California aims to go half renewable under new climate law

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an ambitious climate change bill on Wednesday, aiming to increase the state's use of renewable electricity to 50 percent and making existing buildings twice as energy-efficient by 2030.

"The goal is clear, and California is in the forefront," Brown said at a signing ceremony at the hilltop Griffith Observatory, where a hazy downtown Los Angeles provided the backdrop.

Deaths report, stats can offer lessons to oil and gas industry

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health epidemiologist says detailed federal data on the deaths of workers in the oil and gas industry can point to trends and offer lessons for improved safety going forward, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Endangered species fight changing direction

The New York Times

A number of environmental and conservation groups are coming around to support Obama administration moves to support endangered species without listing them, The New York Times reports.

Glencore wants Paris conference to recognize coal


The upcoming global climate change conference in Paris should recognize that coal continues to be an important energy source, a top official with mining giant Glencore was set to tell a conference in Australia Wednesday, Reuters reports.

VW CEO: Recall of cars hit by scandal to begin in January

BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen plans to launch in January a recall of vehicles with software at the center of the emissions-rigging scandal and aims to fix them all by the end of next year, the company's new chief executive says.

Volkswagen has said up to 11 million vehicles worldwide across several of its brands contain the diesel engine with the software used to cheat on U.S. emissions tests. CEO Matthias Mueller told the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: "It will hopefully be fewer, but in any case still far too many."

spent fuel rods in Japanese storage pool
AP Photo/Koji Sasahara

US experts warn plutonium stocks could soar in East Asia

WASHINGTON (AP) — Experts warn that Northeast Asia could see a dangerous growth in stocks of weapons-usable plutonium — and U.S. lawmakers say Obama administration policies could be making matters worse.

Japan plans to open as early as next spring a plant that could reprocess enough spent reactor fuel to make as many as 1,000 nuclear bombs a year. The plutonium that is produced is supposed to be for generating electricity, but Japan already has tons on hand and no use for it, with its reactors at a virtual halt following the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster. Local politicians are aggressively backing the plant, eager for investment in a remote northern region.

California governor to sign aggressive climate change bill

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California is doubling down in its fight against global warming.

Gov. Jerry Brown is expected on Wednesday to sign an ambitious climate change measure to increase California's renewable electricity use to 50 percent and double energy efficiency in existing buildings by 2030.

Gasholder, piece of industrial past, faces uncertain future in N.H.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A round, red-brick relic of this country's industrial transformation sits shakily at the southern entrance to New Hampshire's capital city, the cupola atop its conical, tree-damaged roof slumping northward.

Built in 1888, the Concord gasholder building is believed to be the last of its clan in the United States with its interior works intact, a monument to a turning point in how people lived and worked: By forcing coal gas through pipes to homes and businesses, the gas works meant people were no longer captive to candles or oil lamps. Businesses could run three shifts; people could read, gather or walk the streets more safely deep into the night with a steady source of illumination.

Mine panel overrules judge's tossing of violation notice

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — An administrative law judge has been ordered to revisit a finding that a Patriot Coal subsidiary displayed a "pattern of violations."

The Mine Safety and Health Administration on Tuesday announced the ruling by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.

Senate panel probing VW's use of tax credits

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Finance Committee opened a probe Tuesday into Volkswagen's use of a federal tax credit intended for fuel-efficient cars as the company's emissions-rigging scandal widened.

Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore. said in a letter to Volkswagen that more than $50 million in tax subsidies may have gone to VW owners under false pretenses. Hatch chairs the Finance panel and Wyden is its senior Democrat.


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