Policy

Monsanto fined for not reporting Idaho chemical releases

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Monsanto Co. has agreed to pay $600,000 in fines for not reporting hundreds of uncontrolled releases of toxic chemicals at its eastern Idaho phosphate plant.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday announced the agreement involving the biotechnology company's Soda Springs facilities.

Wood bison make it to Alaska village; April release planned

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A hundred wood bison that will be the foundation for the first wild herd on U.S. soil in more than a century have been safely delivered to a rural Alaska village, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

"They are acclimating very rapidly," said department biologist Cathie Harms. "They are doing very well so far."

Report: Mix of cat litter, salts caused nuclear-dump mishap

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An incompatible combination of nitrate salts and organic cat litter is to blame for a mishap that forced the closure of the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository, according to findings released Thursday by an independent team of experts from national laboratories around the country.

The technical team was charged by the U.S. Energy Department to investigate all the possible scenarios that could have led to the release of radioactive material at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in February 2014.

Lecture on Indian efficiency, carbon efforts

College Park, Md., March 27, 2015, 12:00 pm

Dr. Ajay Mathur, director of India's Bureau of Energy Efficiency, to speak on efficiency gains made in recent years, with particular focus on the LED industry, and the nation's efforts to reduce carbon intensity.

Jessie Kalbfeld

EPA crows as automakers outperform emission standards

For a second consecutive model year, light-duty vehicles bested federal standards for greenhouse gas emissions. Top Environmental Protection Agency officials say the development shows climate-focused regulations can aid economic growth, efficiency and innovation.

In a report released Thursday, EPA said the auto industry outperformed greenhouse gas standards for the 2013 model year, emitting 12 fewer grams per mile than required. That means that vehicles were 1.4 miles per gallon more efficient than the agency requested.

Oil

Oil prices jump almost 5 percent as tensions mount in Yemen

The price of oil rose sharply on Thursday as mounting tensions in Yemen got traders worried that the flow of crude from the Persian Gulf region could be disrupted.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states launched strikes on key military installations in Yemen. They aim to oust Shiite rebels who forced the country's embattled president to flee.

Senate OKs amendment to ban carbon tax

Source: 
The Hill

The Senate on Thursday adopted a budget amendment that would prohibit a federal carbon tax, The Hill reports.

Australia fighting US moves to block coal funding

Source: 
The Sydney Morning Herald

Efforts by the U.S. and European countries to cut subsidies for building new coal-fired plants in developing countries are being opposed by the government of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

WH overreached in climate change guidance for agencies: GOP senators

Source: 
The Hill

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., along with five other GOP colleagues, says the White House proposal requiring agencies to consider climate change impacts on projects is illegal, The Hill reports.

Nelson moves to back climate discussion

Source: 
The Hill

Amid reports that Florida has barred officials from using the phrase “climate change” in documents -- an allegation that's been denied by Republican Gov. Rick Scott -- Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., has offered legislation to ensure that federal employees are able to do so, The Hill reports.

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