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After spill, work suspended at 10 mine sites

Mines to be examinedSite investigations and some cleanup work at 10 polluted mining complexes in four states were suspended because of conditions similar to those that led to a massive wastewater blowout from an inactive Colorado gold mine, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials said.

The sites include three in California, four in Colorado, two in Montana and one in Missouri, according to details obtained by The Associated Press following repeated requests for the information.


California climate bill loses key gasoline provision

Jerry BrownMembers of the California Assembly have stripped key provisions out of a climate change bill pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D).

Lawmakers on Wednesday removed Brown’s proposal to cut the state’s gasoline consumption in half by 2030, The Los Angeles Times reports.   Other major provisions pushed by Brown, including a road repair fund and money for public healthcare, were also shot down by lawmakers this week.

“Oil has won the skirmish. But they've lost the bigger battle,” Brown said at a Wednesday press conference. “Because I am more determined than ever.”


California wildfire grows to nearly 100,000 acres, mandatory evacuation in place

Califoria firesFirefighters issued mandatory evacuation orders for Fresno County late Monday as California's largest wildfire, located in the Sierra Nevada, grew to nearly 100,000 acres.

The so-called Rough fire, burning east of Fresno, has spread to 95,183 acres, or nearly 149 square miles. As of late Monday, 1,940 crew were working to get it under control. It is 31 percent contained.


Drilling boom means more harmful waste spills

more drillingAn Associated Press analysis of data from leading oil- and gas-producing states found more than 180 million gallons of wastewater spilled from 2009 to 2014 in incidents involving ruptured pipes, overflowing storage tanks and other mishaps or even deliberate dumping. There were some 21,651 individual spills. And these numbers are incomplete because many releases go unreported.

Though oil spills tend to get more attention, wastewater spills can be more damaging. And in seven of the 11 states the AP examined, the amount of wastewater released was at least twice that of oil discharged.


Alberta lets Nexen reopen some Long Lake pipelines

Nexen pipelineAlberta's energy regulator will allow Nexen Energy, the Canadian subsidiary of China's CNOOC Ltd, to reopen some pipelines ordered closed following a major spill.

The Alberta Energy Regulator said late on Sunday that it would allow a restart of 40 of 95 pipelines closed at Nexen's Long Lake oil sands operations after reviewing maintenance and monitoring documentation.


GOP to attack climate pact at home and abroad

McConnellTop Republican lawmakers are planning a wide-ranging offensive — including outreach to foreign officials by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office — to undermine President Barack Obama's hopes of reaching an international climate change agreement that would cement his environmental legacy.

The GOP strategy, emerging after months of quiet discussions, includes sowing doubts about Obama's climate policies at home and abroad, trying to block key environmental regulations in Congress, and challenging the legitimacy of the president's attempts to craft a global agreement without submitting a treaty to the Senate.


Eight states running out of water

Eight states facing water shortageAlthough drought conditions have improved in many regions of the United States, higher than average summer temperatures and patchy rainfall over the summer has contributed to one of the worst wildfire seasons on record. There are currently at least 60 large fires burning across the country.

So far this year, more than 8 million acres have been destroyed by fire, a level of devastation seen in only six other years since 1960.


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