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Environment

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  • BEIJING— At first, the numbers and company names flashing on a big board in Beijing's financial district suggest a booming market. The lights from the Beijing Environment Exchange— one of seven pilot markets in China for trading carbon— raises questions for the country as it prepares for next year's roll-out of a nationwide system that could help the world's...

  • LOS ANGELES, May 23- A sea lion that became streaked with petroleum from an oil spill on California's Santa Barbara coastline has died after it was taken to SeaWorld in San Diego to be treated, officials said on Saturday. Up to 2,500 barrels of crude petroleum gushed onto San Refugio State Beach and into the Pacific Ocean about 20 miles west of Santa Barbara on...

  • TOKYO— Japan pledged Saturday 55 billion yen in aid to Pacific island nations that are battling rising sea levels and natural calamities as a result of global warming. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the pledge at a two-day meeting with the island nations' leaders in Iwaki in northern Japan. Japan will also help with expert exchanges and training.

  • SANTA BARBARA May 22- Government prosecutors are investigating the company at the center of the California oil spill for possible criminal sanctions, according to the district attorney of Santa Barbara- a city that helped spawn the modern environmental movement. Perhaps one of the worst places on Earth for a crude oil leak, Santa Barbara is a beautiful...

  • CHARLESTON, W.Va.— Appalachian coal mining suffered a double blow Friday, as Murray Energy announced plans to lay off more than 1,800 miners, most from West Virginia, and Alpha Natural Resources told another 439 Mountain State miners they could be out of work. On Friday, St. Clairsville, Ohio- based Murray Energy said it told 1,417 workers at five West Virginia mines...

  • WASHINGTON, May 22- A group of 18 mostly Democratic U.S. senators on Friday urged the Obama administration to stop Royal Dutch Shell's preparations for oil exploration in the Arctic, saying the region has a severely limited capacity to respond to accidents. The appeal was spearheaded by Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon and the letter was signed by other liberals,...

  • SEATTLE— An official with the state Department of Natural Resources says Seattle activists protesting Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic did some environmental damage to a popular dive park. KIRO radio reports activists left behind material used to anchor their protest barge when they sent kayaks out last weekend to protest the Shell oil rig in...

  • How Obama regulations will affect energy industry Friday, 22 May 2015 | 4:21 PM ET
    American Electric Power's coal-fired John E. Amos Power Plant in Winfield, West Virginia.

    Federal analysis projects that coal production, as well as carbon emissions, will drop significantly under proposed regulations.

  • DES MOINES, Iowa— Egg prices reached record levels on Friday after a bird flu outbreak decimated the flock, leading to the death of more than 20 million egg-laying hens over the last month in the top producing state of Iowa. The virus spread appears to have slowed but not stopped. Carton egg prices reached a record Friday of $2.32 a dozen for Midwest large eggs, said...

  • The oil pipeline leak that fouled a stretch of California coastline this week reflects a troubling trend in the nation's infrastructure: As U.S. oil production has soared, so has the number of pipeline accidents. "Tick, tick, tick," said Robert Bea, a professor emeritus in civil engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Since 1995, there have been more...

  • DENVER— Federal regulators are re-doing an environmental review for a Colorado coal mine after a judge threatened to shut it down unless they took a closer look at its indirect environmental impacts, including its contribution to climate change. The Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement, part of the Interior Department, posted a notice of the...

  • Climate change: Here's how we get a deal Friday, 22 May 2015 | 2:01 PM ET

    Yes, companies need to do more on climate change. But, here's what they need first, according to leaders from the International Chamber of Commerce.

  • Scientists make better sonar by copying from bats Friday, 22 May 2015 | 1:31 PM ET
    Horseshoe bat

    A new sonar system is inspired by one of mother nature’s masters: the bat. It is another example of the growing influence of biomimetics.

  • SACRAMENTO, Calif.— The California Assembly on Friday approved one of the nation's toughest bans on plastic, exfoliating microbeads that are polluting waterways. Manufacturers already have pledged to phase out the materials, including L'Oreal, Unilever and Johnson& Johnson, and use natural alternatives such as apricot shells and cocoa beans.

  • The latest on a possible gas pipeline in the Pinelands Friday, 22 May 2015 | 12:49 PM ET

    South Jersey Gas tried and failed in 2014 to get the approval of the board that oversees the state's million-acre pineland preserve. Chris Christie supports the pipeline, and he's got a new appointee on the Pinelands Commission, which could decide the fate of the venture. South Jersey Gas says the project has the support of the state Board of Public Utilities, the...

  • LONDON, May 22- Britain's new Conservative government could take control of planning decisions to speed up the development of shale gas and prevent investor money from drying up, lawyers say. Prime Minister David Cameron, facing dwindling resources of North Sea oil and gas, and eyeing the shale boom that has set the United States on the path to energy...

  • France cracks down on food waste by supermarkets Friday, 22 May 2015 | 6:07 AM ET

    PARIS— France's parliament has voted to forbid big supermarkets from destroying unsold food, encouraging them to donate to charities or farms instead, as part of a national campaign against food waste. The amendment approved by the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, late Thursday is part of a larger environmental bill. The overall bill will go to a...

  • TOKYO— Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's offer of $110 billion in fresh infrastructure financing for Asia is as much about Japan's agenda for selling its clean coal know-how and other technologies as it is about keeping up with China. Abe announced the commitment, topping the $100 billion China set for its newly created Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, on...

  • GOLETA, Calif.— The operator of an oil pipeline that broke and spilled thousands of gallons of crude across a scenic California shoreline says it could take weeks or even months before investigators find what caused the disaster. Bad weather slowed cleanup efforts early Friday at the spill site in Santa Barbara County, where gusty winds whipped up waves as high...

  • The high-definition stream from Alaska's remote Round Island had been dormant for nearly a decade after private funding ran out, but a version is back now, thanks to a philanthropic organization that operates a series of nature webcams from around the planet. If the donation hadn't come through, Round Island would have been closed to visitors this year.