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Energy and Environment

The latest updates on energy and environment news, analysis and opinion covering energy policy and its impact on resources and climate.

A group of Harvard law, graduate and undergraduate students is suing to compel Harvard to withdraw its investments in oil, coal and natural gas.  (Harvard Climate Justice Coalition v. Harvard)

Harvard students sue to force divestment from fossil fuels

By Valerie Richardson - The Washington Times

Harvard University students unable to convince administrators to divest the $36.4 billion endowment from fossil fuel stocks are taking their case to court. Published November 19, 2014

Recent Stories

In this May 25, 2013, photo, recently planted corn grows is seen on a central Illinois farm field near Chandlerville, Ill. Falling corn prices and questions about ethanol demand could lead Illinois farmers to plant fewer acres of corn this year and instead are taking a closer look at soybeans this year. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

EPA delays decision on ethanol in gas

- Associated Press

The Obama administration said Friday it is delaying a decision on whether to reduce the amount of ethanol in the nation's fuel supply.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves Palais Coburg where closed-door nuclear talks with Iran take place in Vienna, Austria, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. Kerry decided to pull back from nuclear talks in Vienna, leaving Iran's foreign minister to ponder an apparent new proposal from Washington meant to bridge differences standing in the way of a deal with less than four days to deadline. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

Kerry cancels plans to pull back from nuke talks

- Associated Press

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry canceled plans Friday to pull back from talks with Iran about the country's nuclear program — a shift that suggested some hope of movement on the protracted negotiations.

This July, 26, 2014 photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows a Greater Sage Grouse at the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming. A government study recommends keeping oil and gas drilling, wind farms and solar projects more than 3 miles away from the breeding grounds of a bird that ranges across much of the Western U.S. a finding that could carry significant impacts for the energy industry as the Obama administration weighs whether the greater sage grouse needs more protections after seeing its population plummet in recent decades. (AP Photo/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,Tom Koerner)

Report: Grouse needs 3-mile buffer from drilling

- Associated Press

A government report with significant implications for the U.S. energy industry says the breeding grounds of a struggling bird species need a 3-mile or larger buffer from oil and gas drilling, wind farms and solar projects.

Sen. Bob Casey, Pennsylvania Democrat. (Associated Press)

Senator: Obama climate plan unfair to Pennsylvania

- Associated Press

Pennsylvania's Democratic senator is criticizing President Barack Obama's proposed climate change rules, urging revisions to a plan that he says imposes unfair costs and burdens on the state.

This April 2011 photo provided by Colorado Parks and Wildlife shows a male and female Gunnison Sage Grouse  near Gunnison, Colo. The federal government declares 800,000 acres of land in western Colorado and eastern Utah off-limits to energy exploration to protect the Gunnison sage grouse, a preview of the potential disruption that looms when it will have to protect another grouse species that roams across 11 western states. (AP Photo/Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Mike Danzenbaker)

Environmental groups to sue over Gunnison grouse

Associated Press

Two environmental groups plan to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its decision to list the Gunnison sage grouse as a threatened species instead of giving it the more protective endangered status.

In this July 16, 2014 photo, a wood chipper sprays debris from an ash tree into the back of a truck in Plainfield, Ill., after it was removed from the front of a house. Residents in Will County are seeing massive changes in their municipal treescapes as villages and cities compete for the best ways to remove and replace ash trees infested with the emerald ash borer beetle. The beetle has spread to most communities in the county. (AP Photo/The Herald-News, Rob Winner)  MANDATORY CREDIT

Turning woodchips into electricity

- Associated Press

In the not so distant past, it was not uncommon for sawmills to burn their waste products such as woodchips and sawdust in teepee burners.

FILE - This Monday Nov. 3, 2008, file photo, shows one of Pacific Gas and Electric's Diablo Canyon Power Plant's nuclear reactors in Avila Beach on California's central coast. A senior federal nuclear expert is urging regulators to shut down California's last operating nuclear plant until they can determine whether the facility's twin reactors can withstand powerful shaking from any one of several nearby earthquake faults. (AP Photo/Michael A. Mariant, File)

Deal divides billions in closed nuke plant's costs

Associated Press

Consumers will get refunds and credits of about $1.4 billion, but also pay about $3.3 billion, under a settlement approved Thursday on costs stemming from the premature closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Greg Bosscawen, manager of renewable energy for Pacific Gas and Electric Co., walks past solar panels at PG&E's Vaca-Dixon solar energy site near Vacaville, Calif., on Tuesday. Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday that would require California utilities to get one-third of their power from renewable sources. (Associated Press)

PG&E fined over alleged secret dealings

- Associated Press

State regulators have decided to fine Pacific Gas & Electric Co. $1 million and require its shareholders to cover as much as $400 million of a gas rate increase because of backroom negotiations between the utility and regulators.

FILE - In this May 20, 2010 photo, Massey Energy Company Chief Executive Officer Don Blankenship pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. The former CEO who oversaw the West Virginia mine that exploded in 2010, killing 29 people, has been indicted on federal charges related to a mine safety investigation. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said a federal grand jury indicted Blankenship on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Ex-coal exec pleads not guilty in W.Va. mine blast

- Associated Press

Ex-coal company chief executive Don Blankenship pleaded not guilty Thursday to conspiracy and other charges in the deadliest U.S. mine accident in four decades.

FILE - In this July 9, 2014, file photo, a sign informs visitors of prohibited items on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Wash. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is fining another federal agency up to $10,000 for each week it fails to start moving radioactive sludge away from the Columbia River at the most contaminated nuclear site in the U.S. The Tri-Party Agreement required the U.S. Department of Energy to begin removing sludge from a storage basin at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Washington to sue over nuclear site's tank vapors

- Associated Press

Washington plans to sue the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractor to protect workers from hazardous vapors at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the nation's most polluted nuclear site, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Wednesday.

Ice drifts down the Potomac River past Georgetown seen from Roosevelt Island as the region dips into single digit temperatures, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, January 7, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Reports show underground pools may pollute Potomac

- Associated Press

Concentrations of iron and sulfate collecting in underground pools could pollute the Potomac River and its surrounding groundwater, according to a long-awaited environmental impact report released Wednesday.

A snowmobiler makes his way down Abbott Road in front of Ralph Wilson Stadium,  home of the Buffalo Bills,  in Orchard Park, N.Y. on  Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014.  A ferocious lake-effect storm left the Buffalo area buried under 6 feet of snow Wednesday, trapping people on highways and in homes, and another storm expected to drop 2 to 3 feet more was on its way. (AP Photo/The Buffalo News, Harry Scull Jr.)  TV OUT; MAGS OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT; BATAVIA DAILY NEWS OUT; DUNKIRK OBSERVER OUT; JAMESTOWN POST-JOURNAL OUT; LOCKPORT UNION-SUN JOURNAL OUT; NIAGARA GAZETTE OUT; OLEAN TIMES-HERALD OUT; SALAMANCA PRESS OUT; TONAWANDA NEWS OUT

'Unguided' snowmobiles return to Yellowstone

- Associated Press

Beginning next month - for the first time in a decade - snowmobilers will be allowed to enter Yellowstone National Park without a paid guide.

In this Nov. 13, 2014 photo, a passenger airliner flies past smokes emitted from a coal-fired power plant in Beijing, China. A coalition of rights groups wants G-20 leaders to take action to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in society, reduce inequality and address climate change. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

UN: World not close to avoiding dangerous warming

- Associated Press

The world still isn't close to preventing what leaders call a dangerous level of man-made warming, a new United Nations report says. That's despite some nations' recent pledges to cut back on carbon dioxide emissions.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., followed by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Md., arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, to introduce the Democratic leadership team for the 114th Congress. Democrats re-elected Pelosi to another two-year term as House minority leader on Tuesday, two weeks after elections in which the party lost at least a dozen seats in the chamber. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Dems reject Pelosi pick for top House post

- Associated Press

A day after re-electing Rep. Nancy Pelosi to lead them in the next Congress, House Democrats rebuffed her effort Wednesday to elect a close ally to an important committee post.

Recent Opinion Columns

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the Climate Summit at United Nations headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) **FILE**

Obama's empty promises, go-it-alone policies won't fight climate change

When President Obama addressed the United Nations last month, he admitted that "[t]he science tells us we can only succeed in combating climate change if we are joined in this effort by every other nation, by every major power." It is true that unilateral climate change policies are futile, but that only makes this administration's current action on climate change even more difficult to justify.

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