FREEPORT, Texas (AP) — Before Houston and its suburbs were built, a dense forest naturally purified the coastal air along a stretch of the Texas Gulf Coast that grew thick with pecan, ash, live oak and hackberry trees.
It was the kind of pristine woodland that was mostly wiped out by settlers in their rush to clear land and build communities. Now one of the nation's largest chemical companies and one of its oldest conservation groups have forged an unlikely partnership that seeks to recreate some of that forest to curb pollution.
The plan drafted by Dow Chemical and the Nature Conservancy is only in its infancy and faces many hurdles. But it envisions a day when expensive machines used to capture industrial pollutants might be at least partially replaced by restoring some of the groves of native trees that once filled the land.
Senate Environment and Public Works Green Jobs and the New Economy Subcommittee hearing, "Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Hunting in an Era of Changing Climate." U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe among witnesses.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, on Tuesday called for federal research to reduce the billions of gallons of water used in oil and gas drilling and in electricity generation, as droughts and population growth put new demands on water sources.
Murkowski also backed new research to cut the energy devoted to transport and treatment of water supplies, according to a policy white paper she released and prepared remarks she was to deliver to the Atlantic Council on the so-called energy-water nexus.
Senate Environment and Public Works Water and Wildlife Subcommittee hearing, "Finding Cooperative Solutions to Environmental Concerns with the Conowingo Dam to Improve the Health of the Chesapeake Bay." Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service representatives to testify.
BEIJING (AP) — Nearly 60 percent of the groundwater at sites monitored throughout China is of poor or extremely poor quality, with excessive amounts of pollutants, according to an annual report by the Ministry of Land and Resources.
Tests at 4,778 monitoring sites across China showed a slight increase in polluted sites over last year, from 57.4 percent to 59.6 percent, according to the report, released late Tuesday.
Beijing has been responding to public demands for transparency in environmental data. Last week, the government released a summary of a years-long survey that shows nearly one-fifth of the country's farmland is contaminated, most of it with toxic metals.
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont officials posted online a hefty plan Tuesday to reduce pollution in Lake Champlain from stormwater runoff, and now await word on whether it goes far enough in addressing federal concerns.
Decades of runoff have contributed to dirtying Vermont's signature lake and causing excessive algae growth. The pollution has turned the water murky, hurt tourism, depressed property values and increased water treatment costs.
Cleaning up the lake has been a longstanding state goal, but lawmakers and officials say the state is under more pressure now to meet federal targets. If the latest plan doesn't measure up, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could impose expensive regulations on sewage plants in the state.
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Wednesday delivered an angry broadside at Interior Secretary Sally Jewell for her rejection of an emergency access road through a national wildlife refuge to the King Cove community in her state, intensifying the friction between the two.
"I will not get over this issue," said Murkowski, a Republican, to Jewell during a 15-minute statement on the King Cove stalemate at a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing on the department's budget.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell met Tuesday with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, in a bid to smooth strained relations before an expected public showdown on Wednesday between the two.
Aides to Jewell and Murkowski confirmed the meeting. It was their first since Jewell in December rejected an emergency access road through a portion of the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge sought by the remote Aleutian Islands fishing village of King Cove, a move that angered Murkowski.
China processed 10.3 million barrels of oil a day in September, a record analysts -- who say companies are replenishing their stockpiles -- attribute to the drop in crude prices, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Oil prices gained early Tuesday on news of record demand in China in September. Crude increased 55 cents, bringing the U.S. benchmark to $83.26 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent hit $85.95, Reuters reports.
Monday’s settlement for November natural gas futures on the Nymex – down 9.6 cents to $3.67 per million British thermal units – represents an 11-month low, and analysts told Platts a mild weather forecast for the month will likely reinforce the sluggish trend.
Despite recent improvements in the numbers, oil and gas firms still have more deaths from explosions and fires than any other private industry and carelessness is still a problem, according to E&E’s review of federal statistics.
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Tex. and chair of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, has sent a second letter to Administrator Gina McCarthy about the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule limiting carbon emissions from existing power plants, this time demanding a full cost analysis in the face of what he calls “the flaws and deficiencies in EPA’s modeling,” The Hill reports.
The reduction in the federal investment tax credit that’s due to take effect at the end of 2016 will drive a wave of consolidation that will leave six to 12 major players in the solar industry, an analyst predicted at the start of the Solar Power International conference in Las Vegas, Bloomberg reports.
Tesoro Logistics is getting into the natural gas business, picking up assets from QEP Resources in Colorado, Utah and North Dakota in a deal with a $2.5 billion price tag, the San Antonio Express-News reports.
Taking the first formal step in the process to limit strontium in drinking water, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued a preliminary determination to regulate levels of the substance and will take public comment on the matter, The Hill reports.