UN photo/Kim Haughton

McConnell tells other nations Obama can't fulfill emissions reduction pledge

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned the international community Tuesday to "proceed with caution" in negotiating a climate deal with the United States because the country could not make good on its commitment to reduce emissions by more than 25 percent over the next decade.

McConnell's statement came just hours after the U.S. government submitted its pledge to the United Nations ahead of the December climate talks in Paris. The Obama administration promised to cut carbon emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025, relative to 2005 levels. 


Agency affirms revised review of Chukchi Sea petroleum lease

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Department of Interior says it has affirmed a corrected environmental analysis for a 7-year-old petroleum lease in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast.

The agency's expected decision Tuesday confirms that it corrected flaws surrounding the 2008 lease sale. That opens the door for the department to review a 2015 petroleum exploration plan by Royal Dutch Shell PLC in Chukchi waters.

ND to join Wyoming lawsuit against federal fracking rules

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota, whose oil riches have been unlocked by the use of hydraulic fracturing, said Tuesday it will join Wyoming in a lawsuit challenging a new federal rule requiring more information about the process when it's used on U.S. government lands.

The Obama administration announced in March that it will require companies that drill on federal lands to disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management rule, under consideration for about four years, takes effect in June.


Oil down, stocks in late slide

The stock market closed out the first three months of the year Tuesday on a down note, erasing much of the gains from the prior day's big rally.

Oil fell as talks between the U.S. and Iran progressed somewhat, which could lead to more crude on the global market in the coming months.


Judge: Jury can decide Alabama's Gulf-oil-spill claims

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A judge says Alabama's Gulf oil-spill-damage claims under the federal Oil Pollution Act can be heard by a jury.

BP had moved to block a jury trial for the state, saying that neither the Oil Pollution Act nor admiralty law provides the right to a trial by jury.


Death toll rises to 14 in Mexico gas tanker explosion

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The death toll from the explosion of a crashed gasoline tanker truck in southern Mexico rose to 14 on Tuesday.

The Tabasco state prosecutor's office said through its official Twitter account that two more people had died.

Greece disagrees with sanctions against Russia, Tsipras says

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's new government disagrees with sanctions against Russia, and wants to boost trade ties with the country, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said before a visit to Moscow next week.

Speaking in an interview with Russia's Tass news agency published Tuesday, Tsipras said he considers sanctions to be a "road to nowhere" and that the reciprocal embargo Russia has imposed on food from the European Union has "seriously damaged" his country's economy.

EPA signals intent to regulate three chemicals under toxins law

The Environmental Protection Agency is taking a first step toward regulating three chemicals that are used in such common products as dry cleaning, degreaser and paint removers.

The steps taken Monday could put the agency on a path toward regulating chemicals under Section 6 under the Toxic Substances Control Act for the first time since 1990.

The agency said it is considering regulations for trichloroethylene (TCE), a chemical used for metal degreasing, dry cleaning and some consumer products as well as n-methylpyrrolidon (NMP) and methylene chloride, used in some paint and coating removers.

US to pledge up to 28 percent emission cut in global treaty

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States will pledge Tuesday to cut its greenhouse gas emissions up to 28 percent as part of a global treaty aimed at preventing the worst effects of climate change, according to individuals briefed on the White House's plans.

The Obama administration's contribution to the treaty, which world leaders expect to finalize in December, codifies a commitment President Barack Obama first made late last year in Beijing, when he announced a joint U.S.-China climate deal that raised global hopes that developed and developing nations can come together to fight climate change.

NYC blast probe highlights problem of stealing gas

NEW YORK (AP) — It was a run-of-the-mill complaint — a smell of gas — with a troubling explanation: Someone had improperly tapped into a Manhattan building's gas line, and it was leaking.

The issue was quickly resolved. But seven months later, authorities suspect another round of gas-pipe tampering caused a fiery explosion at the same building, killing two people, injuring nearly two dozen and leveling three buildings in all.


Oil drops on higher inventories, strong dollar

Oil prices were falling again early Tuesday as record inventories look set to keep increasing and the dollar gains against the euro and the yen.

“It seems that crude oil prices have been heading for their third consecutive quarterly loss as the strong US dollar and record high levels of crude oil inventories limit any upside potential, prompting investors to another round of heavy sell-off in the market,” said Myrto Sokou, senior analyst at Sucden Financial in London.

Porbeagle shark may be listed as endangered species

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Federal regulators say they are reviewing the status of the porbeagle shark to determine if listing the species under the Endangered Species Act is warranted.

Porbeagle sharks are popular as meat and with game fishermen. Regulators say the animals are threatened by the shark fin trade and bycatch from other fisheries. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists them as vulnerable.

Philips sells stake in LED components, automotive lighting

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Electronics giant Philips says it is selling a majority stake in its LED components and automotive lighting division to a consortium led by investment fund GO Scale Capital in a deal worth up to $2.9 billion.

Philips announced Tuesday it is selling an 80.1 percent stake and retaining the remaining interest in the business that makes lighting components for general use and for the automobile industry.

Several Turkish cities hit by power outage

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Dozens of Turkish cities and provinces on Tuesday were hit by a massive power outage that brought transportation to a standstill and disrupted services and businesses which had no backup power.

The Turkish Electricity Transmission Company, TEIAS, cited a problem at the Turkey's electricity power transmission network for the worst blackout in Turkey in several years.

Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor

McCarthy: No need for 'plan B' on carbon rule

The nation's top environmental regulator on Monday said that the Environmental Protection Agency may have to defend its plan to slash power plant carbon emissions before the Supreme Court, but she's confident that its case will be strong enough that it won't need a “plan B”.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, speaking at an event hosted by Politico, said she's been working to make sure that the proposed plan to cut emissions will be legally unassailable when it's finalized this summer.

US offer for global climate treaty: 28 percent emissions cut

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a highly anticipated announcement, the United States will offer a roughly 28 percent emissions cut as its contribution to a major global climate treaty nearing the final stages of negotiation, according to people briefed on the White House's plans.

The U.S. plans to announce its commitment Tuesday, the informal deadline for nations to submit their contributions to the United Nations. Although the goal of 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025 isn't new — President Barack Obama first unveiled it last year during a trip to Beijing — the U.S. proposal has drawn intense interest from the vast majority of countries that have yet to announce how deeply they'll pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions as part of the treaty.

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