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Scottish Council blocks Little Plumpton fracking application

Scottish town rejects frackingAn application to start fracking at a site on the Fylde coast in Lancashire has been rejected by councillors.

Energy firm Cuadrilla wanted to extract shale gas at the Little Plumpton site between Preston and Blackpool.

Lancashire County Council rejected the bid on the grounds of "unacceptable noise impact" and the "adverse urbanising effect on the landscape".

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Supreme Court overturns landmark EPA air pollution rule

SCOTUS overturns EPA rulingThe Supreme Court overturned the Obama administration’s landmark air quality rule on Monday, ruling the Environmental Protection Agency did not properly consider the costs of the regulation.

In a 5-4 ruling, the justices ruled that the EPA should have taken into account the costs to utilities and others in the power sector before even deciding whether to set limits for the toxic air pollutants it regulated in 2011.

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Oil companies played hardball in bid to defeat climate outsiders

ChevronPetty legal filings. Diversionary ballot measures. Counting abstentions as no votes. These are just some of the tactics U.S. oil companies used this spring to quash efforts by investors to win the right to nominate climate experts for board seats.

Led by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and proposed at 75 U.S. companies in various industries this year, the so-called proxy access measure would give investor groups who own 3 percent of a company for more than three years the right to nominate directors. At the 19 oil and gas companies targeted, the aim was to demand more accountability on global warming.

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Activists deploy against Shell's arctic plans

Kayak protestsActivists said Monday they took to the water off the Washington state coast in kayaks to try to slow progress of a Shell drilling rig bound for arctic waters.

"We know we can't stop them," Carlo Voli, a campaigner from advocacy group 350 Seattle, said in an emailed statement. "But we can't just watch them go; we have to do all we can to slow them down, and get people to focus on what a disaster Arctic drilling would be."

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California oil spill cleanup continues as state may allow expanded production

Oil spill californiaJust over a month after California experienced its worst oil spill in decades, the state is considering allowing a company to triple its oil production off the coast of Santa Barbara and run the oil through the same pipeline that leaked on 19 May.

Both oil producers Venoco and ExxonMobil had to halt operations in the region this week as crews continued repairing the ruptured pipeline and cleaning the beaches surrounding it. But that didn’t stop regulators at the State Lands Commission from holding a hearing for Venoco in Goleta, California.

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The terrifying truth about air pollution and dimentia

Truth about pollution and dimentia"We should get out of here," says air pollution chemist Eben Cross. At 7 a.m. on this cold November day the wind blows steadily through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Cambridge campus, cutting through our thin jackets. But Cross isn't afraid of the cold. He worries about the air we're breathing—especially considering the six fire trucks directly ahead, idling in the dim morning light.

"We're getting hammered right now," Cross says, shouting over the hum of the engines. He's taken his gloves off to manipulate the display panel on his pollution monitor. The acrid smell of diesel is unmistakable. "Anytime you can smell it, you are in a regime that is very polluted," he says. "In many ways your nose is a better mass spectrometer than any device on the market."

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The World is Running Out of Water

world is running out of waterA new report says the world is running out of water as aquifers that hold most of the world's drinkable water empty faster than they can be restored.

The New York Times reports that a new study has found 11 of the world's 37 major aquifers are being emptied faster than they can be refilled by rainstorms, hurricanes, and monsoons. The majority of the aquifers are said to be located in regions that also produce most of the Earth's food, sustaining some 2 billion people.

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