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EPA head casts doubt on ‘supposed’ threat from climate change

Scott Pruitt doubts climate change effectsEnvironmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt on Wednesday cast doubt on the idea that climate change poses a threat to the United States.

Pruitt told conservative North Dakota talk radio host Scott Hennen on WHO-AM that that’s one of the reasons why he is organizing a “red team/blue team” exercise to try to challenge what the EPA chief called “so-called settled science” on climate change.

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Pipeline company could resume drilling in Pennsylvania under deal

Pipeline could resume drilling in PAThe developer of the Marine East 2 pipeline in Pennsylvania has reached a settlement agreement with the state and environmentalists that could let it resume underground boring.

Under the deal, Sunoco Pipeline would have to re-evaluate construction plans for high-risk areas in an effort to prevent the clay slurry spills that occurred dozens of times in recent months during pipeline construction, particularly in vulnerable areas like wetlands, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Regulators last month ordered a halt to all underground boring for the cross-state project in response to environmentalists’ challenges, which cited the spills.

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Federal report points to human activity as prime cause of climate change

climate reportA new federal report, which is awaiting White House approval, concludes that human activity is "primarily responsible" for a drastic rise in the average temperature in the United States in the last four decades.

The Climate Science Special Report was authored by scientists from 13 federal agencies -- including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA and the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy -- and several academic institutions.

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Attorney grills company official in Keystone XL hearing

Attorney grills XL pipeline execsAn attorney for Nebraska landowners who oppose the Keystone XL pipeline grilled one of the project's lead executives on Monday in a testy legal hearing before a state commission that is reviewing the proposal.

The hearing before the Nebraska Public Service Commission is the last major regulatory hurdle pipeline developer TransCanada faces in its nine-year quest to complete the $8 billion pipeline.

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Study finds Alaska's North Slope snow-free season increasing

Snow free sesason expands in AlaskaScientists discover that Alaska's North Slope snow-free season is lengthening due to atmospheric dynamics and sea ice conditions.

The study, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, found that snow is melting earlier in the spring and the snow-in date is occurring later in the fall.

Researchers from CIRES and NOAA believe atmospheric dynamics and sea ice conditions are to blame for the lengthening of the snow-free season on the North Slope leading to issues such as birds laying eggs sooner and iced-over rivers flowing earlier.

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Extreme heat warnings issued in Europe as temperatures pass 40C

Extreme heat in 11 European countriesEleven southern and central European countries have issued extreme heat warnings amid a brutal heatwave nicknamed Lucifer, with residents and tourists urged to take precautions and scientists warning worse could be still to come.

Authorities in countries including Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia are on red alert, the European forecasters’ network Meteoalarm said, and swaths of southern Spain and France are on amber.

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Investigators probing source of black sludge near Niagara Falls

Niagara River sludge bwing probedNew York officials are investigating whether an oily sludge discharged into the Niagara River -- that tinted water near the base of Niagara Falls black -- was the result of mechanical or human error.

The leak occurred on the U.S. side of the falls last weekend and images of the smelly scene quickly gained exposure online. Photos and video footage showed a large blob of inky-looking, black liquid pooling near the dock of the Maid of the Mist tour boat, which ferries visitors to the base of the cataracts. Water could be seen streaming into the river from a nearby pipe.

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