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Thursday, Aug 21st

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Obama will let states decide how to cut greenhouse gas emissions

emissionsPresident Barack Obama is about to unveil the centerpiece of his agenda to fight climate change, a much anticipated rule to slash the emissions of planet-warming gases from power plants.

The president will call for major reductions, according to sources familiar with the planning, with each state given its own greenhouse gas emissions reduction target and the power to decide how to meet it. The Environmental Protection Agency is putting the plan together, and Obama will announce it Monday.

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One Of America's Dirtiest Coal Plants Had Some Dire Predictions. It Was Wrong.

coal plantThree years ago, the operators of one of the nation's dirtiest coal-fired power plants warned of "immediate and devastating" consequences from the Obama administration's push to clean up pollution from coal.

Faced with cutting sulfur dioxide pollution blowing into downwind states by 80 percent in less than a year, lawyers for EME Homer City Generation L.P. sued the Environmental Protection Agency to block the rule, saying it would cause it grave harm and bring a painful spike in electricity bills.

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Wildfire in Central California forces evacuations

wildfires central CAState fire officials say a blaze burning in foothills near a Central California lake is threatening more than 100 rural homes and has forced dozens of residents to evacuate.

CalFire says the wildfire in Mariposa County broke out Monday afternoon and quickly burned at least 500 acres of dry brush.

The Mariposa County Sheriff's Office has ordered evacuations of homes on rural roads in the Hunters Valley area near Lake McClure.  Hot, dry conditions fueled the blaze west of Yosemite National Park.

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New safety requirements set for dangerous defects in Keystone pipeline

Keystone XLSafety regulators have quietly placed two extra conditions on construction of TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL oil pipeline after learning of potentially dangerous construction defects involving the southern leg of the Canada-to-Texas project.

The defects — high rates of bad welds, dented pipe and damaged pipeline coating — have been fixed. But the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration wants to make sure similar problems don't occur during construction of the pipeline's controversial northern segment, which is on hold pending a decision by the Obama administration.

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'Time running out' as CO2 levels hit new high: United Nations

coal burning power plantsAtmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have crossed a new threshold, the UN's weather agency saidon on Monday, highlighting the urgency of curbing manmade, climate-altering greenhouse gases.

In April, for the first time, the mean monthly CO2 concentration in the atmosphere topped 400 parts per million (ppm) throughout the northern hemisphere, which pollutes more than the south, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said.

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Crews searching for 3 people in Colorado mudslide

Colorado mudslideRescue teams are searching for three people reported missing after a large mudslide struck in western Colorado's Mesa County.

The slide hit Sunday in a remote area near the town of Collbran, about 40 miles east of Grand Junction.

Rescuers raced to the scene when it was reported around 6 p.m. MDT, but eased operations after nightfall, Mesa County Sheriff's spokeswoman Lisa McCammon said.

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Area evacuated as Alaska wildfire grows

kenai river firesA wildfire chewing through the forest of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula has expanded in size, prompting authorities to order the evacuation of 1,000 structures, officials said.

The massive fire south of Anchorage covered nearly 243 square miles and was 30 percent contained, according to a posting Sunday night on the Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team's Facebook page. It was burning in the 1.9 million-acre Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

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