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Mich. Democrats Introduce Fracking Safety Bills

July 12, 2013 10:28 am | by JOHN FLESHER, AP Environmental Writer | News | Comments

A group of Democrats in Michigan's Republican-controlled House introduced a package of bills Thursday that would tighten state regulation of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," which releases natural gas trapped in deep underground rock formations.

NY Sets Hearings on Plan to Reduce Carbon Cap

July 11, 2013 10:31 am | News | Comments

New York regulators have scheduled a series of hearing on a proposal to reduce the volume of carbon dioxide emissions allowed in a nine-state region. The state is part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which announced in February plans to cap emissions at 91 million tons each year starting in 2014.

Emissions a Concern After Nuclear Plant Shutdown

July 11, 2013 10:15 am | by LAURA OLSON, Associated Press | News | Comments

The first legislative hearing on the permanent closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant focused on the shutdown's impact on California's greenhouse gas emissions, leaving discussion on how the plant will be safely decommissioned for future meetings.

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U.S., China Inch Closer to Climate Change Deal

July 11, 2013 10:11 am | by MATTHEW PENNINGTON, Associated Press | News | Comments

Top U.S. and Chinese officials are wrapping up annual strategic and economic talks that have yielded greater cooperation on reducing greenhouse gases but again exposed Washington's frustration over cyber theft it says is emanating from the emerging Asian power.

Japan: Radioactive Water Likely Leaking into Pacific

July 11, 2013 10:03 am | by MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press | News | Comments

Officials from Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority said a leak is "strongly suspected" and urged plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. to determine where the water may be leaking from and assess the environmental and other risks, including the impact on the food chain.

Environmental Activists Scale London's Shard Tower

July 11, 2013 9:57 am | News | Comments

Six environmental activists were attempting Thursday to scale the Shard, Western Europe's tallest building, to protest drilling in the Arctic by oil companies. Greenpeace group said the six climbers, all women, hoped to affix an artwork to the top of the 310-meter (1,017-foot) tower on the south bank of the River Thames in London.

Crews Working to Seal Leaking Well off La. Coast

July 11, 2013 9:50 am | by JANET McCONNAUGHEY, Associated Press | News | Comments

Crews worked Wednesday to seal an old oil and gas well off the Louisiana coast that began leaking during work to plug it permanently. Eileen Angelico, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, said the bureau has reviewed and approved plans to seal the well.

Ocean Contamination Likely at Fukushima

July 10, 2013 9:24 am | by MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press | News | Comments

Japan's nuclear watchdog said Wednesday that the crippled Fukushima power plant is likely leaking contaminated water into the ocean, a problem long suspected by experts but denied by the plant's operator. Officials from the Nuclear Regulation Authority said a leak is "strongly suspected" and urged plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. to determine where the water may be leaking from and assess the environmental and other risks.

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Feds Accuse OG&E of Violating Clean Air Act

July 9, 2013 11:14 am | News | Comments

The federal government has filed a lawsuit against Oklahoma Gas & Electric, alleging that the utility violated the Clean Air Act at its power plants in Muskogee and Sooner. The lawsuit contends that OG&E increased the output of its coal-fired units without installing effective pollution controls.

FirstEnergy Plans to Deactivate 2 Pa. Plants

July 9, 2013 10:57 am | News | Comments

FirstEnergy said Tuesday that it plans to deactivate two coal-fired power plants in Pennsylvania by October 9 due to regulatory costs and softer demand. The company says there are about 380 jobs that could be eliminated due to the moves.

EPA's Abandoned Wyoming Fracking Study One Retreat of Many

July 9, 2013 8:13 am | by ABRAHM LUSTGARTEN, ProPublica | News | Comments

An EPA fracking study drew heated criticism over its methodology and awaited a peer review that promised to settle the dispute. Now the EPA will instead hand the study over to the state of Wyoming, whose research will be funded by EnCana, the very drilling company whose wells may have caused the contamination.

Gas Line Spills 25K Gallons on Montana Reservation

July 8, 2013 10:53 am | by MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Phillips 66 pipeline with a record of prior accidents spilled an estimated 25,000 gallons of gasoline in a remote area outside a small town on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation, but no public health problems were anticipated, federal officials said Friday.

'Gasland' Sequel Asserts Drillers Corrupting Gov't

July 8, 2013 10:50 am | by MICHAEL RUBINKAM, Associated Press | News | Comments

Josh Fox galvanized the U.S. anti-fracking movement with his incendiary 2010 documentary "Gasland." Now he's back with a sequel — and this time, he's targeting an audience of just one. He contends President Barack Obama's professed support of drilling and fracking for natural gas ignores the environmental and public health toll of the drilling boom.

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Fervent Foes Devote Their Lives to Fracking Fight

July 8, 2013 10:21 am | by MARY ESCH, Associated Press | News | Comments

For all its political clout and financial prowess, the shale gas exploration and drilling industry hasn't been able to get its foot in the door in southern New York. One reason: Folks like Sue Rapp and Vera Scroggins are standing in the way.

Koch Group Uses 'Misleading' Data to Make Case Against Solar

July 8, 2013 10:09 am | by RAY HENRY, Associated Press | News | Comments

A political group founded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch wants Georgia's utility regulators to reject a plan requiring Southern Co. to buy more solar energy, but an Associated Press review ahead of a vote on the issue finds that it has used misleading figures to build its case.

Ex-FBI Director to Review BP Settlement Program

July 3, 2013 10:17 am | by MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press | News | Comments

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh was appointed Tuesday to investigate alleged misconduct by a lawyer who helped run BP's multibillion-dollar settlement fund. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier issued an order naming Freeh, who now runs a consulting firm, a "special master" for the investigation.

Gas Firm Gets Partial Win in Condemnation Lawsuit

July 3, 2013 10:09 am | by ROXANA HEGEMAN, Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. District Judge Monti Belot gave another win Tuesday to a Nebraska gas firm in a lawsuit over the condemnation of more than 9,100 acres in south-central Kansas. The judge granted partial summary judgment to Northern Natural Gas in the latest ruling in a decades-old legal fight stemming from gas seeping from an underground storage facility.

Eastern Utah Power Plant Fined Over Emissions

July 3, 2013 10:04 am | News | Comments

The operators of a coal-fired power plant in eastern Utah have agreed to pay $35,000 to settle air-pollution violations with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA says the Bonanza power plant was releasing too much exhaust at times.

White House Has Coal Country on the Defensive

July 2, 2013 10:00 am | by MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press | News | Comments

A White House proposal aimed at reining in climate change, with its emphasis on cuts in carbon dioxide emissions from new and existing power plants, would put facilities like the 2,100 megawatt Colstrip electricity plant in eastern Montana in regulators' cross hairs.

Calif.'s Sierra a 'Living Lab' for Climate Change

July 1, 2013 10:38 am | by TRACIE CONE, Associated Press | News | Comments

As indicators point toward a warming climate, scientists across 4 million acres of federally protected land are noting changes affecting everything from the massive trees that can grow to more than two-dozen feet across to the tiny, hamsterlike pika.

Energy Secretary Sees Coal's 'Significant Role'

June 28, 2013 10:38 am | by MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press | News | Comments

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Thursday that coal will continue to play a major role in meeting America's energy needs even as the Obama administration seeks to reduce carbon emissions and combat global warming. Moniz dismissed claims that President Barack Obama's climate plan amounted to a war on coal.

Pavillion Group Spells Out Fracking Water Study Concerns

June 27, 2013 10:12 am | by MEAD GRUVER, Associated Press | News | Comments

People who live in a central Wyoming gas field with tainted groundwater are pressing Gov. Matt Mead for more details about how Wyoming plans to take over and carry on with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency investigation into the contamination.

BP Mounts Offensive in Spill Settlement Dispute

June 26, 2013 11:14 am | by MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press | News | Comments

With an ad blitz and a tersely worded letter to Gulf Coast businesses, BP is mounting an increasingly aggressive campaign to challenge what could be billions of dollars in settlement payouts to businesses following its 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

USVI Struggles to Cap Propane Leak in St. Croix

June 26, 2013 11:10 am | News | Comments

Authorities in the U.S. Virgin Islands are trying to contain a propane leak that forced the evacuation of some 100 guests from two nearby hotels. St. Croix Fire Chief Angel Torres said crews on Tuesday were trying to minimize the effects on air quality.

Report: Plant Explosion Released Toxic Chemicals

June 26, 2013 10:30 am | News | Comments

The deadly June 13 explosion and fire at the Williams Olefins chemical plant in Geismar released more than 62,000 pounds of toxic chemicals during the accident that killed two workers and injured 114 others, according to a report filed with state environmental regulators.

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