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Thursday, Apr 24th

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Company pulls out of Alaska's controversial Pebble Mine

Pebble MineGlobal mining giant Rio Tinto is pulling out of the Pebble Mine project in Alaska, the latest blow to the controversial plan to build an open pit mine in the best wild salmon stronghold in the world.

Rio Tinto said Monday that it will donate its 19 percent share in the project to a pair of Alaskan charities, the Alaska Community Foundation and the Bristol Bay Native Corporation Education Foundation.

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Three-Quarters Of World Bank-Backed Projects Still Don't Evaluate Climate Risks: Report

World Bank GroupThe World Bank is still failing to take climate change into account as it makes decisions about the projects it finances, according to a new report from the nonprofit World Resources Institute. The impacts of climate change were only taken into consideration in a quarter of all projects the bank approved between January 2012 and June 2013.

World Resources Institute looked at a selection of projects that would reasonably be expected to undergo some sort of climate impact assessment. The World Bank has in recent years put a greater emphasis on climate change under its new president, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, and argued in a landmark 2013 report that climate change "could seriously undermine poverty alleviation in many regions." But as WRI's report finds, 75 percent of projects still include no assessment of climate risks.

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Climate meeting to discuss future of fossil fuels

fissil fuelsAfter concluding that global warming almost certainly is man-made and poses a grave threat to humanity, the U.N.-sponsored expert panel on climate change is moving on to the next phase: what to do about it.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, will meet next week in Berlin to chart ways in which the world can curb the greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say are overheating the planet.

It is also trying to give estimates on what it would cost.

In the third report of a landmark climate assessment, the IPCC is expected to say that to keep warming in check, the world needs a major shift in investments from fossil fuels - the principal source of man-made carbon emissions - to renewable energy.

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Coast Guard says Shell reckless in rig grounding off Alaska coast

Alaskan oil rigA disregard for the risk, possible negligence, inexperience and equipment problems led to the grounding of a Shell drilling rig in a winter storm off the Alaska coast, according to the Coast Guard.

The 2012 grounding was among a series of mistakes and problems that have blocked Shell’s efforts to explore for oil in the Arctic waters off Alaska. The drilling rig Kulluk grounded during a disastrous attempt to tow it more than 1,700 nautical miles across the Gulf of Alaska to a Seattle shipyard for maintenance.

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Fracking Exports Will Leave U.S. Communities in the Dark

Fracking exportsLast month, thirty Senate Democrats -- members of the "climate caucus" -- stayed Up All Night on the Senate floor to speak out about climate change. This was an important moment to highlight the most critical environmental issue of our time. What was not mentioned however, was the massive threat to our planet posed by exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) extracted through the increasingly controversial process known as "fracking."

Yet legislation authored by one of their own -- Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) and a House bill by Congressman Cory Gardner (R-CO), would tear down barriers to the export of LNG, potentially spurring a massive increase in fracking, exacerbating the problems the senators spoke out against.

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Anadarko petroeum to pay $5b to clean up cancer causing sites across US

Anadarko settlementEnergy company Anadarko Petroleum Corp agreed on Thursday to pay more than $5 billion to clean up areas across the United States polluted by nuclear fuel, wood creosote and rocket fuel waste that caused cancer and other health problems.

The agreement resolves a long-running lawsuit against the Kerr-McGee energy and chemical company, which Anadarko bought in 2006. The case was brought by a trust representing the U.S. government, 11 state governments, Indian tribes and individuals.

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Arctic sea ice falls to fifth lowest level on record

Arctic sea ice Arctic sea ice remained on its death spiral on Wednesday, with the amount of winter ice cover falling to its fifth lowest on the satellite record, scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center said.

The scientists said Arctic sea ice extent for March averaged 4.80m sq km (5.70m sq miles). That's 730,000 sq km below the 1981-2010 satellite average.

The latest findings reinforce a trend that could see the Arctic losing all of its ice cover in the summer months within decades.

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