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Tuesday, Mar 03rd

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Drinking water trucked into Montana city after oil spill

montana oil spillOfficials said Monday that they were bringing truckloads of drinking water to the eastern Montana city of Glendive after traces of 50,000 gallons of oil that spilled into the Yellowstone River were found in the city's water supply.

State and federal officials said preliminary tests Monday indicated that at least some oil entered the supply for the city of 5,300 people. They stressed they are shipping drinking water as a precaution and do not know yet whether there is any public health threat to residents. They will perform further tests to determine that.

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Pope's climate-change stand deepens conservatives' distrust

pope francisConservative distrust of Pope Francis, which has been building in the U.S. throughout his pontificate, is reaching a boiling point over his plan to urge action on climate change — and to do so through a document traditionally used for the most important papal teachings.

For months, Francis has been drafting an encyclical on the environment and global warming which he hopes to release by June or July. Encyclicals are written with the help of a small group of advisers working under strict secrecy. But in a news conference as he traveled last week to the Philippines, Francis gave his strongest signal yet of the direction he'll take.

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Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says

Ocean life faces extinctionThe loss of animal species in the planet's oceans is expected to "rapidly intensify" due to human-caused activities, but swift intervention could still prevent "disaster of the magnitude observed on land," according to a study published Friday in the journal Science.

Humans have "profoundly decreased" the number marine animals, large and small, though there have been few outright extinctions, the study notes. That’s because animal loss attributed to human activity "began in earnest tens of thousands of years later in the oceans that it did on land."

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NASA, NOAA proclaim 2014 hottest year on record

Hottest year on record- 2014The official numbers are in, and they confirm what most already suspected: 2014 was the hottest year on record. Temperature records were shattered in places across the globe, including in much of Europe, parts of South America, as well as in China and portions of Russia and the Far East.

As NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday, average global temperatures on land and sea surfaces collected across the planet were 1.24 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average.

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9th Earthquake Rattles Eastern Connecticut

Connecticut earthquakesPlainfield police have received more phone calls reporting an earthquake this morning, the ninth to rattle the area since last Thursday.

The Weston Observatory at Boston College is recording a magnitude 2.1 earthquake and they are calling it an aftershock. Police said they heard a boom and felt the ground shake a little.

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Department of Energy challenges $54M in fines over nuke dump

waste isolation fineThe U.S. Department of Energy is contesting more than $54 million in fines, the largest penalty levied by New Mexico for numerous violations that resulted in the indefinite closure of the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository.

The Energy Department and the contractors paid to operate the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and Los Alamos National Laboratory said Friday that they want a hearing on the matter, according to a statement.

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Nebraska court clears path of Keystone XL

Keystone pipelineIn a mixed decision, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Friday the legal premise used to sanction the route for Keystone XL was permissible.

In a long awaited case on the route of the Keystone XL pipeline, the Nebraska Supreme Court cleared one of the remaining hurdles in a battle that began when TransCanada first applied to build the project more than six years ago.

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