ICYMI: Bans on Slag Bags, Arizona Cars, Eco Sin, & California Fracking

ICYMI: Bans on Slag Bags, Arizona Cars, Eco Sin, & California Fracking 1

The EPA’s office of inspector general says that it is not an “approved use” of smelter waste from a Superfund site for Anaconda (Montana) Chamber of Commerce to sell it to tourists as “bags of slag,” since it can be contaminated with arsenic and lead. 

The world’s nations plan to produce more than twice as much fossil fuel as would be consistent with a climate goal of limiting warming to 1.5ºC. 

China is on a coal-fired-power-plant building spree. The capacity of Chinese coal plants either under construction or approved and likely to be built equals the total coal-power capacity of the European Union. 

Pete Gaynor, President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency, says that he doesn’t know why the climate is changing

US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland implicates Energy Secretary Rick Perry in President Trump’s efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to interfere in the 2020 presidential election. Perry refuses the House Intelligence Committee’s subpoena to testify in the matter.

Earlier this year, two of Perry’s political supporters won lucrative oil and gas contracts from the Ukrainian government after Perry recommended one of them to President Volodymyr Zelensky as an advisor. 

Pope Francis plans to update the catechism of the Catholic Church to include ecological sins.

Iran sentences six environmental activists to six-to-10 years in prison for allegedly collaborating with the United States. The activists had been working with the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation to track endangered Asiatic cheetahs.

A Japanese team discovers 143 previously unknown prehistoric “geoglyphs”—figures of humans and animals etched into the soil of Peru’s Nazca Plateau. 

A new $140-million, 1,000-person rental community being built in Tempe, Arizona, will ban cars

Arizona’s Salt River Project is replacing power from the giant coal-fired Navajo Generating Station with two solar projects whose batteries capable of storing 1 gigawatt/hour of energy. 

Increasing wind speeds due to climate change may increase the output of the world’s wind turbines by as much as a third. 

Heliogen, a company backed by billionaire Bill Gates, says it can generate hot enough temperatures using concentrated solar energy to make steel, glass, and cement—industrial processes that heretofore required fossil fuels. 

Invasive Asian carp are outcompeting native sport fish in the Upper Mississippi River System. Populations of perch, bluegill, and crappie have declined by a third in waters infested with carp. 

California’s state government will no longer buy vehicles from General Motors, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, and other carmakers that backed the Trump administration in its denial of California’s right to set strict fuel-efficiency standards.

California Governor Gavin Newsom halts new fracking permits until they can be reviewed by independent scientists, and also stops new permits for steam-injected oil drilling after the practice was blamed for a large spill this summer.

The Utah office of the Bureau of Land Management suspends 130 oil-and-gas drilling licenses because it failed to consider the climate impact of the fossil-fuel extraction. Other BLM offices may be forced to follow suit.

A species of parasitic wasp newly discovered in Mexico, genus Idris, is named elba.