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Offshore oil drilling ban to be maintained in key areas

Offshore oil drilling ban to be maintained in key areasInterior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Wednesday afternoon that the Obama administration will not allow offshore oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico or off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as part of the next five-year drilling plan, reversing two key policy changes President Obama announced in late March.

"We are adjusting our strategy in areas where there are no active leases," Salazar told reporters in a phone call, adding that the administration has decided "not expand to new areas at this time" and instead "focus and expand our critical resources on areas that are currently active" when it comes to oil and gas drilling

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Special report: How BP's oil spill costs could double

BP oil spill costs may doubleLast month, BP increased by $8 billion the financial provisions it was taking for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill; the company's shares rose. Better-than- expected underlying profits and upbeat comments from new Chief Executive Bob Dudley were taken by the market as a sign the company had turned the corner and would soon return to pumping out steadily rising dividends.

Key to this sanguine outlook is confidence that the new estimate of the total cost of the spill -- $40 billion -- will be sufficient.

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EPA fines Kettleman City waste dump over PCB contamination

EPA fines Kettleman City waste managementThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday levied a $300,000 fine against a toxic waste dump near a Central California farming community plagued by birth defects for failing to properly manage carcinogenic polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.

Waste Management Inc., which owns the facility about 3½ miles southwest of Kettleman City, in July was given 60 days to clean up PCB in soil adjacent to a building where extremely hazardous wastes are treated for disposal.

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Where's most of that toxic e-waste going? Overseas

Tox wastes shipped overseasFive years after California launched an ambitious effort to control pollution from electronic waste, much of our e-waste is being shipped overseas, where it is contributing to a legacy of pollution and disease that would not be tolerated in this state, a Bee investigation has found.

Domestically, California's program is doing just what officials intended: It has outlawed e-waste from landfills and jump-started a multimillion-dollar state industry to recycle televisions, computer monitors and other video display devices, paid for with public money.

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Fishing nations criticised over deal on bluefin tuna

Tuna nations criticizedFishing nations have agreed a small cut in Atlantic bluefin tuna quotas, after meeting in Paris. The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) set the 2011 quota at 12,900 tonnes, down from 13,500 tonnes.

Conservationists say the bluefin tuna is threatened by overfishing, and much deeper cuts are needed. They have criticised ICCAT in the past for failing to ensure that the species and others are fished sustainably.

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Transplanting Plum Island to Kansas: is the country's food supply at risk?

Plum Island Animal Disease Center Building 257The controversial animal disease research laboratory, Plum Island Animal Disease Center, located on the relatively remote island off the tip of Long Island will be moving to the heartland of America, Manhattan, Kansas, sometime on or around 2014.

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2010 'among hottest on record'

2010 hottest year on recordThis year is heading to be the hottest or second hottest on record, according to the Met Office. It says the past 12 months are the warmest recorded by Nasa, and are second in the UK data set, HadCRUT3.

The Met Office says it is very confident that man-made global warming is forcing up temperatures.
Until now, the hottest year on record has been 1998, when temperatures were pushed up by a strong El Nino - a warming event in the Pacific.

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