Environment

Company fires scientist who warned of Hanford waste site problems

LOS ANGELES-When senior scientist Walter Tamosaitis warned in 2011 about fundamental design flaws at the nation's largest facility to treat radioactive waste in Hanford, Wash., he was assigned to work in a basement room without office furniture or a telephone. | 10/04/13 04:00:00 By - By RALPH VARTABEDIAN

Russia charges 16 more in Greenpeace protest

An additional 16 people were charged by Russia with piracy Thursday for their role in a foiled Greenpeace protest of oil drilling in the Arctic, a Russian television network reported. | 10/03/13 16:32:00 By - By SERGEI L. LOIKO

In Pebble Mine project, Alaskan villages see perils, promise

In the vast tundra of Southwest Alaska, the planet’s greatest remaining stronghold of wild salmon, an open-pit mine of staggering proportions is being hatched. The EPA figures the proposed Pebble Mine could wipe out nearly 100 miles of streams and thousands of acres of wetlands. But the deposit of copper and gold also is a potential $300 billion bonanza in a place where good jobs can be scarce. | 09/29/13 00:00:00 By - By Sean Cockerham

Eagle conservation effort at California wind energy project is first of its kind

Wind energy is known to be environmentally friendly, except for one persistent concern: The spinning turbine blades often kill birds, especially raptors such as eagles. | 09/27/13 15:41:25 By - Matt Weiser

Hunt is on for tegu lizards in South Florida

The Argentine tegu lizard doesn’t grow nearly as big as a Burmese python but it may be a greater threat to South Florida’s native animals. | 09/27/13 15:23:44 By - Susan Cocking

Timber from Yosemite fire sparks debate over salvage plan

The devastating Rim Fire around Yosemite National Park has now rekindled a fierce fight over salvage logging. | 09/27/13 15:00:29 By - By Michael Doyle

EPA’s rule on greenhouse gases: Big promises, little impact

The Obama administration on Friday set the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, but their impact could be minimal because they don’t apply to existing plants and there are few coal-fired power plants being built in the United States. | 09/20/13 18:30:04 By - By Sean Cockerham

USDA, Coca-Cola team up to repair watersheds in California and other states

The Department of Agriculture and the Coca-Cola Co. said Friday they will collaborate to restore damaged watersheds on national lands, including one in California. | 09/13/13 16:31:57 By - By Lars Thorvaldsen

New EPA chief steps into Alaska mine controversy

President Barack Obama’s top environmental official was visibly moved as people in this fishing town told her the giant Pebble Mine would kill wild salmon and destroy their culture. | 08/28/13 16:41:46 By - By Sean Cockerham

Scientists seeking answers for outbreak of dolphin deaths

A virus similar to measles in humans may be responsible for the deaths of more than 333 bottlenose dolphins along the East Coast this summer, researchers said Tuesday. | 08/27/13 17:16:46 By - By Erika Bolstad

EPA chief warns against climate change on visit to Alaska glacier

As she marveled at the site of a shrinking Alaska glacier, the newly installed leader of the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that the president told her that fighting climate change should be her primary focus. | 08/27/13 06:49:07 By - By Sean Cockerham

California Rim fire grows to nearly 150,000 acres, 15 percent contained

The Rim fire has grown to be the 13th largest in state history, according to Daniel Berlant, spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. | 08/26/13 13:28:56 By - Jeff Jardine

New EPA chief to visit Alaska over controversial mine proposal

New Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy plans to visit the site of Alaska’s proposed Pebble Mine next week as she decides whether to block the massive project to protect one of the world’s last big runs of wild salmon. | 08/21/13 22:47:28 By - By Sean Cockerham

Retail garden plants intended to draw bees may harm them

Well-meaning home gardeners who buy plants to attract pollinators might be harming honeybees, according to a study that an environmental group released Wednesday. The Pesticide Research Institute found that seven of 13 types of garden plants purchased at top retailers contained neurotoxic pesticides that could harm or kill bees and other pollinators. | 08/14/13 03:00:00 By - By Erika Bolstad

Wood storks are again calling the South Carolina coast home

No more than 15 years ago, it would have made a bird watcher's week to see the seldom-seen wood stork. Today, a daily siting is not unusual. That development pleases watchers, environmental agencies and wildlife experts who are happy to see wood storks -- and in large numbers -- calling the South Carolina coast home. | 08/12/13 11:34:34 By - Sarah Bowman

Despite Lake Okeechobee dumping, dike danger continues to rise

Lake Okeechobee keeps rising — and so do worries about an aging dike the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ranks among the most vulnerable to failure in the country. | 08/08/13 17:27:31 By - Curtis Morgan

Critics jump on frog and toad protection plans in California

Frogs will face a tough crowd Tuesday at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora, Calif. | 08/05/13 17:05:54 By - By Michael Doyle

Newly available wind power often has no place to go

The windswept prairies of the Midwest are undergoing an energy transformation the electric grid can’t handle. Wind turbines tower over rural vistas in the heartland, where the clean energy source is becoming increasingly popular with utility companies that face state-mandated renewable energy standards. Unfortunately, the nation’s aging power grid is hampering those efforts. | 08/05/13 00:00:00 By - By Trevor Graff

Congress pushes EPA on giant Alaska mine

Republicans in Congress hope to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from blocking the gigantic Pebble open pit mine in Alaska, proposed for one of the last places left on the globe to support huge runs of wild salmon. | 08/01/13 18:14:57 By - By Sean Cockerham

States worry that federal action could limit their control of chemicals

It sounds good: the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, a proposed law with bipartisan support giving the Environmental Protection Agency more authority to regulate dangerous chemicals. | 07/30/13 18:15:45 By - By Erika Bolstad

Feds look to protect loggerhead turtles’ ocean habitats

The federal government moved Wednesday to protect the ocean habitat of loggerhead turtles, listed since 1978 in some places as an endangered species because of threats from pollution, injury caused by fishing gear and loss of nesting beaches. | 07/17/13 18:06:42 By - By Erika Bolstad

Birth defects linked to bad water in California's San Joaquin Valley

An extensive new study confirms a long-suspected link between crippling birth defects and the nitrate contamination that threatens drinking water for 250,000 people in the San Joaquin Valley in California. | 07/15/13 15:18:29 By - Mark Grossi

State parks fall victim to tight budgets in Kansas, Missouri and across the nation

The nation’s 7,975 state parks sit in a precarious position with shortened seasons, new admissions fees and threatened closures brought on by budget turmoil in recent years. They also face mushrooming backlogs of repairs ranging from $26 million in Kansas to $750 million in Illinois to more than $1 billion in California. Park supporters estimate Missouri’s park repair needs at about $400 million. | 07/01/13 13:28:58 By - Brad Cooper

Obama’s climate plan aims straight at coal

President Barack Obama’s plan to curb climate change could transform American energy, potentially dealing a blow to the coal-fired power plants that supply much of the nation’s electricity but also pump planet-warming gases into the atmosphere. | 06/25/13 19:06:22 By - By Sean Cockerham and Erika Bolstad

Climate change a threat to migratory birds, wildlife group says

Climate change is altering and destroying important habitats that America’s migratory birds depend on, the National Wildlife Federation said Tuesday in a report. | 06/18/13 17:10:13 By - By Erika Bolstad

Scarlet shorebird serves as harbinger of climate change between the poles

In years past, tens of thousands of red knots crowded the sandy beaches of Mispillion Harbor in Delaware Bay, gorging on fresh horseshoe crab eggs spawned in such abundance they turned the shoreline a gelatinous green. Smaller than a gull but larger than a robin, the shorebirds have one of the longest-distance migrations known in the animal kingdom. Each year, the ruddy-breasted birds fly to the Canadian Arctic from their winter home in Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America. And each year, there are fewer and fewer. | 06/18/13 13:51:48 By - By Erika Bolstad

Rep. Doc Hastings’ bill would protect salmon from California sea lions

Rep. Doc Hastings argued in a heated House subcommittee hearing Thursday that stepping up lethal means against predatory California sea lions could protect the Northwest salmon populations. | 06/13/13 16:33:14 By - By Kevin Thibodeaux

Further restrictions proposed on using chimpanzees for research

The federal government moved Tuesday to further protect chimpanzees, proposing to change the animals’ endangered status and increase oversight of their use in research. The plan represents the latest in a series of steps taken in the past two years to better safeguard the animals, one of man’s closest genetic cousins, and shield them from use in scientific research. Top medical institutions also are changing their stance toward the use of chimpanzees. | 06/11/13 17:44:45 By -

Washington state hires climate consultant to shrink greenhouse gases

A legislative workgroup chaired by Gov. Jay Inslee voted unanimously Tuesday to hire a Virginia-based climate consultant to examine Washington state’s options for reducing greenhouse gases that are contributing to global climate change. | 06/06/13 12:23:02 By - Brad Shannon

Volunteers aid effort at Penn State to bring back American chestnut tree

Matt Fedorko and other volunteers Monday planted American chestnut hybrids in an orchard owned by the State College-based Pennsylvania/New Jersey chapter of the foundation. On Penn State land, they filled in a grove of 150 trees, part of the foundation’s efforts to breed American chestnut hybrids resistant to a fatal blight more than a century old. | 06/04/13 13:33:00 By - Chris Rosenblum

Storm chasers’ deaths in Okla. tornado prompt questions, calls for regulation

Veteran storm chasers knew this day was coming. With so many people now chasing severe weather in the hope of seeing a tornado – and getting closer and closer to the unpredictable beasts in the process – it was only a matter of time before a chaser was killed by one. | 06/04/13 13:14:49 By - Stan Finger

Scientists find rare butterfly on Biscayne Bay island

Researchers hunting for one of the world’s rarest butterflies on Monday announced that they captured a single female in the mosquito-filled forest of Elliott Key. | 06/04/13 12:59:42 By - Curtis Morgan

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell casts for young converts in fishing expedition

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell distributed night crawlers Monday morning among a group of excited Washington middle school students; many had never been fishing before. Some baited their hooks skittishly, while others couldn’t get their lines in the water fast enough. | 06/03/13 17:35:15 By - By Trevor Graff

ForestEthics group: ‘Green’ seal not worth paper it’s printed on

Take a look at the notepad on your desk, your ATM receipt or the package of disposable plates you bought for your Memorial Day barbecue. Many paper products are labeled as being sourced from sustainable forests, and many consumers make buying decisions based on those labels. | 05/29/13 00:00:00 By - By Erika Bolstad

American helps deploy drones to nab rhino poachers in Africa

The exact location of the anti-poaching operation is secret, as is the number of rangers who will be on duty. Also confidential: where the drones will fly as they search out poachers intent on slaying rhinos for their horns – one killed every 11 hours in South Africa alone. | 05/28/13 00:00:00 By - By Erika Bolstad

Obama administration outlines new policy for protecting, drilling in the Arctic

The Obama administration on Friday released a national strategy for the Arctic in advance of Secretary of State John Kerry’s trip next week to Sweden to attend a conference of eight polar nations. | 05/10/13 17:51:25 By - By Erika Bolstad

Western tent caterpillars back en masse this spring

Wiggling masses of white-orange-and-black caterpillars are emerging from their silken nests to munch on tender leaves - signaling a second spring when Western tent caterpillars might be out in big numbers. | 05/10/13 15:05:10 By - Kie Relya

Olympia may see LED streetlights

Thousands of Olympia streetlights could be converted from the traditional yellowish, high-pressure sodium lights to whiter, energy-saving LED lamps, in a project estimated to cost nearly $4 million. | 05/06/13 15:29:05 By - Matt Batcheldor

Thousands of kids’ products contain toxic chemicals, report says

More than 5,000 products, including clothing, toys and bedding, contain toxic chemicals that could be dangerous for children’s health, yet stores still stock them and consumers know little about their content, an advocacy group reported this week. | 05/01/13 06:00:00 By - By Erika Bolstad

EPA backs finding that proposed mine would hurt Alaska salmon runs

The Environmental Protection Agency says the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska could wipe out nearly 100 miles of streams and 4,800 acres of wetlands in one of the last places remaining in the world to support huge runs of wild salmon. | 04/26/13 18:37:54 By - By Sean Cockerham

On Earth Day, distant seed vault preserves world’s plant diversity

Deep in a mountain on a remote island above the Arctic Circle in Norway, scientists conserve thousands of varieties of seeds so they can be studied and used for future food needs. The seeds in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault are the backup for other gene banks around the world, including one in Syria that’s been threatened by civil unrest. | 04/22/13 17:44:42 By - By Erika Bolstad

Who’s the world leader in clean energy? China

China overtook the United States last year as the global leader in clean energy investment while American spending on renewables dropped nearly 40 percent, according to a report to be released Wednesday by the Pew Charitable Trusts. | 04/17/13 00:00:00 By - By Sean Cockerham

Soil bacteria may be answer to cheatgrass battle on Reach

A naturally occurring soil bacteria could give native bunch grasses at the Hanford Reach National Monument the competitive advantage they need to edge out cheatgrass. | 04/16/13 15:28:40 By - Annette Cary

Environmentalists want feds to halt imports of Russian timber that endanger rare tigers

U.S. consumers who purchase hardwood floors and furniture products made with illegally cut Russian timber unwittingly may be damaging the last remaining habitat of the endangered and noble Amur tiger. | 04/16/13 06:00:00 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Young Florida panther released into the Everglades

The two-year-old male panther peeked cautiously out of the open crate placed on a dirt track between a canal and thick brush. It looked both ways, then dashed down the road like a thoroughbred in the final lap of the Triple Crown, disappearing from sight within seconds. | 04/04/13 14:10:50 By - Susan Cocking

Climate change expected to increase Snake River sediment tenfold

The Army Corps of Engineer under law is supposed to maintain the lower Snake River navigation channel at 14 feet deep and 250 feet wide. In the draft EIS, the Corps is proposing a long-term plan to manage, and prevent if possible, river sediment deposition behind all four dams, Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose, and Lower Granite Locks and Dams. | 03/29/13 13:21:16 By - Rocky Barker

Justice Department is investigating Shell’s Arctic drilling

The Coast Guard has asked the Justice Department to investigate possible pollution violations by both the drilling rigs Shell used in its botched efforts to explore for oil last year in the Arctic Ocean waters off the northern coast of Alaska. | 03/28/13 06:25:25 By - By Sean Cockerham

Sea-level rise a part of Olympia comprehensive plan

The Olympia Planning Commission has finished its recommendations on the draft update of the city’s comprehensive plan, an effort that has been years in the making. | 03/27/13 16:56:10 By - Matt Batcheldor

Sierra snowpack falls short

Snow-surveying crews across the Sierra are seeing bad news up close this week. California has about half a snowpack. April 1 is the unofficial end of the snowfall season -- this year, following a miserably dry January, February and March. City officials, industry leaders and farmers will get a good idea of how much water to expect when the snow melts. | 03/27/13 13:51:59 By - Mark Grossi

Some California state parks should go to local agencies, study indicates

A study released Monday by the Little Hoover Commission says California should consider giving up some of its state parks and turning them over to local agencies permanently. | 03/26/13 06:58:44 By - Matt Weiser

New bridge will aid in restoring Florida's Everglades

It was touted as a triumph of modern engineering when it opened in 1928, a road across the once-impassable Everglades that took 2.6 million sticks of dynamite and 13 years to construct. | 03/20/13 07:07:22 By - Curtis Morgan

Maker of d-CON rat poison fights EPA ban

The manufacturer of d-CON, a widely sold and popular brand of rat poison, is taking the rare step of challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to prohibit the over-the-counter sale of one of the nastiest and most effective of the poisons sold to consumers. | 03/19/13 15:35:06 By - By Erika Bolstad

Climate emerges as hot issue in Columbia River Treaty talks with Canada

When Eisenhower signed the treaty with Canada as one of his last official acts in 1961, global warming did not rank as a public concern. Fifty-two years later, it’s a different story. The treaty created a system of dams for flood control and electricity, but changing weather might mean fewer fish and might damage the river’s ability to feed the turbines that produce hydropower for the two nations. Consequently, environmentalists want climate change to take center stage as U.S. and Canadian officials try to decide whether to extend the treaty. | 03/16/13 00:00:00 By - By Rob Hotakainen

Activists fight FDA approval of AquaBounty’s genetically engineered salmon

Fishermen, environmentalists, food safety advocates and others are casting a wary eye on Washington, where the Food and Drug Administration is considering whether the Massachusetts-based company AquaBounty may sell genetically engineered salmon to consumers in the U.S. Among the worries is that the fish might escape and mix with wild salmon. The company says that’s unlikely, not only because the fish are sterile but also because of its production process. | 03/05/13 15:38:10 By - By Erika Bolstad

Fracking waste could go to N.C. coastal towns if ban is lifted

Forty years ago, when North Carolina banned using deep wells to permanently dump industrial waste, some thought the issue had been decided for good. Now state lawmakers who want to turn North Carolina into the nation’s next fracking hotspot are reopening the case for injecting brines and toxins deep underground. | 03/05/13 07:03:21 By - Anne Blythe

State Department opens door to Keystone XL Pipeline approval

The State Department announced Friday that construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline is unlikely to have a significant impact on climate change, a finding that could open the door for President Barack Obama to approve the controversial project. | 03/01/13 19:12:18 By - By Sean Cockerham and Erika Bolstad

Drought-starved habitat, snow hit Kansas wildlife hard

Robert Penner’s rural Ellinwood bird feeders have been busy for the past 10 days. The normal crowd of scarlet-colored cardinals, lemony goldfinches, bouncy juncos and other regulars have kept him entertained. But the building numbers of meadowlarks, tree sparrows, pheasants, quail and red-winged blackbirds have him concerned. | 02/28/13 12:59:54 By - Michael Pearce

Ex-wildlife chief warns of climate change in SC

Following revelations the state wildlife department has failed to release a major climate change report, the agency’s former chief said the department should be leading efforts to brace South Carolina for the consequences of global warming. | 02/27/13 13:58:12 By - Sammy Fretwell

Rollback of cruiseship wastewater rules approved by Alaska Senate

The Alaska Senate on Tuesday approved a Parnell administration measure to roll back cruise ship wastewater standards that were approved by voters in 2006. The vote was 14-6. | 02/20/13 06:52:54 By - Lisa Demer

Alaska bill would undo wilderness restrictions in state park

A bill moving through the Alaska Legislature would eliminate wilderness restrictions in a portion of a state park in the Bristol Bay region so a utility can study a hydroelectric project on a lake where such development now is banned. | 02/18/13 06:54:58 By - Richard Mauer

Democrats offer long-shot bill to meet Obama’s climate change challenge

Democrats in Congress wasted no time in taking up President Barack Obama’s challenge Tuesday night that lawmakers take a "market-based" approach to addressing climate change, even if their effort has little hope of success. | 02/14/13 06:31:29 By - By Erika Bolstad

Democrats offer long-shot bill to meet Obama’s climate change challenge

Democrats in Congress wasted no time in taking up President Barack Obama’s challenge Tuesday night that lawmakers take a "market-based" approach to addressing climate change, even if their effort has little hope of success. | 02/13/13 18:46:15 By - By Erika Bolstad

Shell to tow Arctic drilling vessels to Asia for repairs

In another costly setback for Royal Dutch Shell's controversial Alaska Arctic endeavor, both drilling rigs used offshore during last year's oil exploration season will be towed out of the water on massive vessels to Asia for further inspection and repair, Shell announced Monday. | 02/12/13 06:49:09 By - Lisa Demer

Sen. Marco Rubio, GOP’s choice for State of the Union response, doubts climate change

Sen. Marco Rubio will offer up the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address next week, demonstrating the younger, more diverse face of the party as the nation confronts such issues as immigration. | 02/08/13 18:18:50 By - By Erika Bolstad

Report outlines climate change options for Obama administration

The United States will struggle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to promised levels by 2020, a report from a prominent think tank warned this week, but the federal government, states and industry already have the means at their disposal to achieve such goals. | 02/06/13 17:34:37 By - By Erika Bolstad

UPS goes green in California with electric delivery trucks

Big Brown is going green. United Postal Service's trademark brown vans will be joined by 100 fully electric vehicles in what is being touted as the largest rollout of zero-emissions, all-electric delivery vehicles in California. | 02/06/13 07:00:21 By - Darrell Smith

Duke Energy to retire idle Crystal River nuclear plant

Duke Energy announced Tuesday that it will close Progress Energy’s idled Crystal River nuclear reactor in Florida. | 02/05/13 12:49:26 By - David Bracken

Bill loosening cruise ship discharge rules passes in Alaska House

The House decided Monday to roll back pollution standards voted into law by the 2006 cruise-ship initiative, allowing cruise vessels to dump ammonia, copper and other contaminants into Alaska waters. | 02/05/13 06:45:44 By - Richard Mauer

New EPA leader sure to draw fire as environmental fights intensify

As Obama prepares to choose a new leader for the EPA for his second term, any unanimity on environmental issues is long gone on Capitol Hill, where the agency has become a favorite whipping boy for those who fear it has too much power. Whoever gets the job will face criticism from the right as going too far in pushing job-killing regulations, and criticism from the left as not doing enough to crack down on polluters. | 02/04/13 14:43:43 By - By Rob Hotakainen and Erika Bolstad

Duke Energy will close two aging coal plants in April

Duke Energy will close two of its oldest coal-fired power plants, Riverbend west of Charlotte and Buck in Rowan County in April, two years ahead of schedule. Both plants date to the 1920s and had been planned for retirement in 2015. | 02/01/13 12:58:47 By - Bruce Henderson

Obama sounds strong on climate change, but what next?

Persuading Americans that they should care about climate change _ or have a duty to do so _ is one thing. Actually doing something about the emissions that contribute to rising sea levels, sooty skies and melting Arctic sea ice is a far more complex task. | 01/25/13 13:22:52 By - By Erika Bolstad

World Bank looks to battle climate change with better transportation

There’s an unexpected method governments can use to reduce poverty, improve public health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, top world leaders said Friday. | 01/18/13 17:11:27 By - By Erika Bolstad

Climate change activists turn to plans, persuasion, prayer in Obama’s second term

Just before he and other environmentalists marched to the White House on Tuesday, climate change activist James Hansen warned he wouldn’t be able to be arrested with them this time. Hansen, a NASA scientist by day and an activist on his own time, had to be available for a press conference in the afternoon announcing that worldwide temperatures in 2012 were in the top 10 hottest ever recorded. | 01/15/13 19:21:12 By - By Erika Bolstad

California sunshine can't warm up the state

It was 27 degrees in Santa Barbara Monday morning, breaking a record set 23 years earlier. Los Angeles recorded a low of 33 degrees, breaking a 2007 record. Those places are positively balmy compared to the coldest place in California on Monday: 17 degrees below zero at Burnside Lake, an uninhabited spot near Hope Valley, south of Lake Tahoe. | 01/15/13 13:34:43 By - Matt Weiser and Debbie Arrington

Idaho biologists protect troops, planes in Afghanistan

A week after Boisean George Graves arrived at Bagram Air Force Base, two mortars exploded about 100 yards from his office. This temporary job assignment would be unlike any other in the wildlife biologist’s 27 years with USDA Wildlife Services. | 01/14/13 17:48:53 By - Katy Moeller

Was one ship enough to tow Shell oil drilling rig in Gulf of Alaska?

When Royal Dutch Shell's oil drilling rig Kulluk and tow ship, the Aiviq, pulled out of Dutch Harbor the afternoon of Dec. 21 for a long, slow trip to Seattle, Shell says it was relying on its consultant's weather forecast to ensure crews -- and prized vessels -- arrived safely. | 01/14/13 06:42:19 By - Lisa Demer

Report: Climate change already affecting U.S. economy, people

A new report warns that climate change driven by human activity already is affecting the American people and economy, with more frequent and intense heat waves, heavy downpours and, in some places, floods and droughts. | 01/11/13 17:01:18 By - By Erika Bolstad

Shell's Arctic oil exploration operation faces multiple investigations

As response teams continued Tuesday to evaluate Royal Dutch Shell's once-grounded oil drilling rig, the Coast Guard, the Obama administration and U.S. Sen. Mark Begich all announced investigations or reviews taking a close look at Shell. | 01/09/13 06:38:16 By - Lisa Demer

Obama administration to review Shell’s beleaguered Arctic operations

The Obama administration is launching a fast-track review of Shell’s troubled Arctic drilling efforts in the wake of a grounded drilling rig, a failed spill equipment test and other problems. | 01/08/13 17:59:08 By - By Sean Cockerham

Kansas drought isn't easing up; forecasters optimistic for later in the year

The intense drought that crippled much of the growing season for numerous states in the nation’s mid-section in 2012 is showing little sign of easing early in the new year, weather officials say. | 01/08/13 13:29:55 By - Stan Finger

Study: Alaska got colder from 2000-2010

The overwhelming majority of Alaska is getting colder and has been since 2000, according to a study by researchers with the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. But the authors stop short of saying the lower temperatures contradict that idea that the earth, and Alaska in particular, is warming. Instead, they conclude that the findings show a temporary variation. | 01/07/13 06:57:26 By - Richard Mauer

Grounded Shell drilling rig has Alaska village residents concerned

In this small Alaska Native village, residents look across a protected bay at a rugged and wild island where they hunt deer and geese, fish for silver and sockeye salmon, picnic and camp. For many, it’s their treasured homeland. | 01/04/13 06:55:17 By - Lisa Demer

Shell’s foundering ship has some questioning wisdom of Arctic drilling

Critics want a halt to offshore Arctic drilling in the wake of Shell’s latest mishap in the waters off Alaska, but there’s no sign the Obama administration and key members of Congress are backing off their support for drilling in the sensitive region. | 01/03/13 18:49:49 By - By Sean Cockerham

Scientists trying to thwart kudzu bug’s destructive march

At last, the “Vine that Ate the South” may have met its match. To most longtime Southerners, it sounds great: a bug that loves to eat kudzu and can kill off half an infestation of the tangled vine in a couple of years. Wat’s not to like? A lot, it turns out. | 01/03/13 15:57:10 By - S. Heather Duncan

Congress bends rules to rename Yosemite-area peak

Congress stretched the rules a bit by naming a Yosemite National Park-area mountain after the late Olympic star and longtime Mono County, Calif., Supervisor Andrea Lawrence. And most everyone is cool with that. | 12/31/12 18:48:17 By - By Michael Doyle

Tow lines attached to Shell Oil drilling vessel in Gulf of Alaska

Tow lines were reconnected overnight from the Shell drill rig Kulluk to two support vessels in the Gulf of Alaska, according to Shell and the U.S. Coast Guard. The vessels are 19 miles southeast of Kodiak Island, according to a joint statement issued Monday morning by Shell, the Coast Guard and others. | 12/31/12 06:46:21 By - Lisa Demer

Largest wind farm in Kansas to begin operation soon

The largest wind farm to be built in Kansas is set to begin operations by the end of the year. Flat Ridge 2, jointly owned by BP Wind Energy and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, is on a 66,000-acre site covering parts of Harper, Barber, Kingman and Sumner counties in southern Kansas. | 12/26/12 12:10:16 By - Steve Everly

Proposed Coles Hill uranium mine: Buried treasure or hidden threat?

Beneath an estate that’s been farmed by the Coles family since just after the Revolutionary War lies the nation’s largest untapped uranium deposit, a potential $10 billion bonanza amid rolling hills, oak trees, pastures and a historic plantation home. | 12/23/12 00:00:00 By - By Sean Cockerham and John Murawski

2012 is shaping up to be warmest year on record in Texas

Barring a late December cold snap, North Texas is on track to have its warmest year on record. Earlier this month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said 2012 was "likely" to be the warmest year on record for the Continental U.S. based on weather data through the end of November. | 12/17/12 13:11:53 By - Bill Hanna

New soot rules should reduce disease, health costs, EPA says

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday that it will set new limits for the airborne microscopic particles known as soot, one of the most deadly forms of air pollution. | 12/14/12 17:05:27 By - By Erika Bolstad

Water pipeline from Kansas to Colorado is unlikely, U.S. report concludes

A Western states pipe dream got a cold splash of reality this week when the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation issued a long-awaited report on strategies to provide water to the parched states along the Colorado River. | 12/14/12 07:15:34 By - Dave Helling

N.C. ocean waters chosen for offshore wind farm

Federal authorities on Wednesday announced that about 1,900 square miles of Atlantic Ocean waters are open for building offshore wind farms, making North Carolina the nation’s new energy hotspot for planting forests of whirling turbines in the high seas. | 12/13/12 07:16:18 By - John Murawski

Long, uncertain path ahead for Gulf restoration after oil spill

In the coming years, unprecedented billions will be spent on restoration in the Gulf of Mexico, a vital American ecosystem damaged by the most catastrophic oil spill in U.S. history. | 12/11/12 17:43:40 By - By Erika Bolstad

'Snow' turtles stranded in Cape Cod’s cold water airlifted to Florida

Call them snow-birds of the four-flippered variety. The Coast Guard on Friday airlifted to Florida 35 endangered sea turtles that got caught up in cold water off Cape Cod, Mass., and suffered hypothermia. | 12/07/12 17:02:02 By - Carol Rosenberg

Debate over coal exports in Pacific Northwest leaves some out, critics charge

While proposals to turn green-leaning Washington state into a major exporter of coal to China have caused an uproar in coastal communities, the heated debate is largely absent from other places along the industry’s expected trade route to Asia. | 12/05/12 15:18:13 By - By Curtis Tate and Kristi Pihl

Texas prepares for drought's return

Water managers are eyeing their gauges, farmers are watching wheat fields whither, ranchers are recalculating their herd numbers and city dwellers are dragging out their sprinklers again as drought rapidly intensifies across Texas. | 11/30/12 07:18:32 By - Steve Campbell

Following oil spill charges, BP suspended from federal contracts

The U.S. government is suspending oil giant BP from winning new federal contracts or oil leases, saying the company’s “lack of business integrity” makes it an unfit partner in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. | 11/28/12 17:35:06 By - By Sean Cockerham

Climate talks must consider impact of thawing permafrost, scientists say

Scientists who study the Arctic say they’re worried that nations meeting this week to set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions aren’t adequately considering how much carbon dioxide and methane could be released from the world’s rapidly thawing permafrost. | 11/27/12 17:14:52 By - By Erika Bolstad

Pollution credits fetch low price at first California auction

The price of spewing greenhouse gases came in relatively cheap today, as California officials released the results of their first-ever cap-and-trade carbon auction. | 11/19/12 16:40:36 By - Dale Kasler

BP to pay record $4.5 billion criminal penalty in Deepwater Horizon spill

Oil giant BP will plead guilty to misconduct and felony criminal manslaughter for the Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 workers and led to the biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history. | 11/15/12 18:37:57 By - By Sean Cockerham and Erika Bolstad

California's cap-and-trade auction may be disrupted by Chamber of Commerce lawsuit

California's most powerful business lobby filed a last-minute lawsuit Tuesday that could spoil today's launch of the state's cap-and-trade market to curtail greenhouse gases. | 11/14/12 07:03:24 By - Dale Kasler

Feds: More Arctic oil spill research is needed

A federal commission says more research is needed to prevent and clean up oil spills in the ice-covered waters surrounding Alaska and Canada. | 11/14/12 06:56:41 By - Kyle Hopkins

As fiscal cliff looms, wind industry works to protect tax break

Wind energy advocates have just weeks to save a multibillion-dollar tax break, arguing half the jobs in the industry will be lost if Congress allows it to expire as scheduled at the end of the year. | 11/13/12 17:05:39 By - By Sean Cockerham

California's cap-and-trade auction starts Wednesday

Despite fierce opposition from much of the business community, California's grand experiment in taming global warming begins in earnest Wednesday. | 11/13/12 06:41:33 By - Dale Kasler

Fracking can hurt property values of nearby homes with wells, study suggests

Property owners near shale gas wells are liable to suffer a major loss in value because of worries over water contamination, according to economists from Duke University and the nonprofit research organization Resources for the Future.Their study found Pennsylvania homeowners who use local groundwater for drinking lost up to 24 percent of their property value if they are within a mile and a quarter of a shale gas well. | 11/06/12 18:13:33 By - By Sean Cockerham

Idaho's power line route reveals clashing values, dueling processes

No matter who wins the election Tuesday, the Bureau of Land Management is going to have to thread a needle to find routes Idaho Power Co. and Rocky Mountain Power can use for the Gateway West power line across southern Idaho. | 11/05/12 13:15:42 By - Rocky Barker

North Carolina's coast is 'hot spot' for rising sea levels

State legislators last summer ignored research that shows sea-level rise will accelerate its creep up North Carolina’s coastline this century.

This week, waves of science will say they were wrong. | 11/05/12 07:21:29 By - Bruce Henderson

Miami’s new towers are untested by hurricanes

In the seven years since Hurricane Wilma swept through South Florida, unexpectedly shattering thousands of glass windows in the gleaming high-rises in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, a new generation of towers have reshaped the skyline. The new towers, built to tougher standards than the older ones that bore the brunt of the damage, have yet to face a real test of the turbulent wind, water and flying debris of a major storm. | 10/25/12 14:56:55 By - Martha Brannigan

Huge 'Perfect Storm', Sandy, could impact East Coast

Meteorologists fear conditions are conspiring to bring a storm of possibly historic proportions into the East Coast of the United States late this weekend and early next week. | 10/25/12 14:06:56 By - Steve Lyttle

Penn State climate scientist files defamation suit

Penn State University scientist Michael Mann, whose work showed that Earth’s temperatures have risen along with increased fossil fuel use, announced Tuesday he had filed a lawsuit against the conservative National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute for defamation, complaining that they falsely accused him of academic fraud and compared him to convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky. | 10/23/12 19:23:54 By - By Renee Schoof

Dept. of Energy confirms tank leak at Hanford nuclear reservation

The Department of Energy has confirmed that its oldest double-shell tank is actively leaking radioactive and hazardous chemical waste from its inner shell. | 10/23/12 07:21:14 By - Annette Cary

Cold front shows promise of wind power in the West

The cold front that moved through the Pacific Northwest and on to the Great Plains a week ago illustrated the promise of wind power if the region’s transmission system is upgraded as planned. | 10/22/12 12:31:27 By - Rocky Barker

Alaska argues to keep polar bear off ‘threatened’ list

A lawyer arguing for the state of Alaska that polar bears are not a threatened species ran into skeptical appeals court judges Friday. | 10/22/12 03:00:00 By - By Sean Cockerham

Feds tell Native Alaskan artist his art violates Migratory Bird Treaty Act

For hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years, Natives of Southeast Alaska have paid artisans to create tools, clothing and ceremonial regalia adorned with feathers. | 10/16/12 06:40:47 By - Mike Dunham

Environmental groups petition N.C. over coal ash near Duke Energy plant

Four environmental groups have asked North Carolina's Environmental Management Commission for a ruling that would force Duke Energy to clean up groundwater contamination near ash ponds at 14 coal-fired power plants. | 10/11/12 11:07:36 By - Bruce Henderson

Some states score high on energy efficiency efforts, some not so good

Massachusetts and California are the two most energy-efficient states, according to a report this week from a group that promotes new energy policies, technologies and investments. | 10/04/12 19:28:24 By - By Jacob Fischler

Shell Oil begins exploratory drilling in Alaska's Beaufort Sea

Shell Oil is now drilling wells in two Arctic seas off Alaska's northern coast.

Drilling began Wednesday afternoon in the Beaufort Sea after the end of an Inupiat whale hunt, according to Curtis Smith, spokesman for Shell Alaska. | 10/04/12 07:00:05 By - Lisa Demer

Standard bulbs phased out; alternatives can be turnoff for shoppers

It's lights out for the standard 100-watt incandescent light bulb after new national energy-efficiency laws took effect Monday. | 10/03/12 13:47:16 By - ANNE CHRISTNOVICH

Opponents of Alaska's Pebble mine cry foul over developer's scientific review

The group aiming to develop a giant copper and gold mine in the Bristol Bay area is vetting the scientific studies that underlay its work, turning to a Colorado-based non-profit with expertise in environmental conflict resolution. But critics of the proposed Pebble mine are having little of it. | 10/03/12 06:54:58 By - Lisa Demer

Supreme Court's roadless forest ruling closes book on era that ended a decade ago

The U.S. Supreme Court closed the book Monday on an era in American conservation history that had all but ended more than a decade ago. | 10/02/12 16:34:04 By - Rocky Barker

Offshore drilling in Atlantic Ocean likely under Obama, Romney policies

After decades of inactivity, drilling off North Carolina’s coast seems more likely than at any time since state authorities blocked an effort by Mobil Oil to drill off the coast of Hatteras in 1990. | 10/02/12 07:24:26 By - John Murawski

Former residents of Treece, Kan., say goodbye to contaminated town

Residents and local officials gathered here Thursday to say a fond and final farewell to a lead-contaminated town that no longer exists. In the past two years, this city in the far southeastern corner of Kansas has been virtually emptied of its residents, who were given government-sponsored buyouts to move away after Treece was declared unsafe for human habitation. | 09/28/12 07:13:49 By - Dion Lefler

California farmers examine climate change issues

If researcher's predictions hold true, California's San Joaquin Valley's multi-billion dollar agriculture industry will be hit with longer stretches of hot temperatures, fewer colder days and shrinking water supplies. | 09/27/12 12:31:57 By - Robert Rodriguez

Democratic senators want a stop to Arctic drilling

A group of Democratic senators is calling for the Interior Department to halt future Alaska offshore drilling leases, saying the president hasn’t made the case that drilling in the environmentally sensitive region is safe. | 09/26/12 17:39:05 By - By Sean Cockerham

Modesto explores energy efficiency loans for home, business

Mayor Garrad Marsh is backing a program for improving the energy efficiency of homes and commercial buildings in Modesto, California. | 09/25/12 17:54:59 By - Ken Carlson

Malaria is found in Alaska birds

A new study reports that a form of malaria, generally considered a tropical disease, is being contracted by birds as far north as Fairbanks. | 09/24/12 06:53:10 By - Mike Dunham

Alaska declines to protect wolves near Denali National Park

The state of Alaska refuses to restore a ban on hunting and trapping wolves just outside Denali National Park, despite the killing of a key breeding female and the breakup of an iconic pack viewed by Denali visitors from around the world. | 09/19/12 18:39:21 By - By Sean Cockerham

Bobwhite quail a vanishing breed in Texas

Populations of the storied upland game bird and grasslands troubadour, with the iconic call of "bobwhite, bobwhite," are crashing with a speed that rivals the explosion of a flushed covey taking flight. Range-wide, bobwhites have declined an estimated 80 percent over the past 40 years, said Don McKenzie, director of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative, a University of Tennessee-based consortium of 25 state wildlife agencies, conservation groups and research institutions launched in 2007 to form a unified strategy for saving bobwhites | 09/18/12 12:49:44 By - Steve Campbell

Shell abandons drilling for oil in Arctic Alaska this season

Shell is giving up for the year on drilling for oil in the Arctic waters off Alaska after another setback to its troubled oil spill-containment barge. | 09/18/12 06:30:32 By - Sean Cockerham

Logging plan for Daniel Boone National Forest is withdrawn

Officials have canceled a proposal for commercial logging in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Rockcastle County, Ky., that had caused concern about the potential impact on a pristine spring and trees hundreds of years old. | 09/17/12 07:00:41 By - Bill Estep

Environmental group wants ‘Nemo’ classified as endangered species

An environmental group asked the U.S. government on Thursday to consider classifying the orange clownfish – Nemo, to a whole generation of children – as endangered. | 09/13/12 17:57:01 By - By Erika Bolstad

Gulf Coast needs urgent help to stem demise, group says

A five-state coalition, warning that decades of damage inflicted by man and nature could take a $350 billion toll, called Wednesday on the White House and Congress to make an urgent commitment of massive, long-term aid to protect the battered Gulf Coast, its fragile ecosystem and its oil, seafood, shipping and tourism industries. | 09/12/12 19:07:01 By - By Greg Gordon

Shell Oil's drilling in Alaska's Chukchi Sea draws Greenpeace's criticism

After a day of slower-than-expected preparations in the Chukchi Sea, Shell Alaska officially began drilling into the seafloor above its Burger prospect at 4:30 a.m. Sunday, the company said. | 09/10/12 06:43:57 By - Lisa Demer

Yosemite increases outreach after 3rd hantavirus death

Federal and state health officials said Thursday the confirmed number of hantavirus cases linked to Yosemite National Park visitors has risen to eight, and West Virginia authorities said a victim there is the third person to die. | 09/07/12 13:40:10 By -

Shell Arctic drill ship gets pass on air emissions limits

The Obama administration has cleared another hurdle for Shell to drill in Alaska’s Arctic waters – the second in as many days – changing the company’s air pollution limits so its drill ship can operate in the Chukchi Sea. | 08/31/12 18:35:30 By - By Sean Cockerham

Obama to let Shell drill in Arctic – but not too deep

The Obama administration has decided to allow Shell to drill in Arctic waters off the Alaska coast, saying that for the time being the company must not go so deep as to hit actual oil because its troubled oil spill containment barge isn’t ready. | 08/30/12 18:38:42 By - By Sean Cockerham

Would cutting out ethanol lower corn prices?

This summer’s brutal weather is the backdrop for a renewed battle between fuel and food interests: The meat industry and several governors want less of the nation’s corn going to make ethanol, but it’s questionable whether the pullback would really help lower corn prices skyrocketing because of the worst drought in 50 years. | 08/29/12 17:02:52 By - By Sean Cockerham

Obama hikes fuel efficiency to 54.5 mpg by 2025

The Obama administration on Tuesday introduced new rules to double fuel economy for cars and light-duty trucks by 2025, a move that the White House says will be comparable to cutting a dollar a gallon from the price of gasoline and that auto dealers warned would raise the cost of a new car. | 08/28/12 16:55:12 By - By Erika Bolstad

A rare sight: Albino hummingbird visits Kansas City area

Nancy Morrison caught a glimpse of the stranger as she was backing out of the driveway and told her husband to watch out for some little white bird that was invading the hummingbird feeders at their Lake Waukomis home. But the visitor turned out to be an extremely rare albino hummingbird. | 08/28/12 14:16:53 By - Matt Campbell

Debt standoff makes Forest Agency fight all fires

The FLAME — Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement — Act set up separate funds for the Forest Service where surplus firefighting funds in quieter fire years could be saved for big years like this. But Congress took $200 million from the fund in 2011 as a part of the deal to keep the government running in the debt-ceiling standoff. Congress took another $240 million in surplus funds in 2012.But with Congress divided and the pressure to reduce government spending growing, the chances for a supplemental spending bill this year are uncertain. | 08/23/12 00:01:22 By - Rocky Barker

Appeals court scraps EPA's interstate pollution rule

A controversial Environmental Protection Agency rule on interstate air pollution, which had been challenged by Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings, the state of Texas and other energy interests, was set aside Tuesday in a 2-1 decision by a federal appeals court in Washington. | 08/22/12 07:36:38 By - Jim Fuquay

Drought has meant fewer tornadoes in 2012

If it’s at all possible to put a positive spin on a searing drought that has withered crops, dried lakes and altogether fried a weary Heartland this summer, it may be this: Fewer tornadoes. | 08/22/12 07:28:33 By - Eric Adler

Feds convict House of Raeford on 10 Clean Water Act charges

A federal jury on Monday convicted North Carolina poultry processor House of Raeford Farms of 10 counts of violating the Clean Water Act. But the company was found not guilty on four other counts, and the plant manager was cleared of wrong-doing. | 08/21/12 07:21:18 By - Franco Ordoñez

Dry winter helped fuel California's wildlands fires

A dry winter has turned into a busy summer for firefighters in California's wildlands, and the largest and most intense fires of the year may be yet to come. | 08/21/12 06:54:33 By - Max Ehrenfreund

Loggerhead turtle hatchlings follow light of casinos to Biloxi harbor

Part of a clutch of loggerhead turtle hatchlings followed the wrong light overnight and ended up in the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor on Thursday. "Most of these eggs hatch at night, and they follow the moon," Moby Solangi, director of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies said. "In this case however, "they followed the lights of the casino and it led them into the harbor." | 08/17/12 12:47:55 By - John Fitzhugh

Proposed Yuba River hydroelectric dam raises concerns over fish

A Canadian company's surprise proposal to build a hydroelectric generation facility on the Yuba River has raised alarm among government agencies and nonprofits working to restore salmon runs on the river. | 08/16/12 06:55:40 By - Matt Weiser

Sizzling summer has worsened drought conditions

What can make a bad drought even worse? A sizzling summer, the likes of which the lower 48 states haven’t seen since record-keeping started in 1895. | 08/14/12 18:59:20 By - By Renee Schoof

Dry times pose tough questions

A reporter follows the "drought route" and tells what dryness has meant for people along the way. | 08/14/12 16:33:12 By - Rick Montgomery

California regulators look at reducing 'cap and trade' burden on businesses

Big business sees California's global-warming law as a job killer, a $1 billion tax that could force some of the state's heaviest industries to flee. Now state regulators, trying to ease the burden, are studying whether to give hardship breaks to dozens of companies. | 08/14/12 10:54:31 By - Dale Kasler

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar slams Shell Oil for Arctic drilling delays

The opportunity for Shell Oil Co. to drill exploratory wells this year in Alaska's Arctic is rapidly diminishing and it's a situation of Shell's own making, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told reporters in Alaska on Monday. | 08/14/12 06:54:53 By - Lisa Demer

Gov. Jerry Brown launches website to rebut climate change skeptics

Gov. Jerry Brown said today that "humanity is getting dangerously close to the point of no return" on climate change, and he launched a website criticizing conservatives who dispute its significance. | 08/13/12 15:41:24 By - David Siders

Is the era of oil nearing its end?

After nearly a decade of warnings that the world’s oil supply was running out, Americans now are hearing about technology breakthroughs that can unlock vast U.S. deposits of natural gas, help reverse a 40-year slide in domestic oil production and perhaps transform America into the next Middle East. But despite the euphoria, there’s a major problem: The looming American oil glut may simply not be enough to sate the United States and the rest of motorized humanity. | 08/12/12 00:00:00 By - By Greg Gordon

Will high oil costs permanently ruin world’s economy?

To some experts, spikes in oil prices over the last several years have signaled an ominous turn that could make it nigh on impossible for any president to expand the sputtering U.S. economy as it has in the past. | 08/12/12 00:00:00 By - By Greg Gordon

Professor sees energy 'trap' ahead

Exponential economic growth cannot continue into the decades and centuries ahead because of constraints on energy supplies, according to Tom Murphy, an associate physics professor at the University of California-San Diego. | 08/12/12 00:00:00 By - By Greg Gordon

Republicans say EPA is digging in too soon on possible Alaska copper mine

Congressional Republicans are lining up against the possibility of the Environmental Protection Agency blocking what would be North America’s largest open pit mine in a region of Alaska that supports some of the richest wild salmon runs in the world. | 08/10/12 16:44:01 By - By Sean Cockerham

Hydropower bills energize environmental debate over dams

Hydropower dams would get a boost, while their skeptics would get punished, under a controversial new bill backed by Western conservatives in Congress. | 08/10/12 14:23:15 By - By Michael Doyle

Scientists begin study of EPA's report on proposed Alaska gold mine

Twelve scientists began their evaluation of a federal study of a huge proposed mine and whether it can be developed in the Bristol Bay area without harming salmon. They were immediately confronted by the impassioned debate between supporters and opponents of a Pebble copper and gold mine. | 08/08/12 06:45:19 By - Lisa Demer

Feds, Gibson Guitar settle environmental suit

Storied manufacturer Gibson Guitar Corp. will pay $350,000 and improve its import controls in exchange for the government deferring prosecution of environmental crimes, the Department of Justice announced Monday. | 08/06/12 16:41:20 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Texas neighborhood overrun by protected birds that create mess and stench

Tree branches and bushes are stripped almost bare of their summer foliage, and big piles of bird droppings have turned parts of yards a dirty white, residents say. So what kind of fowl is creating this foul situation and why can't property owners -- or the city of Fort Worth -- do something about it? | 08/06/12 13:20:45 By - Elizabeth Campbell

West's largest hazardous-waste landfill running out of room

The West's largest hazardous-waste landfill is running out of room after four years of expansion attempts have been stymied by tragedy in nearby Kettleman City, Calif. | 08/06/12 09:57:43 By - Mark Grossi

Gray whale baby boom is noted in Alaska and California

A gray whale baby boom appears to be under way along Alaska's arctic coast. Scientists tracking marine mammals in the Chukchi Sea report an unprecedented number of sightings of gray whale calves in July. | 08/03/12 07:50:22 By - By MIKE DUNHAM

Feds want Kentucky to charge coal industry more for cleaning up mines

Kentucky fails to make the coal industry pay enough to clean up the environmental wreckage it leaves behind, according to the U.S. Office of Surface Mining. Kentucky lawmakers said Thursday the criticism is another example of President Barack Obama's "war on coal." | 08/03/12 07:31:36 By - By John Cheves

Does killer whale need protecting? Lawsuit says no

The iconic orca, or killer whale, should swim free of federal protection, a farmer from California’s San Joaquin Valley urged in a petition filed Thursday. | 08/02/12 17:22:36 By - By Michael Doyle

Despite complications, Shell optimistic about Arctic oil drilling plans

Shell hopes to begin drilling in August, the first exploration in the offshore region in two decades. But it won't have much time when it gets there for drilling wells that could take a month each. The stakes are huge. Shell has invested more than $4 billion in leases, vessels and other special equipment for its Arctic mission. | 07/27/12 07:30:42 By - By Lisa Demer

Tree-killing emerald ash borer speading its reach in Missouri

The Missouri Department of Agriculture officially confirmed Wednesday that the emerald ash borer, an insect native to Asia that feeds on and kills ash trees, has been found in Platte County. Officials had been watching for its arrival ever since the emerald ash borer was found in southeast Missouri in 2008. | 07/26/12 07:46:46 By - By Katie Bergen

How hot is it? You even feel sorry for the weeds

This summer, only the strong survive. Even at the K-State Research and Extension Horticulture Center in Olathe, tomatoes fail to show fruit, flowers wilt and cucumbers turn bitter. | 07/24/12 13:40:01 By - Ian Cummings

Activists to EPA: Hold line on Shell drilling in Arctic

When Shell Oil Co. told federal regulators this month that its refurbished drilling ship couldn't comply with the air pollution limits it once said it could meet, activists seized on the revelation as an unexpected opportunity in their fight to close down Shell's quest to drill this summer in the Alaska Arctic. | 07/24/12 07:42:03 By - By Lisa Demer

Northwest states declare war on wild pigs

When a bunch of wild pigs showed up around C.J. Strike in 2009, Idaho wildlife officials began to sweat. They knew that nationally these feral mammals were a costly invasive species seeding weeds, spreading disease and causing massive erosion from their rooting and grubbing behavior | 07/23/12 16:08:02 By - Rocky Barker

In Chesapeake Bay, Army Corps tries to build a better island

In a bay where waves and rising water levels are sweeping islands away, the corps is turning a few fragile pieces of land into a 1,700-acre island with wetlands and a forest to restore decimated bird populations. | 07/23/12 00:00:00 By - By Matthew Schofield

U.S. drought could be boon for Washington state farmers

A drought that’s left many U.S. farmers praying for rain could be a blessing for Washington’s nearly $40 billion agricultural industry. | 07/20/12 12:18:25 By - John Gillie

Tribes tell Senate how environmental change, rules affect their lands

Climate change is sweeping indigenous villages into the sea in Alaska, flooding the taro fields of native Hawaiians and devastating the salmon population from which Washington state Indian tribes draw their livelihood, tribal leaders testified Thursday at a Senate hearing. | 07/19/12 19:12:00 By - By Rebecca Cohen

Sunflowers a symbol of Kansas, an emblem of the prairie

The sunflower symbolizes Kansas, decorating its landscape, the state banner and flag. Summer is the season of sunflowers. And they are in full bloom. | 07/19/12 15:58:28 By - Beccy Tanner

Biologists say dolphin strandings could have been caused by cold water, other factors

A report released Wednesday by biologists in Alabama and Mississippi suggests a "perfect storm" -- a discharge of cold, fresh water; stress from the BP oil spill; and unusual winter conditions -- could have played a part in the unusually high number of dolphin strandings in 2011. | 07/19/12 14:46:18 By - Donna Harris

For Ecuadorian village, a struggle to adapt to changing climate

Frosts aren’t on time for the 960 people living in this tiny, remote village, hidden on a chilly, windswept mountain ridge in South America. | 07/18/12 16:11:06 By - By Annika McGinnis

From the U.S. with love - burrowing owls go to Canada

As Mike Gregg heard the wind howling across the open spaces of the Mid-Columbia on Sunday, he knew it was going to be a good day. Gregg, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, was headed to the Umatilla Chemical Depot to help the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of British Columbia capture baby owls to take back to Canada to expand and diversify the country's breeding program. | 07/16/12 14:15:31 By - Annette Cary

Restrictions irk visitors, residents of North Carolina's Outer Banks

For a sea turtle looking to crawl ashore at night and bury a hundred eggs on the beach, this is a very good year at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. And things are looking up for the piping plover. These creatures and their vulnerable offspring have a new edge over beach drivers. Sweeping new rules took effect in February to restrict beach driving at the national seashore. | 07/16/12 12:31:26 By - Bruce Siceloff

Attack of the grasshoppers in Texas

A scourge of grasshoppers is chomping through gardens, orchards, pastures and urban landscapes across a wide swath of Texas this summer. | 07/13/12 15:20:48 By - Steve Campbell

Drought is harmful to your home, too

The danger waged by the ongoing drought is not limited to your plants and garden. It also can hurt your house. | 07/13/12 15:04:52 By - Will Buss

Editorial: Climate change too hot to handle; political impasse imperils planet

Denying climate change became a political litmus test for Republicans, Democrats took a dive on the issue and it has all but disappeared from the political radar. | 07/12/12 12:18:56 By -

Scientists stake out bat colonies to track a killer: White nose syndrome

As green cricket frogs screeched and the sun set, researcher Kate Langwig and a small band of fellow scientists set a trap of black nets to nab bats and inspect them as part of a scientific quest to understand a spreading disease that’s killed these small mammals by the millions. | 07/11/12 13:07:12 By - By Renee Schoof

Feds resurrect environmental crimes case against House of Raeford Farms

Federal authorities are reviving an environmental crimes case against House of Raeford Farms, a North Carolina-based poultry processor accused of flushing turkey remains into a municipal sewage treatment plant. | 07/10/12 07:22:22 By - Ames Alexander

First big Ga. Power solar project comes online

A new solar array in Upson County has just begun producing energy for the Georgia Power grid, making it the company’s first large-scale solar investment. | 07/09/12 12:46:02 By - S. Heather Duncan

Nearly all California state parks avoid closure - for now

California state parks originally to have been closed on Sunday in a budget move will stay open. The state struck deals with private donors and groups. | 06/28/12 18:14:48 By - Kevin Yamamura

Report: South Carolina surf pollution is higher than other Atlantic coast states

South Carolina beaches had a higher percentage of pollution-tainted surf last summer than all but three other Atlantic coast states, according to a beach water quality report released Wednesday. | 06/28/12 07:30:05 By - Sammy Fretwell

Shell Oil drilling rig headed to Alaska's Arctic

Two massive Shell Oil Co. drilling rigs left a Seattle dock early Wednesday, starting the long trek to Alaska's Arctic waters and leaving behind years of legal battles and regulatory hurdles in a quest for riches under the sea. | 06/28/12 06:54:49 By - Lisa Demer

Federal court panel upholds EPA rules aimed at global warming

A federal appeals court panel ruled Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency had acted properly when it set the nation’s first limits on greenhouse gases. | 06/26/12 18:30:30 By - By Renee Schoof

Oil exploration in Alaskan Arctic brings lots of noise to whales’ domain

As the Arctic Ocean’s ice cover declines in summer and oil companies move in with ships, drilling equipment and seismic surveys, what used to be a mostly very quiet home for whales and other marine animals is getting a lot louder. | 06/26/12 16:47:07 By - Renee Schoof

Decline in king salmon is rooted in the sea, Alaska state biologists say

Something in the ocean has been death to Alaska's king salmon. The state's iconic fish, treasured for food, sport and cash, should now be swimming in droves up rivers from the Southeast rain forests to the populated Railbelt and the Western Alaska tundra. But they're not. | 06/25/12 10:53:47 By - Richard Mauer

Cattle buzzed by government flights – but not by drones

First there was the lore about farm dust and how the Environmental Protection Agency was ordering farmers to control it. | 06/20/12 09:51:47 By - By David Goldstein

House votes to boost Merced River water storage despite ‘wild and scenic’ status

A divided House on Tuesday approved a bill that could increase water storage in California’s Merced River by taking away some long-standing “wild and scenic” river protections. | 06/19/12 18:06:15 By - By Michael Doyle

Support for mini-nuclear reactors gaining steam in S.C.

State and regional officials on Tuesday continued their push to build support both here and in the nation’s capital to build the first small, modular nuclear reactors at the Savannah River Site in Aiken County. | 06/19/12 15:07:34 By - Jeff Wilkinson

Washington Governor announces tsunami litter plan

The emergency management division of the state Military Department will coordinate the state effort to corral and clean up Japanese tsunami debris floating onto state beaches, Gov. Chris Gregoire announced Monday. | 06/19/12 14:59:27 By - John Dodge

California Gov. Brown seeks new regulations for fire retardants

Gov. Jerry Brown urged state regulators Monday to reduce the prevalence of chemical flame retardants in household furniture, joining a growing number of critics who argue the chemicals are toxic and unnecessary. | 06/19/12 06:54:59 By - David Siders

Florida's Everglades plan gets EPA approval

Federal environmental regulators on Wednesday approved an $880 million state plan intended to dramatically reduce the flow of farm and suburban pollution into the Everglades. | 06/14/12 07:06:49 By - Curtis Morgan

Gasification project gets support from California Gov. Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown's administration says it will support a Canadian company's effort to vaporize garbage and turn it into electricity in Monterey County, despite concerns raised by environmentalists. | 06/14/12 07:02:21 By - David Siders

Feds sending money to North Carolina, New York farmers for energy crops

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack plans to announce Wednesday that North Carolina and New York each will receive about $4 million for farmers growing crops used to produce energy. | 06/13/12 00:00:00 By - By Renee Schoof

Sen. Lindsey Graham's plan would open S.C. coast to offshore drilling

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham revealed his plan Monday to open South Carolina’s coast to offshore oil and natural gas drilling — and have the state share in any profits from strikes of fossil fuels. | 06/12/12 07:29:02 By - Sammy Fretwell

Bank of America plans $50-billion investment to go green

Bank of America Corp. announced Monday a commitment to invest $50 billion in green energy and other environmental projects over the next 10 years, after achieving a similar goal announced in 2007 years ahead of schedule. | 06/12/12 07:18:15 By - Andrew Dunn

Wind turbines causing concerns at Naval Air Station Fort Worth

Capt. Robert Bennett is worried about a problem he doesn't have. Bennett's concern is the construction of a 250-foot-tall wind turbine near Naval Air Station Fort Worth without his input. Wind turbines and their massive spinning blades can play havoc with the radar that military air traffic controllers use to guide aircraft in and out of the base. | 06/11/12 07:25:49 By - Chris Vaughn

Biodiversity helps sustain human life, scientists say

The world has long talked about the importance of preserving the diversity of life on Earth for the sake of beauty and wonder, or in the hopes of new medical discoveries, or for moral reasons. | 06/08/12 17:45:58 By - By Renee Schoof

Senate passes fracking bill, but N.C. may be less rich in gas

The state Senate approved the legalization of fracking in North Carolina on Wednesday just hours after the U.S. Geological Survey issued an estimate that the state has far less gas than earlier assessments showed. | 06/07/12 12:57:30 By -

Environmentalists, U.S. attorney's office criticize California Gov. Jerry Brown's wildfire liability plan

California Gov. Jerry Brown wantsn to limit payouts in wildfire liability cases. That would save timber companies and other major landowners hundreds of millions of dollars as federal prosecutors pursue record-high damages. | 06/06/12 10:33:23 By - Kevin Yamamura

Kansas tries to go natural along highways

The movement toward more native and environmentally friendly landscaping has expanded to Kansas highways. | 06/04/12 14:18:53 By - Annie Calovich

Sacramento scales back solar project at landfill

Sacramento officials have pulled back on plans for solar that would have provided clean energy to thousands of homes. The proposed solar field is a key feeding ground for the threatened Swainson's hawk. | 06/04/12 10:19:34 By - Ryan Lillis

Likely casualty of any Andrew-like hurricane: cellphones

Famed weatherman Bryan Norcross made his broadcasting bones when Hurricane Andrew was at its worst, remaining on the air for 23 hellish hours to provide storm updates and to counsel scared and stranded South Floridians whose only contact with the outside world was the sound of his steadying voice. | 06/01/12 15:46:09 By - Adam H. Beasley

Florida warns don't be complacent regarding hurricanes

Depending on in which evacuation zone they live in, studies report that many residents in the Tampa Bay area would stay in their homes if a Category 1 hurricane came ashore. This is the thinking that emergency management officials try to combat every year. | 06/01/12 15:21:04 By - Carl Mario Nudi

California passes leading national energy standards for new buildings

The California Energy Commission approved what it says are nationally leading energy standards for new homes and commercial buildings. | 06/01/12 12:13:25 By - Mark Glover

Criticism raised about California solar project's impact on wildlife, farms

Environmental and farm advocates say a larlge-scale solar project proposed in California uses farm acres and doesn't do enough to protect wildlife. | 06/01/12 12:01:39 By - Joshua Emerson Smith

North Carolina churches help reduce energy use

Churches can lead the way to reduce and clean up energy use, says a retired doctor working with North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light, an organization that works with faith communities to address climate change. | 06/01/12 11:43:34 By - Hope Yancey

Oil industry spent $1 million to push tax cuts in Alaska

The oil industry spent more than $1 million lobbying in Alaska to lower state oil taxes this year, including taking lawmakers to Washington for dinner. | 05/31/12 10:14:28 By - Sean Cockerham

Assembly passes bill on use of California cap-and-trade funds

California's Assembly passed a bill that authorizes funds from the auction of cap-and-trade credits to be spent on a cleaner environment and low-carbon economy. | 05/30/12 12:27:20 By - Jim Sanders

Repsol's move raises questions about Cuba offshore oil drilling

Spain's Repsol oil company announced Tuesday it was "almost certain" to withdraw from exploration in Cuba, after spending an estimated $150 million on a dry well and seeing far more profitable prospects in other countries such as Brazil and Angola. | 05/30/12 06:58:35 By - Juan O. Tamayo

Some coastal North Carolina county officials fight sea-level rise predictions

A group of county officials in North Carolina is fighting plans to prepare for sea level rise. | 05/29/12 17:30:05 By - Bruce Henderson

Unstoppable white-nose syndrome spreads to endangered gray bats

White-nose syndrome, the disease that’s killed millions of insect-eating bats, keeps getting worse. It’s made a thumb-sized bat rare in parts of New England and has spread through most of the Eastern U.S., as far west as Missouri. Now another species has it, the endangered gray bat of caves in the Southeast. | 05/29/12 14:33:29 By - By Renee Schoof

U.S. attorney's office assails Calif. Gov. Brown's wildfire-liability plan

Gov. Jerry Brown tucked provisions into his budget that would limit payouts in wildfire liability cases, potentially saving timber companies and other major California landowners hundreds of millions of dollars as federal prosecutors pursue record-high damages in court. | 05/25/12 06:59:49 By - Kevin Yamamura

Beyond oil, can Alaska be tapped as a source for renewable energy?

Alaska has massive hydro, wind, geothermal and other renewable resources, but the state's rural villages are chained to diesel and suffer oppressive energy costs they say threaten their existence. Lawmakers, energy experts and Native leaders said Thursday it's a dire problem with elusive solutions. | 05/24/12 17:52:11 By - By Sean Cockerham

Alaska pro-development luncheon becomes rally against EPA

A pro-development luncheon sponsored by Alaska business groups and featuring Gov. Sean Parnell among the speakers became a vehicle Tuesday to rally against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. | 05/23/12 06:49:16 By - Lisa Demer

New California conservation area dedicated in Central Valley

A parcel of land on two rivers near Modesto, Calif., was dedicated as a conservation area for wildlife and flood management amid the agricultural land of the Central Valley. | 05/22/12 12:43:36 By - John Holland

Scientists work to bridge political gap between Cuba, U.S.

Cuban and American scientists have joined forces in an effort to protect baby sea turtles and endangered sharks. They’re studying Caribbean weather patterns that fuel the hurricanes that have devastated the Southeastern United States. | 05/22/12 12:30:02 By - By Franco Ordonez

Migrations bring bird boom to Alaska

A lot of visitors are flying into Anchorage right now. But they won't be buying any T-shirts or postcards. | 05/21/12 12:54:18 By - Mike Dunham

Florida Keys mayor wants crocodiles removed

The mayor of Islamorada, Fla., wants crocodiles removed from places where people live. Crocodiles, however, tend to find their way back. | 05/18/12 12:31:36 By - David Goodhue

Opinion: Editorials on coal in Kentucky win national journalism award

These editorials about energy, the environment and Kentucky politics published in 2011 won the Scripps Howard Foundation's Walker Stone Award for editorial writing | 05/18/12 10:59:54 By -

Apple plans solar farm near North Carolina data center

Apple will build a 20-megawatt solar farm near its data center in Maiden, N.C. | 05/18/12 10:24:23 By - Bruce Henderson

Florida hurricane summit recalls monster Andrew

In this age of smart phones, Twitter and a 24/7 news media, every tropical wave rolling off faraway Africa is almost as closely monitored as a Kardashian sister shopping on South Beach. Things were a lot different 20 hurricane seasons ago, when a weak little system named Andrew meandered toward the Bahamas, not getting a whole lot of attention until it morphed overnight into a Category 5 killer, one of the strongest storms on record. | 05/17/12 13:43:28 By - Curtis Morgan

Insurers: Storms of 2011 among most costly ever

Last spring’s storms — including deadly tornadoes in Joplin, Mo., and Tuscaloosa, Ala. — ranked among the most damaging events to property in U.S. history, an insurance industry report said Wednesday. | 05/17/12 13:17:13 By - Mark Davis

Feds may push Savannah harbor dredging project

Frustrated with South Carolina’s opposition to a major Georgia port expansion, federal officials are again threatening to approve the $650 million project without Palmetto State authorization. | 05/17/12 07:27:38 By - Sammy Fretwell

Groups oppose Duke Energy's plan to bill North Carolina customers for nuclear in advance

Consumer, environmental and anti-nuclear groups say they'll fight a proposed North Carolina law that would allow Duke Energy to recover costs from customers before a nuclear plant is built. | 05/15/12 11:55:17 By - Bruce Henderson

Cuba embargo could threaten oil-drilling safety, expert says

The 50-year-old U.S. embargo of Cuba is getting in the way of safety when it comes to deepwater drilling in Cuban waters, an expert on the communist country’s offshore drilling activity said Thursday. | 05/11/12 10:13:18 By - By Erika Bolstad

Texas facing growing population of poisonous snakes this year

With temperatures in the 70s and 80s following a wet winter and spring, venomous snakes are making their presence known across North Texas: in flower beds, woodpiles, parks and golf courses. | 05/08/12 15:00:08 By - Domingo Ramirez Jr. and Mitch Mitchell

Climate change accelerating, complicating Idaho's spring runoff

The effects of global warming are making it more difficult for reservoir managers in Idaho to control floods and manage rivers for irrigation. | 05/08/12 10:19:12 By - Rocky Barker

Study on BPA health effects in monkeys raises breast cancer concerns

A new study of fetal exposure to BPA, a plastic additive found in some food packaging, shows that the chemical altered the mammary gland development in monkeys. The researchers reported that the changes they observed in the monkeys reinforce concerns that BPA – bisphenol A – could contribute to breast cancer in women. | 05/08/12 10:14:49 By - By Renee Schoof

Demonstrators raise climate concerns in Sacramento

A protest outside Sacramento raised concerns that climate change in the area will bring mroe rainfall earlier in the winter and less snowpack runoff later. | 05/07/12 09:55:22 By -

In California, looking at new ways to live with wildlife

Suggestions in changing Wildlife Services in California range from new practices to outright bans. It's part of a reform aimed at finding less destructive ways to live with wildlife. | 05/07/12 09:50:48 By - Tom Knudson

Suggested reforms for Wildlife Services run the gamut

Like many ranchers, Bill Jensen drives a pickup, shoots a high-powered rifle and loves to talk about sheep, cattle and the outdoors. But unlike many ranchers, he no longer relies on the federal government for predator control. | 05/07/12 06:54:44 By - Tom Knudson

Test successfully pulls natural gas from Alaskan ice

The Department of Energy has successfully completed an unprecedented test of harvesting the vast storehouse on Alaska’s North Slope of methane hydrate, essentially natural gas locked in ice crystals under the permafrost. | 05/02/12 17:39:19 By - By Sean Cockerham

Environmental groups file lawsuit to halt Wildlife Services' killing practices

The federal government's wildlife damage control program is based on outdated science and indiscriminate tools that kill many non-target animals, including protected species, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by WildEarth Guardians, a Colorado-based environmental group. | 05/02/12 07:08:54 By - Tom Knudson

Cruise-ship industry fighting EPA's cleaner-fuel rule

The EPA is requiring oceangoing ships to burn cleaner fuel, consistent with an air-pollution treaty negotiated during the Bush administration. But the cruise-ship industry is fighting to ease the rule, and it’s marshaling growing support from key lawmakers on Capitol Hill. | 05/01/12 14:50:41 By - By Renee Schoof

Resignation of EPA official in 'crucify' controversy brings cheers, jeers in Texas

The resignation Monday of Al Armendariz, the controversial regional director of the Environmental Protection Agency, was cheered by many Texas officials and bemoaned by environmental activists, leaving it unclear how his departure may affect regulatory enforcement of gas drilling operations. | 05/01/12 07:33:19 By - Jim Fuquay

Wildlife Services' deadly force brings environmental problems

Like the prow of a ship, the Granite Mountains rise sharply from the creamy-white playa of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. Here, in rugged terrain owned by the American public, a little-known federal agency called Wildlife Services has waged an eight-year war against predators to try to help an iconic Western big-game species: mule deer. | 05/01/12 06:45:04 By - Tom Knudson

Wildlife Services' methods leave a trail of animal death

The day began with a drive across the desert, checking the snares he had placed in the sagebrush to catch coyotes. Gary Strader, an employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, stepped out of his truck near a ravine in Nevada and found something he hadn't intended to kill. Strader's employer, a branch of the federal Department of Agriculture called Wildlife Services, has long specialized in killing animals that are deemed a threat to agriculture, the public and – more recently – the environment. | 04/30/12 06:47:04 By - Tom Knudson

Public hearings scheduled on seismic tests for offshore oil, gas

With the federal government now open to the idea of drilling for oil and natural gas off the East Coast, North Carolina residents will get their first chance on Thursday to offer opinions about the possibility of seismic testing along their coastline. | 04/24/12 18:02:50 By - By Franco Ordonez

'Garbage' chemical threatens water in California's San Joaquin Valley

A memo shows Dow Chemical knew that TCP was useless as a fumigant for agriculture, but used it anyway as a way to get rid of it. | 04/24/12 12:48:22 By - Matt Grossi

Offshore oil drilling near Cuba renews spill concerns in Florida Keys

In Cuba’s North Basin, the Spanish company Repsol has begun risky exploration for oil and natural gas on a semi-submersible rig, now just 77 nautical miles from Key West and even closer to the ecologically sensitive Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. In a month or so, Repsol expects its drilling through 5,600 feet of seawater and about 14,000 feet of layered rock will reach the reservoir. | 04/23/12 06:59:15 By - Cammy Clark

Obama proclaims Fort Ord National Monument on California’s Central Coast

The White House on Friday announced the creation of the Fort Ord National Monument, a stretch of grassland, oak and shrub landscape on California’s Central Coast where 1.5 million American soldiers trained before heading off to war. | 04/20/12 18:19:51 By - By Renee Schoof McClatchy Newspapers

EPA orders air pollution controls for fracked gas wells

Air pollution from thousands of natural gas wells that are “fracked” every year will be reduced under regulations that the Environmental Protection Agency issued on Wednesday. | 04/18/12 18:06:41 By - By Renee Schoof

As air pollution from fracking rises, EPA to set rules

As problems grow, EPA will announce Tuesday the first national rules governing air pollution from hydraulic fracking. | 04/16/12 18:02:37 By - Renee Schoof

Former Bush EPA chief, Christine Todd Whitman, sounds alarm on chemical security

Wading into a decade-old controversy, former Environmental Protection Agency chief Christine Todd Whitman has urged current EPA administrator Lisa Jackson to close loopholes in a 2006 chemical security law "before a tragedy of historic proportions occurs." | 04/15/12 12:00:00 By - Jim Morris

Crazy warm March across U.S. shatters records

The weird warmth of March brought out the tank tops and shorts in many parts of the country. In fact, it was the warmest March on record for the lower 48 states dating back to when records began in 1895. | 04/12/12 17:34:00 By - Renee Schoof

How green is a parking lot? New efforts to test infrastructure

A growing number of civil engineers, landscape architects and urban planners are making a case for not just repairing but also for greening the structural underbelly we rely on to drink our water, cross our rivers and park our cars. | 04/12/12 15:27:00 By - David J. Unger

Fracking concerns raised over N.C. homes sold without underground rights

Bert Garrido, a Florida transplant who bought a $400,000 home last year in upper Chatham County, is already having neighbor tensions in his newly adopted state. His concerns are of the sort that have never been experienced in North Carolina, and dovetail with this state’s contentious debate about fracking. | 04/12/12 07:18:09 By - John Murawski

Earthquake monitors proposed for seafloor near California's Diablo Canyon power plant

The California Coastal Commission today is expected to approve plans by PG&E to place six earthquake activity-monitoring devices on the seafloor off Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. | 04/11/12 18:49:23 By - Dan Sneed

Crocodile numbers grow in South Florida

Fishing in a canal outside Homestead Bayfront Park not long ago, Ed Castleberry fought hard to catch the biggest jack he’d ever hooked. But something else also wanted his 15-pound trophy, something lurking beneath the murky surface. As the retired Miami-Dade firefighter reached down to land the fish, a dark shadow passed under it, instantly followed by an explosion of water and the scream of his reel as line zinged out. | 04/09/12 06:57:45 By - Curtis Morgan

As habitat disappears, so does California's deer population

An estimated 445,000 deer live in California, or about equal to the city of Sacramento's human population. Which sounds like a lot, until you realize the deer are spread over the entire state: 99 million acres. | 04/09/12 06:46:00 By - Matt Weiser

Snake that swallowed golf ball to be used for environmental education

Golf giving you heartburn? It could be a lot worse. A snake in Beaufort, S.C., swallowed a golf ball whole this week and was sliding toward a sure and agonizing death, a Titleist wedged tightly in its gut. | 04/06/12 07:26:40 By - David Lauderdale

Miami blue butterfly declared endangered

The tiny Miami blue butterfly, reduced to a few hundred survivors on isolated islands off Key West, will be formally declared a federally endangered species on Friday. | 04/05/12 17:16:08 By - Curtis Morgan

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