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Kate Sheppard
Kate Sheppard is a senior reporter and the environment and energy editor at the Huffington Post. She previously reported for Mother Jones, Grist, and the American Prospect. Her writing has also been featured in the New York Times' Room for Debate blog, the Guardian, Foreign Policy, High Country News, The Center for Public Integrity, In These Times, and Bitch. Her reporting has been recognized with awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Online News Association, the Deadline Club and Planned Parenthood. She serves as the vice president for membership of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Entries by Kate Sheppard

Donald Trump Said Some Things About Energy

(0) Comments | Posted May 26, 2016 | 4:09 PM

Donald Trump likes energy. All the energy. And he will make it great again.

"I am into all types of energy," he said in a press conference in North...

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Congress Is Finally Overhauling A Decades-Old Chemical Safety Law

(0) Comments | Posted May 25, 2016 | 10:15 PM

WASHINGTON -- Congress this week is poised to pass legislation overhauling chemical safety for the first time in 40 years -- with strong bipartisan support, no less.

It would be the first major new environmental law in two decades. One might expect the feat would be a...

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Coal Baron Won't Get Charged For Allegedly Forcing Staff To Support GOP

(0) Comments | Posted May 23, 2016 | 5:31 PM

WASHINGTON -- Despite the fact that Federal Election Commission staff found "reason to believe" that coal baron Robert Murray and his company violated federal law by "coercing" employees to donate to and support Republican candidates, the FEC will not pursue charges.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer...

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Donald Trump Wants To Renegotiate Climate Change Deal, 'Or Something Else'

(0) Comments | Posted May 18, 2016 | 1:11 PM

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump said Tuesday that he would, at the very least, renegotiate the Paris climate agreement if he became president. He could also just consider figuring out "something else."

"I will be looking at that very, very seriously, and at a minimum I will be...

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Obama Administration Cracking Down On Potent Planet-Warming Gas

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2016 | 12:41 PM

WASHINGTON -- The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Thursday final rules that will crack down on methane emissions from the booming natural gas industry.

Methane is a greenhouse gas that has much greater planet-warming potential in the short term than carbon dioxide. It is also...

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One Big Piece Of Obama's Legacy: A Park System That Looks Like All Of Us

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2016 | 4:06 PM

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is expected to declare the Stonewall Inn a national monument in the coming weeks.

Stonewall, located in Greenwich Village, New York, is known as the birthplace of the gay rights movement. In June 1969, the bar's patrons fought back against repeated harassment...

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Lawsuit Seeks To Force EPA To Regulate Fracking Waste

(0) Comments | Posted May 4, 2016 | 12:57 PM

WASHINGTON -- Environmental advocates filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday, an attempt to force the agency to issue regulations on the disposal of waste from the natural gas extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The groups want regulators to issue rules...

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One-Time Gore Staffer Leads Plan To Track The 'Environmentalist Left'

(0) Comments | Posted May 2, 2016 | 3:24 PM

WASHINGTON -- A Republican opposition research group is launching an effort to track environmental organizations -- and it's being led by Brian Rogers, a former McCain spokesman who once worked for one.

Rogers is now the executive director of America Rising Squared, the 501(c)(4) branch of the...

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Larry Wilmore Throws Some Serious Shade At Brian Williams, The Media

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2016 | 10:49 PM

WASHINGTON -- Comedian Larry Wilmore did not tread lightly in his jokes about Washington reporters.

Wilmore, who took over the Comedy Central slot Stephen Colbert previously occupied, knocked former...

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Here's What Obama Has To Say About Donald Trump

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2016 | 10:29 PM

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama saved his jokes about Donald Trump for late in his White House Correspondents' Dinner remarks, but didn't spare the Republican frontrunner.

Trump attended last...

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Helen Mirren Paid Tribute To Prince With A Purple Dress And A Fake Tattoo

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2016 | 9:23 PM

WASHINGTON -- English actress Helen Mirren showed off a purple gown and a Prince tattoo at Saturday's White House Correspondents Dinner.

Mirren, 70, told the Washington Post that she drew the temporary tattoo herself. Prince adopted the symbol in lieu of his name...

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Obama Jokes About The Last Time He Was This High

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2016 | 8:50 PM

President Barack Obama joked about his approval ratings, which have climbed higher in recent months, at the 2016 White House Correspondents' Dinner on Saturday.

"The last time...

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World Leaders Sign Paris Climate Agreement

(0) Comments | Posted April 20, 2016 | 5:35 PM

NEW YORK -- United States Secretary of State John Kerry joined other world leaders Friday in New York for the official signing of the Paris climate agreement....

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Senate Republicans Want To Cut Funding For UN Climate Change Agency, Because Palestine

(0) Comments | Posted April 19, 2016 | 5:19 PM

WASHINGTON -- More than two dozen Republican senators this week asked Secretary of State John Kerry not to provide any funding for the United States' involvement in the United Nations effort to address climate change, saying they object to the U.N. treating Palestine as a state.


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Exxon Tries To Bury Climate Documents By Claiming First Amendment Rights

(0) Comments | Posted April 19, 2016 | 12:54 PM

ExxonMobil is fighting a subpoena seeking its internal documents on climate change, arguing that the order violates the company's constitutional rights. It's an argument that legal experts say is unusual but not unprecedented.

Earlier this month, U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker...

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Can Bernie Sanders Ride Fracking To Victory In New York?

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2016 | 5:11 PM

In this week's tight New York Democratic primary, the fight over hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is one issue of contention between Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And it could be a deciding factor for some voters.

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Hint: It's Not Obama That's Killing The Coal Industry

(1) Comments | Posted April 13, 2016 | 4:31 PM

Peabody Energy, the world's largest privately-owned coal company, filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday -- and it wasn't because of President Barack Obama's so-called war on coal.

Peabody cited "unprecedented industry downturn" in its its statement announcing the bankruptcy filing. "Industry pressures in recent years include a dramatic...

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Bernie Sanders Calls For Total Ban On Fracking In New Ad

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2016 | 5:07 PM

As the presidential primary contenders campaign in New York, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is hoping his position on hydraulic fracturing can help differentiate him from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In an ad and speech Monday, Sanders calls for an outright ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a process used to extract natural gas reserves from shale formations. Fracking uses a high-pressure stream of water, sand and chemicals to tap into shale formations. And there is a lot of natural gas contained in the Marcellus formation, which stretches up into New York state.

But the issue has been hotly contested in New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a ban on the process in December 2014 due to concerns about health and safety. The ban was finalized in June 2015.

Many communities have raised concerns that fracking could contaminate groundwater sources, which is what prompted the New York state ban. The Environmental Protection Agency released a long-awaited study on the impact of fracking on drinking water sources last year, which found that while there have been some cases of contamination, it is not a widespread issue. The EPA's own science advisory board has criticized the study, however, saying its conclusion "requires clarification." 

Sanders called for the New York ban to go national at an event in Binghamton, New York, Monday. “I want to applaud you for standing up to Gov. Cuomo and demanding that New York state ban fracking," Sanders said. "If we are serious, we need to put an end to fracking not only in New York and Vermont but all over this country."

His ad, also released Monday, set this up as a key difference between him and Clinton. 

"Bernie Sanders is the only candidate for president who opposes fracking everywhere," says the 30-second advertisement, narrated by actress Susan Sarandon. The ad cites concerns over "dangerous, cancer-causing chemicals" being injected into the ground. And it intones that Washington politicians are siding with polluters over families, because they've been influenced by Big Oil money.

"He can't be bought by them, because he's funded by you," says the ad.

The Sanders campaign clearly sees fracking as an issue it can use to distance his policy proposals from Clinton. While Sanders has said he would ban the practice, Clinton has staked out more of a reformist position. She has said she would impose tougher regulations and more restrictions on fracking, and that states and local governments who want to ban fracking should be able to, but still believes that there are ways to "ensure safe and responsible natural gas production."

"By the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place," Clinton said in a debate last month.

In the past, Clinton has been more supportive of natural gas as a "bridge" fuel as the country moves to renewable energy -- which is pretty much the position the Obama administration has taken on gas.

Sanders and Clinton have been sparring over oil and gas in recent weeks. A climate activist confronted her over campaign donations from the fossil fuel industry, which prompted the former secretary of state to say that she is "so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me."

Sanders has said that Clinton "gets a lot of money" from the fossil fuel industry, among other industries. And his campaign put out a statement saying that Clinton "has relied heavily on funds from lobbyists working for the oil, gas and coal industry."

Clinton's campaign has countered that she has "not taken a dollar from oil and gas industry PACs or corporations." She does, however, take individual contributions from people who work in the industry. The Huffington Post  covered those contributions last year, noting that many of her major bundlers also lobby for the fossil fuel industry.

But the fact-checkers have sided largely with Clinton, noting that even if she takes more money from individuals who work in the fossil fuel industry than Sanders, it's hardly a substantial portion of her campaign funds.

The new Sanders ad indicates that his campaign sees oil and gas -- and fracking specifically -- as a key issue for next week's New York...

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Climate Change Will Make Us Sicker And Make Our Food Less Nutritious

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2016 | 1:25 PM

WASHINGTON -- Climate change will likely have dramatic effects on the physical and mental health of the U.S. population, worsening everything from the quality of our food to the severity of fires and floods in populated areas, according to a report from federal agencies released Monday.


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The U.S. And China Commit To Signing Paris Agreement On Earth Day

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2016 | 3:58 PM

WASHINGTON -- The United States and China are taking their climate relationship to a new level, the White House announced Thursday.

President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a joint statement saying they both will officially sign the historic Paris climate agreement on...

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