The oil and gas industry is in denial about its own demise

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Trade groups have thrown a fit over Biden’s pause on new oil and gas leases. They have much bigger things to worry about. In one of his first acts as president, Joe Biden paused new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters. Companies can still drill areas they had previously leased, and they can still lease state and private lands. They just can’t stock up on new federal leases. Read Full Story

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Banks won’t stop funneling billions of dollars into the fossil fuel industry

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Bank financing for companies that are planning new coal, oil, and gas extraction increased 40% from 2018 to 2019, despite warnings that we need to stop burning these fuels. Despite their claimed support for the Paris Climate Agreement, major global banks have not only continued to pour billions of dollars into the fossil fuel industry since 2015, they financed more fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure companies in 2019 than the year prior—funneling billions into new coal, oil, and gas projects even as experts warn that we need to stop burning these fuels. Read Full Story

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Can Biden save public transit from the pandemic?

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Ridership—and revenue—are cratering. Will there be anything left once we’re vaccinated? The Biden administration and new Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will have to act fast to give federal help so states and cities can turn things around. Even before the pandemic, mass transit in the U.S. had been struggling: 2018 marked the fourth straight year of ridership decline across the country, and though 2019 offered some hope with two full quarters of ridership growth, the pandemic crushed that progress. For public transit systems, fewer riders means less revenue, compounding longstanding funding issues. But with the Biden administration now in place, transit experts see hope for their industry’s future—one that is inextricably tied to climate goals and social equity—as long as the administration can get them the funding and federal policies they need. Read Full Story

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New York state is divesting its pension fund from fossil fuels

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The New York Common Retirement Fund has invested as much as $12 billion in oil and gas companies in the past. It will end those investments by 2040. As the climate crisis worsens, cities, states, and even entire countries —along with churches, universities, and foundations including the Rockefellers Brothers Fund—have opted to divest from fossil fuels, removing their investment dollars from companies in industries like coal or oil. Now, New York state is the latest to take that step. Read Full Story

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This biotech startup is making palm oil-substitutes and omega-3s from carbon emissions

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Both ingredients are usually produced in ways that are deeply damaging to the planet. Now they can be made while lowering our global footprint. Instead of having more carbon go into the atmosphere, making our planet warmer and speeding up the effects of climate change, you might soon be able to eat those emissions. Biotech company LanzaTech has successfully turned CO2 emissions into lipids and omega-3 fatty acids as part of a pilot program in partnership with India’s Department of Biotechnology and oil and gas company IndianOil. Read Full Story

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These new gas pump warning labels remind you about climate change while you fill up

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Cambridge, Massachusetts is adding the labels to make sure drivers don’t forget the the environmental consequences of burning gasoline. A decade ago, when BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and started spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, a Toronto lawyer had an epiphany while sitting in traffic on a 14-lane highway and listening to a public radio station talk about the disaster. Read Full Story

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The U.S. can get to net-zero emissions by 2050. Here’s how

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The Biden administration is expected to announce 2050 as the deadline for decarbonizing the economy. A new report looks at how we can get there. Dozens of countries, including Japan, the U.K., and Germany, plan to hit “net-zero” by 2050, meaning that any greenhouse gas emissions that still remain will be offset by carbon captured by methods like reforestation or direct air capture . China, the world’s largest emitter, plans to get to net-zero by 2060. When Biden takes office, the U.S. is expected to make a pledge to reach the goal by 2050. Can we do it? Read Full Story

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Oil prices have fallen below $0 a barrel. What does it mean for the climate?

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This could be an opportunity to reshape our energy system. But it could also simply lead to a bailout of oil companies. As the pandemic has shut down much of the global economy—at the same time as a price war on oil—oil prices have cratered. In the U.S., crude oil prices went negative for the first time in history on Monday. Whiting Petroleum, a large shale oil company, filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, and hundreds of other oil companies are also now at risk of bankruptcy. Natural gas prices are also falling. At a time when the world needs to transition from fossil fuels to avoid the even bigger catastrophe of climate change, what does the state of the industry mean for the climate? Read Full Story

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We’re already past critical climate tipping points. Here’s why we still need to cut emissions now

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If we can keep the earth’s temperature low enough, the effects of what’s coming won’t be as disastrous—even if they’re inevitable. If every country in the world cuts global greenhouse gas emissions to zero by the end of the century—or even if they managed to do it by the end 2020—the planet would still keep warming for hundreds of years, says a new study. Researchers found that humans would have had to stop all emissions sometime between 1960 and 1970 to stop the global temperature and sea levels from continuing to rise. Read Full Story

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California will ban new gas car sales starting in 2035

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It will help the state hit its goal of being carbon neutral by 2045. Californians buy more electric cars than any other Americans, though plug-ins still only make up a small fraction of new car sales. But the state now plans to accelerate that trend by making it mandatory: By 2035, under a new executive order from the governor, all new passenger vehicles will have to be zero-emissions. People will still be able to drive the gas cars that they already own, but they won’t be able to buy new ones. Read Full Story

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