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Oklahoma earthquakes tied to oil, gas work

Oklahoma earthquakesThe U.S. and Oklahoma Geological Surveys said an increase in earthquakes in the state may be attributed to heightened oil and gas activity.

USGS said it examined the rate of increase in earthquakes in Oklahoma and found they weren't due to random fluctuations in seismic activity in that state.

The joint study found injecting wastewater underground can lead to pressure increases that may contribute to earthquakes.

"Much of this wastewater is a byproduct of oil and gas production and is routinely disposed of by injection into wells specifically designed and approved for this purpose," USGS said.

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Antarctic Ice Shelf On Brink Of Unstoppable Melt That Could Raise Sea Levels For 10,000 Years

Antarctic ice shelfPart of East Antarctica is more vulnerable than expected to a thaw that could trigger an unstoppable slide of ice into the ocean and raise world sea levels for thousands of years, a study showed on Sunday.

The Wilkes Basin in East Antarctica, stretching more than 1,000 km (600 miles) inland, has enough ice to raise sea levels by 3 to 4 metres (10-13 feet) if it were to melt as an effect of global warming, the report said.

The Wilkes is vulnerable because it is held in place by a small rim of ice, resting on bedrock below sea level by the coast of the frozen continent. That "ice plug" might melt away in coming centuries if ocean waters warm up.

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U.S. Youths sue U.S. government over climate inaction

Kids vs. global warmingYoung people across the country are suing several government agencies for failing to develop a climate change recovery plan, conduct that amounts to a violation of their constitutional rights, says their lawyer Julia Olson.

Their futures are at stake, say the young plaintiffs.

“Climate change is the biggest issue of our time,” said 13-year-old Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez, a member of nonprofit Kids vs. Global Warming, a plaintiff in the suit.

“It’s not every day you see young people getting involved politically but the climate crisis is changing all that. Every generation from here on out is going to be affected by climate change,” added Roske-Martinez, who also founded environmental nonprofit Earth Matters and organized successful actions in his hometown of Boulder, Colo.

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Republicans in Congress Are Trying to Gut Local Fracking Regulations

fracking regulationsCapitol Hill on Tuesday was home to a rare sight: House Republicans preparing a bill they say will strengthen the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency.

But a coalition of public health experts, environmentalists, and state officials argue that the bill, called the Chemicals in Commerce Act, is a Trojan horse that would kneecap state rules on toxic chemicals across the country without giving the Environmental Protection Agency any authority to pick up the slack. Opponents of the Chemicals in Commerce Act warn that the bill would weaken oversight of fracking fluids in particular, as these are almost exclusively regulated by state agencies.

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Bluegrass natural gas pipeline project suspended indefinitely

blueegrass pipelineA few months after one pipeline through Muskingum County was completed, another pipeline project was suspended indefinitely.

The Bluegrass pipeline, which would transport natural gas liquids from shale-producing areas in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania to the northeastern U.S., was postponed by a year in March, said Sara Delgado, spokeswoman for Williams, one of the companies behind the project.

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Lynchburg, Va., oil train derailment illustrates threat to rivers

Lynchburg oil train explosionAs Pat Calvert steers a small motorboat over the James River, it’s impossible to not notice the smell of motor oil, and it’s not coming from the boat.

Two days after a CSX train derailed and put three tank cars full of crude oil into the river, Calvert, who keeps tabs on the Upper James River for the James River Association, is only beginning to survey the spill’s impact. Wednesday’s derailment spared the town from catastrophe, but not the river.

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Carbon Dioxide Highest in Human History

carbon dioxide levelsThere's striking new evidence that Earth's atmosphere is increasingly saturated with carbon dioxide, the major gas from fossil fuel emissions that trigger climate change.

Measurements of the climate-changing gas by instruments high on a mountain in Hawaii and around the world show that global emissions from burning fossil fuels rose last month to levels higher than at any time in human history - and higher than it has been in hundreds of thousands of years.

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