Hundreds of gas plants could escape EPA climate rules

Read the full story at ClimateWire.

About 1,000 natural gas-fired power plants that provide energy at periods of peak demand could be excluded from the toughest standards under EPA’s upcoming carbon rules.

These plants are often located in urban areas, raising concern among some environmental advocates that the agency’s climate rules on power plants could lead to increased pollution in low-income communities.

Environmentalists push carbon capture regulation at Capitol

Read the full story in the Springfield State Journal-Register.

Environmentalists rallied at the Capitol on Tuesday, urging lawmakers to pass legislation regulating the carbon capture and sequestration industry in Illinois.

Two bills were discussed during a brief rally held in front of the Lincoln statue, one which advocates support and another, which they claim is more industry-friendly, that they oppose. The bill they back is the Carbon Dioxide Transport and Storage Protections Act listed under Senate Bill 2421 and House Bill 3119.

Both pieces of legislation – sponsored by Sen. Laura Fine, D-Glenview and Rep. Ann Williams respectively – have yet to advance out of their chambers, but action could still happen before the May 19 spring session adjournment of the Illinois General Assembly. Lawmakers could tack the existing or modified language through an amendment to a shell bill- a tactic oft-seen near the end of legislative sessions.

DOE releases Fourth Pathways to Commercial Liftoff Report in Carbon Management

Read the full story from U.S. DOE.

The Department of Energy released its fourth Pathways to Commercial Liftoff report, focused on carbon management, on the heels of last month’s launch of the Liftoff effort and the release of its first three reports focused on clean hydrogen, advanced nuclear, and long duration energy storage.

Call for applications: Carbon Removal Justice Fellows Program

Deadline: May 20, 2023
Apply here.

The National Wildlife Federation and the Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy at American University invite applicants for the inaugural cohort of the Carbon Removal Justice Fellows Program (“the Fellows Program”). 

Carbon removal involves working with biological systems or using technological means to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and put that carbon dioxide into long term storage or productive use. Carbon removal must now be considered an essential component of humanity’s response to climate change. Not all forms of carbon removal are, though, created equal. Good carbon removal will help the world meet climate goals and will also be good for people, particularly frontline and environmental justice communities. 

The Fellows Program is designed to bring environmental justice voices and perspectives into the fast-developing field of carbon removal policy, research, and private sector activity. Large amounts of US government and private sector money are starting to move into carbon management projects. It is essential that environmental justice considerations be represented in carbon management decision making.  

The Fellows Program will:

  • Provide participants with an introduction to the field of carbon removal, centering environmental justice considerations and concerns;
  • Include conversations with key figures in US federal policymaking, the private sector, and civil society; and
  • Involve site visits to two U.S. locations grappling with decisions around carbon removal.

Carbon removal projects leap forward with new offset deal. Will they actually help the climate?

Read the full story at Inside Climate News.

Finance and insurance giants hope to offset their carbon emissions with “direct air capture” from a plant in Texas and smokestack carbon capture from Midwestern ethanol plants that would rely on a pipeline that may never be completed.

Warming Arctic draws marine predators northwards

Read the full story from Hokkaido University.

Marine predators have expanded their ranges into the Arctic waters over the last twenty years, driven by climate change and associated increases in productivity.

Strong ultralight material could aid energy storage, carbon capture

Read the full story from Rice University.

Materials scientists showed that fine-tuning interlayer interactions in a class of 2D polymers can determine the materials’ loss or retention of desirable mechanical properties in multilayer or bulk form.

Innovative method predicts the effects of climate change on cold-blooded animals

Read the full story from Penn State University.

In the face of a warming climate that is having a profound effect on global biodiversity and will change the distribution and abundance of many animals, a research team has developed a statistical model that improves estimates of habitat suitability and extinction probability for cold-blooded animals as temperatures climb.

Ocean warming intensifies viral outbreaks within corals

Read the full story from Rice University.

A groundbreaking three-year study in the South Pacific has found evidence that ocean warming can trigger outbreaks of ‘dinoflagellate-infecting RNA viruses’ that attack symbiotic algae inside corals. Coral reef viruses have gained greater attention since being implicated in 2021 as a possible cause of stony coral tissue loss disease that has decimated Florida and Caribbean reefs for almost a decade.

Once beset by industrial pollution, Rouge River on a slow path to recovery

Read the full story at Bridge Michigan.

Michigan’s Rouge River was once so polluted, it lit on fire. The Clean Water Act ended the days of flagrant industrial dumping, leaving the river cleaner. Yet decades later, the river’s recovery is incomplete, and new challenges threaten its future.