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Oil sands industry a major source of air pollution, study finds

oil sands polluteTar sands oil, sometimes called the dirtiest oil in the world, is mostly thought of as a threat to water sources, though new research suggests oil sands operations are a large source of air pollution.

A team of Yale scientists -- with help from researchers in Canada -- determined that oil sands operations in Alberta, Canada, are one of the largest producers of human-caused secondary organic aerosols in North America.

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Chemical Reform Law Falls Short in Protecting Public Health, Environment

Chemical reform act insufficientPassage of the first legislation to regulate toxic industrial chemicals in 40 years ought to be cause for celebration, and it is—for the companies that make those toxic chemicals.

As for the rest of us, we should be mad as hell.

Despite the best efforts of many lawmakers to redeem legislation that originated in the c-suites of the chemical industry, on balance the law Congress will send to the president’s desk continues to place chemical company interests above the public interest.

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Baseline sought for British fracking efforts

Fracking in UKA British geological organization said it was working to set an environmental baseline to serve as a basis for weighing the impacts of hydraulic fracturing.

The British Geological Survey said its work with its university counterparts would set a baseline for water and air quality, as well as seismic activity, associated with a shale gas reserve in North Yorkshire. Third Energy U.K. Gas Ltd. submitted an application last year to use hydraulic fracturing, known also as fracking, at one well site.

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Pipeline company blamed directly for Refugio Beach, Calif., oil spill

California oil spillPreventable errors on the part of Plains All American Pipeline led to last year's oil spill at a beach in California, the U.S. transportation secretary said.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, part of the Transportation Department, completed its investigation into the May 19, 2015, oil spill in Santa Barbara County from Line 901, operated by Plains. The rupture released around 3,000 barrels of oil into the Pacific Ocean and on Refugio State Beach.

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Big Oil Could Have Cut CO2 Emissions In 1970s — But Did Nothing

Bid oil could have cut emissions in '70sResearch into this innovative technology, the company said at the time, “has been greatly accelerated.”

But, as Carroll Muffett, president of the Center for International Environmental Law, likes to say, “Did you start driving a Prius in 1968?”

Muffett’s point, which he supports with dozens more documents his group released Thursday, is that American oil companies were well aware of the risks their industry posed to the environment by the 1960s. And they could have taken actions to significantly reduce carbon emissions.

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Earth's Relentless Warming Just Hit a Terrible New Threshold

earth's warming hits new threshholdThe number of climate records broken in the last few years is stunning. But here's a new measure of misery: Not only did we just experience the hottest April in 137 years of record keeping, but it was the 12th consecutive month to set a new record.

It's been relentless. May 2015 was the hottest May in records dating back to 1880. That was followed by the hottest June. Then came a record July, August, September, October, November, December, January, February, March—and, we learned from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday—the hottest April. In an age of rising temperatures, monthly heat records have become all too common. Still, a string of 12 of them is without precedent.

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North Dakota boomtown becomes a fracking mess

ND fracky party is overThe fracking party is over, and a quiet desperation has descended on the state's once-booming communities and the thousands of people who were drawn to them.

Dave Van Assche didn't fret too much when oil prices started to slide in late 2014. The postal services business he had built over three short years was thriving, catering to the tens of thousands of people who, like him, had streamed into North Dakota to strike it rich during an unprecedented oil boom.

But the price drop quickened, due in part to a supply glut from the 1.2 million barrels of oil North Dakota was pumping each day. Within a year, oil prices were down more than 70 percent, and North Dakota's oil rush stalled. The daily take at Van Assche's business has sunk from a peak of $2,500 to at best $600 now.

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