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Category Archives: Environmental Law

U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2014

U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2014

  • Energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions increased by 50 million metric tons (MMmt), from 5,355 MMmt in 2013 to 5,406 MMmt in 2014.
  • The increase in 2014 was influenced by the following factors:
    • Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 2.4%;
    • The carbon intensity of the energy supply (CO2/Btu) declined by 0.3%; and
    • Energy intensity (British thermal units[Btu]/GDP) declined by 1.2%.
  • Therefore, with GDP growth of 2.4% and the overall carbon intensity of the economy (CO2/GDP) declining by about 1.5%, energy-related CO2 grew 0.9%.


GAO Reports – Aquatic Invasive Species, IRS Whistleblower Program, K-12 Education, Nursing Home Quality, Transportation Infrastructure

Aquatic Invasive Species: Additional Steps Could Help Measure Federal Progress in Achieving Strategic Goals, GAO-16-49: Published: Nov 30, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 2015: “Aquatic invasive species—harmful, nonnative plants, animals, and microorganisms living in aquatic habitats—damage ecosystems or threaten commercial, agricultural, and recreational activities.” IRS Whistleblower Program: Billions Collected, but Timeliness and Communication Concerns MayContinue Reading

WMO: 2015 likely to be Warmest on Record, 2011-2015 Warmest Five Year Period

News release: “The global average surface temperature in 2015 is likely to be the warmest on record and to reach the symbolic and significant milestone of 1° Celsius above the pre-industrial era. This is due to a combination of a strong El Niño and human-induced global warming, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). TheContinue Reading

Climate Central – Rain Needed to Bust the Drought

“The ongoing California drought…is so entrenched that it’s now well into its fourth year. This drought has repercussions nationwide, particularly in the availability and cost of food. According to the USDA, in 2014 California accounted for 60 percent of the U.S. production for fresh-market vegetables, and 73 percent of processed vegetables.”

Report – Nestlé takes action to tackle seafood supply chain abuses

NYT: “The seafood industry in Thailand suffers from widespread labor and human rights abuses, exposing virtually all American and European companies that buy seafood from there to the “endemic risk” of having these problems as part of their supply chain, according to a report released on Monday by the food giant Nestlé. The report catalogedContinue Reading

Study – increase in urban tree canopy correlates to decrease in crime

Research note: Greater tree canopy cover is associated with lower rates of both violent and property crime in New Haven, CT. Landscape and Urban Planning Volume 143, November 2015, Pages 248–253 doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2015.08.005. “Evolving literature suggests that modifiable neighborhood characteristics such as trees and other vegetation are inversely associated with crime. This study examines the relationshipContinue Reading

How ocean pollution affects humans [Infographic]

Via DIVE.In – “Every year more than 8 million tonens of plastic is dumped into the ocean, but how does that affect humans and what can we do to stop this behavior?”

FDA approves sale of genetically engineered salmon to public

“After an exhaustive and rigorous scientific review, FDA has arrived at the decision that AquAdvantage salmon is as safe to eat as any non-genetically engineered (GE) Atlantic salmon, and also as nutritious. FDA’s Review of the GE Salmon – The FDA scientists rigorously evaluated extensive data submitted by the manufacturer, AquaBounty Technologies, and other peer-reviewedContinue Reading

EPA Proposes to Reduce Smog-Forming Pollution Transported Across State Lines

News release: “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing updates to the agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) to address interstate air quality impacts for the 2008 ozone air quality standards. The proposed updates would reduce summertime emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from power plants that contribute to downwind ozone problems in theContinue Reading

Global Concern about Climate Change, Broad Support for Limiting Emissions

“Nearly three-quarters of Americans see global climate change as a “very serious” (45%) or “somewhat serious” (29%) threat, and two-thirds (66%) say people will have to make major changes in the way they live to reduce the effects of climate change, according to a Pew Research Center report released earlier this month. People have received all sorts of adviceContinue Reading

Can we measure beauty? Computational evaluation of coral reef aesthetics

Haas AF, Guibert M, Foerschner A, Co T, Calhoun S, George E, Hatay M, Dinsdale E, Sandin SA, Smith JE, Vermeij MJA, Felts B, Dustan P, Salamon P, Rohwer F. (2015) Can we measure beauty? Computational evaluation of coral reef aesthetics. PeerJ 3:e1390 “The natural beauty of coral reefs attracts millions of tourists worldwideContinue Reading

EIA Short-Term Energy Outlook

Full Report – “The monthly average price of U.S. regular retail gasoline was $2.29/gallon (gal) in October, a decrease of 8 cents/gal from September and 88 cents/gal lower than in October 2014. EIA expects monthly gasoline prices to decline to an average of $2.06/gal in December 2015. EIA forecasts U.S. regular gasoline retail prices toContinue Reading