James Bruggers, InsideClimate News

James Bruggers

InsideClimate News

Louisville, KY, United States

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Past articles by James:

Q&A: Cancer Alley Is Real, And Louisiana Officials Helped Create It, Researchers Find

NEW ORLEANS, La.—For years, environmental groups have called the industrial corridor along the lower Mississippi River between here and Baton Rouge “cancer alley.” The moniker describes a winding, 130-mile stretch along the river that is dotted with more than 200 industrial facilities including oil refineries, plastics plants, chemical plants and other factories that emit significant […] → Read More

Sidestepping a New Climate Commitment, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Greenlights a Mammoth LNG Project in Louisiana

After declaring nine months ago that it would start factoring climate change into regulatory decisions about major gas projects, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has thrown up its collective hands and concluded that it doesn’t know how. At least not yet. The uncertainty was conveyed last month when the commission’s five members, all presidential appointees, […] → Read More

The Nation’s Youngest Voters Put Their Stamp on the Midterms, with Climate Change Top of Mind

Maxwell Alejandro Frost, a 25-year-old community organizer, has become the first member of Generation Z elected to Congress after winning a House seat in Florida’s 10th Congressional District. The young Democrat’s victory came as his generation was also getting credit for helping to stop a red wave of Republican victories in Tuesday’s national midterm elections. […] → Read More

Strip mining aided deadly Kentucky flooding, ex-regulators say. They want an investigation

In past flooding, hydrologists have calculated runoff 1,000 times greater than without mining. Scientists say climate change will intensify heavy rains. → Read More

Kentucky flooding: Gov. Andy Beshear wonders 'why we keep getting hit.' 4 experts explain

Four noted atmospheric scientists explain that the answer to “why?” is climate change: “The evidence is clear,” said one. → Read More

Despite 500 days in office, Biden has yet to appoint a top official to clean up coal mines

Environmentalists and community representatives from coal country say leadership is needed as coal companies fail to reclaim strip-mined tracts. → Read More

Biden Could Score a Climate Victory in a Single Word: Plastics

With Biden’s ambitious climate agenda blocked in the Senate, the administration now has an opportunity to look for a win through diplomacy, while at the same time addressing one of the most pressing problems facing the planet. The plastics industry has exploded in recent decades, with plastic products becoming ubiquitous in daily life. But plastic […] → Read More

Biden administration takes action on toxic coal ash plaguing Kentucky and Indiana

The Biden EPA is signaling that it intends to protect communities from air and water pollution emanating from hundreds of coal ash dumps. → Read More

Inspired by King’s Words, Experts Say the Fight for Climate Justice Anywhere is a Fight for Climate Justice Everywhere

Terms like “environmental racism” or “environmental justice” were not yet part of the national lexicon when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis on April 4, 1968. And while insider records reveal that the nation’s oil and gas lobby was being briefed that same year on the dangers […] → Read More

Coal fueled industrial revolution but left ‘absolutely massive’ environmental catastrophe

Scenes from the end of coal: A blasted mountaintop in Kentucky, an underground inferno in Pennsylvania, slowly dying maples in New Hampshire and a toxic pile of waste in Florida. → Read More

Chemours’ plan for cutting greenhouse gas emissions could produce hazardous air pollutants

The chemical giant Chemours is under pressure to stop the emission of HFC-23, a climate super-pollutant. → Read More

Chemours’ Process for Curtailing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Could Produce Hazardous Air Pollutants in Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky—The chemical giant Chemours, moving to curtail emissions of a climate super-pollutant from its manufacturing facility here, has asked Louisville officials to issue a permit for new equipment that could result in the release of chloroform and other hazardous air pollutants as part of the abatement process. The company plans to capture the climate […] → Read More

After Ida, Louisiana Struggles to Tally the Environmental Cost. Activists Say Officials Must Do Better

Nearly a month after Hurricane Ida churned through a vast network of off-shore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and then spun over refineries, chemical plants and hundreds of other industrial sites ashore, authorities still do not know how much pollution the powerful Category 4 storm unleashed. They probably never will. Much of Louisiana’s […] → Read More

'Out of control': Sinking coal industry swamps Kentucky with 'zombie' mine violations

Internal records and emails show Kentucky regulators struggle to keep up with the violations as coal bankruptcies and “zombie” mines proliferate. → Read More

In the Sunbelt, Young Climate Activists Push Cities to Cut Emissions, Whether Their Mayors Listen or Not

This story is a collaboration with ADAPT, a product of WJCT Public Media in Jacksonville, Fla. WJCT is a member of ICN’s National Reporting Network-Southeast. On the day Nashville Mayor John Cooper took office in September 2019, young climate activists with the Sunrise Movement staged a sit-in in his office lobby, demanding Tennessee’s largest city […] → Read More

The EPA proposes ban on potent greenhouse gas emitted by Louisville chemical plant

The agency’s rulemaking would require the Chemours Louisville Works, the nation’s largest emitter of HFC-23, to speed up its voluntary abatement efforts. → Read More

The EPA Proposes a Ban on HFC-23, the Most Potent Greenhouse Gas Among Hydrofluorocarbons, by October 2022

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky—A proposed rule by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would require the chemical manufacturer Chemours to follow through on a recent voluntary commitment to eliminate emissions of a climate super-pollutant from its Louisville Works chemical plant. The company pledged in March to eliminate 99 percent or more of its emissions of hydrofluorocarbon-23 (HFC-23), a […] → Read More

Judge lets Blackjewel shed mine cleanup obligations in case with national implications

Blackjewel can walk away from 30 permits and must try to sell about 170 others. Activists fear environmental hazards from the abandoned mines. → Read More

The Senate’s New Point Man on Climate Has Been the Democrats' Most Fossil Fuel-Friendly Senator

Kingmaker. Linchpin. Occupier of the cat-bird seat. These are the colorful descriptions of the anticipated role of Sen. Joe Manchin—the centrist West Virginia Democrat—in a new Congress under his party’s control. As the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, Manchin will be a key factor in any number of controversial legislative matters, from health care […] → Read More

In Georgia Senate Race, Warnock Brings a History of Black Faith Leaders’ Environmental Activism

Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. served as pastor and his funeral was held, has been a leader in a growing movement among American Black churches to embrace environmental activism. The current pastor, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, is making climate change and environmental justice part of his […] → Read More