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Thursday, May 28th

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Fight over Keystone XL project doesn't stall pipeline boom

pipeline boomIn a far corner of North Dakota, just a few hundred miles from the proposed path of the Keystone XL pipeline, 84,000 barrels of crude oil per day recently began flowing through a new line that connects the state's sprawling oilfields to an oil hub in Wyoming.

In West Texas, engineers activated a new pipeline that cuts diagonally across the state to deliver crude from the oil-rich Permian Basin to refineries near Houston. And in a string of towns in Kansas, Iowa and South Dakota, local government officials are scrutinizing the path of pipeline extensions that would pass nearby.

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U.S. appeals ruling on size of BP oil spill

BP oil spillThe U.S. government is appealing a federal court ruling that reduced the potential penalty BP Plc must pay for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill by almost $4 billion.

The appeal, which was filed on Friday in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, challenges a January decision by U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier that set the size of the spill at 3.19 million barrels. The appeal did not detail what aspects of Barbier's ruling it was challenging.

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NASA Scientist Says Epic Drought Leaving California With Only 1 Year Of Water Left

California schoolsA NASA scientist is saying California only has about one year of water left in its reservoirs, after years of record drought.

In an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Jet Propulsion Laboratory / Caltech senior water scientist Jay Famigleitti cited data from NASA satellites, which show water stored in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins was 34 million acre-feet below normal in 2014.

“We’re not just up a creek without a paddle in California, we’re losing the creek too,” the scientist wrote.

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The ‘Insane’ Plan To Burn 80,000 Pounds Of Chemical Explosives, Out In The Open, Every Day For A Year

M6 propellantJust a few miles away from the population center of Minden, Louisiana, 15 million pounds of military explosives are sitting in cardboard boxes, waiting to detonate.

The massive stockpile of explosive M6 propellant has been stored at a Louisiana National Guard military training site called Camp Minden since 2010, when the U.S. Army sold it to a company to be destroyed. But the company, Explo Systems, never actually disposed of it — they just left it in the boxes. Now the M6 is rapidly deteriorating, and by August, its risk of spontaneous combustion will greatly increase.

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This Thing Called MJO Is Spitting Out Nasty Weather Across Globe

MJO weather patternAnyone looking for evidence of the Earth’s larger connections doesn’t need to look any farther than the Pacific Ocean right now.

Four tropical systems are careening through the basin. Cyclones Nathan and Olwyn are bracketing Australia, Tropical Storm Bavi is headed toward Guam and Cyclone Pam, just to the east of Vanuatu, is on its way to becoming one of the largest systems to form in the South Pacific.

Pam’s sustained winds are forecast to reach 172 miles (277 kilometers) per hour Friday, based on measurements taken over one minute, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii, which is staffed by U.S. Navy and Air Force meteorologists.

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Oil shipments to resume in pipeline that broke under Montana river

Oil shipments continue under Montana RiverA Wyoming company is preparing to resume oil shipments through a pipeline that broke and spewed 30,000 gallons of crude into Montana's Yellowstone River, even as most of the spilled oil remains unrecovered.

Cleanup is on hold near the small city of Glendive, where the water supply for 6,000 residents was temporarily contaminated.

Bridger Pipeline LLC company was to begin restarting a 50-mile section of the line south of the spill site Wednesday, spokesman Bill Salvin said.

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Fukushima victims speak. Will anyone listen?

Fukushima victimsOn March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the coast of northeastern Japan triggered a tsunami that led to the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

While immediate health consequences are yet to be determined, more than 159,000 people were evicted from areas deemed too radioactive for human habitation. The World Health Organization has warned about “increased risk of certain cancers” for people in the most contaminated areas.

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