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Train Carrying Volatile Bakken Crude Explodes in Northwestern Illinois – March 6, 2015

Yesterday's mishap is the third of its kind in the past three weeks

Yet another train carrying volatile crude oil from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota derailed yesterday, this time in northwestern Illinois near the historic tourist area of Galena overlooking the Mississippi River. It follows recent derailments in West Virginia and Ontario. The area in which it occurred was not as remote as the Ontario derailment. However, it did not require as extensive evacuation as the one in West Virginia in which hundreds were forced from their homes in the bitter cold. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, firefighters were allowing the fireball to burn itself out.

Fireball from train blastPhoto by Chad WinterlandSmoke… more

by: Ecowatch

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Oil Can’t Compete With Renewables, Says National Bank of Abu Dhabi – March 5, 2015

Returns on fossil fuel investments aren’t keeping up with solar and wind, and are less likely to do so in the future, says bank report

You wouldn’t expect a bank in the oil-rich Middle East to be touting the future of renewable energy over that of oil. But that’s just what the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) is doing with its new report, “Financing the Future of Energy: The opportunity for the Gulf’s financial services sector.”

Solar panelsPhoto by Alejandro FloresDespite the recent plunge in oil prices, the report says that energy demand will be more efficiently filled by renewables, offering more reliable and lucrative investment opportunities than oil.

Aimed primarily at investors and focusing on financial performance and potential, the report found that fossil fuels… more

by: Ecowatch

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Will Obama Veto the Keystone XL Bill? – February 12, 2015

Ball is in the president's court after Senate passes bill approving the controversial oil pipeline project

Yesterday afternoon, after some debate that broke no new ground, the House of Representatives passed the Senate’s version of the Keystone XL pipeline bill by a vote of 270-152, the Senate passed the bill on Jan. 29 by a vote of 62-36. The House had quickly approved it — for the tenth time — just days after the current session of Congress convened in early January, sending the bill to the Senate. There it passed for the first time, thanks to Republicans taking control of the Senate following last November’s mid-term elections.

Profile shot of ObamaPhoto by Christopher Dilts for Obama for AmericaTo override the president's veto… more

by: Ecowatch

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Obama Seeks Wilderness Designation for Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – January 26, 2015

If approved by Congress, it would mean exploration for onshore oil is now off limits in the region

President Obama’s Administration moved to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, known as one of the most wild and remote areas in the world. The Department of the Interior announced yesterday the release of a conservation plan that recommends additional protections for the Refuge that asks Congress to designate core areas—including its Coastal Plain—as wilderness, the highest level of protection available to public lands. This is the first time in history that a Wilderness recommendation includes the Refuge’s Coastal Plain as part of its final plan. If passed by Congress, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would become the largest ever wilderness designation since Congress passed the Wilderness Act more than 50 years ago.

Caribou and Brooks Range, Arctic NWRmore

by: Ecowatch

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2014 Was the Hottest Year on Record – January 17, 2015

The past year was the 18th consecutive year in the US in which the annual average temperature was above normal

Climate scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the 2014 global temperatures today, and the news they delivered is a blow to climate deniers who argue that climate change-driven global warming isn’t happening.

The scientists revealed that 2014 was the hottest year in 134 years of record keeping, with seven of 12 months equaling or tying with previous global records for that month. In addition, seven consecutive months set new records for surface ocean heat, and December 2014 was the 358th consecutive month in which the combined global land and ocean surface temperatures was above average.

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by: Ecowatch

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