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Tuesday, Aug 04th

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Never Say Never: Maryland Fracking Moratorium Becomes Law

Fracki8ng ban in MarylandToday, a two and a half year fracking moratorium became law in Maryland. Over Memorial Day weekend, Gov. Hogan let it be known that he would not veto the bill. At the end of March, the Maryland General Assembly passed a bill, originally introduced by Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo and Senator Karen Montgomery, which would prohibit any permits for fracking in the state for two and a half years. The bill passed with veto-proof majorities in each house.

This critical moratorium was made possible by a coalition of more than 100 community and advocacy groups who don’t want to see Maryland fracked. The Don’t Frack Maryland Coalition worked throughout the 2015 legislative session to carry the message that Marylanders do not want fracking in their state. The organizing efforts of the coalition came in waves over several months.

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ExxonMobil CEO mocks renewable energy in shareholder speech

rex TillersonThe CEO of one of the world’s largest oil companies downplayed the effects of climate change at his company’s annual meeting Wednesday, telling shareholders his firm hadn’t invested in renewable energy because “We choose not to lose money on purpose.”

“Mankind has this enormous capacity to deal with adversity,” ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson told the meeting, pointing to technologies that can combat inclement weather “that may or may not be induced by climate change.”

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Mount Everest's Glaciers Could Lose Up To 99 Percent Of Ice By 2100 Due To Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Glaciers meltingResearchers estimated that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at the current rate, the glaciers in the Everest mountain region could lose over 70 percent of their volume by the year 2100.

The study warns the famous mountains are extremely sensitive to climate warming, and major ice loss should be anticipated throughout the 21st century, the European Geosciences Union reported.

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EPA issues clean-up order for California oil spill

California oil spillThe U.S. federal government issued an order to Plains All American Pipeline to ensure the California coastline is restored after last week's oil spill.

As much as 2,500 barrels of oil was released from Line 901 in Santa Barbara last week, a pipeline owned and operated by Plains All American. About 500 barrels may have reached the waters off the coast of Refugio State Beach in a release the Environmental Protection Agency said was the worst spill in California in the last 25 years.

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Texas eased pollution rules on coal plants, environmentalists say

Texas coal plantThe State of Texas conspired with the coal industry to illegally exempt 19 coal-fired power plants from federal air quality standards. That’s according to a coalition of Texas citizen groups who on Wednesday filed a petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The coalition of community and public interest groups, represented by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, has called on the EPA to overturn the state’s decision to exempt those power plants from federal limits under the Clean Air Act, a press release by EIP said.

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EPA full steam with 'Waters' protection rule, but trouble ahead

drinking waterThe Obama administration on Wednesday launched a sweeping measure to protect the nation’s waterways and wetlands — an initiative that faces a fierce counterattack from powerhouse industries like agriculture, oil and home-building.

On its face, the final “Waters of the United States” rule is largely a technical document, defining which rivers, streams, lakes and marshes fall under the jurisdiction of the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers. But the industries and their allies in Congress condemn it as a massive power grab by Washington, saying it will give bureaucrats carte blanche to swoop in and penalize landowners every time a cow walks through a ditch.

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Historic flooding hits Houston as storm system moves on; 7 states affected

Storms hit texasA storm system has triggered flash-flood watches and warnings across seven states Tuesday, and brought historic flooding to Houston.

Up to eight inches of rain fell on Houston in less than 24 hours, according to the city's emergency management coordinator, Rick Flanagan. More than 80,000 people were without power and schools were closed.

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