RABAT, Morocco (AP) â At least 68 elephants, some 4 percent of the population of one of Africa's oldest parks, have been slaughtered by poachers over the last two months using chain saws and helicopters, the non-profit group managing the park has warned.
The Johannesburg-based African Parks group said that since mid-May, the 5,000 square kilometer (1,900 square mile) Garamba National Park in Congo, which was established in 1938, has faced an onslaught from several different bands of poachers.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Some of the largest brewers in the U.S. are trying to reduce their water-to-beer ratio as drought and wildfire threaten the watersheds where they draw billions of gallons every year.
No independent group tracks beer-makers' water usage, but MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch both say they have made reductions. MillerCoors released a sustainability report Wednesday that shows it has cut its water use by 9.2 percent from 2012.
"Water is just critical to us," Kim Marotta, the Chicago-based company's sustainability chief, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "Looking ahead, we needed to find a way to brew more beer but use less water."
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — States in the Chesapeake Bay watershed have made strides in reducing pollution in the nation's largest estuary, but many jurisdictions in the six-state region are falling short in implementing practices that cut contaminants from agriculture as well as urban and suburban runoff, a study by environmentalists has concluded.
The study, which is being released Wednesday by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Choose Clean Water Coalition, focuses on two-year commitments made by neighboring states and the District of Columbia. Advocates say the report marks the first time in the history of efforts to restore the bay that they can measure and evaluate how well states have done on short-term commitments — their two-year milestones.
They say the milestones allow the states and the federal Environmental Protection Agency to identify shortcomings and take action before deadlines near for goals to further reduce pollutants in 2017 and 2025.
GENEVA (AP) — An agreement announced Wednesday between a London-based oil company and a wildlife protection group could prevent oil drilling in a national park in Africa where 200 endangered mountain gorillas live.
A joint statement by SOCO International PLC and Switzerland-based WWF said there will be no exploratory drilling in Congo's Virunga National Park, which is Africa's oldest, unless the government and the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO agree it would not threaten the park's world heritage status.
As part of the understanding, SOCO agreed to suspend exploration once it finishes seismic testing on Lake Edward and WWF pledged to drop a complaint that the oil company violates good-practice business guidelines set out by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The Pacific Institute and the National Resources Defense Council said in a study that smarter conservation and water management policies could help drought-stricken California reach an overall water surplus of more than 6 million acre-feet, Bloomberg reports.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A rare mouse found in New Mexico and two other western states now has protection under the Endangered Species Act, and that's expected to aggravate ongoing battles between the federal government and ranchers over water and property rights in drought-stricken areas.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued an order Monday listing the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse as endangered.
The tiny mouse lives along streams and in wet areas in parts of New Mexico, southern Colorado and eastern Arizona. Biologists say the biggest threats are grazing and water use and management.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The head of the Environmental Protection Agency promoted proposed clean power plant rules to Western governors Tuesday, framing the plan as a way to deal with destructive wildfires and floods that have ravaged the region in recent years.
"There are some states that are really feeling some of the brunt of the changing climate most dramatically with wildfires and floods and droughts and all of those challenges," EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said Tuesday after a two-hour meeting with 10 governors in Colorado Springs where the annual Western Governors' Association conference is happening.
McCarthy emphasized that states will have flexibility in developing plans to reduce carbon output. But she acknowledged that some governors whose states depend heavily on coal expressed concern about the new rules.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Capping a rare instance of congressional compromise, President Barack Obama signed a $12.3 billion water projects bill Tuesday, financing improvements ranging from a harbor expansion in Boston to flood control in Iowa and North Dakota.
Obama praised the work of Democrats and Republicans and said he hoped it set a pattern for agreement for more spending on capital works projects across the country.
"Right now we should be putting a lot more Americans back to work rebuilding our infrastructure," he said. "There are a lot of guys with hardhats sitting at home."
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday encouraged a group of governors to support a plan to pay for wildfire suppression, and the proposal got a positive reception from the 10 leaders gathered for an annual summit.
Obama made the pitch by telephone to governors meeting in Colorado Springs at the Western Governors Association conference. Under the plan, the federal government would budget money for fighting wildfires instead of raiding funding allocated for mitigation efforts.
The change is pending in Congress, and Obama encouraged the governors to urge enactment.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s rule limiting carbon emissions from existing power plants would threaten energy reliability, drive up costs, is unworkable, and should be withdrawn, 102 members of Congress -- led by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky. but also including six Democrats –- wrote in a letter to President Obama last week, The Hill reports.
Stiffer rules governing the standards of tank cars carrying crude will force the cargo off the rails and onto the roads, a consultant working with the group that prepared an analysis for the Railway Supply Institute told The Wall Street Journal.
Remarks from Saudi Arabia’s oil minister over the weekend, as well as a cut in output from Libya on renewed fighting and a spate of short-covering ahead of the Christmas holiday period saw oil prices rising early Monday. West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery was up 55 cents to $57.68 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent jumped $1.59 to $62.97, Bloomberg reports.
Banks will get serious about cleaning up their portfolios in April, which could see a rash of defaults by over-extended drillers assuming there’s no rebound in oil prices, a principal at W L Ross investment firm told FuelFix.
Alberta had planned to revamp its greenhouse gas emissions policy by the end of the year, but the drop in oil prices has moved the provincial government to put off changes to its present carbon charges until June, Bloomberg reports.
NV Energy, which is continuing to deny that its smart meters pose a fire risk, has given more than 1,000 pages of documents to the Nevada Public Utilities Commission, which is investigating the issue, and the utility also has promised to update the firmware on the meters and monitor them closely, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports.
The Federal Aviation Administration is struggling to cope with requests from companies applying to use drones, and in some instances concerns of safety inspectors are being overridden, The Washington Post reports.
Advanced Energy Economy, a business association in California, has provided an analysis that claims some 432,000 people employed in the state are involved in clean energy -– including green power generation, energy conservation and energy efficiency -– the Los Angeles Times reports.