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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 18, 2018, 02:08:51 pm »




Montana Court Agrees Yellowstone Gateway More Valuable Than Gold

Thanks to Earthjustice litigation, a district court judge has ruled that state regulators illegally ignored impacts to water quality and wildlife when approving the exploratory drilling project.

By Jessica A. Knoblauch | May 30, 2018

Jessica is a former award-winning journalist. She enjoys wild places and dispensing justice, so she considers her job here to be a pretty amazing fit.

An access road for drilling rigs and heavy equipment would run through this landscape if two proposed mines are constructed near Yellowstone’s northern entrance. PHOTO COURTESY OF WILLIAM CAMPBELL

Sleeping bag, check. Bug spray, check. Backpack, check.

As people across the country eagerly prepare for their summer vacations, residents and businesses of Park County, Montana, are gearing up to greet them. As the northern gateway to Yellowstone National Park, the aptly named Paradise Valley is itself a destination.

Enjoyed by locals throughout the year, tourists flock to this area to enjoy the full array of the Yellowstone region’s iconic wildlife and magnificent landscapes and to catch a native cutthroat trout in the Yellowstone River’s blue-ribbon fishery. With a lot riding on the tourist season, one thing Park County locals shouldn’t have to worry about is a massive new gold mine driving away tourists. The likelihood of that happening is much less now that a district court has ordered Montana’s regulators to reconsider allowing intensive mineral exploration in the area.

Double Your Impact — Fund Critical Courtroom Fights!

Proposed in 2015 by Canada-based Lucky Minerals, mineral exploration is just the first step in the company’s plans to develop a large-scale gold mine in Paradise Valley that would cause irreversible environmental harm to the park and fray the economic fabric of the region. Travelers gazing at the majestic Emigrant Peak jutting up from the Absaroka Mountains—a refuge for bighorn sheep, elk, grizzly bears, wolverines, and other creatures—would be confronted with the destruction of an industrial mining operation.

But a blemished view of the cinematic Yellowstone landscape is just one of the problems anticipated with this proposal. At full scale, the Emigrant mine would threaten to send acid runoff flowing into tributaries of the Yellowstone River, while nearly 100,000 tons of waste rock containing elevated levels of arsenic would be dumped near tributary headwaters. Even mineral exploration alone threatens to pollute these waters with heavy metals and acid runoff.

Emigrant Gulch aerial view looking east from Emigrant Peak. Lucky Minerials has mine claims on both sides of the gulch on both private and public land. PHOTO COURTESY OF WILLIAM CAMPBELL

Mining and mineral exploration would also carve up precious habitat for endangered grizzly bears, which are already in peril after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife delisted the species in June 2017. (Earthjustice is challenging the agency’s decision.) Wolverines, lynx, elk and other species would also be harmed, as would the local community, which relies on large swaths of connected wildland to support sustainable recreation and a healthy tourist economy. Barreling ahead with gold mining and exploration for short-term financial gain could come at the expense of the primary driver of economic growth in the Yellowstone area: an intact landscape that attracts millions of visitors from around the globe and supports a diverse business community and highly skilled workforce.

Earthjustice, together with local and regional groups, challenged the gold exploration proposal in September 2017 under the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA), arguing that state regulators 😈 downplayed and dismissed some very serious environmental risks posed by the project. Those include potentially long-term harm to the iconic wildlife of the Yellowstone region, particularly grizzly bears and wolverines, and threats to clean water 💧 in Yellowstone River tributaries. We also argued that the state didn’t seriously consider the potential that this exploration could lead to much larger-scale development. The court agreed with us on all of our claims.

Subscribe to Earthjustice emails, to learn more ways we’re working to defend public lands.

Quote
“The court’s ruling recognized that exploratory drilling is the leading edge of a much larger threat to these sensitive lands in Yellowstone’s gateway,” says Earthjustice attorney Jenny Harbine, who represented the groups. “We will continue our fight to stop Lucky’s plans to profit by placing our water, wildlife, and magnificent natural landscapes at risk.”  

Though this latest decision is a substantial victory, the fight is far from over. Lucky Minerals could insist on proceeding with gold exploration this summer while regulators conduct a new environmental analysis. If that happens, Earthjustice will go back to court to defend the park and all of its beauty from this short-sighted proposal.

An earlier version of this blog post was published in November 2016.

https://earthjustice.org/blog/2018-may/montana-court-agrees-yellowstone-gateway-more-valuable-than-gold

Driving south into Yellowstone along the river is one of the more picturesque routes I've ever hd the pleasure of experiencing. And....it's on the Hot Spring Tour. I'm only sorry the pine beetles got there before I got to see it. The Yellowstone River flows due north. If you're from Texas, something doesn't seem right about that.


I've only seen Yellowstone in pictures. I am saddened by what is happening there now. The best times are behind us. :(

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 17, 2018, 08:04:49 pm »




Montana Court Agrees Yellowstone Gateway More Valuable Than Gold

Thanks to Earthjustice litigation, a district court judge has ruled that state regulators illegally ignored impacts to water quality and wildlife when approving the exploratory drilling project.

By Jessica A. Knoblauch | May 30, 2018

Jessica is a former award-winning journalist. She enjoys wild places and dispensing justice, so she considers her job here to be a pretty amazing fit.

An access road for drilling rigs and heavy equipment would run through this landscape if two proposed mines are constructed near Yellowstone’s northern entrance. PHOTO COURTESY OF WILLIAM CAMPBELL

Sleeping bag, check. Bug spray, check. Backpack, check.

As people across the country eagerly prepare for their summer vacations, residents and businesses of Park County, Montana, are gearing up to greet them. As the northern gateway to Yellowstone National Park, the aptly named Paradise Valley is itself a destination.

Enjoyed by locals throughout the year, tourists flock to this area to enjoy the full array of the Yellowstone region’s iconic wildlife and magnificent landscapes and to catch a native cutthroat trout in the Yellowstone River’s blue-ribbon fishery. With a lot riding on the tourist season, one thing Park County locals shouldn’t have to worry about is a massive new gold mine driving away tourists. The likelihood of that happening is much less now that a district court has ordered Montana’s regulators to reconsider allowing intensive mineral exploration in the area.

Double Your Impact — Fund Critical Courtroom Fights!

Proposed in 2015 by Canada-based Lucky Minerals, mineral exploration is just the first step in the company’s plans to develop a large-scale gold mine in Paradise Valley that would cause irreversible environmental harm to the park and fray the economic fabric of the region. Travelers gazing at the majestic Emigrant Peak jutting up from the Absaroka Mountains—a refuge for bighorn sheep, elk, grizzly bears, wolverines, and other creatures—would be confronted with the destruction of an industrial mining operation.

But a blemished view of the cinematic Yellowstone landscape is just one of the problems anticipated with this proposal. At full scale, the Emigrant mine would threaten to send acid runoff flowing into tributaries of the Yellowstone River, while nearly 100,000 tons of waste rock containing elevated levels of arsenic would be dumped near tributary headwaters. Even mineral exploration alone threatens to pollute these waters with heavy metals and acid runoff.

Emigrant Gulch aerial view looking east from Emigrant Peak. Lucky Minerials has mine claims on both sides of the gulch on both private and public land. PHOTO COURTESY OF WILLIAM CAMPBELL

Mining and mineral exploration would also carve up precious habitat for endangered grizzly bears, which are already in peril after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife delisted the species in June 2017. (Earthjustice is challenging the agency’s decision.) Wolverines, lynx, elk and other species would also be harmed, as would the local community, which relies on large swaths of connected wildland to support sustainable recreation and a healthy tourist economy. Barreling ahead with gold mining and exploration for short-term financial gain could come at the expense of the primary driver of economic growth in the Yellowstone area: an intact landscape that attracts millions of visitors from around the globe and supports a diverse business community and highly skilled workforce.

Earthjustice, together with local and regional groups, challenged the gold exploration proposal in September 2017 under the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA), arguing that state regulators 😈 downplayed and dismissed some very serious environmental risks posed by the project. Those include potentially long-term harm to the iconic wildlife of the Yellowstone region, particularly grizzly bears and wolverines, and threats to clean water 💧 in Yellowstone River tributaries. We also argued that the state didn’t seriously consider the potential that this exploration could lead to much larger-scale development. The court agreed with us on all of our claims.

Subscribe to Earthjustice emails, to learn more ways we’re working to defend public lands.

Quote
“The court’s ruling recognized that exploratory drilling is the leading edge of a much larger threat to these sensitive lands in Yellowstone’s gateway,” says Earthjustice attorney Jenny Harbine, who represented the groups. “We will continue our fight to stop Lucky’s plans to profit by placing our water, wildlife, and magnificent natural landscapes at risk.”  

Though this latest decision is a substantial victory, the fight is far from over. Lucky Minerals could insist on proceeding with gold exploration this summer while regulators conduct a new environmental analysis. If that happens, Earthjustice will go back to court to defend the park and all of its beauty from this short-sighted proposal.

An earlier version of this blog post was published in November 2016.

https://earthjustice.org/blog/2018-may/montana-court-agrees-yellowstone-gateway-more-valuable-than-gold
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 14, 2018, 05:55:58 pm »



June 14, 2018

VW fined one billion euros by German prosecutors in diesel emissions scandal

Car giant Volkswagen has been fined one billion euros by German prosecutors over diesel emissions cheating, reports the BBC. The carmaker said it did not plan to appeal the fine, which is one of the highest ever imposed by German authorities on a company, according to the report. But BBC business correspondent Theo Leggett writes in a short analysis that “the fine pales into insignificance compared with the fines and compensation the group has had to pay out in the US - which add up to well over 20 billion euros. If this puts an end to criminal proceedings in Europe, VW may well think it's a relatively small price to pay.”

Find the VW press release in English here.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 09, 2018, 01:47:45 pm »

EcoWatch

Health  Olivia Rosane

Jun. 08, 2018 06:20AM EST

EPA 😈 to Ignore 68 Million Pounds of Chemical Emissions in Limited Risk Assessment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will limit the criteria it uses to determine the health risks of 10 dangerous chemicals including asbestos, The New York Times reported Thursday.

A 2016 amendment to the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 required the EPA to evaluate hundreds of hazardous chemicals to decide if they should face more restrictions or be banned entirely. But documents released by the EPA last week suggest the EPA is kowtowing to the chemical lobby in the narrow criteria it is using the asses the safety of the first 10 chemicals, restricting its analysis to the risks posed by direct exposure to a chemical, and not the risks associated with exposure to contaminated air, soil and water.

In the case of asbestos, which kills almost 15,000 U.S. citizens annually, the EPA will only consider risks from new uses of asbestos and not risks from asbestos already present in tiles, adhesives and pipes, Newsweek reported Thursday.

President Donald Trump has dismissed health concerns about asbestos, calling it "100 percent safe, once applied," Newsweek pointed out. In 1997's The Art of the Comeback, he blamed the asbestos scare on the mob. "I believe that the movement against asbestos was led by the mob, because it was often mob-related companies that would do the asbestos removal. Great pressure was put on politicians, and as usual, the politicians relented," he wrote, according to Newsweek.

Quote
EPA spokesperson Jahan Wilcox told The New York Times that the agency felt chemical contamination of the broader environment was already regulated by the Clean Air and Water Acts.

But Democratic Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, who helped pass the 2016 amendment, countered that the limited risk analysis was not in keeping with the spirit of the law.

"Congress worked hard in bipartisan fashion to reform our nation's broken chemical safety laws, but [Administrator Scott] Pruitt's E.P.A. is failing to put the new law to use as intended," Udall said in a statement.

The Environmental Defense Fund calculated that the EPA's limited analysis would ignore 68 million pounds of emissions yearly.

For example, one of the 10 chemicals is perchloroethylene, a likely carcinogen used as a dry-cleaning solvent and metal degreaser. The analysis will consider harm posed by exposure while cleaning clothes or carpets, but not harm posed by its presence in drinking water in 44 states.

read more:

https://www.ecowatch.com/epa-limited-risk-assessment-2576231762.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 08, 2018, 10:07:03 pm »

EcoWatch

By Lorraine Chow

Jun. 07, 2018 01:52PM EST

TransCanada Pipeline Explodes 💥 in West Virginia

SNIPPET:

A newly installed TransCanada natural gas pipeline exploded early Thursday in the remote Nixon Ridge area of Marshall County in West Virginia.

No injuries were reported but flames and smoke from the blast could be seen as far as 20 miles away, residents told local media. Area police told CBS News the fire was "very large—if you can see it from your house, evacuate."

"It sounded like a freight train coming through, or a tornado, and the sky lit up bright orange, and then I got up and looked out the window and flames were shooting I don't know how far into the sky," Tina Heath-Chaplin, of Moundsville, told WPXI.

TransCanada—the same company behind the Keystone pipeline—said the explosion has been contained and an investigation is underway.

"As soon as the issue was identified, emergency response procedures were enacted and the segment of impacted pipeline was isolated. The fire was fully extinguished by approximately 8:30 a.m," the company commented Thursday.

"The cause of this issue is not yet known," TransCanada continued. "The site of the incident has been secured and we are beginning the process of working with applicable regulators to investigate, including the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration."

Full article:

https://www.ecowatch.com/transcanada-pipeline-explodes-west-virginia-2576042392.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 06, 2018, 08:30:05 pm »

June 6, 2018

Government Not Paying Attention to Oil & Gas Cleanup

The government is failing to adequately track the cost of cleaning up abandoned oil and gas wells on federal and American Indian lands, according to a new government watchdog report. The analysis from the Government Accountability Office shows that the average cost of cleaning up an abandoned well, based on data collected from over a dozen Bureau of Land Management field offices, was $267,600--a far higher figure than the $171,500 BLM reported in 2010 when it last examined the issue.

"Despite what Republicans keep telling us, the fossil fuel industry🐉🦕🦖 isn't being regulated into the ground," Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), one of the lawmakers who requested the review, said in a statement. "Too often, it's freeloading off the American people, and this report tells us we don't even know how much it's costing us."

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/390739-watchdog-government-isnt-sufficiently-tracking-costs-from-orphaned


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 04, 2018, 10:26:25 pm »



Video Shows Insane Tanker Fire 🔥 That Led to Two Houston Pilots Being Awarded the IMO Bravery at Sea Award

June 4, 2018 by Mike Schuler

The MT Aframax River after the allision with the dolphi. Tractor tugboat David B is in the foreground rendering assistance. Image courtesy of ITC City Dock security video / NTSB

On the morning of September 6, 2016, Houston harbor pilots Michael McGee and Michael Phillips found themselves surrounded by towering walls of flames after the tanker they were piloting, the MT Aframax River, lost propulsion and struck two mooring dolphins on the Houston Ship Channel.

The allision punctured the tankers hull plating, causing the release of about 88,000 gallons of low-sulfur marine gas oil which suddenly ignited in a massive fire ball.

Despite the danger, the pilots remained on the bridge and managed to maneuver the vessel away from facilities and other ships in the area while coordinating with first responders. Amazingly, they sustained only minor burns, the only injuries resulting from the fire.

For their efforts, Captain McGee and Phillips were awarded the International Maritime Organization’s Bravery at Sea Award, the IMO’s highest honor for bravery at sea, in recognition of their role in preventing a major disaster on one the nation’s busiest commercial waterways.

While details of the accident have since been chronicled in a NTSB Marine Accident Brief and as well as other recounts of the event, a new video posted online last week gives us the best look yet at what exactly what the pilots, crew members, and responding tugboats were faced with that night.

The video was recorded by a security at the Intercontinental Terminals Company facitility where the tanker was mooring Check it out:


More on the incident as described by the International Maritime Organization:

Captain McGee and Captain Phillips were surrounded by a towering wall of burning fuel as the raging fire quickly spread across the channel, threatening other tank ships and nearby waterfront facilities.

Both pilots remained at their stations on the bridge of the ship during the fire. Captain McGee managed to manoeuvre the stricken and blazing vessel away from surrounding ships and facilities.

Captain Phillips coordinated communications and firefighting efforts with the United States Coast Guard and numerous local fireboats. Captain Phillips rushed to grab a fire extinguisher and put out a fire raging on the port bridge wing.

The inferno was finally extinguished after 90 minutes, leaving both pilots exhausted and suffering minor burns. Captain McGee, using tugs, was then able to bring the damaged tanker safely to a mooring facility.

Read the NTSB Marine Accident Brief: Allision of Tanker Aframax River with Mooring Dolphins

Update: After scouring Youtube for an earlier version of the video above, I came across the following interview with Captain McGee and Captain Phillips in which they describe what happened. It also includes snippets of the same footage:


http://gcaptain.com/video-shows-insane-tanker-fire-that-led-to-in-two-houston-pilots-being-awarded-the-imo-bravery-at-sea-award/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 03, 2018, 06:39:10 pm »

Across U.S., Toxic Blooms Pollute Lakes

By Bill Walker, Editor in Chief and Emily Wathen, Digital Journalist

TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2018

SNIPPET:

TOLEDO, Ohio – In the middle of a muggy summer night, Keith Jordan got an urgent text: Toledo’s tap water wasn’t safe to drink.

“I thought it was a joke," said Jordan, who works with at-risk youth in Toledo’s inner city. He went back to sleep. When he got up a few hours later, he took a shower and had a cup of coffee, then turned on the news.

“They were saying don't drink the water, don’t take a shower – the water is messed up,” Jordan said. “You couldn’t even touch the water. It was something you could not believe was happening here in Toledo.”

That was Aug. 2, 2014. For the next three days, half a million people in and around this industrial city at the western edge of Lake Erie scrambled to find safe water.


Many drove hours across state borders to stand in long lines at stores that hadn’t sold out of bottled water. Some stores were charging $40 for a case of water that usually costs less than $5. Jordan, unaffected by his shower and coffee, helped set up distribution centers for free water, and helped deliver it to seniors and mothers with babies. The National Guard sent tanker trucks full of drinking water to the city.

The panic was set off by a toxin called microcystin, the byproduct of an enormous bloom of blue-green algae that had invaded Lake Erie. The bloom – technically not algae, but photosynthetic single-celled organisms called cyanobacteria – blanketed vast expanses of the lake with what looked like thick, sickly green split-pea soup. It was triggered by chemical pollution from farm fertilizers and industrial sources into the lake, which supplies the region’s tap water.




Toledo was the first large U.S. city where toxic blooms made tap water unsafe for human consumption. But it may not be the last.

No government agency collects nationwide data on toxic blooms. But EWG’s research found news reports of almost 300 blooms in lakes, rivers and bays in 48 states and the Gulf of Mexico since 2010. Based on those reports, the problem appears to have worsened over the past few years.

In 2010, there were just three reports of toxic blooms in the U.S. In 2015, there were 15, including the largest to date in Lake Erie, although the bacteria did not get into Toledo’s drinking water. In 2016, there were 51, including a huge bloom in Florida that prompted the state to declare an emergency in four counties on the Atlantic Coast. Last year, 169 blooms were reported. And in March, Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared the open waters of western Lake Erie “impaired for recreation” – an unprecedented designation that under the federal Clean Water Act will require the development and enforcement of plans to reduce toxic blooms.



EWG’s interactive nationwide map shows locations of reported toxic blooms in green. Orange locations have links to vivid satellite photos of blighted lakes from California to Florida.

Full EWG article with interactive map of affected areas:

https://www.ewg.org/toxicalgalblooms/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 27, 2018, 07:33:49 pm »

Families hit by climate change sue the EU

Date 25.05.2018

Author Anne-Sophie Brändlin

SNIPPET:

A group of families have filed a lawsuit against the European Union for failing to protect citizens against the impacts of climate change. It's the first climate lawsuit at EU level.

A total of ten families from five EU countries, Kenya and Fiji, as well as a Swedish youth organization, are taking the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to court. They say the EU is violating their fundamental rights of life, health, livelihood and property by failing to combat global warming.

The People's Climate Case, as the lawsuit has been dubbed, was filed with the European General Court on May 24. It argues that the EU's 2030 climate target of reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent compared to 1990 levels, is inadequate. Instead, they are demanding a reduction of at least 50 to 60 percent by 2030.

The plaintiffs argue that three EU emission regulation legal acts, issued as part of the 2030 climate target, still allow for high levels of greenhouse gases to be emitted. They are asking the EU to raise the target in defense of the fundamental rights of citizens — not just of those living in Europe, but also beyond its borders, who suffer from climate change as a result of EU emissions.

Unprecedented case

"This court case is incredibly important and unique because it's addressing the European Union as a whole and not individual states," Stefan Küper, press spokesperson for the NGO Germanwatch, which is supporting the People's Climate Case, told DW.

"This is vital, because it's the EU that's responsible for setting minimum thresholds for the climate policy of EU member states, not the member states themselves. They can be more ambitious than the set guidelines if they want, but they have to stick to the minimum threshold."

The EU is responsible for 10 percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, which makes it the third largest emitter after China and the United States.


"What also makes this court case so unique is that it's about fundamental rights. It's asking the EU to take its own values seriously and base its policies on the values the EU stands for," Küper said.

Full article with video:

http://www.dw.com/en/families-hit-by-climate-change-sue-the-eu/a-43933608
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 25, 2018, 10:23:40 pm »



Sharp Exchanges    Highlight BP Fears of Climate Legal Jeopardy

May 22, 2018 by Bloomberg

SNIPPET:
The Deepwater Enterprise conducts operations to mitigate the effects of the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill, May 23, 2010. U.S. Coast Guard Photo


By Kelly Gilblom (Bloomberg) — After paying more than $65 billion in legal costs for the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, BP Plc is wary of the risk of lawsuits related to climate change.

Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley raised the topic of class-action lawsuits twice during the company’s annual general meeting in Manchester, England on Monday, saying he wouldn’t disclose certain climate targets, or even answer some questions from activist investors, because the risk of legal action in the U.S. was too high.

“You want to get us to make statements here in front of you that you can document that will lead to a class action,” Dudley said in response to one question from the Union of Concerned Scientists about pending U.S. litigation against energy companies. Such legal actions are “a business model in the United States,” he said.

The sharp exchange between BP and two advocacy groups — Amnesty International  and the Union of Concerned Scientists  — shows the growing pressure on major oil companies to acknowledge their responsibility for emissions of greenhouse gases. It also reflects the burgeoning efforts to hold them legally responsible for the potentially disastrous consequences of rising global temperatures.

Lawsuit Fodder

“BP could be on the hook for millions, if not billions of dollars,” Kathy Mulvey, accountability campaign director at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a statement. “Why wouldn’t shareholders want to know about the risk of legal liability, a risk that’s growing rapidly as climate costs multiply.”

In response to another questioner who suggested that selling oil and gas should be considered a violation of human rights, Dudley warned shareholders this could be another attempt to mire BP in a class-action suit. An open letter from shareholders including Aviva Plc last week urging more transparency could also end up providing lawsuit fodder, he said.

BP 😈 absolutely believes in being transparent. Transparency is beneficial to all,” Dudley said. “But we don’t want climate disclosures to be a tool for class-action lawyers.”


Full article:

http://gcaptain.com/sharp-exchanges-highlight-bp-fears-of-climate-legal-jeopardy/

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 16, 2018, 05:50:13 pm »



Shipping’s Financiers Turning the Tide On Controversial Shipbreaking Practices

May 15, 2018 by Reuters

Workers carry a rope line to fasten a decommissioned ship at the Alang shipyard in Gujarat, India, in this March 27, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files

By Jonathan Saul and Simon Jessop LONDON, May 15 (Reuters)

SNIPPET:

The shipping industry has long been criticized by campaigners for allowing vessels to be broken up on beaches, endangering workers and polluting the sea and sand.  >:(

Now, it is being called to account from a quarter that may have a bit more clout – its financial backers.

Norway’s $1 trillion Oil Fund, a leader in ethical investing, in February sold its stake in four firms because they scrap on the beach.

Three of the firms excluded by Norway’s fund – Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine, Precious Shipping and Thoresen Thai Agencies (TTA) of Thailand – say they have been unfairly singled out. The fourth, Korea Line, declined to comment.

Norwegian life insurer KLP soon followed, selling shares in the one of the four it owned and blacklisting the other three.

Further exclusions are likely, said KLP, the fund and its advisory Council on Ethics. The council’s chief adviser, Aslak Skancke, said the divestments had already effected wider change, including encouraging companies to seek cleaner scrapping.

The fund contacted several firms in its portfolio during its investigation, Skancke said, “and when we made them aware of the possibility of exclusion from the fund, they … decided to change their policy.” He declined to name the companies.

hree leading pensions funds – Caisse de Depot, CCP and OMERS – are reviewing their investments in shipping over ethical and green considerations, a finance source familiar with the matter said. OMERS declined to comment. Caisse de Depot and CCP did not respond to requests for comment.

The steps add to momentum on the issue from European Union regulators and courts, in particular pressure to measure up to standards for inclusion on the EU’s list of approved ship-breaking yards, which is due to be updated later this year.

It’s a revolution that has been a long time coming, environmental, labor and human rights activists say. But a transition won’t be easy, for owners or breakers.

More than 80 percent of aging commercial ships are broken up on the beaches of Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.

Industry leaders in South Asia say they cannot afford to upgrade their sites and remain competitive.

Full article with important details:

http://gcaptain.com/shippings-financiers-turning-the-tide-on-controversial-shipbreaking-practices/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 16, 2018, 05:34:03 pm »



Judges Rule Against Controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline Because Wildlife Matters

By Yessenia Funes

May 16, 2018 2:00pm Filed to: AND SO DO HUMAN LIVES

SNIPPET:

Three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals issued a decision that canceled a key permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a 600-mile long project that would travel from West Virginia to North Carolina. The panel found that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) didn’t set clear limits on how the Dominion Energy-owned pipeline would impact threatened or endangered species in the Biological Opinion required under the Endangered Species Act.

This opinion includes an Incidental Take Statement, which is the issue here. “Take” means “harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect,” per the FWS. As plaintiffs argued—and the court agreed—the federal agency granted Dominion Energy this permit under “indeterminate” limits on the “take” of certain species, including a migratory shorebird called the piping plover, and sea turtles. The federal agency never clarified what percentage of threatened or endangered species are allowed to be killed during construction, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Plaintiffs, which include the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Virginia Wilderness Committee, filed this lawsuit (among others) against the Department of Interior and FWS back in January. The pipeline has met serious opposition from environmentalists throughout its proposed route—and not only for the ways it could harm wildlife.

Local advocates worry about air pollution from compression station sites concentrating near a black community in North Carolina. There’s also the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe, which feels it wasn’t properly consulted.

“This fracked gas project has been proven to be perilous to our health, our communities, and wildlife, and now, thanks to tonight’s ruling, must be stopped,” said Sierra Club Attorney Nathan Matthews, in a press release.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is set to be completed by the end of this year. This decision won’t halt all construction, so the project should stay on schedule for now. Earther contacted Dominion Energy for comment and will update upon a response.

read more:

https://earther.com/judges-rule-against-controversial-atlantic-coast-pipeli-1826078504

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 16, 2018, 05:26:13 pm »



Investors Worth $2.5 Trillion Don’t Want Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

By Yessenia Funes

May 15, 2018 Filed to: MONEY TALKS

SNIPPET:

Basically, the investors are saying this type of drilling doesn’t make sense anymore. It’s time to start thinking of more long-term ways to make money (like, uh, renewables).   On top of that, the American public is not down with tearing up ANWR. Investors gotta protect their reps.

Most important of all, however, is the way this drilling sacrifices human rights in the name of profit. The letter acknowledges the Gwich’in’s cultural ties to these lands, and how any drilling that causes the Porcupine caribou herd to suffer would in term harm this indigenous group.

The Gwich’in, for their part, have been actively fighting potential drilling in ANWR since at least the 1980s, when the idea first started gaining steam. They put out their own letter Monday alongside the investors’.

read more:

https://earther.com/investors-worth-2-5-trillion-don-t-want-drilling-in-th-1826046725
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 16, 2018, 05:07:54 pm »

EcoWatch

By Lorraine Chow

May. 16, 2018 07:39AM EST

1,400 Tons of Contaminated Soil Hauled From Montana Reservation Oil Spill Site

SNIPPET:

Quote
The wellhead has crac ked along the length of the pipe. It's believed the crack formed in December when the well was shut in over the winter. EPA

Trucks have removed more than 1,400 tons of contaminated soil following a large oil spill on the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana, The Billings Gazette reported.

Cleanup is still ongoing. So far, more than 50 large dump trucks full of soil have been removed with more to come, the publication noted.

An estimated 600 barrels of oil and 90,000 barrels of brine (production water) leaked from an Anadarko Minerals Inc. wellhead that was shut in and last inspected in December. It is believed that the wellhead might have frozen and crac ked over the winter, leading to the spill.

Read more:

https://www.ecowatch.com/oil-spill-montana-reservation-2569319391.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 10, 2018, 07:04:44 pm »

GLOBAL CITIZEN

mAY 10, 2018

Scientists Discovered a Dead Zone the Size of Florida 😨 in the Gulf of Oman

But the damage doesn’t have to be permanent.

SNIPPET:

Scientists recently identified a dead zone as large as Florida in the Gulf of Oman. The 65,755 square mile area is now devoid of marine life due, in large part, to climate change and human pollution.

The increasing size of dead zones in the ocean is threatening the animal populations in our oceans and leading to the destruction of underwater life. But scientists say the damage doesn’t have to be permanent. One study has called for further investigation of the Gulf of Oman to understand how to manage the fisheries and ecosystems of the Western Indian Ocean to prevent dead zones from widening.

Full article:

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/scientists-discovered-a-dead-zone-the-size-of-flor/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 05, 2018, 02:57:41 pm »

CleanTechnica
Support CleanTechnica’s work via donations on Patreon or PayPal!

Or just go buy a cool t-shirt, cup, baby outfit, bag, or hoodie.


410 PPM & Rising — CO2 Levels Reach Dangerous Levels 😨 😟

May 5th, 2018 by Steve Hanley

Carbon Dioxide & You — A Cautionary Tale



https://cleantechnica.com/2018/05/05/410-ppm-rising-co2-levels-reach-dangerous-levels/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 05, 2018, 01:23:51 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: The following educational video with excellent graphics is rather optimistic. WHY? To begin with, the available carbon budget (the amount of GHG emissions we can still generate without exceeding the 2 degree celsius increase in temperature) is actually in the rear view mirror. IOW, we have already blown through that budget and are well on the way to a 4 degree C increase (with an accelerating RATE of increase, NOT a linear or slowing rate of increase) BEFORE the end of this century. Also, there is no discussion of the methane contribution. both from fracking activity and from the melting of the permafrost and the release of the vast (over a HUNDRED times 🔥🌡️ the current GHG emissions warming 🔥🌡️ effect) shallow arctic sea methane clathrates, all of which require the immediate banning of the burning of fossil fuels and a crash program to get the CO2 level back to 350 PPM (at least - 300 PPM would be ideal).

 


While the following graphics are correct in portraying the vast amount of fossil fuels that can still be extracted to be burned (which is irrefutable evidence that "peak" oil will NOT save us from Catastrophic Climate Change ), the claim that we can still burn SOME fossil fuels is not based on the reality of the Runaway Greenhouse Situation we are in.



A Brief History of CO2 Emissions


Potsdam Institute

Published on Sep 13, 2017

An animated short film on greenhouse gas emissions.

Together with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the Urban Complexity Lab of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam (FHP) developed an animated short movie that visualizes the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of the past – and the possible future.

https://uclab.fh-potsdam.de/projects/co2

-----

Credits:
“A Brief History of CO2 Emissions”
A film by the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam (FHP) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

Design and Production: Julian Braun
Concept: Julian Braun, Jürgen Claus, Susanne Droege, Elmar Kriegler, Boris Müller und Mareike Schodder

Creative Lead: Boris Müller (FHP)
Scientific Lead: Elmar Kriegler (PIK)
Data Research: Lavinia Baumstark

Music: Leo Brunnsteiner
Voice: Andy Bramhill 
Sound Design: Manfred Bauche
Translation to Arabic: Ali Hydar

A project by the
Gesellschaft der Freunde & Förderer der Fachhochschule Potsdam e.V.

Supported by the Lottery Fund of the Ministry of Rural Development, Environment and Agriculture of the Federal State of Brandenburg (MRDEA)

Category Science & Technology

 



Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 03, 2018, 02:25:28 pm »

 

Eighteen U.S states are taking the EPA to court over weakening emission regulations

LAST UPDATED ON MAY 2ND, 2018 AT 10:29 PM BY ALEXANDRU MICU

A coalition of 18 U.S states is suing the current administration over “arbitrary and capricious” moves to weaken air quality regulations.

Eighteen states will take representatives of the Trump administration to court. In a move championed by the golden state of California, they will fight against the administration’s revisions of Obama-era car greenhouse gas emission rules — one of his most significant measures against climate change.

“Arbitrary and capricious”

New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, the District of Columbia, and California are suing the EPA and its Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Together, the states hold roughly 43% of the U.S.’s cars and are understandably angry at the EPA’s moves to weaken current car emission regulation. They aim to “set aside and hold unlawful” the newer (and weaker, compared to those adopted in 2012) fuel economy standards, which are slated to take effect in 2022.

According to The New York Times, the Trump administration said the standards were too stringent and began legal procedures to revise them. The EPA hasn’t offered any new standards, instead choosing to draft regulation that weakens existing ones post-2020. In other words, we’re not talking about a different take or a paradigm shift here — just a simple, old-fashioned cut.

The NYT explains that after executives from General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler visited the White House to request more lenient emissions rules, Trump’s administration began to try and roll back the standards. The Agency claims that the standards are “based on outdated information” and that new data suggests “the current standards may be too stringent.” For context, these standards aimed to raise efficiency requirements to about 50 miles per gallon by 2025.

The states, however, contend that the EPA acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” in changing these rules, in direct opposition to their citizens’ best interests. Furthermore, they hold that the EPA under Pruitt violated the Clean Air Act and didn’t follow its own regulations.

The lawsuit comes just days after learning that the Department of Transportation is planning to propose freezing fuel economy standards at model year 2020 levels, Politico adds.

“The federal standard the states are suing to protect is estimated to reduce carbon pollution equivalent to 134 coal power plants burning for a year, and save drivers $1,650 per vehicle,” the states said.

Which, you have to admit, sounds pretty sweet. There’s something for everybody, no matter if you care about the environment or your bottom line. No matter how this plays out, we’re likely to look at a protracted legal battle as both sides seem intent to see it through to the bitter end.

“My message to the EPA and Administrator Pruitt is simple: Do your job. Regulate carbon pollution from vehicles,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said at a press conference on Tuesday. “We are not looking to pick a fight with the Trump administration, but we are ready for one.”

“This is about health, it’s about life and death,” adds California Gov. Jerry Brown. “I’m going to fight it with everything I can.”

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

https://www.zmescience.com/science/epa-lawsuit-air-quality-8525323/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 30, 2018, 09:56:08 pm »

 

Make Nexus Hot News part of your morning: click here to subscribe.

Kingston Coal Ash Spill photo

April 30, 2018

Coal Ash Concerns Mount From Puerto Rico to DC

PBS NewsHour reported this weekend from Guayama, Puerto Rico, where the island's only coal-fired power plant and coal ash industrial facility may be contributing to the high incidences of cancer, respiratory problems and heart disease in surrounding neighborhoods.

Local concern is growing over how Hurricane Maria may have further compromised public health, after the plant's owner failed to cover ash piles during the storm and released a report last month showing "dramatic" increases in arsenic and chromium in groundwater in the months following Maria.

Polluters across the country could soon be held accountable: Politico Pro reports this morning on how green groups in DC are successfully suing utilities for coal ash contamination under the Clean Water Act.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 28, 2018, 08:17:22 pm »



NGO Shipbreaking Platform: 152 Ships Broken Up on South Asia’s Beaches in First Quarter of 2018

April 27, 2018 by gCaptain


Shipbreaking at Alang, India.

Of the 206 ships dismantled worldwide up in in the first quarter of 2018, a total 152 ships ended up on beaches in South Asia, according to a quarterly report from the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.

So far this year, 10 workers have lost their lives and 2 workers have been severely injured
when breaking ships in Chittagong, Bangladesh, the organization said their report. At least two workers also lost their lives due to a toxic gas leak at a shipbreaking yard in Alang, India in March, according to the report.

During the first quarter of 2018, 27 ships were also dismantled in Turkey, 7 in China, 11 in Europe and 9 in the rest of the world, the report showed.

“Ship owners continue to sell their ships to the beaching yards despite the well documented deplorable conditions. The prices offered for ships this first quarter have been high in South Asia, especially when compared to the figures of last year. Whilst a South Asian beaching yard can pay about USD 450/LDT, Turkish and Chinese yards are respectively currently paying USD 280/LDT and USD 210/LDT. This situation led to especially a significant decrease in number of vessels recycled in China, where only 7 vessels were scrapped this quarter,” the NGO Shipbreaking Platform said.

According to the NGO, South Korean and UAE ship owners sold the most ships to South Asian yards the first quarter of 2018 with 14 beached vessels each, followed by Greek and Russian owners. Shipping companies from the United States beached 5 vessels.

“South Korean Sinokor is, for now, the worst corporate dumper with seven vessels beached in South Asia in 2018. South Korean H-Line Shipping is a close runner-up, with five ships sold for dirty and dangerous scrapping on the beach. Following the ban on the import of tankers to Pakistan due to major explosions that occurred in 2016 and 2017, no tankers were sold to the Gadani yards this first quarter. However, Pakistan has re-opened to the import of tankers this week,” the organization said.

Meanwhile, only 3 ships had a European flag – Belgium, Italy and Norway – when they arrived on the beach.

“All ships sold to the beaching yards pass via the hands of scrap-dealers, also known as cash-buyers, that often re-register and re-flag the vessel on its last voyage,” the NGO Shipbreaking Platform said. “In this regard, flags of convenience, in particular those that are grey- and black-listed under the Paris MoU, are used by cash-buyers to send ships to the worst breaking locations. Almost half of the ships sold to South Asia this quarter changed flag to the grey- and black-listed registries of Comoros, Niue, Palau and St. Kitts and Nevis just weeks before hitting the beach. These flags are not typically used during the operational life of ships and offer ‘last voyage registration’ discounts. They are grey- and black-listed due to their poor implementation of international maritime law.”

According to 2017 data released by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform in February, of the 835 large ocean-going commercial ships that were sold for scrap in 2017, a total of 543 ships were intentionally run ashore and dismantled by hand at shipbreaking yards in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, where the controversial ‘beaching’ method continues to be the predominant means of disposal for end-of-life vessels.

The 543 ships represent just over 80% of the total tonnage scrapped worldwide last year, according to the organization.

http://gcaptain.com/ngo-shipbreaking-platform-152-ships-broken-up-on-south-asias-beaches-in-first-quarter-of-2018/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 23, 2018, 02:33:25 pm »

 
Make Nexus Hot News part of your morning: click here to subscribe.

April 23, 2018



Pruitt is Wasting Your Money but the Real Scandal is How He’s Letting Polluters Sicken You  >:(

When embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt appears in front of Congress next week, he’ll likely face tough questions about his illegal phone booth, his why his lobbyist/landlord resigned, his luxury travel, exorbitant pay raises and other scandals that have even the GOP expressing concern. That said, Pruitt’s made it a point to meet with tons of Koch and Mercer-funded climate denial organizations, and hardly any environmental groups, so he’s done a commendable job of shoring up support among those who value the “free market” over public well-being.

But while all the scandals over wasting taxpayer money are of course bad, wasting taxpayers’ lives is worse. And that’s what Pruitt’s “factory of bad ideas” is trying to do. Because not only is Pruitt actively rolling back public health protections, but what few new rules he is proposing are designed make things worse.

For example, one new policy is described by The Hill as “aimed specifically at helping polluters in the oil and gas industry” by letting them regulate themselves, in essence.

Another great new Pruitt idea, the Red Team attack on climate science, is also potentially back on the table, according to E&E. That’s because one of the main White House voices opposed to the effort was energy advisor Mike Catanzaro, who is being replaced by Francis Brooke,  a 28-year-old known as “the kid.” We know the Red Team exercise is just a trick meant to confuse Americans about climate science. In this case, let’s hope tricks aren’t for “the kid,” but we won’t know until Brooke takes over.

On the rollbacks, EPA air chief Bill Wehrum told an environmental law conference that the Trump administration is still pondering what to do with regulations to limit mercury emissions from coal plants. Apparently the costs are too high to keep the rule in place, because as we all know, mercury is a totally benign and not at all worrisome pollutant. After all, it’s not mercury poisoning makes you mad as a hatter, or anything.. Oh and also, mercury makes the skin of children who are exposed turn pink and peel off. But who cares about pink kids, we’ve got coal to burn!

Yet somehow, it gets worse. Because Pruitt’s pro-smoking, Lamar Smith-pushed and front-group-backed policy to disqualify broad swaths of public health studies is moving forward, the EPA sent the proposed guidance to the White House Office of Management and Budget last week for interagency review.

But it’s such a bad idea, even one of Pruitt’s own aides, former chemical lobbyist Nancy Beck, expressed concerns in emails FOIA’d by the Union of Concerned Scientists. But she 😈 wasn’t worried that it would eliminate peer-reviewed, independent science. No, her concern was quite the opposite: that it would bar the use of industry studies.

And we all know how much industry loves its studies to find its products to be a public health hazard…


Pruitt's Troubles Mount With Lobbyist Revelations & Shell Company Investigations

EPA chief Scott Pruitt held meetings with the lobbyist married to his DC landlord despite previous statements from the agency and the lobbying firm to the contrary. On Friday, The Hill reported that filings from lobbying firm Williams & Jensen revealed that the firm's principal, Kevin Hart, reached out to the EPA this year on behalf of client Smithfield Foods. Multiple outlets reported Saturday that Pruitt had taken meetings with Smithfield executives and Hart, whose wife rented Pruitt a condo on Capitol Hill on a $50-night basis, in July of 2017. Hart announced Saturday that he would step down as the chairman of Williams & Jensen, while the New York Times this weekend ran an extensive investigation into Pruitt's hidden potential conflicts of interest linking the EPA to Oklahoma, including Pruitt's use of a shell company to purchase a home from a lobbyist.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/22/epa-chief-scott-pruitt-lobbyist-condo-lease
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 20, 2018, 02:05:18 pm »



Shipping Industry Switch to LNG Bunker Fuel Not Enough to Meet Strict Carbon Regulations – Analyst

April 17, 2018 by Reuters


http://gcaptain.com/shipping-industry-switch-to-lng-bunker-fuel-not-enough-to-meet-strict-carbon-regulations-analyst/



Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 14, 2018, 05:05:37 pm »



Reactions to the IMO’s Initial Strategy to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships


April 13, 2018 by gCaptai

SNIPPET:
Quote

“In truth, there is widespread understanding that in the long-term the industry needs to be powered by carbon-free fuel, and that will almost certainly mean a mix of battery, hydrogen and other zero-carbon fuels.

Full article:

http://gcaptain.com/reactions-to-the-imos-initial-strategy-to-reduce-greenhouse-gas-emissions-from-ships/

Aglbert NOTE It's a start but this action was sine qua non three decades ago!   What is needed now is a crash program to completely eliminate fossil fuel powered shipping. These incremental, glacially slow, measures to reduce polluting emissions will not stop, or even slow, the dangers to shipping, never mind the rest of the increasingly trashed biosphere, from Catastrophic Climate Change. Apparently they think they have the rest of this CENTURY to stop using fossil fuels to power ships.   That is magical thinking. Shipping will be severly affected within less than a decade. By the end of the century it will be almost impossible to navigate the routinely stormy oceans full of giant waves (read the linked article below for details). So it goes.





Here is the IMO’s Full Briefing on Its Strategy to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships

April 13, 2018 by gCaptain

The IMO today adopted what some are calling a historic agreement on a climate change strategy by significantly reducing CO2 emissions from ships. You can some of the reactions to the agreement here. Below is the IMO’s full Press Briefing on the agreement.

(International Maritime Organizations) – Nations meeting at the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London have adopted an initial strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships, setting out a vision to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping and phase them out, as soon as possible in this century.

The vision confirms IMO’s commitment to reducing GHG emissions from international shipping and, as a matter of urgency, to phasing them out as soon as possible.



More specifically, under the identified “levels of ambition”, the initial strategy envisages for the first time a reduction in total GHG emissions from international shipping which, it says, should peak as soon as possible and to reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, while, at the same time, pursuing efforts towards phasing them out entirely.

The strategy includes a specific reference to “a pathway of CO2 emissions reduction consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goals”.

The initial strategy was adopted by IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), during its 72nd session at IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom. The meeting was attended by more than 100 IMO Member States.

The initial strategy represents a framework for Member States, setting out the future vision for international shipping, the levels of ambition to reduce GHG emissions and guiding principles; and includes candidate short-, mid- and long-term further measures with possible timelines and their impacts on States. The strategy also identifies barriers and supportive measures including capacity building, technical cooperation and research and development (R&D).

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said the adoption of the strategy was another successful illustration of the renowned IMO spirit of cooperation and would allow future IMO work on climate change to be rooted in a solid basis.

He told delegates, “I encourage you to continue your work through the newly adopted Initial GHG Strategy which is designed as a platform for future actions. I am confident in relying on your ability to relentlessly continue your efforts and develop further actions that will soon contribute to reducing GHG emissions from ships.”

According to the “Roadmap” approved by IMO Member States in 2016, the initial strategy is due to be revised by 2023.  ::)

Continuing the momentum of work on this issue, the Committee agreed to hold the fourth Intersessional meeting of the Working Group on Reduction of GHG emissions from ships later in the year. This working group will be tasked with developing a programme of follow-up actions to the Initial Strategy; further considering how to progress reduction of GHG emissions from ships in order to advise the committee; and reporting to the next session of the MEPC (MEPC 73), which meets 22-26 October 2018.

IMO has already adopted global mandatory measures to address the reduction in GHG emissions from ships. IMO is also executing global technical cooperation projects to support the capacity of States, particularly developing States to implement and support energy efficiency in the shipping sector.

****

Initial IMO strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships

The initial strategy includes the following:

Vision:   


IMO remains committed to reducing GHG emissions from international shipping and, as a matter of urgency, aims to phase them out as soon as possible in this century.

Levels of ambition

The Initial Strategy identifies levels of ambition for the international shipping sector noting that technological innovation and the global introduction of alternative fuels and/or energy sources for international shipping will be integral to achieve the overall ambition. Reviews should take into account updated emission estimates, emissions reduction options for international shipping, and the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC ). Levels of ambition directing the Initial Strategy are as follows:

.1 carbon intensity of the ship to decline through implementation of further phases of the energy efficiency design index (EEDI) for new ships to review with the aim to strengthen the energy efficiency design requirements for ships with the percentage improvement for each phase to be determined for each ship type, as appropriate;

.2 carbon intensity of international shipping to decline to reduce CO2 emissions per transport work, as an average across international shipping, by at least 40% by 2030, pursuing efforts towards 70% by 2050, compared to 2008; and

.3 GHG emissions from international shipping to peak and decline to peak GHG emissions from international shipping as soon as possible and to reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 whilst pursuing efforts towards phasing them out as called for in the Vision as a point on a pathway of CO2 emissions reduction consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goals.

****
Note: The Paris Agreement on climate change was agreed in 2015 by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and entered into force in 2016. The Paris Agreement central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Paris Agreement does not include international shipping, but IMO, as the regulatory body for the industry, is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping.

______
Background on IMO’s contribution to the global efforts to address climate change

IMO’s contribution to the global efforts to address climate change features prominently in IMO’s Strategic Plan. 

In 2011, IMO became the first international body to adopt mandatory energy-efficiency measures for an entire industry sector with a suite of technical and operational requirements for new and existing vessels that entered into force in 2013. By 2025 new ships built will be 30% more energy efficient than those built in 2014.

The mandatory data collection system for fuel oil consumption of ships, which entered into force in March 2018, will provide robust data and information on which future decisions on additional measures, over and above those already adopted, can be made.

The mandatory data collection system is intended to be the first in a three-step approach in which analysis of the data collected will provide the basis for an objective, transparent and inclusive policy debate in the MEPC, under a roadmap (through to 2023) for developing a “Comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships”. The roadmap was agreed in 2016.

Support for implementation of IMO’s energy-efficiency measures is provided, in particular, through two major global projects executed by IMO:

• The Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships Project (GloMEEP Project) is aimed at supporting the uptake and implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping. The GloMEEP project was launched in 2015 in collaboration with the Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Development Programme. A “Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping” (or GIA), launched in 2017 under the auspices of the GloMEEP Project, is identifying and developing solutions that can support overcoming barriers to the uptake of energy efficiency technologies and operational measures in the shipping sector. Website: http://glomeep.imo.org/

• The global maritime technology network (GMN) project, funded by the European Union, has established a network of five Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs) in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific. Through collaboration and outreach activities at regional level, the MTCCs will focus their efforts during 2018 and beyond to help countries develop national maritime energy-efficiency policies and measures, promote the uptake of low-carbon technologies and operations in maritime transport and establish voluntary pilot data-collection and reporting systems. Website: http://gmn.imo.org/

___________

 
IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.

Web site: www.imo.org

http://gcaptain.com/here-is-the-imos-full-briefing-on-its-strategy-to-reduce-greenhouse-gas-emissions-from-ships/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 13, 2018, 05:58:16 pm »


Agelbert NOTE: The destruction of the arctic biome continues. The article describes the melting of the ice as an "opportunity for the shipping industry to expand", as if there isn't a brutal extinction cost 🚩 thousands of species will be forced to pay because of this profit over planet expansion. The effect of increased shipping in the arctic will be 💣 the accelerated degradation of the global biosphere. 😨🔫 So it goes.



Researchers Map Seven Years of Arctic Shipping

April 12, 2018 by gCaptain

By knyazev vasily / Shutterstock

The Arctic’s declining sea ice has meant more opportunities for the shipping industry to expand its use of the region that in decades past was unnavigable for the vast majority of the year.

The Northwest Passage through Canada and the Northern Sea Route, or Northeast Passage, north of Russia and Siberia, are both valued because they could significantly shorten ship transit times between Asia, Europe, and North America.

In August 2017, a newly designed LNG carrier with an ice-hardened hull became the first merchant ship to sail across the Arctic Ocean without the aid of an icebreaker. The vessel, the Christophe de Margerie, made the voyage in just 19 days, nearly a week faster than the traditional route through the Suez Canal.

In February, a similar tanker, the Eduard Atoll, completed its own unescorted trip through the region in the dead of winter, marking another historic first. During that voyage, the vessel sailed South Korea to Sabetta terminal in northern Russia, where it loaded LNG produced at a new $27 billion plant and transported it to France.

To illustrate this increase in ship activity in the Arctic, a team of scientists has banded together to analyze and map more than 120 million data points in order to track where ships are most using the region.

To make the map, the team, led by Paul Arthur Berkman, director of the science diplomacy center at Tufts University, and Greg Fiske, a geospatial analyst at the Woods Hole Research Center, used data compiled by SpaceQuest, a company designs microsatellites that can monitor the track Automatic Identification System (AIS) signals from ships.

Once the data was plotted, there were some interesting observations to be made.

This map shows unique ship visits to Arctic waters between September 1, 2009, and December 31, 2016. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Looking at the data, Berkman, Fiske, and their colleagues found that the mean center of shipping activity moved 300 kilometers north and eastcloser to the North Pole—over the 7-year span.

Notably, they were particularly surprised to find more small ships, such as fishing boats, wading farther into Arctic waters. The team also plotted the AIS ship tracks against sea ice data from NSIDC and found that ships are encountering ice more often and doing so farther north each year.

Despite the seemingly growing opportunities for shipping, the increasing number of ships in the region has given rise to serious concerns about pollution, oil spills, and disturbances to marine life, among other possible impacts.

Berkman is the coordinator and lead investigator of Pan-Arctic Options, which provides objective information that can guide the placement of infrastructure and the management of activities such as search and rescue and pollution response.

Now whether or not open Arctic waters will be long-term boon for shipping remains to be seen, but scientists agree that the melting trend does not bode well for the Arctic environment as we have known it.

“Arctic sea ice cover continues to be in a decreasing trend, and this is connected to the ongoing warming of the Arctic,” said Claire Parkinson, a climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “It’s a two-way street: the warming means less ice is going to form, and more ice is going to melt. But also, because there is less ice, less of the Sun’s radiation is reflected off of Earth, and this contributes to the warming.”

http://gcaptain.com/researchers-map-seven-years-of-arctic-shipping/


Profit over planet greed guarantees that humans will follow shortly after the polar bears into extinction.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 13, 2018, 05:18:41 pm »



Nasty Oil Spill Closes Mississippi River Near New Orleans After Cargo Ship Hits Pier 🤬

April 12, 2018 by Mike Schuler

MV Pac Antares. File Photo: MarineTraffic.com / Patrick Lawson

The U.S. Coast Guard and local agencies are responding to reports of an oil spill after a cargo ship struck a pier near mile marker 100 on the lower Mississippi River near New Orleans on Thursday.

The Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report at 10:30 a.m. that the Singapore-flagged ship Pac Antares had collided with a pier and was reportedly leaking diesel fuel into the river.

The spill was later estimated to be about 4,200 gallons of fuel oil.

The vessel is currently moored at Nashville Avenue Wharf and the leak has been plugged, the Coast Guard reported.

The Mississippi River is closed to vessel movement from mile marker 91 to mile marker 101.

Photos and video posted online showed globs of thick, black oil in the river in New Orleans’ downtown French District.  🏴‍

Photos:

Photo: Rex_da_Cajun via Twitter

Photo: Rex_da_Cajun via Twitter

No injuries have been reported and the cause of the incident is still under investigation.

The 27,659 dwt Pac Antares was built in 2003 and has a length of 178 meters.

AIS ship tracking data showed the vessel arrived in New Orleans on Thursday after sailing from Houston.

“First responders continue to work to minimize the environmental impacts and protect the public so the river can be opened to commercial traffic as soon as possible,” said Capt. Wayne Arguin, commander, Sector New Orleans.

http://gcaptain.com/nasty-oil-spill-closes-mississippi-river-near-new-orleans-after-cargo-ship-hits-pier/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 11, 2018, 08:47:00 pm »



April 11, 2018

Amid Scandals, Pruitt 😈 Puts the Brakes on Auto Regulation

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's spending habits and association with energy lobbyists are under scrutiny, but the bigger scandal is the rollback of more than 20 environmental protections, including Obama-era clean-car regulations. We speak to retired autoworker Frank Hammer, UC Berkeley's Climate Program Director Ethan Elkind, and Greenpeace USA's Natalie Nava



http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=21547

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 08, 2018, 01:39:34 pm »

EcoWatch

By Olivia Rosane

Apr. 05, 2018 12:22PM EST

Proposed Rule Change Would Be 'Death Sentence' for Nearly 300 Species 🤬, Activists Warn

In all the media attention gobbled by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt 🦖, it's important to remember that Trump's appointed Department of Interior (DOI) leader Ryan Zinke is also extremely dangerous for the environment.


Before being chosen to head the DOI, Zinke 🦀 was a Montana representative with a three percent environmental voting record who was especially hostile to the Endangered Species Act: He spearheaded efforts to remove protections for wolves, sage grouse and lynx, among other actions, according to Center for Biological Diversity executive director Kierán Suckling. 

Under his leadership, the DOI is continuing that hostile legacy. On Monday, the department sent a proposal to the White House that would remove essential protections for almost 300 threatened species, The Center for Biological Diversity reported Wednesday.

The proposal would reverse a rule made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in 1975 which grants threatened species the same protections under the Endangered Species Act as listed endangered species, unless the FWS determines those protections are unnecessary on a case-by-case basis.

"The Trump administration just issued a death sentence to nearly 300 threatened species," Center for Biological Diversity Endangered Species director Noah Greenwald said in a release.

The species left vulnerable by the rule change would include southern sea otters, northern spotted owls, piping plovers, red knots, Yosemite toads, delta smelt, Santa Catalina Island foxes, gopher tortoises and manatees, according to the Center for Biological Diversity and CNN.

FWS spokesman Gavin Shire told CNN that the Center for Biological Diversity's characterization of the proposal was not accurate and that it would not overturn blanket protections, but he also refused to explain exactly what the rule change would do or to provide CNN with a copy. He said it was a "draft" and that discussing it in detail would be "premature."

Greenwald told CNN that an overhaul of protections would benefit agribusiness interests and oil companies that would no longer have to worry about protecting the threatened species' habitats.

"If these critical protections for threatened species are eliminated, Trump will go down in history as the extinction president," said Greenwald in the Center for Biological Diversity release.

The proposal was filed within days of a American-Statesman report that Susan Combs, who resisted federal Endangered Species Act restrictions as Texas comptroller, would be named acting assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks, which oversees FWS. In Texas, Combs protested the listing of the dune sagebrush lizard, whose habitat coincides with Texas oil fields, and the federal government eventually heeded her request.

Combs' appointment is temporary while she awaits Senate confirmation for another DOI role as assistant secretary for policy, management and budget.

https://www.ecowatch.com/endangered-species-ryan-zinke-2556479220.html

Agelbert NOTE: One thing is for sure, the Trump 🦀 wrecking crew is destructively consistent (see below).  >:(

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 07, 2018, 07:16:46 pm »

EcoWatch

By Mongabay

Apr. 06, 2018 09:47AM EST

Oil Spill Now Larger Than Paris Ravages Indonesian Island, 5 Dead

By Basten Gokkon

SNIPPET:

An oil spill in Borneo that began over the past weekend has now spread across an area greater than the city of Paris and is heading out to the open ocean, the Indonesian government said.

The spill, first reported on March 31, stems from a pipeline operated by state-owned oil firm Pertamina in the city of Balikpapan, in East Kalimantan province. A report released April 4 by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry said the slick was spreading out from Balikpapan Bay and into the Strait of Makassar, covering some 130 square kilometers (50 square miles).

Pertamina 🦖, which for days had denied responsibility for the disaster, finally admitted on April 4 that one of its pipes used for transporting crude oil was the source of the slick.

Read more:

https://www.ecowatch.com/oil-pipeline-spill-indonesia-death-2556835512.html

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 06, 2018, 05:23:13 pm »



Photo: By Mr Nai / Shutterstock

Global Shipping Is Part of the Climate Problem, Too: Editorial

April 5, 2018 by Bloomberg

By James Gibney and Clive Crook (Bloomberg View)

SNIPPET 1:

Already, international shipping accounts for about as much carbon dioxide each year as Germany’s whole economy. On current trends, its share of the total will rise quickly. It could account for roughly 15 percent of the global carbon budget set by the Paris accord for 2050.

SNIPPET 2:

The main thing next week is to acknowledge that confronting climate change is too urgent a goal for any sector of the global economy to be given a pass.


Full article:
http://gcaptain.com/global-shipping-part-climate-problem-editorial/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 05, 2018, 06:08:54 pm »

Power Sector Carbon Index Highlights Falling Levels Of Carbon Pollution

April 5th, 2018 by Steve Hanley

SNIPPET:

In 2005, each megawatt hour of electricity was responsible for 1,321 pounds of carbon dioxide. Today, the number is down to 967 pounds per megawatt hour, a reduction of more than 25%. The Power Sector Carbon Index is a joint creation of Carnegie Mellon University and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS). Begun a year ago, it has recently been updated to permit regional analysis of the US market allowing for greater insight into the impact of regional trends on fuel types, usage, and emissions.

According to a recent press release, “[T]he index will begin to incorporate emissions data from other countries across North and South America. As the Index continues to expand, it will serve as a source of objective insight regarding emissions trends across the Americas for policy makers, regulators, utilities, industry analysts and the public.”

Full article:

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/04/05/power-sector-carbon-index-highlights-falling-levels-of-carbon-pollution/

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