Climate & Energy

Our world is warming, with dire consequences to the American West’s communities, lands, rivers, and wildlife.

Europe braces for more climate litigation (News 7/1/15)

Dutch order to cut emissions opens door for citizens' lawsuits elsewhere

A group of Dutch citizens weary of ineffectual climate diplomacy are celebrating after forcing change through legal action. Last week, following a lawsuit filed by a citizens’ climate-change platform called the Urgenda Foundation, a court in The Hague ordered the government of the Netherlands to cut greenhouse-gas emissions to at least 25% below 1990 levels by 2020 — substantially greater cuts than are required under the small country’s European Union (EU) obligations.

Conservationists push for protection of cultural sites around Chaco park (Farmington Daily Times 6/28/15)


Paul Reed, a preservation archaeologist with Tucson-based Archaeology Southwest and a Chaco scholar, led tribal members of the Acoma Historic Preservation Office and others to Chaco Culture National Historical Park and the park's outlying areas last week to raise awareness of the impacts of oil and gas development on the World Heritage site.

Since spring, Reed has taken groups of concerned people on tours of the park and surrounding areas to spotlight the changing landscape and promote the area's cultural and archeological value.

Judge: Students’ petition on carbon emissions should be reconsidered (Seattle Times 6/24/15)

A King County Superior Court judge has ruled that the state Department of Ecology must reconsider a petition from young climate activists seeking a crackdown on state emissions of greenhouse gases.

Eight students who unsuccessfully petitioned the state Department of Ecology to crack down on carbon emissions gained an initial legal victory in King County Superior Court.

Citing what she called the “historical lack of political will to respond adequately to the urgent and dire acceleration of global warming,” Judge Hollis Hill ruled the petition must be reconsidered.

She set a July 8 deadline for the department to report back to the court.

Judge rules for teens in climate change case (KING 5 NBC News 6/24/15)


A group of teenagers has convinced a King County superior court judge to order the Washington State Department of Ecology (ECY) to consider statewide reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.

Judge Hollis Hill issued the ruling Tuesday. It will require ECY to reconsider the petition filed by eight teens last year. The petition asked for officials to develop policy-limiting carbon dioxide emissions based on best available science.

Why is there a huge methane hotspot in the American Southwest? (PBS News Hour 6/3/15)

A team of scientists scrambles to better understand a gigantic cloud of methane looming over the Four Corners region of the U.S. Southwest. This single cloud is believed to comprise nearly 10 percent of all methane emissions derived from natural gas in the United States. But its origins remain a mystery.

The Four Corners region of the southwest United States is a magnificent, otherworldly place, marked by red rock vistas, ancient cliff dwellings and sweeping blue sky. The names alone paint a picture of the landscape: The Painted Desert. The Petrified Forest. Monument Valley.

Portland panelists back collaborative approach to forest policy (News 5/29/15)

Collaboration that kept a John Day, Ore., mill open may be a model as industry, agencies and environmental groups strive for a forest policy that everyone can live with.

The unexpected collaboration of industry, environmentalists and government agencies that saved mill jobs in Oregon’s Grant County could be a model for restoration forest policy elsewhere, panelists said at a May 27 timber symposium.

LNG opponents urge Gov. Brown to take a leadership role on controversial gas export terminals (Portland Oregonian 5/27/15)


In the decade-long fight over proposals to build liquefied natural gas terminals in Oregon, the state leader who has said the least may now matter most:

Gov. Kate Brown.

Oregon rancher refuses to allow natural gas pipeline on property (Portland Business Journal 5/26/15)


Bill Gow is a retired iron worker who began buying land in Douglas County near Coos Bay for Gow Ranch in the late 1980s.

Today, he raises beef as well as timber on a 2,000-acre ranch that supports both he and his family.

But Gow feels under siege.

LNG pipeline protest draws hundreds from around Oregon (Salem Statesman Journal (5/27/15)


Hundreds of people rallied at the Oregon Capitol on Tuesday, calling on Gov. Kate Brown to block two proposed liquefied natural gas, or LNG, export terminals in the state.

"This is an assault not just on the environment, but an assault on democracy," speaker Robert F. Kennedy Jr. told the crowd. "It just is a bad deal all around."

Kennedy is president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a national coalition of local groups advocating for clean water.

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