Unexpectedly warm weather at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia is causing problems for organizers trying to prevent ice from melting and causing some athletes to cancel training runs, The Washington Post reports.
SEATTLE (AP) — A significant weekend storm disrupted plans across the Northwest U.S., blanketing parts of Washington state with snow, socking Oregon and California with rain and contributing to the deaths of three people.
On Sunday, Seattle-area residents woke up to rare lowland snow. In Portland, city officials sent out a cellphone alert Sunday morning urging residents to stay indoors and avoid travel after freezing rain turned streets and sidewalks into thick sheets of ice. As a result, parts of Oregon and Washington were bracing for a treacherous Monday morning commute.
The National Weather Service says the first significant storm to hit Northern California in 14 months has produced impressive amounts of rain and snow, but forecasters cautioned Sunday that it would take weeks of similar drenching to end the state's immediate drought worries.
Researchers from Australia's University of New South Wales said in a report that more powerful winds in the Pacific Ocean have played a role in the declining rate of global warming over the last 20 years, Bloomberg reports.
The ongoing drought in California has severely harmed some of California's wildlife, now facing territorial disputes and dehydration, forcing some to enter developments in search of water, Contra Costa Times reports.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A proposal to lift federal protections for gray wolves across most of the U.S. suffered a significant setback Friday as an independent review panel said the government is relying on unsettled science to make its case.
Federal wildlife officials want to remove the animals from the endangered species list across the Lower 48 states, except for a small population in the Southwest.
The five-member U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service peer-review panel was tasked with reviewing the government's claim that the Northeast and Midwest were home to a separate species, the eastern wolf.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday it will spend $30 million this year on forest restoration projects in 12 states to reduce the threat of wildfires, protect water quality and improve wildlife habitat for at-risk species.
Those first 13 projects will be the start of a multi-year initiative to improve the health of forests and watersheds on public and private lands, Agriculture Undersecretary Robert Bonnie said.
With longer fire seasons in recent years burning more areas, and beetle outbreaks devastating more than 40 million acres of forests in the West, the pace and scale of restoration need to be increased, he said.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House approved a wide-ranging public lands bill Thursday that would speed logging of trees burned in last year's massive Rim Fire in California.
The measure also allows vehicular access to North Carolina's Cape Hatteras National Seashore, extends livestock grazing permits on federal land in the West and lifts longstanding restrictions on canoes, rafts and other "hand-propelled" watercraft in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.
The House approved the bill, 220-194, on a largely party-line vote. It now goes to the Senate, where it is considered unlikely to pass. The White House opposes the bill but has not issued a veto threat.
SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt. (AP) — Ski resorts in the New England states of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode island are not well poised to survive at the end of the century as the region is expected to see warmer winters, a National Center for Atmospheric Research scientist said Thursday.
Vermont is less vulnerable because many of resorts are at higher elevations and have invested in new snowmaking technology, Elizabeth Burakowski said at a Vermont Law School symposium on the impact of climate change on the winter sports industry.
To be profitable, resorts need to be open 100 days a season and during holidays and have snowmaking technology, she said.
TransCanada, the company that hopes to build the Keystone XL pipeline, has spent far more on lobbying this year than it did at the same point last year, and the American Petroleum Institute has spent somewhat more as well, E&E reports.
Just weeks after signing a joint venture agreement, partners working on a natural gas project on Alaska’s North Slope have filed with the Department of Energy for an export license that would give them permission to send up to 20 million metric tons of LNG a year to countries with and without free trade agreements with the U.S., Platts reports.
A joint venture between Exxon Mobil and state-owned oil company Rosneft to look for oil off the coast of European Russia appears to be going ahead as planned despite the downing of a Malaysia Airlines plane in Ukraine, The New York Times reports.
A measure that would block tankers from loading crude -- including Canadian tar sands oil -- in the port of South Portland, Maine, won approval from the local council Monday night, over the opposition of the Portland Pipe Line Corp., the Portland Press Herald reports.
On the downside of Pennsylvania’s gas drilling boom, an understaffed, unprepared Department of Environmental Protection has failed to follow up on reports of contamination, hasn’t forced drillers to deal with tainted water, and has used an inspection policy that’s a quarter of a century old, according to a report from the state’s Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, Bloomberg reports.
A spokesman for Libya’s National Oil Corporation said the country’s output dropped from around 555,000 barrels per day Thursday to 450,000 barrels per day Monday as fighting in Tripoli was continuing and conflict in Benghazi escalating, Reuters reports.
It will take years to improve the natural gas pipeline infrastructure to free the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states from winter spikes in electricity prices, according to an analysis from a unit of N.Y. utility Consolidated Edison, Platts reports.
The Environmental Protection Agency is doing better with RadNet, its system of ambient radiation monitors: Installing more of them, getting them to work longer and changing the filters more often, according to a report from the EPA’s Office of Inspector General, The Hill reports.
Nearly four years after hitting a milestone of 16 billion barrels, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., the operator of the trans-Alaska pipeline, announced it has now handled 17 billion barrels, The Associated Press reports.