US extradites Briton to Germany in emissions trading case

BERLIN (AP) — U.S. authorities have extradited a British man wanted in Germany in connection with a probe into organized tax fraud to the tune of 136 million euros ($152 million).

Frankfurt prosecutors say the unnamed 57-year-old man was extradited Friday to Germany from Las Vegas, where he had been arrested in May 2014.

EPA: Current smog limit inadequate to protect public health

WASHINGTON (AP) — The current federal limit on smog-forming pollution linked to asthma and respiratory illness "is not adequate to protect the public health," a top environmental regulator said Tuesday.

Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, said a new, stricter standard is needed to cut dangerous ozone pollution and prevent thousands of asthma attacks, emergency room visits and even premature deaths.

Duke Energy reaches $7 million deal with NC on coal ash

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Duke Energy agreed Tuesday to pay North Carolina regulators $7 million to settle allegations of groundwater pollution at its coal ash pits and to perform accelerated cleanups costing millions of dollars at four sites.

The agreement came as lawyers for the country's largest electric company and the state were preparing courtroom arguments regarding a $25 million fine over groundwater pollution at a Wilmington plant, the state's largest-ever penalty for environmental damage.

VW just the latest in long history of cheating car companies

WASHINGTON (AP) — In stock car racing, there's an old adage: If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'. You could say the same sometimes for auto makers up against stricter environmental rules.

Volkswagen is far from the first company to stand accused of trying to game required emissions tests. Almost since the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970, major manufacturers of cars, trucks and heavy equipment have been busted for using what regulators call "defeat devices" — typically programing a vehicle's on-board computer to boost horsepower or fuel mileage by belching out dirtier exhaust than allowed.

Shell Oil

EPA finalizes rule to crack down on refinery emissions

Refinery operators will be required to monitor for fugitive emissions within and at the fence lines of their plants, find and fix the cause as soon as possible, and publicly disclose the data under a final rule unveiled Tuesday by the Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the standards were an important step toward protecting vulnerable communities and the 6.1 million Americans who live within 3 miles of a refinery.

“This is a big step forward for people and families who live near these facilities,” she told reporters on a call. “This rule is a big deal for many people. This rule will significantly improve air quality in the vicinity of refineries and beyond.”

The rule would also seek to “virtually eliminate” smoking flare emissions and pollution from pressure release devices, by limiting such events to three events per three years.

The agency said the standards, to be fully implemented in 2018, would cut 5,200 tons of toxic emissions and 50,000 tons of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, annually. Additionally, the agency said the rules would cut about 660,000 tons of carbon emissions each year.

The agency estimates the final regulation will cost the industry $63 million annually and have a "negligible impact” on petroleum product costs.

Geothermal fire repairs could take a year: Calpine


Wildfire damage to to Calpine's geothermal power plants in California could take six months to a year to repair, but the $35 million in costs will be picked up by insurance, FuelFix reports.

Stern says Paris talks could mark ‘fundamental pivot’ for climate

The Hill

Todd Stern, the U.S. special envoy for climate change, said Monday that the stakes are high for a climate agreement to be hammered out at the global conference in Paris in December, The Hill reports.

Volkswagen deception had health impact: Researchers

The New York Times

Researchers and health experts tell The New York Times that Volkswagen’s deception over diesel emissions testing contributed to air pollution, which could be estimated to have contributed to more than 100 deaths.

GE to reduce jobs after Ex-Im Bank expires, but backers hope to revive it

Los Angeles Times

General Electric says it will move 350 jobs to Canada as a result of the expiration of the Export-Import Bank, but supporters hope to get the bank re-authorized in the weeks before the departure of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Government wants protection restored for Utah prairie dogs

DENVER (AP) — A lawyer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told an appeals court Monday that a federal judge in Utah went too far when when he struck down protections for a kind of prairie dog found only in that state.

Attorney Anna Katselas asked the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the decision and restore protection for the prairie dogs under the Endangered Species Act.


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