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

Dust from your old furniture likely contains harmful chemicals—but there’s a solution

Researchers find people's exposure to PFAS and certain flame retardants could be significantly reduced by opting for healthier building materials and furniture.

Hormone-mimicking chemicals harm fish now—and their unexposed offspring later

Fish exposed to harmful contaminants can pass on health issues such as reproductive problems to future generations that had no direct exposure.

America re-discovers anti-science in its midst

Fauci, Birx, Redfield & Co. are in the middle of a political food fight. They could learn a lot from environmental scientists.

Roadmap points Europe toward safer, sustainable chemicals

EU Commission releases ambitious strategy for getting hormone-disrupting chemicals out of food, products, and packaging.

How Europe’s wood pellet appetite worsens environmental racism in the US South

An expanding wood pellet market in the Southeast has fallen short of climate and job goals—instead bringing air pollution, noise and reduced biodiversity in majority Black communities.

Exempt from inspection: States ignore lead-contaminated meat in food banks

Hunter-donated meat provides crucial protein to US food banks. But an EHN investigation found a lack of oversight that could result in potentially hundreds of thousands of lead-contaminated meals this year.

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