'Invisible oil' from Deepwater Horizon spill may have reached the Florida Keys
MIAMI — Florida Keys residents may not have seen massive tar balls and fish kills after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but small concentrations of toxic crude were still reaching the islands and potentially harming marine life, as the extent of the deadly disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was worse than originally thought, according to a University of Miami study.Nearly a decade after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history killed 11 people and dumped 200 million gallons of crude into the ocean, researchers found discrepancies in the satellite footprint that was used to establish fish...
Motormouth: Go with a California-compliant catalytic converter
Q: My 2010 Subaru Forester needs a catalytic converter. The car has a California CARB-compliant cat. I live in Connecticut. Do I have to replace it with a California unit or can I use a 48-state one?— J.C., Danbury, Conn.A: The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environment requires that vehicles sold in the state since 2008 meet strict California emission standards. Motor vehicles certified to California emission standards meet more stringent standards for hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxides (NOx); and carbon monoxide (CO) than vehicles certified to the federal standards. Also, the engine ma...
Students are celebrating a small victory after Penn announced it won't invest directly in some fossil fuels
PHILADELPHIA — For years, a student group at the University of Pennsylvania has called on the school to divest its financial portfolio from oil, gas and coal because of concerns about the impact on climate change.Penn steadfastly refused, contending that investment decisions and the endowment should not be used to make public policy statements.But now the Ivy League university has made an announcement that its critics hailed as a step, if even a small one, in the right direction. Penn leaders said the school has no direct investments in the thermal coal or tar sands industries and doesn’t expe...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Trump appoints Coast Guard admiral as recovery czar for Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — As Puerto Rico is struggling to recover from hurricanes and earthquakes, the White House confirmed Friday that it is appointing U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Peter Brown as its liaison for the island.In a statement, the White House said Brown “will coordinate United States Government efforts to build the infrastructure and resiliency of Puerto Rico.”The U.S. territory of 3.2 million people has been hit by a series of natural and political disasters in recent years that are strangling its economy.In 2017, Hurricane Maria razed parts of the island and destroyed the electrica...
The 8-year project to dismantle California's San Onofre nuclear plant is about to begin
Seven years after the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station officially went offline, the eight-year process of physically dismantling the plant and knocking down the domes that have loomed over the landscape of Camp Pendleton for four decades is about to begin.The plant’s operator, Southern California Edison, has mailed notices to about 12,000 residents in a five-mile radius of the plant that initial work will start no earlier than Feb. 22. The first jobs include erecting staging areas and temporary trailers in the plant’s parking lots and removing materials containing asbestos in the Units 2 ...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Rising Great Lakes prompt calls for more icebreakers
The shipping industry and Michigan businesses are urging Congress to increase the number of icebreaking ships in the Great Lakes as water levels have surged to record highs in most of the lakes and connecting waterways.In the past few winters, higher water levels have created greater ice hazards for ships, hindering the movement of goods and last year costing an estimated 5,421 jobs and $1 billion to the U.S. economy, according to an industry-backed study. It also resulted in an estimated $172,000 in lost state and federal tax revenue.The losses resulted from steel that wasn’t made and power t...
The Detroit News
UC San Diego professor: Recent closing of US coal power plants has saved 26,610 lives
The number of coal-fired power plants in operation across the country has plummeted in recent years, quickly changing the power mix — especially in states such as California.But what has that change meant in terms of health? Or even in the number of crops produced?In a study published this month in the journal Nature Sustainability, UC San Diego associate professor of environmental science Jennifer Burney has estimated between 2005 and 2016, the shutdown of coal-fired units saved 26,610 lives and 570 million bushels of corn, soybeans and wheat in the combined areas where the plants closed.Burn...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Florida buys Everglades land to prevent oil drilling
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday announced a massive land buyout that will kill a plan to drill for oil in the Everglades.The state will buy 20,000 acres in western Broward County owned by Kanter Real Estate LLC, which had won approval for an exploratory oil well, a project that had generated international outrage. The price is $16.56 million to $18 million, depending on when the deal closes.“We will permanently save this land from oil production and it will be largest wetlands acquisition in a decade,” DeSantis said at a news conference at Everglades Holiday Park...
Commentary: Let's fight preemption of local control
Four years ago, the residents of Denton, Texas, took extraordinary action. In a state known for its ties to oil and gas production, Denton voters overwhelmingly passed a resolution banning the process for extracting natural gas known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” within city limits.Neighbors had been complaining about noise and toxic fumes from the nearby drilling sites for years. Finally, a group of concerned activists rose up and scored a major victory for public health.Sadly, their victory was short-lived.Five months later, after intense lobbying from the oil and gas industry, Tex...
Tribune News Service
Electric cars will challenge state power grids
SEATTLE — When Seattle City Light unveiled five new electric vehicle charging stations last month in an industrial neighborhood south of downtown, the electric utility wasn’t just offering a new spot for drivers to fuel up. It also was creating a way for the utility to figure out how much more power it might need as electric vehicles catch on.Seattle aims to have nearly a third of its residents driving electric vehicles by 2030. Washington state is No. 3 in the nation in per-capita adoption of plug-in cars, behind California and Hawaii. But as Washington and other states urge their residents t...