Carbon Emissions – Red States and Blue States (Infographic)

Red states produce and consume more carbon than blue states. This holds true for both Republican state economies and the lifestyle choices of citizens in red states. GOP-controlled states produce and burn more fossil fuels than their blue counterparts. The 26 mostly red states that generate the highest levels of carbon pollution (including per capita emissions) are concentrated in the Deep South, Appalachia, and the Great Plains. Texas is the nation's largest domestic oil producer and they also have the largest carbon footprint. Texas has almost twice the level of emissions compared to second-place California even though the latter has...

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Banks are Backing Away from Fossil Fuels and Embracing Sustainability

Major banks have been slow to act but it appears as thought they are moving away from dirty energy. Big lending institutions have have pledged to support emissions reductions consistent with the Paris Climate agreement, however, until recently their words have not matched their deeds.   Banks have been involved with sustainability for years and many have set sustainability investment goals. Almost ten years ago Bank of America and Wells Fargo each committed $50 billion for financing sustainable initiatives and green transport. In 2015 Citigroup announced that they would invest 150 billion in sustainability.  Valerie Smith, director of corporate sustainability at...

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Economics Fuel Renewable Energy Growth

Global renewable energy capacity set a record last year and 2021 is expected to be even better.  Renewables are already the fastest-growing source of electricity generation, they currently supply more than a quarter of global electricity production and they are on track to be the largest source of electricity in the world by 2025.   Renewable energy has experienced prodigious growth that has consistently outpaced expectations. A recent Ember and Agora Energiewende report indicates that in Europe renewable energy and wind have almost doubled in the last five years.  Globally, solar installations have tripled in the last decade according to an IHS Markit...

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Eliminating Fossil Fuels Centerstage at the UN Climate Ambition Summit

On the fifth anniversary of the historic COP21 meeting world leaders came together to discuss the the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement. The agenda for the Climate Ambition Summit included finalizing the 300 page draft known as the Paris rulebook which defines how countries tally and report their emissions reduction efforts.  Many of the leaders who came together for this virtual event acknowledged the need to increase renewables and end fossil fuels to keep temperatures from surpassing the upper threshold limit (1.5-2.0 degrees Celsius above preindustrial norms).  Just ahead of the UN Summit more than 100 countries (responsible for two-thirds...

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University Installs Innovative Water Battery to Harness Solar Power

Batteries are a critical part of effectively harnessing the power of renewable energy and one university has installed a giant water battery that will cut costs by 100 million over the next quarter century.  The University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia is using a three story high water battery along with 6,000 solar panels they have installed on campus roofs and parking lots. The battery acts like a huge thermal energy storage tank, solar panels cool water and then it is used in campus' air conditioning system. The project will reduce dependence on the grid by 42 percent...

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Abandoned Oil Wells Leaking Methane and other Contaminants

Methane may be less visible than oil spills but it is another serious corollary of fossil fuel extraction. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. According to a 2020 special report by Reuters, millions of abandoned wells are leaking methane. This report indicates that it is difficult if not impossible to hold companies accountable after they fold or sell a well. Across the U.S. the number of abandoned wells has increased by more than 12 percent since 2008 according to the EPA. The spate of fossil fuel industry bankruptcies we are seeing in 2020 is increasing...

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Oil Spills Illustrate the Dangers of Fossil Fuels

Oil spills are inevitable, they are difficult to clean-up and they can have devastating effects on local ecosystems. Here are few examples of oil spills that illustrate the dangers of fossil fuels. The fossil fuel industry is driving feedback loops that include both melting permafrost and sea-level rise.  It is not hyperbole to say that the fossil fuel industry is pushing us towards tipping points that could cause the collapse of civilization. One of the most devastating oil spills in recent memory took place in the Russian Arctic at the end of May.  Melting permafrost is but one of the...

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The Fossil Fuel Industry is Financing the Militarization of Police

A recent report has revealed the fossil fuel industries, utilities and banks have extensive ties to police groups. Police organizations in big cities like Seattle, Chicago, Washington, New Orleans and Salt Lake City have all received funding from oil giants including Chevron, Marathon and Shell. Funds are diverted to and through these groups without public input or oversight. Some of this money is used to pay for training, weapons, equipment, and surveillance technology.  Fossil fuel companies even have senior staff serving as directors of some police foundations. The information is from a report by the Public Accountability Initiative, a nonprofit...

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The Fossil Fuel Industry’s Environmental Racism and Funding of Racist Police

As revealed in a July 27th report, fossil fuel companies are guilty of environmental racism and they also support racist cops who terrorize the communities they are supposed to be policing. The fight against racism is intimately connected to the fight for environmental justice. It is no secret that people of color are far more likely to be exposed to dirty air and polluted water and they are also much more likely to to be the victims of police brutality. "This symbiotic relationship between the fossil fuel industry and police often means that the companies that are polluting Black and...

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Celebrating the Achievements of Wind Power on Global Wind Day

June 15th is Global Wind Day, an opportunity to explore the power of wind energy to help reshape our energy systems, decarbonise our economies and boost jobs and growth. Wind is key to our energy mix because it reduces fossil fuel use which combats climate change and contributes to cleaner air. There is now more than 591GW of wind power capacity installed globally in 91 countries, with continued growth predicted. According to a report by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) the U.S. added 7,588 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity in 2018 which is 21 percent of...

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