Policy

Oil

Workers clean up oil spill on California beaches by hand

GOLETA, Calif. (AP) — Along a stretch of beach heavily marred by a crude oil spill, workers in hard hats and white protective suits use wire brushes and putty knives to scrape the black liquid off cobblestones and cliff faces.

The painstaking task at Refugio State Beach marks a new front in the cleanup after an underground pipeline leaked last month and released up to 101,000 gallons of oil, about 21,000 gallons of which flowed into a storm drain, sullied the beach and washed out to sea. Because the region is home to threatened shorebirds and cultural resources, a decision was made early on to clean oil-stained beaches the old-fashioned way by using hand tools instead of heavy equipment or chemicals.

Vietnam says 8 Indonesians confess to hijacking oil tanker

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Eight Indonesians apprehended last week have confessed to hijacking a Malaysian oil tanker, a Vietnamese official said Monday.

Col. Doan Bao Quyet, political commissar of Vietnam Coast Guard Region 4 in the southern province of Kien Giang, said the Indonesians, aged 19 to 61, initially said they encountered an accident at sea while fishing when they arrived on Tho Chu island off Vietnam's southern coast on Friday. But after questioning with the images and information provided by Malaysian authorities, they confessed that they were responsible for hijacking the oil tanker earlier this month.

Iran lawmakers ban nuclear inspectors from military sites

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — With some lawmakers chanting "Death to the America," Iran's parliament voted to ban access to military sites, documents and scientists as part of a future deal with world powers over its contested nuclear program.

The bill, if ratified, could complicate the ongoing talks in Vienna between Iran and the six-nation group — the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany — as they face a self-imposed June 30 deadline. The talks are focused on reaching a final accord that curbs Iran's nuclear program in return for the lifting of economic sanctions.

Illinois town honors coal miners killed in 1922 massacre

HERRIN, Ill. (AP) — Nearly a century after literally burying its violent past, a southern Illinois community is belatedly coming to terms with one of the nation's deadliest labor conflicts, an episode in which some victims were paraded down city streets and humiliated before hundreds of cheering onlookers before having their throats slit.

Most of the victims of the Herrin Massacre — three union coal miners on strike and 20 replacement workers and guards — were buried in June 1922 in a cluster of unmarked graves in an old pauper's field at the city cemetery, forgotten by time and a collective desire to, if not ignore history, not call undue attention to it in a town that's still a union stronghold.

Stimson panel on shared water resources

Washington, June 22, 2015, 10:00 am

The Stimson Center and Wilson Center to co-host a panel discussion on shared water resources in crucial areas and how to avert resource conflict in the face of climate change.

Moniz, McCarthy, Stern at U.S.-China dialogue

Washington, June 23, 2015, 12:00 pm

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern to hold briefings at the seventh annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, hosted by the State and Treasury departments.

Wilson Center to unveil report on climate, diplomacy

Washington, June 22, 2015, 3:00 pm

The Wilson Center to unveil a new study detailing the potential for new diplomatic efforts on climate change and proposals to overcome climate-fragility risks.

Pentagon aiding oil spill response, ice forecasting in Arctic

The Pentagon is taking a larger role helping the Interior and Energy department in the Arctic region,  with the military assisting in oil spill response and forecasting of declining ice in the region.

The Government Accountability Office, Congress's watchdog arm, disclosed the Defense Department's assistance in a report issued Friday, saying the low threat of military conflict in the region has allowed the military to participate in the inter-agency Arctic Strategy.

Threatened salmon die after utility temporarily shuts canal

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — More than one-tenth of the largest wild population of threatened salmon in the Central Valley died after repair work near a power plant led Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to cut off a cooling flow of water into a creek, wildlife and utility officials said Friday.

PG&E, the state's largest utility, restored the water flow on Wednesday to a remote stretch of Butte Creek, home to the largest of three surviving wild populations of Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon.

Battle over proposed Yellowstone River dam ramps up

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — An escalating legal fight over a $59 million federal dam project on Montana's lower Yellowstone River could decide the fate of an endangered, dinosaur-like fish population that's been blocked from its breeding grounds for decades.

Construction on the dam northeast of Glendive is set to begin in September.

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