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Environment

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  • Britain reopens way for fracking Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | 6:27 AM ET

    LONDON— Energy firms will be able to bid for licenses Monday to explore for shale gas in Britain, three years after the controversial fracking process caused seismic tremors which led the government to suspend operations.

  • 5 things to know about coal trade, global warming Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | 12:01 AM ET

    The Environmental Protection Agency's latest proposal would further cut coal's share of electricity generation. In 2013, according to the 2014 BP Statistical Review of World Energy, it grew by 3 percent. The International Energy Agency expects global coal demand to grow 2.3 percent per year through 2018..

  • Not in my backyard: US sending dirty coal abroad Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | 12:01 AM ET

    NEWPORT NEWS, Va.— NEWPORT NEWS, Va.— Coal from Appalachia rumbles into this port city, 150 railroad cars at a time, bound for the belly of the massive cargo ship Prime Lily. The ship soon sets sail for South America, its 80,000 tons of coal destined for power plants and factories, an export of American energy— and pollution.

  • US exports help Germany increase coal, pollution Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | 12:01 AM ET

    LUENEN, Germany— One of Germany's newest coal-fired power plants rises here from the banks of a 100- year-old canal that once shipped coal mined from the Ruhr Valley to the world. Coal mining's demise in Germany comes as the country is experiencing a resurgence in coal-fired power, one which the U.S. increasingly has helped supply.

  • Costa Concordia wreck reaches final destination Sunday, 27 Jul 2014 | 7:02 AM ET

    GENOA, Italy— The shipwrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner completed its final journey, reaching Genoa on Sunday where it will be scrapped. The Concordia struck a reef when its captain sailed too close to Giglio Island off Tuscany's coast Jan. 13, 2012, and capsized, killing 32 people.

  • Promises of easier nuclear construction fall short Saturday, 26 Jul 2014 | 9:44 AM ET

    The first two reactors built after a 16- year lull, Southern Co.' s Vogtle plant in Georgia and SCANA Corp.' s VC Summer plant in South Carolina, are being assembled in large modules. The factory in Louisiana that constructed the prefabricated sections struggled to meet strict quality rules.

  • North Dakota industrial fire cleanup to take weeks Friday, 25 Jul 2014 | 6:18 PM ET

    WILLISTON, N.D.— Cleanup efforts at the still-smoking site of an oil field supply company in North Dakota that caught fire earlier this week could take weeks, an Environmental Protection Agency Official said Friday.

  • US plans wide seismic testing of sea floor Friday, 25 Jul 2014 | 3:31 PM ET

    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.— The federal government is planning to use sound blasting to conduct research on the ocean floor along most of the East Coast, using technology similar to that which spawned a court battle between environmentalists and researchers in New Jersey this summer.

  • The report recommended that the EPA partner with the Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to improve oversight over methane leaks. The report also recommended the EPA develop a strategy to address the financial and policy issues that hinder reducing emissions from distribution pipelines.

  • Groundwater levels plunge as southwest slurps up Friday, 25 Jul 2014 | 8:40 AM ET
    Mineral-stained rocks on the upstream side of the Hoover Dam are seen at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona.

    The data comes as policymakers wrestle over how to manage the use of groundwater, often farmers' last resort, NBC News reports.

  • SYDNEY, July 25- London copper edged down on Friday but was still set to log its fifth weekly advance in six, as investors grow more positive towards metals given encouraging signs of economic revival and a brighter outlook for China in particular.

  • Judge strikes down Longmont's fracking ban Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 | 4:44 PM ET

    LONGMONT, Colo.— A state district judge struck down Longmont's voter-approved ban on hydraulic fracturing Thursday but stayed her decision while the city considers an appeal. Mallard noted that the state's interest in developing oil and gas, and Longmont's interest in banning drilling create an "irreconcilable conflict" in which state rules take precedence.

  • WASHINGTON, July 24- Gas-rich states such as Texas should have the easiest time complying with planned Environmental Protection Agency regulations on carbon pollution from power plants, despite opposition from their lawmakers, a new study says.

  • FACTBOX-Proposed U.S. nuclear power reactors Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 | 9:49 AM ET

    July 24- Southern Co, a power company, said it hopes to announce plans to build more nuclear reactors by the end of the year, a spokesman said late Wednesday.

  • Oil train derails in Seattle rail yard; no spill Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 | 9:48 AM ET

    SEATTLE— Nothing spilled when three tanker cars in an oil train from North Dakota derailed at a rail yard early Thursday, but it alarmed environmentalists. "This is a warning of how dangerous this could be," said Kerry McHugh, communications director for the Washington Environmental Council.

  • July 24- Southern Co, one of the biggest U.S. power companies, said it hopes to announce plans by the end of the year to build more nuclear reactors, a spokesman said late Wednesday.

  • Slow North Dakota city fire alert raises concern Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 | 2:29 AM ET

    WILLISTON, N.D.— Officials need to improve communication with residents of North Dakota's booming oil patch during potentially dangerous situations, an emergency manager and residents said, after an oil field service supply facility storing toxic chemicals exploded this week and authorities failed to alert the public for more than six hours.

  • "EPA goes beyond the plain reading of Clean Air Act Section 111 directing states to achieve questionable emission reduction targets from a limited menu of economically damaging and legally questionable' options'," said Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, the committee's top Republican.

  • BRUSSELS, July 23- The European Commission on Wednesday put forward a target to improve energy savings by 30 percent as part of efforts to curb EU reliance on Russian gas imports.

  • EU seeks energy efficiency to ease Russia gas link Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | 9:22 AM ET

    BRUSSELS— The European Union's executive is proposing legislation to curb the energy use of households and firms by almost one third by 2030 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower its dependence on gas imports, particularly those from Russia.