Earthwire

There is very little impact, nominal impact, on U.S. gas prices…I want to make sure that if in fact this project goes forward, it’s not adding to the problem of climate change, which I think is very serious and does impose serious costs on the American people.

—President Obama fielding a question on the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline at his year-end press conference. Watch his full answer here

2 days ago
And Another One Bites the Dust

eBay dumps ALEC over its climate-denying agenda. -

The company is withdrawing its membership from the American Legislative Exchange Council, the secretive lobby group that promotes the passage of anti-environmental laws (among other nefarious activities). The decision follows Google’s exit last September, when its executive chairman accused ALEC (rightly so) of “literally lying” about climate change. Reuters

2 days ago
Scraping Bottom

The Ogallala Aquifer is running dry (and fast). -

According to a new report, the aquifer's water levels decreased substantially between 2011 and 2013. From South Dakota to Texas, the massive 175,000-square-mile freshwater system is the drinking source for millions of people across eight states and sustains much of the the heartland's agricultural industry, but increased irrigation and more frequent droughts in the region are leaving it parched. Casper Star-Tribune

3 days ago
Good Riddance

Chevron ditches plan to drill in the Arctic's Beaufort Sea. -

Citing "economic uncertainty in the industry" (read: plummeting oil prices), the company announced Wednesday that its multimillion-dollar drilling plans would be put on hold indefinitely. Crude prices have dropped nearly 50 percent since June, causing many oil companies to tighten their belts in response. Frugality saves the day! Reuters

3 days ago

I cannot support high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the great state of New York.

—Howard Zucker, the state's acting commissioner of health, during a cabinet meeting today at which Governor Andrew Cuomo banned the practice of fracking due to health risks. A temporary moratorium has been in place since 2008.

4 days ago
Do You Smell That?

Fracking pollutes the air and has been linked to birth defects. -

According to a report released today by NRDC (which publishes Earthwire), air near fracking sites contains elevated levels of benzene and formaldehyde, and babies born into homes with several drilling sites nearby have a 30 percent higher risk of heart defects. And if you think this is someone else's problem, you're wrong. One in four Americans live within a mile of an oil or gas well. USA Today

5 days ago