Australia seeing signs of El Nino weather pattern


Australia's Bureau of Meteorology reports warmer Pacific Ocean temperatures that may signal the approach of an El Nino pattern, which could bring drought to Australia, rain to South America and warmer weather generally in 2015, Bloomberg reports.

Cutting water consumption during drought could mean higher rates in the future


People who conserve water during California's current drought could find they pay more for it later, according to officials and analysts contacted by E&E.

Pollution worsens in Beijing as statues don masks

BEIJING (AP) — The smog is so bad even the statues wear masks. Or at least they do in pictures of a campus stunt that circulated online Tuesday as parts of northern China suffered a sixth straight day of severe pollution.

After being cooped inside because of the bad air, a psychology student at Peking University ventured out to place the masks on campus statues of Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes, Communist Party co-founder Li Dazhao and a sage practicing tai chi. "I was feeling really low, so I came up with this idea," Jiang Chao said in a telephone interview.

LCV media teleconference on Latino environmental priorities

Washington, February 25, 2014, 1:00 pm

League of Conservation Voters, Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., hold media teleconference to discuss environmental priorities in Latino communities.

Dingell, longest serving congressman, announces his retirement

SOUTHGATE, Mich. (AP) — Rep. John Dingell, a master legislative deal-maker and champion of the Detroit auto industry who is the longest-serving member of Congress in history, announced Monday that he won't seek another term.

The Michigan Democrat, who was elected to his late father's seat in 1955 and has held it ever since, said during a speech to a Detroit-area Chamber of Commerce that he couldn't have met his own standards if he had been elected to another term in November.

"I put myself to the test and have always known that when the time came that I felt I could not live up to my own personal standard for a Member of Congress, it would be time to step aside for someone else to represent this district," the 87-year-old Dingell said. "That time has come."

Supreme Court seems divided in climate case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court appeared divided on Monday over the sole Obama administration program already in place to limit power plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.

The justices took on a small and complicated piece of the politically charged issue of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in an extended argument that included references to Dunkin' Donuts stores, football games and light bulbs. The examples were meant to illustrate the vast potential reach of the program, in its critics' view, or its limited nature, as the administration argued.

The court's liberal justices seemed comfortable with the scope of an Environmental Protection Agency permitting program that applies to companies that want to expand facilities or build new ones that would increase overall pollution. Under the program, the companies must evaluate ways to reduce the carbon they release. Carbon dioxide is the chief greenhouse gas.

Much-needed rain, snow to hit parched California

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Meteorologists forecast a pair of storms could dump several inches of rain on parched cities and croplands throughout California in the coming week, bringing welcome news to a state that has just endured its driest year in recorded history.

While the rain won't be enough to end the drought, the National Weather Service projected Sunday that the much-needed precipitation could nearly double the amount of rainfall in parts of Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area this year.

By next Saturday, the twin Pacific storms are expected to bring as much as 2 inches of rain to the coast and several feet of snow to the Sierra Nevada.

High court climate case looks at EPA's power

WASHINGTON (AP) — Industry groups and Republican-led states are heading an attack at the Supreme Court against the Obama administration's sole means of trying to limit power-plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.

As President Barack Obama pledges to act on environmental and other matters when Congress doesn't, or won't, opponents of regulating carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases cast the rule as a power grab of historic proportions.

The court is hearing arguments Monday about a small but important piece of the Environmental Protection Agency's plans to cut the emissions — a requirement that companies expanding industrial facilities or building new ones that would increase overall pollution must also evaluate ways to reduce the carbon they release.

After W.Va. chem spill comes water tasting contest

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Just hours away from a West Virginia city plagued for weeks by chemical-tainted, undrinkable tap water, H20 enthusiasts will sip municipal waters like fine wine in search of the world's best.

The supplier for the state capital of Charleston hasn't entered the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting competition since 2010, though the region's major municipal supplier, West Virginia American Water, won in 1991 and 1994. This year, the water supply has gotten only negative attention: a coal-cleaning agent spilled into the river feeding the water treatment plant for 300,000 people across nine counties, turning water from the taps a shade of blue-green and giving it a sweet, licorice odor.

Senate Environment subcommittee hearing on natural resource adaptation

Washington, February 25, 2014, 2:00 pm

Senate Environment and Public Works Oversight Subcommittee hearing, "Natural Resource Adaptation: Protecting Ecosystems and Economies." White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John P. Holdren, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe to testify.


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