a new rule the state adopted this week. Currently, transportation accounts for 40 percent of California's emissions and is a significant contributor to smog.

(The New York Times)

Two Louisiana Activists Charged with Terrorizing a Lobbyist for the Oil and Gas Industry

Two Louisiana environmental activists have been arrested after leaving a box of plastic waste on the front porch of an oil and gas lobbyist's home. The activists are being charged with terrorizing the man and face 15 years in prison.

(InsideClimate News)

Saharan Dust Hits Louisiana: Here's What to Expect as Air Quality Alerts are Triggered

Louisiana's Department of Environmental Quality issued health alerts as Saharan dust reached the state on Thursday. People who have respiratory issues like asthma or allergies are at a greater risk of adverse health effects, with air quality expected to worsen on Friday, NOLA.com reports.

(NOLA.com)

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