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Sunday, Dec 21st

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U.S. Seeks BP Fine of Up to $18 Billion for Gulf Oil Spill Disaster

BP fine sought by USThe government wants BP Plc (BP/) to pay $16 billion to $18 billion in water-pollution fines for the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history while seeking more than $1 billion from the co-owner of the blown-out well that caused the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster.

The federal government said BP deserves the maximum fine, which BP said would be the biggest Clean Water Act penalty ever and called it a “gross outlier” compared to other cases.

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Gray wolf to be placed back on endangered list

Gray wolfA U.S. federal judge on Friday ordered the gray wolf in the Great Lakes region be put back on the endangered list.

The move came two years after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service dropped federal protections for the animal and handed their management back over to the states. That allowed the animals to be hunted in the region for the first time in 40 years.

Michigan's Humane Society of the United States filed the lawsuit to overturn the Obama administration's decision.

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Major U.S. cities have passed the 'tipping point' for sea level rise, according to a new study

US cities pass tipping point for ocean riseWashington, D.C. and Annapolis, Md. are already past a "tipping point" for frequent flooding caused by sea level rise, a new study finds.

Using tide-gauge data and sea level rise projections, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found Washington, D.C., Annapolis and Wilmington, N.C. have already reached a point where the cities will receive over 30 days of flooding per year with water rising up to two feet above high tide levels.

By 2050, the study asserts, the majority of U.S. coastal areas will most likely be affected by similar flooding trends.

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Protesters in contempt of court for anti-whaling campaign

Whaling protetsers in contemptRadical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers were found in contempt of court for continuing their relentless campaign to disrupt the annual whale hunt off the waters of Antarctica.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Friday ordered a commissioner to determine how much Paul Watson and members of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society he founded owe Japanese whalers for lawyer fees, damage to their ships and for violating the court order to stop their dangerous protests.

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EPA sets first national standard for coal waste

EPA coal waste standardsThe Obama administration on Friday set the first national standards for waste generated from coal burned for electricity, treating it more like household garbage rather than a hazardous material.

Environmentalists had pushed for the hazardous classification, citing the hundreds of cases nationwide in which coal ash waste had tainted waterways or underground aquifers, in many cases legally. A hazardous classification would have put the federal government in charge of enforcement, which has been uneven across states that have varying degrees of regulation.

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Enbridge Inc shuts down pipeline to U.S. after leak releases 1,350 barrels of oil at pumping station

Embridge, Inc.Canadian oil supplies to the U.S. Midwest were disrupted after Enbridge Inc. shut a pipeline because of a leak.

The company isolated its Line 4 pipe at the Regina terminal in Saskatchewan yesterday after about 1,350 barrels of oil were released within an on-site pumping station, according to a statement. The company is excavating the line around a pumphouse and hasn’t provided an estimate for how long repairs may take, Gerard Kay, deputy chief of operations at Regina Fire and Protective Services, said by phone.

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Gov. Cuomo to Ban Fracking in New York State, Citing Health Risks

Andrew CuomoNo one understands better than impacted people — residents and workers in shale country, from the Barnett Shale of Texas and the Haynesville Shale of Louisiana to the Bakken Shale of North Dakota and the Marcellus and Utica Shales in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and beyond — the wisdom of Governor Cuomo’s historic decision today to ban fracking in New York State:

ALBANY — The Cuomo administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State, ending years of uncertainty by concluding that the controversial method of extracting gas from deep underground could contaminate the state’s air and water and pose inestimable public-health risks.

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