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Energy & Environment

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

Building site machines stand on the construction site of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Guba in the North West of Ethiopia, 24 November 2017. The dam is currently being built on the Blue Nile and is going to be the biggest dam in Africa. However, the construction leads to tensions, especially with Egypt that worries about its share in Nile water. Photo by: Gioia Forster/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

U.S.-led talks lead to breakthrough as African rivals inch closer to war over Nile

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and World Bank President David Malpass witnessed top ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on Wednesday commit the three nations to expedited direct talks over the proposed 500-foot-tall, $4 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

In this June 1, 2017, file photo, protesters gather outside the White House in Washington to protest President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate change accord. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

EU hopes U.S. will rethink choice to pull out of climate pact

Associated Press

The European Union has voiced regret at the U.S. government’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement and expressed hopes that one of the world’s biggest CO2 emitters will backpedal on its decision and rejoin.

In this July 21, 2019, file photo, Florabela Cunha fills a glass of water from her kitchen faucet in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada. In previous summers, she used to make iced tea for her family using water from her tap, but she has since stopped citing concerns about the water quality. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians from coast to coast have been unwittingly exposed to levels of lead in their drinking water. (Mackenzie Lad/Institute for Investigative Journalism/Concordia University via AP)

Investigation: Lead in some Canadian water worse than Flint

- Associated Press

Hundreds of thousands of Canadians have been unwittingly exposed to high levels of lead in their drinking water, with contamination in several cities consistently higher than they ever were in Flint, Michigan, according to an investigation that tested drinking water in hundreds of homes and reviewed thousands more previously undisclosed results.

In this Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 file photo, police prepare to remove a protestor from the top of a vehicle waiting to enter an exploratory drill site for the controversial gas extraction process known as fracking at Barton Moss in Manchester, England. The British government announced Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, that it will no longer allow fracking because of new scientific analysis that casts doubts on the safety of the controversial practice, but some critics said the measure falls short because it is not a permanent ban. (AP Photo/Jon Super, File)

U.K. halts fracking ahead of election; some want permanent ban

- Associated Press

The British government announced Saturday that it will no longer allow fracking because of new scientific analysis that casts doubts on the safety of the controversial practice, but some critics called the an election stunt and demanded a permanent ban.

File - In this Oct. 9, 2019, file photo, Pacific Gas & Electric and CalTrans workers stand near the Caldecott Tunnel in Oakland, Calif. California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to speed up the troubled Pacific Gas & Electric bankruptcy case so the company can be restructured in time for next year's wildfire season. Newsom announced Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, he is calling a meeting of wildfire victims and PG&E executives, shareholders and creditors next week to accelerate what Newsom called "a consensual resolution" to the bankruptcy case. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom threatens possible PG&E takeover if no plan is made

- Associated Press

California’s governor on Friday threatened a possible takeover of the troubled utility blamed for sparking deadly wildfires across the state with its outdated equipment unless it can emerge from bankruptcy ahead of next year’s wildfire season with a plan focused on safety.

Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, attends a climate rally, in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. (Melissa Renwick/The Canadian Press via AP)

Activist Greta Thunberg declines climate prize, urges more action

Associated Press

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has inspired millions across the world to stage protests urging leaders to better tackle global warming, has declined an environmental prize, saying “the climate movement does not need any more prizes.”

In this Nov. 27, 2018, file photo a banner depicting the Chevrolet Cruze model vehicle is displayed at the General Motors' Lordstown plant in Lordstown, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Trump’s Rust Belt revival is fading. Will it matter in 2020?

- Associated Press

President Trump once promised that coal and steel would be the beating heart of a revived U.S. economy — a nostalgic vision that helped carry him to victory three years ago in the industrial Midwest.

Customers charge their electronic devices at Starbuck's coffee shop on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, in Lafayette, Calif. A large part of Lafayette has been without power. PG&E said Monday its power lines may have started two wildfires over the weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area despite widespread blackouts meant to prevent fires from igniting during dangerously windy weather. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Frustration at utility rising as California blackouts endure

- Associated Press

Millions of Californians prepared to be in the dark - some for five days, or longer - as the nation’s largest utility said it was switching off power again Tuesday to prevent powerful winds from damaging its equipment and sparking more fires.

Woodbridge firefighter Joe Zurilgen passes a burning home as the Kincade Fire rages in Healdsburg, Calif., on Sunday, Oct 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Fires spread amid power outages in Northern California

- Associated Press

As nearly 200,000 people remain under evacuation order from threat of wildfire, some of the millions of people in Northern California on track to get their electricity back may not have power restored before another possible round of shut-offs and debilitating winds.

A firefighter prepares to fight a wildfire as it overtakes a home Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. The flames are fed by dry winds that are predicted to strengthen across the region. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Punishing winds that whipped California fires could last

- Associated Press

Punishing Santa Ana winds that pushed fires into Los Angeles-area neighborhoods, burning six homes, were expected to last through Friday and could prompt more power shutoffs to hundreds of thousands of people.

Elijah Carter 11, left, and Robert Haralson, 12, help shop for their parents in a darkened Olivers Supermarket in the Rincon Valley community, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, in Santa Rosa, Calif. The west side of the store was lit by patio lights powered by a generator as power was shut off again by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. due to high fire danger. (Kent Porter/The Press Democrat via AP)

Californians hit with 2nd round of sweeping blackouts

- Associated Press

Dangerously windy weather sweeping through the state brought power outages to Northern California as the state’s largest utility staged blackouts designed to prevent catastrophic wildfires.

In this Aug. 25, 2009, file photo, logging equipment cuts down a tree near Reserve, N.M.  (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File) **FILE**

Judge eases Christmas tree-cutting ban in fight over owl

- Associated Press

The cutting of Christmas trees across several national forests in the Southwest will be allowed under an order issued by a U.S. district judge in the fight over a threatened owl.

New York Attorney General Letitia James alleges ExxonMobil defrauded investigators with two sets of figures to assess impact of climate regulations. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

ExxonMobil taken to trial for ‘climate fraud’

- The Washington Times

After four years and three attorneys general, New York finally brought ExxonMobil to court Tuesday on charges of “climate fraud,” a case expected to decide whether the sputtering “Exxon knew” campaign still has something in the tank — or if that vehicle has run out of gas.

This Oct. 20, 2019, image made from video by Twitter user @AthenaRising shows the tornado in Rockwall, Texas. The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down in Dallas on Sunday night, causing structural damage and knocking out electricity to thousands. (@AthenaRising via AP)

Tornado slams Dallas; tree falls on Arkansas home, killing 1

- Associated Press

A tornado tore homes and businesses apart in a densely populated area of Dallas, where only minor injuries were reported, but a person was killed by a falling tree in northwest Arkansas as a late-night series of storms caused chaos in several states.

In this Feb. 5, 2019, photo, a student waits for a bus outside the abandoned John C. Clark Elementary and Middle School in Hartford, Conn. The school was closed in 2015 after toxic PCBs were found during a renovation. Many students in the neighborhood now must travel long distances to get to other schools. (AP Photo/Martha Irvine)

Toxic PCBs linger in schools; EPA, lawmakers fail to act

- Associated Press

The Environmental Protection Agency and lawmakers have quietly abandoned efforts to rid schools of toxic PCBs, leaving districts - especially in poor areas — with a difficult choice: Look for the long-banned chemicals, which could trigger a costly cleanup, or simply clean their buildings as well as possible.

A man carries household goods out of a flooded house in Motomiya, Fukushima prefecture, Japan Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. Typhoon Hagibis dropped record amounts of rain for a period in some spots, according to meteorological officials, causing more than 20 rivers to overflow. Some of the muddy waters in streets, fields and residential areas have subsided. But many places remained flooded, with homes and surrounding roads covered in mud and littered with broken wooden pieces and debris. (Kyodo News via AP)

More victims, more damage found in Japan typhoon aftermath

- Associated Press

The toll of death and destruction from a typhoon that tore through central and northern Japan climbed Tuesday, as the government said it was considering approving a special budget for the disaster response and eventual reconstruction.

Cars are stranded on a road as the city is submerged in muddy waters after an embankment of the Chikuma River broke, in Nagano, central Japan, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Rescue efforts for people stranded in flooded areas are in full force after a powerful typhoon dashed heavy rainfall and winds through a widespread area of Japan, including Tokyo. (Yohei Kanasashi/Kyodo News via AP)

Japan looks for missing after typhoon kills dozens

- Associated Press

Rescue crews dug through mudslides and searched near swollen rivers Monday as they looked for those missing from a typhoon that left dozens dead and caused serious damage in central and northern Japan.

Strong Santa Ana winds in Chatsworth, Calif., blew across power lines causing them to arc and transformers to explode. Power was out for street signs, businesses and residents along Devonshire St. from Topanga Canyon Blvd. to Variel Ave. on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. (Dean Musgrove/The Orange County Register via AP)

California winds move south, may force new power outages

- Associated Press

Hot, dry winds sweeping into Southern California raised concerns that the region’s largest utility could widen power shut-offs Friday to prevent its equipment from sparking wildfires.

Typhoon Hagibis may bring 31 inches of rain, strong winds to Tokyo

- Associated Press

A powerful typhoon is forecast to bring up to 80 centimeters (31 inches) of rain and damaging winds to the Tokyo area and Japan’s Pacific coast this weekend, and the government is warning residents to stockpile necessities and leave high-risk places before it’s too dangerous.

James Cooke is shown buying water bottles along with propane tanks and batteries at a ACE Hardware store as he prepares for a possible power shutdown in Los Gatos, Calif., on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. Millions of people were poised to lose electricity throughout northern and central California after Pacific Gas & Electric Co. announced Tuesday it would shut off power in the largest preventive outage in state history to try to avert wildfires caused by faulty lines. (Anda Chu/San Jose Mercury News via AP)

Millions face power outages in northern, central California

- Associated Press

Bottled water and batteries were flying off the shelves at California stores as millions of customers prepared to live without electricity for days in the face of what Pacific Gas & Electric called an unprecedented wildfire danger.

Swedish activist and student Greta Thunberg walks off the stage after addressing the Climate Strike in Montreal, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

Greta Thunberg sets sights on Keystone XL pipeline

Associated Press

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg is concerned about the proposed path of the Keystone XL pipeline through South Dakota and plans to double oil flowing through the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota.