JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Conservationists hail it as a possible game-changer in the struggle to curb the slaughter of elephants: an unexpected pledge by a senior Chinese official to stop the ivory trade in a country whose vast, increasingly affluent consumer market drives elephant poaching across Africa.
Now they are waiting in suspense for China to outline how and when it would ban an industry that criminal syndicates use as cover for their illicit business in tusks.
The Interior Department’s independent watchdog is boasting about its latest achievements in saving taxpayers money and fighting fraud even as key House leaders demand that President Obama fill the office's top job with a permanent nominee after a six-year vacancy.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Chairman Ken Calvert, R-Calif., sent a letter Monday to the president urging him to nominate a permanent inspector general at Interior.
As the Forest Service and Interior Department proceed with large-scale forest restoration projects, they need to better adapt their mindset and information sharing to address the growing threat of wildfires, a government audit found.
In a report prepared for Congress, the Government Accountability Office said the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service have taken action on a combined 34 landscape-scale (50,000 acres or larger) restoration projects since 2004 to mitigate and prevent forest fires.
TOKYO (AP) — Organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have promised the most innovative, impeccably run and "sustainable" games ever. With just a little more than five years to go, doubts are growing whether they will deliver on the last pledge.
NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) — Delaware authorities say the search for a woman on probation with several outstanding warrants turned up drugs, guns and 17 dangerous reptiles.
Authorities say they arrested three people, including the woman, in a filthy New Castle County apartment Friday. All three face gun and drug charges, as well as charges of endangering a 3-year-old found in the apartment.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has again introduced legislation to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain to oil and gas drilling, but this year she's in no mood to give the federal government more revenue than allowed under the Alaska Statehood Act.
Her latest bill to authorize drilling on the plain, made public on Friday, makes no mention of the 50-50 royalty proceeds split between the state and the federal government she proposed in an ANWR drilling measure last year.
Instead, Washington would get just 10 percent, as provided in the statehood law, a jab at the Obama administration over its recent proposal to put more than 12 million ANWR acres permanently off limits to development.
Any push by Congress to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund will have to include reforms to support national parks maintenance and send more money to states, Energy and Natural Resources Committee chair Sen. Lisa Murkowski told reporters Thursday.
Murkowski, R-Alaska, was involved in talks on the Senate floor during a Jan. 29 vote on an amendment to the Keystone XL bill by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., which saw three Republicans change their yes votes for permanent reauthorization to no votes. The amendment failed 59-39, one vote short of the 60 needed for adoption.
The stocks of U.S. petroleum products increased last week, the Energy Information Administration reported, although the million barrel rise in crude stocks was less than analysts’ expected, while the jump in gasoline stocks exceeded predictions, according to Reuters.
Earthjustice filed court papers Tuesday on behalf of several environmental and health groups seeking to intervene to defend the Environmental Protection Agency’s lower ozone limits from a lawsuit brought by coal company Murray Energy, The Hill reports.
State Department climate envoy Todd Stern told a news conference that he’s thinking about the upside, not the downside, heading into a critical global conference on climate change policy that starts Monday, National Journal reports.
The plan for coal producer Walter Energy to emerge from bankruptcy is being fought by unions and the firm’s retired workers in Alabama, but a court Tuesday approved the company’s move to auction off assets, Reuters reports.
Acting to lower its credit rating for Pemex, Moody’s Investors Service pointed to the firm’s increasing debt and declining earnings, although Mexico’s national oil company responded by saying the move brings the agency in line with other ratings firms, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The White House and the billionaire conservative Koch brothers have been allies recently in moves to liberalize the nation’s criminal justice laws, but they are disagreeing over one measure that would require proof of suspects knowingly engaging in unlawful conduct, The New York Times reports, noting that such a move is alarming environmentalists.
According to a report released this week by the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, weather-related disasters have caused more than 600,000 deaths and trillions of dollars in damages over the past 20 years, The New York Times reports.
A market-based approach for cutting vehicles’ greenhouse gas emissions—which could include mileage-based driver fees or emissions trading—is the goal as Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia announced an agreement to work together on the issue, Reuters reports.