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U.S. House mulls arctic drilling

House considers Arctic drilllingDrilling offshore, particularly in arctic regions offshore Alaska, won't do much to wean the United States off foreign oil, a U.S. House committee heard.

A House subcommittee on energy resources held an oversight hearing on reserves thought to be in arctic waters and how they could potentially impact U.S. leverage overseas. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said in early June that moving more domestic oil to the global market could "strengthen the strategic hand of the United States."

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Pope draft encyclical calls for swift action on climate change

Pope FrancisThe world could see the destruction of entire ecosystems this century without urgent action on climate change, Pope Francis says in a draft of his keenly awaited encyclical on the environment.

In the Italian version of the 192-page document, posted on Monday by the weekly magazine l'Espresso, the pope again backs scientists who say global warming is mostly man-made and that developed countries have a particular responsibility to stem a trend that will hurt the poor the most.

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Fast-growing Alaska wildfires force evacuations

Alaskan wildfiresFire crews are battling two serious wildfires in Alaska that are threatening hundreds of residences and have forced numerous evacuations.

The most recent fire erupted Monday and burned six structures and prompted hundreds of residents to flee homes on the Kenai Peninsula, roughly 150 miles south of major wildfire that started a day earlier near Willow in the heart of the state's sled-dog community.

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Study: The greener a state's legislator, the cleaner the air

Clean airStates where the congressional delegation votes greener tend to have air that's cleaner, spewing less heat-trapping gas, a new study finds.

Researchers at Michigan State University studied decades of voting trends and greenhouse gas emissions state by state. They found a correlation between the voting records of a congressional delegation and carbon dioxide emissions, although one that's nowhere near as big as population or a state's economic health, according to a study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Kayak protesters detained after trying to stop Shell oil rig

Kayak protesterThe U.S. Coast Guard detained two dozen protesters who formed a blockade with kayaks and other vessels Monday to try to stop Royal Dutch Shell's drill rig as it left Seattle on its way to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean.

The protesters were scooped up from the water because they were violating the safety zone around the Polar Pioneer, which departed around 6 a.m., Coast Guard Lt. Dana Warr said. They would be released after receiving violation notices that carry a $500 penalty, he said.

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Investigation ‘Workers Are Paying For Cheap Gas With Their Lives’

workerws paying for cheap gas with their livesThe Bakken oil boom has been a serial killer. Big oil companies have largely written the rules governing their own accountability for accidents, potentially putting workers at risk.

In the early evening of Sept. 14, 2011, at a bend in the Missouri River in North Dakota, Brendan Wegner, 21, was scrambling down a derrick ladder when the oil well he was working on exploded. Rescuers found his body pinned under a heap of melted steel pipes. His charred hands were recovered later, still gripping the derrick ladder. It was his first day on the rig.

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Giant purple sea slugs slime San Francisco Bay Area beaches

giant purple slimeA giant purple blob from the sea — a slug — is invading East Bay beaches and waterways this summer, and some experts say it may be caused by warmer temperatures near coastal waters.

These California sea hares are harmless plant eaters. But their big size and unusual abundance this year is turning heads at the shorelines in the cities of Crab Cove in Alameda and Miller Knox Regional Park in Richmond, as well as Lake Merritt in Oakland and Tomales Bay in Marin County, the Contra Costa Times reported Saturday (http://bayareane.ws/1IRy5ej ).

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