Getting the Boom Without the Bust: Guiding Southwestern Pennsylvania Through Shale Gas Development

Environmental Law Institute |Washington & Jefferson College, Center for Energy Policy and Management http://bit.ly/1o94b9m [From Press Release]  The shale gas development that has vaulted Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale formation to the top of current U.S. natural gas production has raised concerns that local governments might be entering a “boom and bust” cycle, similar to previous resource … Continue reading

The Benefits of Public Protections: Ten Rules That Save Lives and Protect the Environment

Center for Effective Government http://www.foreffectivegov.org/benefits-public-protections-2014 [Website] …The study, The Benefits of Public Protections: Ten Rules That Save Lives and Protect the Environment, analyzed ten proposed or adopted federal standards from agencies as diverse as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health … Continue reading

Budget Issues: Opportunities to Reduce Federal Fiscal Exposures Through Greater Resilience to Climate Change and Extreme Weather

US Government Accountability Office http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-504T [InsideEPA.com, sub. req'd] The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says the federal government should bolster its resilience to adverse effects from climate change impacts such as extreme weather, saying that although resilience efforts at federal facilities might have short-term costs they also have long-term benefits in reducing damage from climate-related events. … Continue reading

Tree and Forest Effects on Air Quality and Human Health in the United States

Environmental Pollution (2014, v193, p119-129; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2014.05.028) / by Dave Nowak, et al. http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/46102 [Science Daily] In the first broad-scale estimate of air pollution removal by trees nationwide, U.S. Forest Service scientists and collaborators calculated that trees are saving more than 850 human lives a year and preventing 670,000 incidents of acute respiratory symptoms. While trees’ … Continue reading

Dissolved Methane Levels Good for Groundwater in Proposed NY Fracking Area: Cornell Baseline Study

Assessing Dissolved Methane Patterns in Central New York Groundwater Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies (2014, v 1, p57–73; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrh.2014.06.002) / by Lauren E. McPhillips, et al. (Open Access) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214581814000056 [Press Release] Two Cornell hydrologists have completed a thorough groundwater examination of drinking water in a potential hydraulic fracturing area in New York’s Southern Tier. They determined that … Continue reading

Coasts at Risk: An Assessment of Coastal Risks and the Role of Environmental Solutions

United Nations University | Institute for Environment and Human Security |The Nature Conservancy | University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography, Coastal Resources Center / edited by Michael W. Beck http://bit.ly/1ldbU1N [Nature Conservancy]  Small island developing states, SIDS as they are known in development circles, face grave risks from hurricanes, tsunamis and sea level rise. But they … Continue reading

Vulnerability of Ecosystems to Climate Change Moderated by Habitat Intactness

Global Change Biology (2014; doi: 10.1111/gcb.12669) / by Felix Eigenbrod, et al. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.12669/pdf The combined effects of climate change and habitat loss represent a major threat to species and ecosystems around the world. Here, we analyse the vulnerability of ecosystems to climate change based on current levels of habitat intactness and vulnerability to biome shifts, … Continue reading

Drinking Water: EPA Program to Protect Underground Sources from Injection of Fluids Associated with Oil and Gas Production Needs Improvement

US Government Accountability Office http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-555 [Los Angeles Times] The Government Accountability Office is calling on the federal Environmental Protection Agency to step up enforcement of water contamination and seismic activity associated with fracking, the high-pressure injection of fluids into wells to extract oil and natural gas. In a report made public Monday, the GAO, the … Continue reading

Leasing Coal, Fueling Climate Change: How the Federal Coal Leasing Program Undermines President Obama’s Climate Plan

Greenpeace http://bit.ly/1pmFQwy [From Executive Summary] …This report focuses on the carbon pollution that has been unlocked by the federal coal leasing program during the Obama administration, and calculates the damages expected from those emissions, using the federal government’s social cost of carbon figures as suggested by the federal court ruling. Without major changes, the federal … Continue reading