Jim Bowen

Top Energy and Health News: Oil struggles in S. Cali; Exxon pays up

Top energy and health news hand-picked by our journalists and researchers

Top energy and health news for the week of Oct. 27 - Nov. 3.


Top stories

'The fear of dying' pervades Southern California's oil-polluted enclaves
As the state wins praise for its progressive climate policies, refinery emissions vex people in low-income communities. (Center for Public Integrity)

Even Trump's EPA says Obama's climate plan would save thousands of lives each year
A sweeping Obama-era climate rule could prevent up to 4,500 premature deaths per year by 2030, the Trump administration has found in its analysis of the plan. (Washington Post)

Study finds elevated levels of dangerous chemicals in Porter Ranch residents.
An independent health study released earlier this month showed elevated levels of carcinogens in residents living near Aliso Canyon, the site of the massive 2015 natural gas blowout in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley. (Capital and Main)

China's air pollution is hindering its ability to produce solar power
The particulate matter lodging itself deep in people's lungs is also reducing the amount of sun reaching solar arrays, according to a study published last week. (Quartz)

Exxon will pay $2.5 million for pollution at Gulf Coast plants
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice announced Tuesday that Exxon Mobil will pay $2.5 million in fines for flaring gases at eight plants along the Gulf Coast. (NY Times)

Spills

Alaska orders review of all North Slope oil wells after spill linked to permafrost
Thawing permafrost cracked the casing on a BP oil well earlier this year, starting a leak that continued for days. (Inside Climate News)

How a 672,000-gallon oil spill was nearly invisible
About 672,000 gallons of oil spilled when a pipeline fractured about a mile below the ocean's surface this month in the Gulf of Mexico southeast of Venice, La., which is about 65 miles south of New Orleans.Hardly any of it was visible. (NY Times)

Now it's oilmen who say fracking could harm groundwater
It's no longer just environmentalists who suspect hydraulic fracturing is contaminating groundwater. (E&E News)

Energy justice

The battle of treaty camp
No other incident during Standing Rock better illustrates the collaboration between police and private security in suppressing the NoDAPL movement. (The Intercept)

Angry Front Range residents pack hearing, berate state regulators for allowing drilling near homes
Hours ahead of scheduled hearing on Broomfield drilling plan, Colorado regulators got an earful. (The Denver Post)

Big power plant ignites political fight in small Pennsylvania town
A wave of new gas-fired power plants is hitting the nation, with uncertain implications for the climate. The local consequences can be just as thorny. (Center for Public Integrity)

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From our Newsroom

Fractured: Buffered from fracking but still battling pollution

A statewide network of fracking and conventional wells, pipelines, and petrochemical plants closes in on communities.

Fractured: Distrustful of frackers, abandoned by regulators

"I was a total cheerleader for this industry at the beginning. Now I just want to make sure no one else makes the same mistake I did. It has ruined my life."

Fractured: The stress of being surrounded

Jane Worthington moved her grandkids to protect them from oil and gas wells—but it didn't work. In US fracking communities, the industry's pervasiveness causes social strain and mental health problems.

Fractured: Harmful chemicals and unknowns haunt Pennsylvanians surrounded by fracking

We tested families in fracking country for harmful chemicals and revealed unexplained exposures, sick children, and a family's "dream life" upended.

Fractured: The body burden of living near fracking

EHN.org scientific investigation finds western Pennsylvania families near fracking are exposed to harmful chemicals, and regulations fail to protect communities' mental, physical, and social health.

LISTEN: Kristina Marusic discusses the "Fractured" investigation

"Once they had the results of our study [families] felt like they had proof that these chemicals are in their air, their water, and making their way into their bodies."

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