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Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with local officials in Voronezh, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Putin says he has ordered the government to develop measures in response to Western sanctions. In a meeting with state officials in the city of Voronezh on Tuesday, did not specify what the measures might be but said: "I have given the order today to formulate them," Russian news agencies reported. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti,  Alexei Druzhinin, Presidential Press Service)

Oil giants sidestep sanctions, keep drilling with Russia

- The Washington Times

The West’s major oil companies have been seamlessly sidestepping sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S. and European Union, for the most part pressing full speed ahead on joint ventures to drill for oil and gas with sanctioned Russian companies and executives.

FILE -  In this May 1, 2009 file photo, offshore oil drilling platform 'Gail' operated by Venoco, Inc., is shown off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a new rule on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 requiring oil and gas companies to report chemicals discharged off the Southern California coast from hydraulic fracturing. The rule goes into effect on March 1, 2014.  (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

Greens split with Obama on Atlantic drilling moves

- The Washington Times

Environmental groups and lawmakers have heaped praise on President Obama’s plans to limit carbon emissions from power plants, but the two sides are at odds over his early moves to open the Atlantic Ocean to offshore drilling for the first time in 30 years, The Hill reported.

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** FILE ** The exterior of the Arak heavy water production facility in Arak, Iran, 360 kms southwest of Tehran, is seen on in this Oct. 27, 2004, file photo. Seven international envoys are getting a look inside two key Iranian nuclear sites in a tour that Tehran hopes will build support ahead of more talks on its disputed atomic work. The envoys will see the unfinished heavy water reactor near Arak on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011, and the uranium enrichment facility near Natanz later. (AP Photo/Fars News Agancy)

Report: Iran redesigning reactor as part of deal

Associated Press

Iran's nuclear chief said Wednesday that workers have begun redesigning its nearly completed Arak heavy water reactor to limit the amount of plutonium it can make as part of the country's interim deal over its nuclear program with world powers.

The coal-fired Plant Scherer is shown in operation early Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Juliette, Ga. The Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, in a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming. (AP Photo/John Amis)

UN panel: Global warming human-caused, dangerous

- Associated Press

Global warming is here, human-caused and probably already dangerous — and it's increasingly likely that the heating trend could be irreversible, a draft of a new international science report says.

In this June 9, 2014 photo, an oil and gas rig on a well pad is visible at right, adjacent to a ranch in New Castle, a small farming and ranching settlement on the Western Slope of the Rockies, in Colo. Four in 10 new oil and gas wells near national forests and fragile watersheds or otherwise identified as higher pollution risks escape federal inspection, unchecked by an agency struggling to keep pace with America's drilling boom, according to an Associated Press review that shows wide state-by-state disparities in safety checks. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

US rig count down 17 to 1,896

Associated Press

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. fell 17 this week to 1,896.

The Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies. (Image: Los Alamos National Laboratories)

Scientists urge rehiring of fired nuke lab worker

Associated Press

A group of scientists who work to limit the spread of nuclear weapons is urging the U.S. Energy Secretary to intervene on behalf of a fired Los Alamos National Laboratory worker.

In this Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 photo, farmer Adiya, right, stands in front of a pond of waste water near a state-of-the-art power plant that turns millions of tons of coal every year into methane in northern China's Inner Mongolia province. As a boy growing up there, Adiya could ride his horse through waist-high grass for miles without meeting another person. Now, the 32-year-old says he stays indoors some mornings because of the industrial stench. Since the plant started running in December, it has obscured the blue skies above Adiya’s home with smoke while black pools of wastewater have turned up in the grasslands. “I only wish they could build this factory in Beijing,” said Adiya, who uses only one name, as is Mongolian custom. (AP Photo/Jack Chang)

Coal gas boom in China holds climate change risks

- Associated Press

Deep in the hilly grasslands of remote Inner Mongolia, twin smoke stacks rise more than 200 feet into the sky, their steam and sulfur billowing over herds of sheep and cattle. Both day and night, the rumble of this power plant echoes across the ancient steppe, and its acrid stench travels dozens of miles away.

Canadian Transportation Safety Board Chair Wendy Tadros, right, and TSB Chief Operating Officer Jean Laporte, address the media during a news conference Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, where the board released its report on the deadly Lac-Megantic train derailment in July 2013. Tadros cited 18 factors that contributed to the derailment, including the weak safety culture of the now defunct Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railways company. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)

Investigators release Quebec train disaster report

- Associated Press

The weak safety culture of a now-defunct railway company and poor government oversight were among the many factors that led to an oil train explosion that killed 47 people in Quebec last year, Canada's Transportation Safety Board said in a new report released Tuesday.

From left, U.S. Senate Republican candidates Joe Miller, Dan Sullivan and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell prepare for a debate in Eagle River, Alaska, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. The winner of the Aug. 19 primary will advance to the general election and likely face U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, who faces token opposition in the Democratic primary. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

Alaska Republicans vie for chance to unseat Begich

Associated Press

A whistle-stop tour of the state in an RV. An endorsement from the second man to walk on the moon. Even one of the most polarizing figures in American politics found cause to weigh in on the state she used to lead.

Republican gubernatorial challenger Rob Astorino speaks at a news conference in New York, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Astorino was speaking about allegations that Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration meddled with his state anti-corruption commission. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Astorino unveils jobs plan in NY governor race

Associated Press

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rob Astorino says New York can spur jobs and economic activity by cutting taxes and regulations, permitting hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and promoting agriculture and high-tech start-ups.

Willie Nelson, the country music icon who turns 81 this week, smiles as he receives his fifth-degree black belt in the martial art of Gong Kwon Yu Sul on Monday, April 28, 2014, in Austin, Texas.  (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Ralph Barrera)

Oil pipeline opponents plan concert in cornfield

Associated Press

Willie Nelson and Neil Young will headline a concert next month in a Nebraska cornfield organized by opponents of a proposed pipeline that would carry oil from Canada south to the Gulf Coast.

Alaska gubernatorial races low-key for primary

- Associated Press

Leading into Tuesday's primary, Alaska's gubernatorial campaigns have been largely overshadowed by hard-driving runs for a U.S. Senate seat and a ballot referendum to repeal the current version of the state's oil tax.

The Huntington Power Plant Friday June 3, 2011.  Huntington Power Plant is a coal-fired power station owned by PacifiCorp. In Utah, about 80 percent of electricity is derived from coal, and about 15 percent comes from gas. The national average is about 40 percent coal and 26 percent gas. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Chris Detrick)

California regulators approve PG&E rate hike

Associated Press

California regulators have approved a nearly $2.4 billion rate hike for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers that will see the typical customer's monthly bill increase by $7.50 starting in the fall.

In this 2014 photo is the Harding Street power plant Marion County, Ind. The Sierra Club is pushing for Indianapolis' local utility to retire an aging power plant that's left Indiana's capital as the last major Midwestern city with a coal-fired power plant within city limits that isn't being phased out. The Indianapolis' utility company had faced growing pressure to retire will be converted to cleaner-burning natural gas if state regulators endorse a revised plan the company announced Friday. (AP Photo /The Indianapolis Star, Matt Kryger)

Indianapolis utility to convert coal plant to gas

- Associated Press

An aging coal-fired power plant that Indianapolis' utility company had faced growing pressure to retire will be converted to cleaner-burning natural gas if state regulators endorse a revised plan the company announced Friday.

NC governor defends handling Duke shares, sale

Associated Press

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory attributes the omission of Duke Energy shares he previously owned from his annual disclosure form to a misinterpretation by his attorney.