June 12 News: TransCanada Gets Aggressive On Keystone, Targets Critics

TransCanada is going on the offensive now by attacking those pointing out the consequences of burning tons of fossil fuels transported by an unsafe pipeline that will only create 35 permanent jobs. [National Journal]

Faced with formidable opposition from environmentalists, TransCanada is redoubling its efforts to rebut claims made against its flagship project, the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline that the Canadian company is seeking President Obama’s permission to build from Alberta’s oil sands to the Gulf Coast.

This month, the company hired Matthew John as an “external communications specialist” to help feed its blog. On Monday, John wrote a particularly critical 1,400-word post responding to claims made by Tom Steyer, a billionaire venture capitalist who has become especially active opposing the pipeline in the past several months.

“Mr. Steyer continues to peddle the false dichotomy between fossil fuels and renewable energy in an attempt to stifle a pragmatic, fact-based debate,” John wrote in one of his first posts on the company’s website.

Since the company’s blog was launched last fall, about 60 entries have been posted, and almost all of them — save for a very small handful, including Monday’s entry — are positive in nature. Monday’s comments are a sign that TransCanada is ready to do some criticizing of its own.

A new study says Europe’s coal pollution costs businesses and governments billions, along with 22,300 premature deaths a year. [Guardian]

President Obama’s top climate adviser Heather Zichal said that following the agreement with China about HFCs, “we’re ripe for a few more deliverables” on the international climate agenda. [The Hill]

Chevron’s CEO said that fracking raises “legitimate concerns” over safety and environmental impacts. [LA Times]

Robert Redford urges President Obama to have the “courage of his convictions” on climate change in a new ad from the NRDC. [Washington Post]

A new bill by the House GOP would take money out of climate research funding in order to shore up spending on weather forecasting. [The Hill]

The coal lobby admitted that the “War on Coal” strategy for the 2012 election did not resonate with voters. [Huffington Post]

Interior’s Inspector General thinks the department may have underpriced priced leases for coal mining on federal lands. [Reuters]

Flooding in Germany will cost the insurance industry 3 billion Euros, and could go up to 12 billion, according to Fitch Ratings. [The Guardian]

Last week, a federal appeals court ruled that Michigan can’t discriminate against renewable power that comes from outside Michigan, a decision that could change “the entire renewables game.” [Greenwire]

Meanwhile, new legislation would ban offshore wind in Michigan and stop any proposed research in the Great Lakes that border the state. [Michigan Public Radio]

Is Art Pope the third Koch brother from North Carolina, using millions to swing state legislature races and taking over the governor’s mansion. [Washington Post]

Wildfires in Colorado have destroyed 40 to 60 homes, and forced the evacuation of about 2,300 homes and 900 prisoners. [Star Tribune]

High concentrations of carbon in Arctic permafrost are in danger of melting and seriously upsetting the carbon balance, which has NASA scientists worried. [The Verge]

Last week, Senator Whitehouse and Rep. Waxman met with Denis McDonough, the White House Chief of Staff to coordinate strategy on climate mitigation. [The Hill]

In May, nearly a quarter of Virginia-based utility Dominion shareholders voted to make the company report the financial risks of climate change to investors. [Inside Climate News]

China’s coal producers and power producers are battling over a proposed ban on imports of coal with low heat value into the country. [Financial Times]

U.S. solar power grew by 723 megawatts between January and March, a 33 percent increase over the growth in the same period in 2012. [Politico]

23 Responses to June 12 News: TransCanada Gets Aggressive On Keystone, Targets Critics

  1. Will Fox says:

    Has anyone here seen “Chasing Ice” yet? It was released on Blu-Ray this week (UK).

    I watched it last night… absolutely stunning documentary. The timelapse sequences of the melting ice are beautiful, yet terrifying at the same time.

  2. Jim B says:

    Yes sir! Stunning, beautiful, frightening and terrifying all at the same time. Our technology makes us feel omnipotent. We are not. The film brings this fact into stark relief for me.

  3. prokaryotes says:

    Long line of fierce thunderstorms could spawn derecho

    Remember from last year: The June 2012 Mid-Atlantic and Midwest derecho was one of the most destructive and deadly fast-moving severe thunderstorm complexes in North American history.

  4. prokaryotes says:

    “If we can limit our emissions, then the permafrost region will release less carbon to the atmosphere, there is a curve – it’s not a all or nothing question.” Ben Abbott

  5. prokaryotes says:

    For some reason, several users report technical issues (browser crash) when trying to access CP with Firefox

  6. prokaryotes says:

    Very good lecture via Berkeley Lab from last week. Touches on permafrost to extreme weather.

  7. prokaryotes says:

    Elon Musk said that one reason for the clean energy model wasn’t actually climate change considerations but clean air, which affects so much the air we have to breath in our cities.

    On another note he pointed out that the fast charger network, currently under development will keep on functioning in any event – it is decentralized organized.

  8. prokaryotes says:

    A special Earth Day edition of Science at the Theater —”How Hot Will It Get?” — Featuring presentations by Lab climate scientists Bill Collins, Margaret Torn, Michael Wehner, and Jeff Chambers, as well as UC Berkeley economist Max Aufhammer, the evening was punctuated with the latest projections about the extent of planetary warming and the dire consequences of our growing carbon imbalance.


    Bill Collins and the balance of energy: What do computer models predict about the future of the earth’s climate?

    Jeff Chambers and the rainforest: How much carbon do our forests absorb and what if this rate changes?

    Margaret Torn and the Arctic permafrost: What happens to the Earth’s climate when the permafrost thaws?

    Michael Wehner and extreme weather: What does high-performance computing tell us about heat waves, floods, droughts and hurricanes?

    Maximilian Auffhammer and climate policy: How does a changing climate shape potential policy and proposed solutions?

  9. Joe Romm says:

    Not me!

  10. prokaryotes says:

    Hank Roberts noted…

    “Firefox (21.0, https-everywhere) opens your link, tries “” and crashes.”

  11. prokaryotes says:

    It is probably a problem on the side of Firefox developer.

  12. prokaryotes says:

    Aerosols less effective in combatting warming than thought : study
    Record heat fuels destructive fires in drought-baked Colorado

  13. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me thirty-seven times etc’

  14. prokaryotes says:

    You have a point and it becomes harder to “hope” for real actions. The recent news on the surveillance of social content and Obama’s remarks from 2007 in contrast make believe not easier. He lacks some real success stories in those regards, but seriously what is the alternative?? I see simply no other way then to “hope” for change from this administration (or the next). And i hope that “the other side” stops delaying. Many of the past “delayers” have stopped and there are only a few hard liners left now!

  15. Colorado Bob says:

    Potentially ‘Catastrophic’ Changes Underway in Canada’s Northern Mackenzie River Basin

    More grim news for the north . This was very important :

    The panel agreed the largest single threat to the Basin is a potential breach in the tailings ponds at one of the large oil sands sites mining surface bitumen. A breach in winter sending tailings liquid under the ice of the tributary Athabasca River, “would be virtually impossible to remediate or clean-up,” says the report, available in full at

    “Extractive industries should be required to post a substantial performance bond which would be used to cover the costs of site clean-up should the enterprise fail financially or otherwise fail to fully remediate damage and destruction at the site in question,” the report says. “The performance bond should be secured prior to site development and the commencement of operations.”

  16. BobbyL says:

    Lot’s of luck to him, he is going to need it. One of today’s headlines “UN climate talks collapse amid acrimony in Bonn”