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Charles Koch Linked To Creation Of Fossil Fuel-Defending Nonprofit


Documents uncovered by Republic Report link billionaire Charles Koch to the formation of a nonprofit that would later become the Institute for Energy Research, an active player in Washington policy debates.
IER, also a nonprofit, describes its mission as providing “intensive research and analysis about American energy.” It’s known for advocating against tax subsidies for renewable [...]

Judge mulls Sleepy Creek case

Sleepy Creek Lands and the environmentalists who oppose the massive cattle operation’s request for groundwater continued their legal wrangling last week as they argued their latest dispute before a Florida Division of Administrative Hearings judge.
Administrative Law Judge Gary Early is expected to issue a ruling during the next 60 days.
“Did we get it right in [...]

Scott Arnold: Put solar on a level playing field


As a fellow advocate for free markets and competition, I’m surprised to see traditional free-market groups, such as Americans for Prosperity, defending the utility monopoly system against competition from solar power.
These groups miss the point that solar power provides an alternative to being a captive customer of big power companies. We welcome AFP and all [...]

The Rick Scott record: an environmental disaster


For the last 50 years, Florida’s governors have been reasonably responsible stewards of the state’s fragile environment. They initiated efforts to clean up rivers and bays, buy and preserve millions of acres of sensitive land, manage growth and preserve the Everglades. Developers and agricultural interests still got their way too often in the state’s boom-or-bust [...]

The UN’s New Report on Global Warming Is the Most Terrifying Yet


The New York Times and Bloomberg News got a look at a draft of a new UN report on climate change. It’s bleak, to say the least.
From the Times:
Runaway growth on the emission of greenhouse gases is swamping all political efforts to deal with the problem, raising the risk of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” [...]

California Plastic Bag Ban Would Be First Of Its Kind In The Nation

Grocers Lobby To Make California First State To Ban Plastic Bags

The California state legislature enacted a ban on plastic grocery bags on Friday near the end of its two-year session, a measure that if signed into law would become the first of its kind in America.
A number of cities and counties in California and other U.S. states, including Hawaii’s Maui County, have made it illegal [...]

Explosion At BP’s Largest Oil Refinery In The U.S. Rattles Indiana


An explosion at BP oil refinery in northwestern Indiana along Lake Michigan rattled nearby homes and sparked a fire that was later extinguished, but it didn’t cause any major injuries or halt production at the facility, a company official said Thursday.
The explosion Wednesday night at the Whiting refinery, which is just east of Chicago, was [...]

Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty

coal plant

The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.
In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to [...]

California Community Relying On Bottled Water May Be Grim Preview Of Things To Come


Residents of a poor Central California community relying on bottled water after their wells ran dry paint a grim picture of what could happen across the state as the record-breaking drought continues to plague the West.
Roughly 300 homes dependent on private wells in Tulare County’s East Porterville received a total of 15,552 1-gallon water bottles [...]

Tacoma police using surveillance device to sweep up cellphone data

cell tower

The Tacoma Police Department apparently has bought — and quietly used for six years — controversial surveillance equipment that can sweep up records of every cellphone call, text message and data transfer up to a half a mile away.
You don’t have to be a criminal to be caught in this law enforcement snare. You just [...]

Denver Arts & Venues to compost trash from city’s entertainment venues


Denver Arts & Venues will attempt to divert tons of garbage from the landfill by composting cups and plates and other food-service items used at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the Colorado Convention Center, the Denver Coliseum and the Denver Performing Arts Complex.
Starting next year, compostable packaging — from beer cups and nacho trays to the wrapping [...]

Hundreds Of Methane Plumes Seeping Out Of Seafloor Along East Coast


In an unexpected discovery, hundreds of gas plumes bubbling up from the seafloor were spotted during a sweeping survey of the U.S. Atlantic Coast.
Even though ocean explorers have yet to test the gas, the bubbles are almost certainly methane, researchers report today Aug. 24 in the journal Nature Geoscience.
“We don’t know of any explanation that [...]

Gov. Rick Scott meets with scientists but remains silent on climate change


Gov. Rick Scott listened to five of Florida’s top climate scientists Tuesday as they urged him to show leadership and develop policies to offset the impact of human-induced climate change to the state.
But the governor whose campaign strategy has been to say nothing on the issue — except to say that he is “not a [...]

Don’t reduce protection for endangered waters


Florida’s leaders would be poorly cast in a Hollywood blockbuster called “Guardians of the Waterways.”
Many of the state’s rivers and springs have been in a steady decline for years from pollution and excessive groundwater pumping. Yet lawmakers failed again this year to pass legislation to protect and conserve water, even though there was a bipartisan [...]

For sale: Systems that can secretly track where cellphone users go around the globe

cell phone tracking

Makers of surveillance systems are offering governments across the world the ability to track the movements of almost anybody who carries a cellphone, whether they are blocks away or on another continent.
The technology works by exploiting an essential fact of all cellular networks: They must keep detailed, up-to-the-minute records on the locations of their customers [...]