Planet Watch

Arctic oil scramble in offing after GOP tax bill

As a part of the Republican tax overhaul bill, Congress voted  to open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and natural gas drilling, after more than four decades of contestation on the matter. Drilling is still years away at best, due to depressed oil prices, a lengthy review process, and likely legal challenges. But oil companies are already arguing over who will have rights to the reserve—while Native Alaskan communities that depend on its critical caribou habitat see impending cultural extermination. (Photo: FWS)

Planet Watch

San Francisco sues fossil fuel companies

San Francisco filed a lawsuit against five fossil fuel companies due to expected expenses the city will incur from global warming. The companies named in the suit are BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell—chosen because they are "the largest investor-owned fossil fuel corporations in the world as measured by their historic production of fossil fuels."

North America

Trump lifts restrictions on offshore drilling

President Donald Trump signed an executive order to lift restrictions placed on offshore oil drilling by the previous administration, opening vast areas to exploitation.

Planet Watch

Behind oil slump: shale boom or geopolitics?

Experts tell us the North American shale oil boom is responsible for low prices despite Middle East unrest. But the price slump serves Western aims of weakening Russia and Iran.

Planet Watch

Gulf of Mexico: maybe you missed the bad news…

The gas rig fire off Louisiana is portrayed as a near-miss at worst—while researchers predict a record “dead zone” the size of New Jersey in the Gulf of Mexico this year.