Court hears arguments for and against EPA’s MATS rule


Following up on the Supreme Court's ruling on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard arguments Thursday for throwing out the rule, or keeping it in place while it’s tweaked, E&E reports.

Lawsuit challenges limits on industry that aim to save sage grouse

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Two Nevada counties and some mining companies want a court to block new restrictions on mining, energy development and grazing that are meant to protect a declining bird species across millions of acres of the American West.

The case appears to be the first challenge to the Interior Department's declaration this week that it can protect the greater sage grouse without hobbling the region's economy.

AP Photo

Obama: Chinese commitments put weight behind Paris talks

China's commitment to launching a cap-and-trade system by 2017, prioritizing renewable energy use, and investing $3.1 billion in climate finance for vulnerable countries will drive momentum toward a strong United Nations climate deal in December, President Barack Obama said Friday.

Speaking at a news conference following a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Obama said that the world's two largest polluters have now outlined their plans to slash emissions, and other nations will follow suit.

EPA’s 10-year furniture bill tops $92 million

The Washington Times

The Environmental Protection Agency has spent $92.4 million on office furniture over the past decade, which averages out to $6,000 for each of EPA’s nearly 16,000 employees, The Washington Times reports.

VW taps head of Porsche to be new CEO amid emissions scandal

BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen's board appointed the head of its Porsche unit as CEO on Friday, handing longtime company insider Matthias Mueller the task of trying to lead the world's top-selling automaker past a growing emissions scandal.

The company also said it was suspending some employees and would reorganize its North America operations after admitting it used a piece of engine software to cheat on diesel car emissions tests in the U.S.

Cities bear rising cost of keeping water safe to drink

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Standing at the edge of the Great Lakes, the world's largest surface source of fresh water, this city of 280,000 seems immune from the water-supply problems that bedevil other parts of the country. But even here, the promise of an endless tap can be a mirage.

Algae blooms in Lake Erie, fed by agriculture runoff and overflowing sewers, have become so toxic that they shut down Toledo's water system in 2014 for two days. The city is considering spending millions of dollars to avoid a repeat.

Drinking water systems imperiled by failing infrastructure

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Deep inside a 70-year-old water-treatment plant, drinking water for Iowa's capital city is cleansed of harmful nitrates that come from the state's famously rich farmland.

Without Des Moines Water Works, the central Iowa region of 500,000 people that it serves wouldn't have a thriving economy. But after decades of ceaseless service, the utility is confronting an array of problems: Water mains are cracking open hundreds of times every year. Rivers that provide its source water are increasingly polluted. And the city doesn't know how it will afford a $150 million treatment plant at a time when revenues are down and maintenance costs are up.

UN development summit sees more climate pledges

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — India's prime minister has confirmed plans for a fivefold boost in renewable energy but is adding two years to the time frame.

Narendra Modi previously pledged that India would make the increase by the next time he faces election in 2020, but on Friday he acknowledged that it would take longer than planned. He now says it will take seven years.

Pope decries environmental damage, then visits ground zero

NEW YORK (AP) — In a day of both forceful words and eloquent silence, Pope Francis stood before the United Nations on Friday to decry the destruction of the environment through the "selfish and boundless thirst" for profit, then paid tribute to the victims of 9/11 with a prayer service at ground zero.

Francis' agenda for his first full day in New York was packed with contrasts befitting a head of state dubbed the "slum pope" for his devotion to the poor.

Skiing, climbing, global warming: French Alps show dilemma

PARIS (AP) — The Alps are the birthplace of downhill skiing and a crucible for mountain climbing — but now the French government is trying to help their winter tourist towns adapt to a warming world.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls visited the Mer de Glace (the Sea of Ice) Friday on Mont Blanc, where the retreating glacier has been documented for more than a century, through water colors painted before the invention of the still camera, black-and-white photos depicting a then-modern steam locomotive chuffing alongside the ice and today's high-definition satellite photos.


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