Site: DeSmogBlog

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The DeSmogBlog team is led by Jim Hoggan, founder of James Hoggan & Associates, one of Canada's leading public relations firms. By training a lawyer, by inclination a ski instructor and cyclist, Jim Hoggan believes that integrity and public relations should not be at odds – that a good public reputation generally flows from a record of responsible actions. His client list includes real estate development companies, high tech firms, pharmaceutical, forest industry giants, resorts and academic institutions. He is also a Board Member of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Recent Articles

DeSmogBlog: Trump’s New FERC Commissioner Rob Powelson Accepted Gifts from Energy Industry as State Regulator

Robert Powelson, President Donald Trump’s newly appointed commissioner to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), received both gifts and reimbursements for travel, lodging, and hospitality from the energy and utility sectors in his previous position as a state regulator. He will now regulate those sectors at the federal level.

Powelson, a Republican, began his tenure at FERC last…

2017-08-15 22:13   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Dirty Energy Giants Censured for Claiming Natural Gas Is 'Cleanest' Fossil Fuel

For many years, a standard talking point from the fossil fuel industry and those who speak on the industry’s behalf has been that natural gas is a cleaner alternative to conventional energy sources like coal and oil. This talking point is at least partially responsible for many people — including former President Barack Obama and his Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz — believing that…

2017-08-14 23:47   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Fracking Giant Cabot Sues Pennsylvania Water Contamination Victim for $5 Million

AttachmentSize 2017-08-07 Cabot lawsuit.pdf1.7 MB

Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation has filed a $5 million civil lawsuit in county court against Dimock, Pennsylvania, resident Ray Kemble, who claims Cabot severely contaminated his water after drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) activity.

The company, scrutinized in the film Gasland and subject of an ongoing federal class…

2017-08-13 11:54   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: What to Do When You See Science Denial at the Science Museum

This is a guest post by Hui Liu of Greenpeace USA. It was originally published at

I went to D.C.’s Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History expecting to learn about the history of our planet. Instead, I stumbled upon a Koch-funded climate denial disaster.

“With the planet in peril, arts groups can no longer afford the Koch brothers money.”

That’s what…

2017-08-12 17:01   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Climate Change Compounds Louisiana Flooding Threat a Year After Historic Floods

“It was eerie to watch images of New Orleans’ flooding almost a year after the Baton Rouge flood,” Tam Williams, a videographer who lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, told me. Every time it rains, she is a bit on edge, wondering if her city is going to flood again. 

A week before the anniversary of last summer’s 1,000-year flood in Baton Rouge, rain inundated New Orleans, with more…

2017-08-11 17:17   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: In First 6 Months Under Trump, Polluters Already Paying Lower Fines to EPA

It hasn't taken long for Donald Trump to make his mark (well, many marks) on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In the first six months in office, his EPA under Scott Pruitt has already seen a precipitous drop in enforcement for violators of major environmental laws, such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.

So far, the Trump administration has collected 60 percent…

2017-08-10 22:22   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Virginia Agency May Not Have Properly Vetted Contractor Reviewing Atlantic Coast Pipeline

At the end of June, DeSmog revealed that a contractor hired by the state of Virginia to review elements of the proposed Atlantic Coast gas pipeline is currently working for Dominion, the company leading the pipeline project. Recently obtained documents and emails from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) indicate that, prior to DeSmog’s reporting, the agency was not aware…

2017-08-09 18:02   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: New Fraud Allegations Emerge at Troubled "Clean Coal" Project As Southern Co. Records Multi-Billion Loss

Southern Co. is accused of fraudulently misrepresenting the prospects for its troubled “clean coal” project in Kemper County, Mississippi in several legal filings this summer.

Southern announced in late July that it was shuttering the troubled “clean coal” part of Kemper after construction ran years behind schedule and the company spent $7.5 billion on the 582 megawatt power plant…

2017-08-09 00:02   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: If We Keep Subsidizing Wind, Will the Cost of Wind Energy Go Down?

By Eric Williams and Eric Hittinger, Rochester Institute of Technology

There are high hopes for renewable energy to help society by providing a more stable climate, better energy security and less pollution. Government actions reflect these hopes through policies to promote renewable energy. In the U.S. since 1992 there’s been a federal subsidy to promote wind energy, and many states…

2017-08-06 17:24   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: This Is the Drilling Method for Most US Oil But Regulators Offer Almost No Oversight

Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and offshore drilling garner a lot of news headlines when it comes to oil and gas issues in America, but they're far from the only game in town, with those two drilling techniques not even constituting the majority of U.S. oil and gas production.

For that, look to enhanced oil recovery (EOR), an under-regulated drilling method that has been around…

2017-08-05 00:36   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Why Shifting Regulatory Power to the States Won't Improve the Environment

By Michael A. Livermore, University of Virginia

President Trump and his appointees, particularly Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, have made federalism a theme of their efforts to scale back environmental regulation. They argue that the federal government has become too intrusive and that states should be returned to a position of “regulatory primacy” on…

2017-08-04 23:28   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Canada’s Environmental Fines are Tiny Compared to the U.S.

This week marks the three-year anniversary of the Mount Polley mine disaster, which sent 24 million cubic metres of mining waste into Quesnel Lake, making it one of the worst environmental disasters in Canadian history.

It’ll be a stinging reminder of the tailings pond collapse for local residents, especially considering no charges have been laid against Imperial Metals, owner and operator…

2017-08-04 00:18   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: The Exxon-Treasury Fight And The Roots Of Russiagate

By David Halperin and Kert Davies, originally published at HuffPost.

Putin and Exxon have aimed relentlessly at ending U.S. sanctions, but scandal and Congress have now tied Trump’s hands.

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2017-08-01 20:23   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Montana Eased Regulations for Keystone XL After Lobbying by TransCanada

As President Trump's State Department took steps to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, the project's owner, TransCanada, lobbied on two bills in Montana which will ease the company's regulatory burden in the state. 

Those bills, HB 365 and SB 109, moved along in the state's legislature with no media coverage despite the state being the first crossed in the pipeline's proposed journey…

2017-07-31 23:10   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: A Response to 'Lunatic Farmer' Joel Salatin on His Climate Science Denial

So a couple of weeks ago I wrote a story for DeSmog reporting on self-described “lunatic farmer” Joel Salatin’s views about climate change and how he thought it might not be caused by humans.

There’s been quite a reaction to the story, mainly through Facebook discussions sparked by Salatin himself and by others who are part of what you might broadly describe as the sustainable farming…

2017-07-30 15:58   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: How Electric Vehicles Could Take a Bite out of the Oil Market

By Amy Myers Jaffe and Lewis Fulton, University of California, Davis

When will cars powered by gas-guzzling internal combustion engines become obsolete? Not as soon as it seems, even with the latest automotive news out of Europe.

First, Volvo announced it would begin to phase out the production of cars that run solely on gasoline or diesel by 2019 by only releasing new models that are…

2017-07-28 14:55   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Louisiana’s Cancer Alley Residents Sue Chemical Plant for Nearly 50 Years of Air Pollution

If you drive along one of the main streets in Louisiana’s St. John the Baptist Parish, you may encounter a large sign warning about chloroprene in the air. These signs let people know that chemical emissions from the nearby DuPont facility, now owned by Denka, can greatly increase the risk of cancer for those who live around it. 

“We are being killed by chemicals that the state is…

2017-07-27 21:40   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Sunoco Ordered to Suspend Drilling on Mariner East 2 Pipeline After Spills, Damage

Pennsylvania's Environmental Hearing Board today ordered Sunoco Pipeline LP to temporarily halt some types of work on a $2.5 billion pipeline project designed to carry 275,000 barrels a day of butane, propane, and other liquid fossil fuels from Ohio and West Virginia, across Pennsylvania, to the Atlantic coast.

On July 19, three environmental groups presented Judge Bernard Labuskes, Jr. with…

2017-07-26 03:48   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Keystone XL Pipeline Gets New Push From Revolving Door Team of Lobbyists

A changing of the guard in the White House, with President Donald Trump taking the helm, has spawned a hiring spree of new lobbyists to advocate for TransCanada's long-contested Keystone XL pipeline.

In the forefront, TransCanada has hired the firm CGCN Group — former employer of Trump's top White House energy adviser, Mike Catanzaro — to lobby for Keystone with a two-person team.…

2017-07-25 22:52   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Pacific NorthWest LNG is Dead: 5 Things You Need to Know

Malaysia’s Petronas has cancelled plans to build the Pacific NorthWest LNG plant on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert, B.C., in a move seen as a major setback for B.C.'s LNG dreams and as a major win for those concerned about climate change and salmon habitat.

The project would have involved increased natural gas production in B.C.’s Montney Basin, a new 900-kilometre pipeline and the export…

2017-07-25 21:53   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Senator Backed by Rail Companies Introduces New Bill That Would De-Regulate Rail Industry

A new bill by one of the rail industry’s favorite senators looks to change how the industry is regulated to allow “market forces to improve rail safety.” In June, Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), who happens to chair the Senate Surface Transportation Subcommittee, introduced the Railroad Advancement of Innovation and Leadership with Safety (RAILS) Act.

In essence, the bill seeks to shift the…

2017-07-25 20:06   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: History Shows That Stacking Federal Science Advisory Committees Doesn't Work

By Donald Boesch, University of Maryland

Scientists are busy people, but every year thousands donate many hours of their time without payment to advise Congress and federal government agencies. They provide input on all kinds of issues, from antibiotic resistance to mapping the world’s oceans in three dimensions.

The Trump administration has raised alarms by signaling that it is determined…

2017-07-24 23:00   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Cleaning up Toxic Sites Shouldn't Clear out the Neighbors

By Lindsey Dillon, University of California, Santa Cruz

San Francisco has embarked on a project to transform its industrial southeast waterfront into a bike-friendly destination called the Blue Greenway. When completed, the Blue Greenway will be a 13-mile network of parks, bike lanes and trails along the southeastern edge of the city.

Among its many benefits, the project creates green space…

2017-07-23 15:04   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Koch Front Group, Fueling US Forward, Bashes Electric Car Tax Credits in Latest Misleading Video

Hot on the heels of its deceptive “Dirty Secrets of Electric Cars” video (which we debunked thoroughly, and others did too), the Koch-funded front group Fueling U.S. Forward has released a new video criticizing electric vehicle (EV) tax credits as a “massive wealth transfer from poor to rich.” It's time for another debunking!

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2017-07-22 15:36   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Emails Show Iraq War PR Alums Led Attempt to Discredit Dakota Access Protesters

By Steve Horn and Curtis Waltman, MuckRock

Behind the scenes, as law enforcement officials tried to stem protests against the Dakota Access pipeline, alumni from the George W. Bush White House were leading a crisis communications effort to discredit pipeline protesters.

Emails show that the firms Delve and Off the Record Strategies, apparently working on contract with the National…

2017-07-20 22:36   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Pro-fossil Fuel Group's Video, 'The Dirty Secrets of Electric Cars,' Debunked Again and Again

Just last week, we fact-checked and debunked every line of “The Dirty Secrets of Electric Cars,” a video produced by Fueling U.S. Forward (FUSF), a Koch-funded campaign to push fossil fuels. That video represents the group's first public pivot from fossil fuel boosterism to electric vehicle (EV) attacks. More electric vehicle experts are also picking the video apart.


2017-07-20 17:11   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: New Lobby Group Tied to Brexit Climate Science Deniers and Koch Industries Pushes for Deregulation in Europe

A new lobby group has appeared in Europe claiming to represent ‘consumers’. But a closer look reveals it is actually backed by some familiar groups known for their efforts to weaken climate and environmental regulations.

The Consumer Choice Centre (CCC) was set up in March 2017 and was promoted as “a grassroots-led movement” that “empowers consumers across the globe”.

But an

2017-07-20 16:11   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Trump’s Ignorance Reveals Why Exporting Crude Oil for 'National Security' Is a Myth

During President Donald Trump’s recent visit to Poland, he got a lesson in the reality of the global oil and gas market from Polish President Andrzej Duda. In his prepared remarks, Trump addressed the issue of U.S. oil and gas exports, saying, “America stands ready to help Poland and other European nations diversify their energy supplies, so that you can never be held hostage to a…

2017-07-19 19:25   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Environmental Defense Fund Action Launches Ad Campaign to Protect EPA Budget

Fearing that President Donald Trump will make good on his promise to slash the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent, the Environmental Defense Fund's (EDF) political arm, EDF Action, has announced a million dollar ad buy to raise awareness about how these budget cuts will affect the lives of American citizens.

The ad campaign’s goal is to target local television,…

2017-07-17 17:31   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: New Film "Little Warriors" Features Youth Climate Fight in Unlikely Place: Indiana

Climate change will impact future generations and the current youth more than anyone else, so perhaps it's no surprise that kids have increasingly become the face of the modern U.S. climate movement.

At the center of that movement is the ongoing lawsuit filed by the group Our Children's Trust against the federal government for failing to act on climate change despite its intense study for…

2017-07-16 16:58   Click to comment

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