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: Former Environment Secretary Promotes Post-Brexit ‘Special Relationship’ with US Climate Science Deniers

Former environment secretary Owen Paterson made the rounds with some of the top climate science deniers on a tour of the US this autumn to promote a “special relationship” post-Brexit.

The Shropshire MP travelled to Washington D.C. in October, DeSmog UK can reveal, where he met with infamous climate science deniers Lamar Smith, James Inhofe, and Myron Ebell. He also gave speeches at both…

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DeSmogBlog: The Trump Admin’s Misleading Justifications for Repealing This Oil Train Safety Rule

On December 4, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced it would repeal a critical safety regulation for modern braking systems on the same oil trains which have derailed, spilled oil, caught fire, exploded, and even killed dozens in multiple high profile accidents in recent years. 

The regulation, released by the DOT's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in mid…

2017-12-10 13:02   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: India May Ban Petcoke, One of Dirtiest Fossil Fuels Exported by Koch Brothers

While U.S. power plants have considered petroleum coke or “petcoke to be too dirty to burn, India, on the other hand, has been importing this coal by-product of tar sands refining for years. However, it may be seeing its last days in the country which has served as its biggest importer.

In the aftermath of an Associated Press investigation published on December 1, India's…

2017-12-09 14:14   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Australian Climate Science Denier Ian Plimer Follows Tony Abbott in Pushing Dodgy Science to London Think-Tank

Australians have been keeping the London-based climate science denial group the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) busy in recent weeks.

After former Prime Minister Tony Abbott gave the group’s annual lecture in October, it was the turn of one of Australia’s longest-serving deniers to empty another bucket of bunkum.

Professor Ian Plimer, an Australian director of multiple mining…

2017-12-08 02:04   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: How American Cities and States Are Fighting Climate Change Globally

By Emma Lecavalier, University of Toronto

Since the Trump administration announced last June its intended withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, attention — and hope — has turned to America’s cities and states.

Many local and regional governments actively voiced support for upholding the United States’ pledges under the Paris Agreement. Initiatives that represented those…

2017-12-07 20:52   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: On Eve of Key Atlantic Coast Pipeline Decision, Here’s a Review of Dominion’s Ties to Decision-makers

Starting on Thursday, December 7, the state of Virginia’s Water Control Board will convene for three key meetings to decide the fate of a number of contentious pipeline projects. On the agenda: whether or not to grant a water quality permit to the Atlantic Coast pipeline, a 550-mile long, multistate fracked gas project led by Dominion Energy.

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2017-12-06 00:39   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: The Obscure Federal Agency That Soon Could Raise Your Electric Bill: 5 Questions Answered on FERC

By Joshua D. Rhodes, University of Texas at Austin

Editor’s note: On or before Dec. 11, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is expected to take action on a controversial proposal by Energy Secretary Rick Perry that seeks to prevent noncompetitive coal and nuclear power plants from retiring prematurely. Depending on how such a rule is structured, analyses have estimated that it could…

2017-12-05 20:24   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Exxon’s First Amendment Claims in Climate Fraud Case Draw Judge’s Skepticism

By Karen Savage. Crossposted from Climate Liability News.

Exxon’s quest to convince a federal judge that two state attorneys general are stifling their right to free speech is proving to be no easy task.

In a hearing Thursday in New York, U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni said the oil giant’s rationale involved “wild leaps of logic” in claiming New York Attorney General Eric…

2017-12-03 06:45   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Renewable Energy Isn’t Perfect, But It’s Far Better Than Fossil Fuels

In their efforts to discredit renewable energy and support continued fossil fuel burning, many anti-environmentalists have circulated a dual image purporting to compare a lithium mine with an oilsands operation. It illustrates the level of dishonesty to which some will stoop to keep us on our current polluting, climate-disrupting path (although in some cases it could be ignorance).

The…

2017-12-02 16:04   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Virginia Won't Say Whether its Official Spoke at Gas Industry Panel on Curbing Pipeline Protesters

A high-ranking Virginia state official was listed as participating in a gas industry-sponsored panel that discussed strategies for confronting public opposition to new infrastructure projects, including the Atlantic Coast pipeline. Yet Governor Terry McAuliffe’s administration has refused to provide any explanation or even confirm the official’s appearance on the panel.

The panel took…

2017-12-01 20:03   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: How do you Spot a Climate Science Denial Blog? Check the Polar Bears

In an era of #fakenews, it can sometimes be tricky to work out what is legitimate scientific reporting, and what is, well, fake. New research suggests there's a handy rule of thumb for spotting the work of climate science deniers, however: look for the polar bears.

One of the most glaring differences between legitimate science-based blogs and those that deny the science on anthropogenic…

2017-12-01 16:31   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Fracking Expert: 'We Are Just Doing The Science, But We Are Being Criticised From All Sides'

Concerns over fracking are “not as bad as people may think”, but suggesting the technology is safe is “ridiculous”, according to a leading shale gas expert.

Professor Richard Davies, a petroleum geologist at Newcastle University, is used to engaging in difficult debates.  He has repeatedly come under fire from both sides of the fracking debate for trying to shed light on the…

2017-11-30 19:10   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: How the Mont Pelerin Society 'Neoliberal Thought Collective' Is Influencing Donald Trump's Presidency

After Donald Trump won the US election, analysts, researchers and journalists got to work to track how this apparent political outsider would suddenly gather a team.

Despite promising to “drain the swamp” of vested interests and lobbyists, it became clear Trump was intent on refilling it with figures and ideas from the well-established network of conservative and neoliberal think-tanks.

2017-11-29 22:53   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Washington Agency Votes to Reject Vancouver Energy’s Massive Oil-by-Rail Terminal

In another major blow to the West Coast oil-by-rail industry, a Washington state agency voted unanimously to recommend Governor Jay Inslee reject the Vancouver Energy oil terminal. Proposed for construction in Vancouver, Washington, along the Columbia River, it would be the largest oil-by-rail facility in the country.

Washington State’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council…

2017-11-29 18:29   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Here's the Teacher-Friendly Antidote to Heartland Institute's Anti-Science School 'Propaganda'

On a Monday morning at the end of October, Rob Ross asked a group of earth scientists and educators a question: How many of them had received copies of the Heartland Institute book Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming?

You could feel an immediate sense of frustration in the air. Roughly half of them raised their hands. The Heartland Institute is a Chicago-based think tank that rejects…

2017-11-26 14:57   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Storms Hit Poorer People Harder, From Superstorm Sandy to Hurricane Maria

By Chris Sellers, Stony Brook University (The State University of New York)

The ferocious “frankenstorm” known as Sandy that ripped through greater New York City five years ago remains one for the record books. Like this year’s hurricane season, it racked up tens of billions of dollars in economic damages.

Superstorm Sandy had another close, yet underappreciated, similarity to this…

2017-11-25 16:01   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Subsidizing Coal and Nuclear Power Could Drive Customers off the Grid

By Joshua M. Pearce, Michigan Technological University

Within the next month, energy watchers expect the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to act on an order from Energy Secretary Rick Perry that would create new pricing rules for certain power plants that can store fuel on site to support grid resilience. This initiative seeks to protect coal-fired and nuclear power plants that are…

2017-11-25 01:54   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Trump Eyes Arctic Wildlife Refuge for Oil Drilling, Alarming Gwich’in

In the remote north-eastern corner of Alaska, just under 20-million acres have been set aside as a federal protected area since 1960. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has recently come under threat, however, with President Donald Trump’s Department of the Interior proposing lifting restrictions on seismic exploration.

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2017-11-22 20:48   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Why Meeting the Paris Climate Goals Is an Existential Threat to Fossil Fuel Industries

By Henry Kelly, University of Michigan

Attacks on climate policies are not really about the science. They’re about the future of fossil fuels.

Any program with a reasonable chance of meeting the goals embraced by the 2016 Paris accords (holding global temperature increases below 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial levels) is likely to mean drastic changes in fossil…

2017-11-22 19:01   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: The Climate Science Denial Promoters Behind Queensland's Energy Scare Election Headlines

In the final week before an election, the biggest-selling newspaper in the Australian state of Queensland screamed a front-page headline that cut into one of the poll’s most divisive issues.

“Nervous Energy” read the headline, claiming an “Exclusive” on a “Dire warning of power station closures, blackout.”

According to the Courier-Mail, a just-published report had warned that…

2017-11-21 11:30   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: TransCanada’s Safety Record Played No Role in Nebraska’s Keystone XL Approval

Today a Nebraska commission handed TransCanada the final permit it needed to build its long-contested Keystone XL pipeline, a decision which did not consider the company’s previous safety violations. The decision to approve the international pipeline comes despite a major oil spill just a few days earlier from the company’s Keystone l line in South Dakota. Pipeline opponents…

2017-11-20 20:16   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Did Northam’s Office Try to Hide the Dominion Executives and Lobbyists Sitting on His Transition Team?

Virginia’s Democratic governor-elect, Ralph Northam, announced his transition committee this week. In a press release, his office listed 85 individuals who will comprise the “bipartisan” committee, representing Virginians “from across the Commonwealth who will join him over the course of the next two months to lay the groundwork for a successful administration.”

But there is…

2017-11-17 02:10   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Despite Trump Plan to Ditch Paris Accord, Former US Climate Envoy Thinks America Will Be Back

BONN, GERMANY – Even if Donald Trump successfully withdraws the U.S. from the Paris climate accord in the next three years, Todd Stern, former climate envoy under Obama, doesn’t think the country will be gone from the agreement for good.

“I just firmly believe the U.S. will be back in,” he told attendees of the United Nations climate talks in Bonn, Germany. “I don't know exactly…

2017-11-16 20:11   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Big Oil Companies Being Sued for Climate Impacts Could be a ‘New Normal’

BONN, GERMANY – Fossil fuel companies have known for a long time that their products significantly contribute to climate change. But it wasn’t until recently that scientists began to understand just how much of the climate crisis could be attributed to them – and, as a result, how much those corporations could be sued for.

Earlier this year, research from the Union of Concerned…

2017-11-16 15:59   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Climate Depot's Marc Morano Returns to UN Climate Talks to Mock Activists, Spin Climate Denial

Climate Depot's Marc Morano made his annual trek to the United Nations climate talks, where he and his colleagues like to tweak climate campaigners and delegates with their well-greased climate science-denying PR machine.

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2017-11-16 15:46   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Industry is Betting Big on CCS as a 'Shield' for Fossil Fuels at Bonn Climate Talks

BONN, GERMANY – Each day at the international climate talks, dozens of side events take place on a wide range of topics: from phasing out coal to the role of music in the climate action movement.

Those looking for the particular thrill of learning about carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology have been spoilt for choice. All thanks to an industry-sponsored programme run by a business…

2017-11-15 18:34   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Germany Must Phase Out Coal to Meet Merkel's Climate Pledge, Pacific Islanders Plea

This morning, before German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived at the United Nations climate talks in Bonn, UN staffers rolled out a red carpet.  At the same time, a group of Pacific Islanders rolled out their own red carpet, in the form of an 80 meter scarlet banner that read: “Keep It In the Ground.”

The islanders and many other climate advocates at these talks (known as COP23) had…

2017-11-15 14:23   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: State Leaders Diss Trump Coal Revival as US Pushes 'Cleaner' Fossil Fuels at Climate Talks

BONN, GERMANY – From the United Nations climate summit in Bonn, Germany, Arnold Schwarzenegger declared he wasn’t worried about Donald Trump — not his threats to withdraw from the Paris agreement or his plan to bring back coal.

“Imagine bringing back coal,” laughed the former California governor. “In a time when coal is plummeting in the United States and all over the world ……

2017-11-14 02:42   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Bayou Bridge Pipeline Opponents File to Intervene in Hearing for Private Security Firm in Louisiana

A broad base of advocacy groups opposed to Energy Transfer Partners’ (ETP) proposed Bayou Bridge pipeline continue to pressure officials in Louisiana to deny the remaining permissions the company needs to build the pipeline.

The groups are also trying to stop TigerSwan LLC, one of the security firms that ETP worked with in North Dakota, from obtaining a permit to operate in Louisiana.

2017-11-13 21:38   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Northam’s Transition Team Leader Has Ties to Companies Behind Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Virginia’s governor-elect, Ralph Northam, wasted no time in organizing a transition team. A day after his November 7th victory, Northam announced that Marianne Radcliff, a former state transportation official with rich experience in local government and politics, will lead his transition team.

Over the past two decades, Radcliff has established herself as a prominent lobbyist in the…

2017-11-13 11:58   Click to comment


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