News Roundups

U.S. Stimulus Prospects Darken, Who Cleans up Coal Mess?, And More

Daily stimulus and recovery news headlines from September 22, 2020

U.S. Stimulus Prospects Darken With Partisan Strains Over Court

The eruption of a partisan battle over replacing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg damaged already-slim prospects for another round of U.S. fiscal stimulus, threatening to undermine the recovery in coming months.

President Donald Trump’s plans to nominate a successor to Ginsburg by the end of the week and to press for a confirmation vote before the Nov. 3 election has stoked a wave of Democratic opposition.

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House, Senate on collision course over government funding as shutdown looms in nine days

House Democrats unveiled a short-term spending bill on Monday that Senate Republicans immediately denounced, raising the prospect of a government shutdown weeks before the November election. The House and Senate must pass identical versions of the bill in order for President Trump to sign it.

Government funding runs out in nine days, at midnight on Sept. 30. Unless the House and Senate pass new spending legislation before then, key government agencies including the Pentagon and the Department of Health and Human Services will begin to shut down certain operations.

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Who Cleans Up Environmental Mess Bankrupt Coal Leaves Behind?

As more coal companies file for bankruptcy, it remains unclear what will happen to hundreds of thousands of acres of unreclaimed mine land in eastern Kentucky and the rest of Appalachia.

Eight coal companies declared bankruptcy in 2019, and that number is expected to rise amid declining demand for fossil fuels. Mary Varson Cromer, deputy director at the Appalachian Citizen's Law Center, said 29% of all mining permits in Kentucky are now in bankruptcy.

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Opinion: Plugging Abandoned Oil Wells Is One ‘Green New Deal’ Aspect Loved By Both Republicans And Democrats

Few climate proposals have been politicized more than the Green New Deal, although it is essentially a jobs program intended to put people to work fighting climate change – regardless of their political affiliation. But as oil and gas jobs have shriveled up amid the COVID-19 recession, a green jobs proposal has become incredibly popular among Republicans and Democrats: plugging abandoned oil and gas wells.

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U.S. and European Oil Giants Go Different Ways on Climate Change

As oil prices plunge and concerns about climate change grow, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and other European energy companies are selling off oil fields, planning a sharp reduction in emissions and investing billions in renewable energy.

The American oil giants Chevron and Exxon Mobil are going in a far different direction. They are doubling down on oil and natural gas and investing what amounts to pocket change in innovative climate-oriented efforts like small nuclear power plants and devices that suck carbon out of the air.

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