Special Section - Latest Energy and Environment News - Energy Policy News - Washington Times
Skip to content

Energy & Environment

The latest updates on energy and environment news, analysis and opinion covering energy policy and its impact on resources and climate.

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2006, file photo, Nathan Weyiouanna's abandoned house at the west end of Shishmaref, Alaska, sits on the beach after sliding off during a fall storm in 2005. Alaska health officials are warning that serious health issues could crop up as the state warms. A report by the Alaska Division of Public Health released this week says longer growing seasons and fewer deaths from exposure are likely positive outcomes from climate change. But the 77-page report says additional diseases, lower air quality from more wildfires, melting permafrost and disturbances to local food sources also are potential outcomes. Warming already has thawed soil and eroded coastlines, leading at least three villages, Shishmaref, Kivalina and Newtok to consider relocating.  (AP Photo/Diana Haecker, File)

Landmark study debunks UN's worst-case global-warming scenarios

By Valerie Richardson - The Washington Times

A groundbreaking British study throws cold water on the U.N.'s most extreme climate-change scenarios, finding little chance that the planet will heat up by 4 to 5 degrees over the next century. Published January 18, 2018

Recent Stories

People attend a candlelight vigil in Santa Barbara, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018, to pay tribute to the people who were killed when mudslides ravaged a Southern California. (AP Photo/Mike Balsamo)

Residents grieve and commit to rebuilding after mudslides

- Associated Press

At the end of a heartbreaking week that saw deadly mudslides kill at least 20, residents of Montecito gathered to grieve, pay tribute to victims and commit to rebuilding their cherished community on the Southern California coast.

Illustration on New York's climate lawsuit by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

New York's silly climate suit

On January 10, the city of New York filed suit against BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell. The suit accuses oil companies of causing dangerous climate change and damage to New York City, seeking monetary compensation. But history will rank this action high in the annals of human superstition.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a plaque dedication ceremony at the Central Park police precinct in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Greasy business in the Big Apple

You might have thought that Michael Bloomberg, with his mercifully futile crusades to protect everyone from their guns and their Big Gulps, would have set a record for grandstanding by a New York City mayor that would stand through the ages. Bill de Blasio, his hulking successor, is giving the diminutive Mr. Bloomberg a real run for his money, or, actually, your money. The Bloomberg grandstand was pushed into the shade.

Alex Broumand of the Montecito Fire Department walks in mud in front of homes damaged from storms in Montecito, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. Rescue workers slogged through knee-deep ooze and used long poles to probe for bodies Thursday as the search dragged on for victims of the mudslides that slammed this wealthy coastal town. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Torrential California mudslide takes lives of elderly, young

- Associated Press

The oldest victim swept away in a California mudslide was Jim Mitchell, who had celebrated his 89th birthday the day before. He died with his wife of more than 50 years, Alice.

Illustration Wind Power by Greg Groesch for The Washington Times

A blow for energy security

The Trump administration took a blow this week from its own Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which ruled against further subsidies to financially ailing coal and nuclear plants. The blow was deserved.

Map locates eight quakes along Iran-Iraq border; 2c x 3 1/2 inches; 96.3 mm x 88 mm;

8 earthquakes strike along Iran-Iraq border, rattle Baghdad

- Associated Press

A series of eight earthquakes hit the Iran-Iraq border area and rattled Baghdad on Thursday, apparent aftershocks of a temblor that struck the mountainous region in November and killed over 530 people. Four people suffered minor injuries in Iran, state television reported.

BREAKING NEWS BANNER FROM THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Little damage as mag 7.6 quake hits in sea north of Honduras

Associated Press

One of the strongest earthquakes to hit the Caribbean in modern times struck off the coast of Honduras on Tuesday night, shaking the mainland and setting off tsunami warnings that were canceled about an hour later.

Stopping an outrageous land grab

The Mississippi gopher frog (or the "dusky gopher frog" in official federal parlance) may soon get his 15 minutes of fame, but the frog deserves better than being a pawn in a case that pits an overreaching government agency against property owners.

People walk on the frozen Reflecting Pool at the National Mall, Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, in Washington. The bitter cold that followed a massive East Coast snowstorm should begin to lessen as temperatures inch up and climb past freezing next week. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Fallacies of 'climate crisis' exposed by freezing temps

- The Washington Times

Come on now, admit it -- if nothing else, these freezing temperatures have put a damper on the whole climate change logic, the one that goes cars and electric heat are the precursors to humankind's demise and that the only stop is to tax people more and spread the wealth to lower-income countries via the United Nations.

In this image from video run by China's CCTV shows the Panama-registered tanker "Sanchi" is seen ablaze after a collision with a Hong Kong-registered freighter off China's eastern coast, Monday, Jan. 8, 2017. The U.S. Navy has joined the search for 32 crew members missing from the oil tanker that caught fire after colliding with a bulk freighter off China's east coast. (CCTV via AP Video)

Oil tanker burning off China's coast at risk of exploding

- Associated Press

An oil tanker that caught fire after colliding with a freighter off China's east coast is at risk of exploding and sinking, Chinese state media reported Monday, as authorities from three countries struggled to find its 32 missing crew members and contain oil spewing from the blazing wreck.

Gusty wind picks up snow accumulated on the ground as Jesse Sherwood, of Jersey City, N.J., jogs at Liberty State Park, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, in Jersey City. About 100 million people faced a new challenge after the whopping East Coast snowstorm: a gusty deep freeze, topped Saturday by a wind chill close to minus 100 on New Hampshire's Mount Washington that vied for world's coldest place. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Baby, it's cold outside

The brutal cold weather making everybody miserable almost everywhere -- the mercury has fallen to the low 70s even in Southern California and into the low 60s in Miami. It has to be blamed on something or somebody, so why not blame it on global warming?

Finley Bork, 7, uses a boogie board, typically used on the beach, for sledding down a hill on a golf course at the Isle of Palms, S.C., Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018.  A brutal winter storm smacked the coastal Southeast with a rare blast of snow and ice Wednesday, hitting parts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina with their heaviest snowfall in nearly three decades. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

Huge swath of U.S. hit by winter storm, bringing snow, cold

- Associated Press

Residents across a huge swath of the U.S. awakened Thursday to the beginnings of a massive winter storm expected to deliver snow, ice and high winds followed by possible record-breaking cold as it moves up the Eastern Seaboard from the Carolinas to Maine.

Illustration on the North Korea threat of EMP attack by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Assessing the nation's vulnerabilities

President Trump's Dec. 18, 2017, National Security Strategy identified a top priority need to counter vulnerabilities of our critical infrastructure to "existential threats" from "electromagnetic attacks." He should urgently counter the existential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) threat that Kim Jong-un has identified as a "strategic goal." Note the Great Leader recently threatened to use the "nuclear button on his desk."

Illustration on U.S. energy development and its impact on Russia by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

America's energy game changer

Thanks to the fracking revolution, America is rapidly and significantly increasing its oil and gas production and this is having far-reaching consequences. By the mid-2020s, according to the IEA, the United States will become the world's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter and a few years later a net exporter of oil as well. Last time America was a net oil exporter was in the 1950s.

The threat of an electromagnetic attack

After President Trump announced his new National Security Strategy (on Dec. 18) -- that for the first time gives deservedly high-priority to protecting the nation's critical infrastructures from electromagnetic attack -- the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) launched a media campaign promoting their bogus studies grossly underestimating threats from electromagnetic pulse (EMP).

Swamp Gas Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Ending the march of the biofuel swamp creatures

The federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which mandates that ethanol and other biofuels are mixed into nearly every gallon of gasoline sold in the United States, is the perfect example of how a government program can attract the kind of swamp creatures President Trump vowed to eliminate.

In this April 28, 2010, photo, steam rises from the cooling towers of nuclear reactors at Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle, in Waynesboro, Ga. Southern Co. is buying AGL Resources Inc. for approximately $7.93 billion, the company announced, Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, which would create the second-biggest utility company in the United States, by customer base. (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain, File)

What 'The Last Jedi' and Georgia have in common

If you are parent like me, you have probably been with your kids to see the latest "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" film that debuted recently. Believe it or not, Georgia and the Jedi Order have a lot in common, and it has something to do with nuclear energy.

This Nov. 21, 2017, file photo, oysters grow on larger shells at the Earle Naval Weapons Station in Middletown N.J. Coastal communities around the world are planting oyster reefs to protect shorelines against the damaging effects of waves during storms, including the Navy pier that suffered $50 million worth of damage during Superstorm Sandy in 2012. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry) ** FILE **

Military turns to oyster reefs to protect against storms

- Associated Press

Earle Naval Weapons Station, where the Navy loads some of America's most sophisticated weapons onto warships, suffered $50 million worth of damage in Superstorm Sandy. Now the naval pier is fortifying itself with some decidedly low-tech protection: oysters.

Dark, desperate life without power in Puerto Rico

- Associated Press

Three days before Christmas, Doris Martinez and daughter Miriam Narvaez joined their neighbors in a line outside city hall in Morovis, a town of 30,000 people still living without electricity in the mountains of central Puerto Rico more than three months after Hurricane Maria battered the U.S. island.

FILE - In this June 2, 2017 file photo, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. The head of the Environmental Protection Agency used public money to have his office swept for hidden listening devices and bought sophisticated biometric locks for additional security.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Wasting opportunity at the EPA

Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is one of the bright lights of the Trump administration. He acted forcefully to get the runaway agency under control and then refocused it on its actual core mission.

In this image made from video taken Dec. 24, 2017, people stand in the area damaged by storm Tembin in Lanao del Norte, southern Philippines. Thousands of villagers in the southern Philippines spent their Christmas morning in emergency shelters Monday as the region dealt with the aftermath of one of the deadliest storms to hit the country this year.(AP Photo)

Thousands spend Christmas in shelters after Philippine storm

- Associated Press

Tens of thousands of villagers in the southern Philippines spent their Christmas morning in emergency shelters Monday as the region dealt with the aftermath of a powerful storm that left more than 150 people dead.

In this Dec. 14, 2017, photo, a snowy owl flies past a seagull after being released along the shore of Duxbury Beach in Duxbury, Mass. The owl is one of 14 trapped so far this winter at Boston's Logan Airport and moved to the beach on Cape Cod Bay. The large white raptors from the Arctic have descended on the northern U.S. in huge numbers in recent weeks, giving researchers opportunities to study them. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Snowy owls listed as vulnerable as climate threatens prey

- Associated Press

Scott Judd trained his camera lens on the white dot in the distance. As he moved up the Lake Michigan shoreline, the speck on a breakwater came into view and took his breath away: it was a snowy owl, thousands of miles from its Arctic home.

Standing Up for Coal Industry Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

When clean, affordable fuel isn't good enough for Gore

Former Vice President Al Gore should have used this month's "24 Hours of Reality" internet broadcast to encourage the Trump administration to withdraw all carbon-dioxide emission rules on future power stations. Then the United States could replace its old, inefficient coal-fired power plants with modern, clean, efficient coal stations, just as they are doing in Europe, India and China.

Recent Opinion Columns

This Nov. 11, 2012, photo shows surfers on a broad, sandy beach near the NRG El Segundo power plant in El Segundo, Calif. A new study predicts that with limited human intervention, 31 percent to 67 percent of Southern California beaches could completely erode back to coastal infrastructure or sea cliffs by the year 2100, with sea-level rises of 3.3 feet (1 meter) to 6.5 feet (2 meters). The study released Monday, March 27, 2017, used a new computer model to predict shoreline effects caused by sea level rise and changes in storm patterns due to climate change. (AP Photo/John Antczak)

Bad news for climate change boondogglers

Predicting tomorrow's weather is often a crapshoot. Predicting the weather on a day a century from now is obviously throwing money away. Shoveling cash into schemes for regulating climate patterns generations far in the future is an investment in a fool's gold mine. President Trump vows that Americans won't be fooled again.

In this Feb. 1, 2012, file photo, miles of pipe ready to become part of the Keystone Pipeline are stacked in a field near Ripley, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Keystone moves on, slowly

The Keystone pipeline is inching slowly forward. After more than a decade of back-and-forth bickering between Republicans and Democrats, between business interests and radical environmentalists, the State Department of the Trump administration has finally given its permission, as required by law, to let the oil flow. TransCanada, the company that is building Keystone, praises the new president for clearing the stones, stumps and twigs remaining in the way.

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on domestic and international human trafficking, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017,in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The comeback of coal

President Trump's boisterous press conferences sometimes cast a shadow over one of his most important achievements so far: his executive order suspending runaway Environmental Protection Agency rules that all but bankrupted the American coal industry. Three of America's largest coal companies declared Chapter 11 in recent years largely as a result of rules like the Clean Power Plant Act, a gift of Barack Obama.

The Animas River flows with toxic waste from the Gold King Mine on Aug. 8, 2015, as seen from the 32nd Street Bridge in Durango, Colo., as the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad train goes by. (Associated Press) **FILE**

EPA's toxic adventure

Imagine an agency charged with protecting the environment, aptly named the Environmental Protection Agency. Because, you see, we need to protect the environment, and we need a government cudgel with which to do it.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy speaks in Washington in this Nov. 19, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Obama goes after the farmers

Farmers are now the bad guys. President Obama's administration last week claimed dominion over all of America's streams, creeks, rills, ditches, brooks, rivulets, burns, tributaries, criks, wetlands -- perhaps even puddles -- in a sweeping move to assert unilateral federal authority.

EPA Imposing Expensive Green Energy Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

EPA's goofy green-energy rules

If you think President Obama's unilateral exercise of executive powers granting near-blanket amnesty to illegal immigrants was an abuse of power, get a load of what this administration is doing over at the Environmental Protection Agency.

From The Vault

An international team of rowers aims to break several world records paddling across the Arctic Ocean. (Polar Row photograph)

'Polar Row' exploration team smashes world records in icy north

- The Washington Times

Besides achieving the fastest average rowing pace in the Arctic Ocean, the Polar Row crew was the largest to row across the Arctic and the first to row from south to north across it. They also reached the northernmost latitude by a rowboat in a proper ocean crossing and broke the world record speed for rowing across the whole Arctic Ocean.

Chart to accompany Moore article of July 31, 2017

Why coal is Number One

Quick: what was the number one source of electricity production in the U.S. during the first half of 2017? If you answered renewable energy, you are wrong by a mile. If you answered natural gas, you were wrong by a tiny amount.

Illustration on the economic benefits of bringing greater broadband access to rural America by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Taking broadband to the country

Microsoft President Brad Smith announced recently a broad, sustained, cooperative initiative among private industry and federal, state and local governments to extend broadband access ultimately to all Americans, focused in particular on rural America, where broadband has been most lagging. He discussed the issue at a Media Institute luncheon in Washington, D.C., on July 11.

An ethanol plant stands next to a cornfield near Nevada, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File) **FILE**

Ethanol bill defeated in Senate

- The Washington Times

In a major defeat for the ethanol industry, senators of both parties joined forces late last week to sink a controversial bill that would've allowed gasoline with 15 percent ethanol to be sold year-round.

Former US President waves before he is awarded the German Media Prize 2016 in Baden-Baden, Germany, Thursday, May 25, 2017.(AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Obama lashes at Trump as climate legacy slips away

- The Washington Times

A frustrated former President Obama chided President Trump Thursday for canceling U.S. involvement in the Paris climate agreement, and insisted the rest of the world is still headed toward lower greenhouse gas emissions even without American leadership.

In this May 4, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump talks to House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington after the House pushed through a health care bill. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

The promise to keep

President Trump usually prefers to blaze his own path through the thicket of global diplomacy — "globaloney" a wit once called it -- much to the dismay of the scented-handkerchief crowd. He softened his skepticism of NATO, and that's a good thing, and postponed a final decision on whether to keep his promise to withdraw the United States from the Paris treaty on global warming. He wanted to keep the good feelings intact at the G-7 summit.

Trump's Coal Comeback Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

King Coal's big comeback

Buried in an otherwise humdrum jobs report for March was the jaw-dropping pronouncement by the Labor Department that mining jobs in America were up by 11,000 in March. Since the low point in October 2016 and following years of painful layoffs in the mining industry, the mining sector has added 35,000 jobs.

Unleashing American energy

President Trump has nullified many of Barack Obama's climate change fantasies and the sky is still up there. But judging by the uproar from voices in the climate change industry, only an unexpected miracle is keeping the firmament in place. As cooler heads keep an eye on the thermometer in the months and years to come, America can balance legitimate concerns about pollution against the necessity of exploiting affordable energy.