Policy

Polish power plant leaks fuel, threatens river

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A malfunction at a Polish power plant on Wednesday caused a leakage of fuel, prompting emergency officials to work to make sure it doesn't contaminate the nearby Vistula River.

A spokesman for the plant, Piotr Ludwiczak, said about nine tons of the fuel, an oily substance used in combustion called mazut, escaped from the plant.

California seeks to send message to water-wasters

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Reservoirs are running dry, the Capitol's lawn has turned brown, and farmers have left hundreds of thousands of acres unplanted.

Even so, many Californians aren't taking the drought seriously. State water regulators are trying to change that by imposing fines up to $500 a day for wasting water.

Oil

California hearing addresses oil refinery rules

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Residents of modest neighborhoods near three of the largest oil refineries in California called on the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday to crack down on plant emissions, saying the pollution is choking their children and endangering their health.

The residents of the oil-rich Wilmington area of Los Angeles were among a dozen speakers to address an EPA hearing about a proposed rule requiring stricter emission controls and monitoring standards for refineries.

US, Europe escalate economic sanctions against Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — Struggling to defuse the persistent crisis in Ukraine, both the U.S. and European Union imposed new economic sanctions on Russia Wednesday, with President Barack Obama declaring that Russian leaders must see that their actions supporting rebels "have consequences."

Though the American and European sanctions were coordinated, they nonetheless exposed fissures in what the West has tried to project as a united front in its months-long effort to isolate Russian President Vladimir Putin.

EPA rescinds final rule on wage garnishment

Source: 
The Hill

The EPA has rescinded its final rule that would allow the agency to garnish the wages of individuals with delinquent fines,  with an official telling The Hill the agency will move on a more deliberative rule to achieve the same desired result.

House panel moves to limit EPA permit veto

Source: 
The Hill

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved legislation that would put put limits on the EPA's ability to block permits to fill or dredge waterways and wetlands, allowing the agency 30 days to challenge permits granted by the Army Corps of Engineers and barring it from taking action before any application for a permit is filed, The Hill reports.

IG clears EPA of bias in records policy, but knocks deadlines

Source: 
The Washington Times

An inspector general report found that the EPA didn't show bias against conservative groups in giving open-records request fee waivers, though it noted the agency regularly delayed responses to waiver requests in violation of their deadline rules, The Washington Times reports.

Murkowski, after meeting, confident Commerce discussing crude exports

Source: 
FuelFix

Following a private meeting with Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said she's encouraged that the Department is actively discussing the possibility of expanding crude oil exports, FuelFix reports.

Oil

China moves oil rig out of waters Vietnam claims

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — China on Wednesday moved an oil rig out of waters claimed by Hanoi after two months of drilling that triggered a near-breakdown in ties between the neighbors and led to deadly protests in Vietnam.

Withdrawing the rig from near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea reduces the immediate risk of a naval standoff but will do little to mend relations between the two countries. Beijing made it clear it was shifting the billion-dollar rig because it had completed its work, not because of the criticism of its actions.

Obama to meet with local leaders on climate change

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama wants local government officials to prepare their communities now for the effects of climate change.

Obama is meeting with state and tribal leaders on Wednesday at the White House. The White House says they'll discuss how the federal government can help them be more resilient to climate change. It's the fourth and final meeting of the 26-person task force created to grapple with the issue.

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