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NRA Campaigns Against The Plan To Save The World’s Elephants

NRA fights saving elephantsThe National Rifle Association (NRA) on Friday asked its 3.1 million members to call their representative in Congress and urge them to block a rule designed to protect the world’s elephants from being poached into extinction.

Last month, the White House announced a ban on the commercial trade of elephant ivory, placing a total embargo on the new import of items containing elephant ivory, prohibiting its export except in the case of bona fide antiques, and clarified that “antiques” only refers to items more than 100 years old when it comes to ivory. “This ban is the best way to help ensure that U.S. markets do not contribute to the further decline of African elephants in the wild,” a White House fact sheet on the announcement declared.

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Study Finds Keystone XL Would Have Much Larger Impact Than State Department Suggests

Keystone XL pipelineThe State Department's final environmental impact analysis for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline downplays the significance the pipeline would have for development of the Canadian tar sands, according to a new analysis from a United Kingdom-based group. The analysis also argues that the State Department underestimated the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that would come with that development.

The Carbon Tracker Initiative, a nonprofit that focuses on how carbon budgets interact with financial markets, released the new report on Monday, making its case for why Keystone XL is more important in the context of global emissions than the State Department's study indicates.

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U.S. judge rules for Chevron in Ecuador environmental case

chevron wins court rulingAn American lawyer used "corrupt means" to secure a multi-billion-dollar pollution judgment against Chevron Corp in Ecuador, a U.S. judge ruled on Tuesday, handing the oil company a major victory following a six-week trial last year.

In a nearly 500-page decision, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in New York said he had found "clear and convincing evidence" that attorney Steven Donziger's legal team bribed an Ecuadorean judge to issue an $18 billion judgment in 2011 in favor of a group of villagers. They had claimed Texaco, later acquired by Chevron, contaminated an oil field in northeastern Ecuador between 1964 and 1992.

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NC cites 5 Duke Energy plants for lacking permits

Duke energy ncNorth Carolina regulators have cited five more Duke Energy power plants for lacking required storm water permits after a massive spill at one of the company's coal ash dumps coated 70 miles of the Dan River in toxic sludge.

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources announced Monday that Charlotte-based Duke Energy had been issued formal notices of violation for not having the needed permits, which are required to legally discharge rainwater draining from its plants into public waterways.

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Sunken Great Lakes oil pipeline raises spill fears

greatlakes pipelineEnvironmental activists and some members of Congress are concerned about two oil pipelines beneath a waterway linking Lakes Michigan and Huron.

The pipes owned by Enbridge Energy Partners cross the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan, a popular resort area. They're part of a line that carries oil between North Dakota and several Upper Midwestern states.

The lines were laid in 1953. The company says they've never leaked and are safe.

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EPA announces new sulfur emission limits

EPA announces sulfur emission limitsThe Environmental Protection Agency on Monday issued stricter emissions standards for cars and trucks that limit the amount of sulfur that can be used in gasoline.

EPA officials hailed the new standards, which they said would prevent as many as 2,000 respiratory deaths per year while imposing minimal costs on refiners and automakers.

The American Petroleum Institute (API), however, said the standards would raise gas prices while providing little environmental gain. The group also said a 2017 deadline for meeting the standards could cause an interruption in supply.

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Hundreds arrested at White House Keystone protest

Keystone protestsMore than 300 anti-Keystone XL protesters were arrested Sunday afternoon outside the White House in the latest push by environmentalists to convince the Obama administration to reject the Canadian oil pipeline.

The student-led protest, organized by XL Dissent, started with a rally at Georgetown University. The students marched from there to the White House — with a stop at Secretary of State John Kerry’s house along the way.

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