Policy

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Kentucky, Ohio poised to hit early carbon goals, analysis says

States are bracing for the Environmental Protection Agency’s final power plant carbon regulations, but a new analysis from a science advocacy group suggests that many states are well on the way to meeting their first required carbon-reduction benchmarks, including Kentucky and Ohio, which sued the agency over the regulations.

“States of Progress,” an analysis released Wednesday by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a group supporting EPA’s emissions reduction plan, found that 14 states are already on a trajectory to exceed their proposed 2020 interim goals and 31 states are more than halfway there, based on existing policies and upcoming energy mix updates.

California lawmakers advance aggressive climate change plans

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers on Wednesday pushed through an ambitious climate change package to further reduce the state's carbon footprint and boost the use of renewable energy to 50 percent in 15 years.

The state Senate passed proposals to enact Gov. Jerry Brown's call to curb greenhouse gas emissions by setting what the administration calls the most aggressive benchmark in North America over the objection of Republicans who characterized such regulation as coastal elitism that would kill working-class jobs.

Oil

Fisherman sues pipeline owner over Santa Barbara oil spill

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A commercial fisherman has sued the owner of an oil pipeline that spilled thousands of gallons of crude on the Santa Barbara coast.

Stace Cheverez filed a lawsuit on Monday in Los Angeles federal court against Plains All American Pipeline.

Climate change science isn't pope's strength, says Santorum

Source: 
WPHT

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, unhappy with the Pope taking a position on climate change, said Monday that “we’re probably better off leaving science to the scientists," WPHT radio reports.

Official photo

Senate GOP leaders attack 'devastating' ozone standards

Members of the Senate leadership on Wednesday waded into the battle over the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed standards on ground-level ozone, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling them “devastating”.

McConnell, R-Ky., appeared at a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing and pressed for legislation to block the proposed National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone, set to be finalized in October.

Wildfire damage looks to top last year's in tinder-dry West

Source: 
National Journal

The federal government spent more than a billion dollars last year fighting wildfires, and this summer season looks to be even worse for forest blazes, National Journal reports.

Marshall Islands making waves with ship emissions proposal

Source: 
The New York Times

The Marshall Islands, a low-lying Pacific chain particularly vulnerable to sea level rise that also plays a key role in international shipping, has caused a stir with a proposal to limit vessels’ greenhouse gas emissions, The New York Times reports.

Obama: China 'putting out feelers' about joining trade pact

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says China has made inquiries about potentially joining a Trans-Pacific trade agreement in the future. The agreement now involves the U.S. and 11 other Pacific rim countries and is the central goal of the contentious trade debate now unfolding in Congress.

Obama told American Public Media's "Marketplace" radio show that China has "already started putting out feelers about the possibilities of them participating at some point."

Ex-coal chief gets judge's OK to attend son's race in Ohio

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — A judge is letting ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship watch his son compete in an Ohio dirt track race.

Magistrate Judge Clarke VanDervort's order in Beckley federal court Wednesday permits Blankenship's June 5-6 trip to Sidney, Ohio.

$4 million fire-prevention grant ignites passions in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — City officials accepted a $4 million federal grant to chop down trees in the ritzy Oakland hills, a decision that ignited debate over how best to prevent deadly wildfires in the affluent Northern California region.

The Oakland City Council voted to approve the Federal Emergency Management Agency grant after 2 a.m. Wednesday. The city and its fire department say clearing young eucalyptus trees and other non-native plants would deter another deadly firestorm like the one that whipped through the hills in 1991. That blaze killed 25 people and destroyed nearly 3,500 homes.

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