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EPA regulations face new test at high court

EPA regulations challengedThe Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory power faces another key test at the Supreme Court Wednesday, when justices weigh arguments that the agency failed to consider industry costs before issuing a landmark air quality rule.

The case, Michigan v. EPA, centers on the EPA’s first-ever limits on mercury, arsenic and acid gases emitted by power plants, slated to take effect next month for some plants.

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Climate denial is immoral, says head of US Episcopal church

Climate denial immoralThe highest ranking woman in the Anglican communion has said climate denial is a “blind” and immoral position which rejects God’s gift of knowledge.

Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal church and one of the most powerful women in Christianity, said that climate change was a moral imperative akin to that of the civil rights movement. She said it was already a threat to the livelihoods and survival of people in the developing world.

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Study: Gulf Stream slower than ever before

Gulf stream slower than ever beforeThe Gulf Stream is the weakest it's been in the last 1,000 years. And as glacier melt in the Arctic continues to accelerate, the foot of the Atlantic's most powerful ocean current keeps pressing harder and harder on the brake pedal.

A team of researchers recently analyzed an exhaustive catalog of geologic samples -- including ice cores, tree rings and coral, as well as ocean and lake sediments -- dating back to the year 900. Using sea-surface and atmospheric temperature data derived from the samples, scientists were able to plot a history of ocean current behavior.

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Climate change: China official warns of 'huge impact'

China climate changeClimate change could have a "huge impact" on China, reducing crop yields and harming the environment, the country's top weather scientist has warned, in a rare official admission.

Zheng Guogang told Xinhua news agency that climate change could be a "serious threat" to big infrastructure projects.  He said temperature rises in China were already higher than global averages.

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New Fracking Rules on Public Lands ‘A Giveaway to Oil and Gas Industry,’

new fracking rules a giveaway“Current federal well-drilling regulations are more than 30 years old and they simply have not kept pace with the technical complexities of today’s hydraulic fracturing operations,” said Jewell. “This updated and strengthened rule provides a framework of safeguards and disclosure protocols that will allow for the continued responsible development of our federal oil and gas resources.

As we continue to offer millions of acres of public lands for conventional and renewable energy production, it is absolutely critical the public have confidence that transparent and effective safety and environmental protections are in place.”

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Senior scientists call on health charities to shift money out of fossil fuels

fossil fuelsSenior scientists including former chief advisers to the UK government and European commission have called on the world’s two largest health charities to sell their investments in leading fossil fuel companies.

They argue that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust should offload their holdings in major coal, oil and gas corporations because the investments are undermining the charities’ aims.

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U.S. to set fracking standards on federal land

Fracking on federal landThe Obama administration on Friday is due to unveil rules for oil companies that frack on federal land, included beefed-up safety measures, but won't likely require strict oversight as environmental groups want, according to sources.

The standards have been in the works for more than three years and gone through several drafts with environmentalists and the energy industry fighting over its scope.

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