Does the Environment Still Matter? Daily Temperature and Income in the United States

NBER Working Paper No. 20750 / by Tatyana Deryugina, Solomon M. Hsiang (may be fee-based) http://www.nber.org/papers/w20750 It is widely hypothesized that incomes in wealthy countries are insulated from environmental conditions because individuals have the resources needed to adapt to their environment. We test this idea in the wealthiest economy in human history. Using within-county variation in weather, we … Continue reading

From the Extreme to the Mean: Acceleration and Tipping Points of Coastal Inundation from Sea Level Rise

Earth’s Future (Dec. 18, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/2014EF000272) / by William V. Sweet and Joseph Park http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1002/2014EF000272/ Relative sea level rise (RSLR) has driven large increases in annual water level exceedances (duration and frequency) above minor (nuisance level) coastal flooding elevation thresholds established by the National Weather Service (NWS) at U.S. tide gauges over the last half-century. … Continue reading

Significant Decline of High Plains Aquifer since 2011: USGS

Water-Level Changes and Change in Water in Storage in the High Plains Aquifer, Predevelopment to 2013 and 2011–13 USGS / By Virginia L. McGuire http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2014/5218/pdf/sir2014_5218.pdf The High Plains aquifer underlies 111.8 million acres (about 175,000 square miles) in parts of eight States—Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. Water-level declines began in … Continue reading

EPA’s Proposed CO2 Regulations for Existing Power Plants : Critical Issues Raised in Hearings and Oversight

US Congress, Committee on Energy and Commerce http://1.usa.gov/1swQxMN The House Energy and Commerce Committee today released a new majority staff report outlining critical issues that have been raised during the committee’s hearings and oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, known as the “Clean Power Plan.” … Continue reading

Frack Attack: Pennsylvania’s Parks and Forests Threatened by Drilling

PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center http://bit.ly/1wnyfTz [Wilkes Barre Union-Leader] A statewide environmental advocacy group Thursday released a study that concludes gas drilling is posing a “far-reaching” threat to parks, forests and public lands across Pennsylvania… The group’s study …lists five parks and forests that are “endangered by the threat of encroaching fracking, or have already … Continue reading

New York State: A Public Health Review of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas Development

New York State Dept. of Health http://www.health.ny.gov/press/reports/docs/high_volume_hydraulic_fracturing.pdf [New York Times] … the long-awaited health study finally materialized, its findings made public during a year-end cabinet meeting convened by the governor in Albany. In a presentation at the cabinet meeting, the acting state health commissioner, Dr. Howard A. Zucker, said the examination had found “significant public … Continue reading

Developmental and Reproductive Effects of Chemicals Associated with Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas Operations

Reviews on Environmental Health (December 2014, v29, n4, pp307–318; DOI: 10.1515/reveh-2014-0057) / by Ellen Webb, et al. http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/reveh.2014.29.issue-4/reveh-2014-0057/reveh-2014-0057.xml [Huffington Post] …The paper suggests that even tiny doses of benzene, toluene and other chemicals released during the various phases of oil and natural gas production, including fracking, could pose serious health risks — especially to developing fetuses, … Continue reading