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Environmental Crime Tops List by Organizations | United States Courts. Main content The most common federal offense committed by “organizational offenders” —corporations, partnerships, unions, trusts, pension funds, and non-profits—was not fraud or money-laundering but environmental crime, according to a report published recently by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Environmental offenses made up nearly a third (33.2 percent) of all crimes committed by organizations, followed by fraud at 21 percent and food/drug crimes at 12.2 percent (crimes involving adulteration or misbranding of drugs), the commission reported last month. Crimes involving antitrust actions, import/export issues, immigration, money laundering, and other categories made up the remainder of the offenses. Broken down, 70 percent of the environmental crimes were water-related, 16.7 percent affected wildlife, 8.3 percent involved hazardous materials, and 5 percent were air-related. Over half — 58.6 percent — of all organizational cases involved a related individual who was convicted separately. House Moves to Encourage Drilling in National Parks · National Parks Conservation Association. Reversal of drilling rules part of larger attempt by Congress to weaken park protections.

WASHINGTON – Congressman Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) last night introduced H.J. Res. 46, which seeks to repeal updates to the National Park Service’s “9B” rules. The rules require detailed planning and set safety standards for oil and gas drilling inside the more than 40 national parks that have “split estate” ownership, where the federal government owns the surface but not the subsurface mineral rights. The resolution is just the latest in a series of moves by federal lawmakers to weaken environmental protections for national parks under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). If these repeals are signed into law under the CRA, it will not only stop these protections, it will also prohibit agencies from issuing similar rules and protections in the future, unless directed by Congress. The House is set to vote Friday to repeal rules to prevent the waste of methane gas from oil and gas facilities.

SECURE Water Report | Bureau of Reclamation. Great Plains Region | Bureau of Reclamation. Oil and Gas: US cancels final 2 energy leases in area sacred to tribes. BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. officials on Tuesday announced the cancellation of the final two oil and gas leases in a wilderness area bordering Glacier National Park that's sacred to the Blackfoot tribes of Montana and Canada, more than three decades after the tribes said the leases were illegally sold. [Native Advertisement] Lease owners in Nebraska and Texas were notified of the cancellations in a letter from Deputy Interior Secretary Michael Connor and offered refunds of about $30,000 each. The move is subject to a potential court challenge. A lawsuit against another lease cancellation in the area last year is pending before U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington, D.C. The undeveloped leases were issued in the 1980s in the Badger Two-Medicine area, the site of the creation story for Montana's Blackfeet Nation and the Blackfoot tribes of Canada.

Blackfeet Tribal Chairman Harry Barnes said his people were grateful for the cancellation. The leases cancelled Tuesday were held by W.A. Oil and Gas: Judge: Exxon Mobil must give documents to attorney general. BOSTON (AP) — Exxon Mobil has been ordered to hand over documents related to a state investigation into whether it misled the public about the impact of fossil fuels on the climate. Wednesday's decision by a Suffolk Superior Court judge is a win for Attorney General Maura Healey, who's trying to determine if the company deceived investors and consumers by hiding what it knew about the link between burning fossil fuels and climate change.

[Native Advertisement] An Exxon Mobil Corp. spokesman said the company, based in Irving, Texas, is reviewing the decision to determine its next steps. An aide to Healey said the ruling affirmed the longstanding authority of the attorney general to investigate fraud. "Exxon must now end its obstructive tactics and come clean about whether it misled Massachusetts consumers and investors about what it knew about climate change, its causes and effects," Healey spokeswoman Chloe Gotsis said in a written statement.

ExxonMobil announces new oil discoveries offshore Guyana. ExxonMobil announced positive results from its Payara-1 well offshore Guyana. Payara is ExxonMobil’s second oil discovery on the Stabroek Block and was drilled in a new reservoir. The Payara-1 well targeted similar aged reservoirs that were proven successful at the company’s Liza discovery. “This important discovery further establishes the area as a significant exploration province,” said Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company. “We look forward to working with the government and our co-venturers to continue evaluating broader exploration potential on the block and the greater Liza area.”

[Native Advertisement] The well was drilled by ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, and encountered more than 95 feet (29 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. Drilling on Payara began on Nov. 12 with initial total depth reached on Dec. 2. The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometers). Bill exempts some fracking chemicals from records requests. RICHMOND, Va.

(AP) — Certain chemicals pumped underground during hydraulic fracturing would be exempt from public records requests under a bill advancing in the Virginia Legislature. A measure from Del. Roxann Robinson would allow the denial of requests under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act for information about chemicals that has been deemed a trade secret. A House subcommittee advanced the measure Thursday. [Native Advertisement] Robinson, a Republican from Chesterfield County, introduced a similar measure last year. But opponents said the bill could hinder first responders in an emergency and keep landowners in the dark about pollutants that might be affecting their groundwater. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves pumping water, sand and chemicals underground to split open rock formations and allow oil and gas to flow.

But others said waiting until an emergency to release that information would be too late to prepare an adequate response. M.truthdig. Protesters at the pipeline construction site on the Standing Rock reservation. (Rob Wilson Photography) You probably learned in high school that monopolies are bad for consumers; they eliminate the field of competition in the marketplace, leaving people with fewer options and higher prices.

Mega-mergers in the food and energy markets are allowing a handful of corporations to dominate market sectors. Their market dominance means that when it comes to influencing public policy, politically powerful companies call the shots. As Elizabeth Warren said in a speech recently, competition is dying—and the accompanying consolidation in sector after sector is a threat to our democracy. Beyond the corporate quest for market dominance, there is another reason these mergers keep coming at everyone else’s expense: the deals make big money for the powerful banks that wield enormous power over our democracy.

Here are the three most valuable mergers happening this year: U.S. The global road-building explosion is shattering nature. If you asked a friend to name the worst human threat to nature, what would they say? Global warming? Overhunting? Habitat fragmentation? A new study suggests it is in fact road-building. “Road-building” might sound innocuous, like “house maintenance” – or even positive, conjuring images of promoting economic growth. Many of us have been trained to think so. But an unprecedented spate of road building is happening now, with around 25 million kilometres of new paved roads expected by 2050. A Malayan tapir killed along a road in Peninsular Malaysia. Shattered The new study, led by Pierre Ibisch at Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, Germany, ambitiously attempted to map all of the roads and remaining ecosystems across Earth’s entire land surface.

Its headline conclusion is that roads have already sliced and diced Earth’s ecosystems into some 600,000 pieces. Remaining roadless areas across the Earth. That’s not good news. Deforestation along roads in the Brazilian Amazon. 15 before-and-after images that show how we're transforming the planet. Secretary Jewell Announces Proposal to Reduce Methane Emissions, Wasted Gas on Public, Tribal Lands. Proposal Would Limit Venting, Flaring and Leaking from Oil & Gas Operations to Reduce Waste and Harmful Emissions, Provide Fair Return to Taxpayers WASHINGTON – As part of the Interior Department’s reform agenda for a cleaner, more secure energy future, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today proposed to update 30 year-old regulations in order to reduce the wasteful release of natural gas into the atmosphere from oil and gas operations on public and American Indian lands.

The proposed rule on venting, flaring and leaking will help curb waste of our nation’s natural gas supplies, reduce harmful methane emissions and provide a fair return on public resources for federal taxpayers, Tribes, and States. “I think most people would agree that we should be using our nation’s natural gas to power our economy – not wasting it by venting and flaring it into the atmosphere,” said Secretary Jewell. A fact sheet on the proposed rule is available here. 'The Pantanal is national heritage': protecting the world's largest wetlands | Global Development Professionals Network. Inside a small aircraft, decorated with a polka-dot jaguar design, Ângelo Rabelo checks data on a small laptop computer. “We’re approaching a river spring!” He shouts over the plane’s noisy engine. Below, the Paraguay river in Brazil’s Mato Grosso state snakes between clusters of vibrant green forest and extensive patches of farmland.

The plane flies over a large, barren-looking stretch of light brown land where soy is being grown. A small buffer zone of trees separates the crops from the river, in which lies a pulsating spring. Rabelo is the head of local NGO Instituto Homem Pantaneiro, which works to conserve the Pantanal region by monitoring waterways and promoting sustainable practices with the local population. The Pantanal is the world’s largest wetland territory. But the Pantanal’s waterways – essential to all life in the region - are threatened by deforestation, soil erosion from expanding industrial agriculture, and infrastructure projects.

An influx of ‘asphalt farmers’ Methane “hot spot” over Four Corners linked to oil, gas production sites – The Denver Post. Researchers identified more than 250 sources of a methane hot spot over the Four Corners region of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. They include gas wells, storage tanks, pipelines and processing plants. Only a handful were natural seeps from underground formations, and one was a vent from a coal mine, according to researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology. The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study said as much as two-thirds of the methane could be spewing from only about 25 locations. Methane is a key component of natural gas. Evidence of the hot spot dates as far back as 2003, and a satellite image released in 2014 showed it in vivid color.

The new study identified the sources with spectrometers aboard aircraft that flew 3,000 to 10,000 feet above the ground over about 1,200 square miles in the Four Corners in April 2015. The Dirty Fight Over Canadian Tar Sands Oil | NRDC. Just south of the polar region’s barren tundra, Canada’s boreal forest provides 1.3 billion acres of wild habitat for a mind-boggling array of species—from large carnivores like grizzly bears, wolves, and lynx to nesting migratory birds to thousands of plant varieties. Its trees and bogs capture vast amounts of climate-changing carbon pollution, and its wetlands filter millions of gallons of water. The boreal is also home to hundreds of First Nations communities, many of whom rely on hunting, fishing, and trapping for their livelihoods.

Yet this pristine paradise is central to one of today’s most contentious debates about dirty energy. It’s a conversation with origins dating back 300 years, when British explorer James Knight noted the “gum or pitch that flows out of the banks” of what is now Canada’s Athabasca River. Despite these economic and environmental costs, a race to make money from this dirty fuel was kicked off in the mid-1990s by rising oil prices. Dozens of new craters suspected in northern Russia. B1 - famous Yamal hole in 30 kilometres from Bovanenkovo, spotted in 2014 by helicopter pilots. Pictures: Marya Zulinova, Yamal regional government's press service Respected Moscow scientist Professor Vasily Bogoyavlensky has called for 'urgent' investigation of the new phenomenon amid safety fears.

Until now, only three large craters were known about in northern Russia with several scientific sources speculating last year that heating from above the surface due to unusually warm climatic conditions, and from below, due to geological fault lines, led to a huge release of gas hydrates, so causing the formation of these craters in Arctic regions. Two of the newly-discovered large craters - also known as funnels to scientists - have turned into lakes, revealed Professor Bogoyavlensky, deputy director of the Moscow-based Oil and Gas Research Institute, part of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 'We know now of seven craters in the Arctic area,' he said.

Yamal lake with traces of gas emissions. Federal Register :: Notice of Amended Proposed Withdrawal, Release of Draft Environmental Impact Statement, and Notice of Public Meetings; Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. Start Preamble Bureau of Land Management, Interior. Notice. This notice announces the amendment of the September 24, 2015, application by the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management to withdraw approximately 10 million acres of public and National Forest System lands from location and entry under the United States mining laws to protect the Greater Sage-Grouse and its habitat.

The amendment adds 387,981.42 acres in the State of Nevada and refines the proposed withdrawal boundaries in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. In addition, this notice announces the release of the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for public review, which analyzes and discloses the impacts of the proposed withdrawal. Comments must be received by March 28, 2017. Meetings will be held to provide the public with an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed withdrawal amendment and the draft EIS. Start Further Info Mark A. Idaho State Office, 1387 S. U.S. Fossil fuels may have triggered the Cambrian explosion 541 million years ago. A new study has linked fossils fuels to the historic rise in oxygen that triggered the development of life on Earth. Dead plant matter stored in soil allowed oxygen to build up in Earth's atmosphere over 500 million years ago, researchers claim.

And this same matter is the key ingredient of coal, oil, organic gases, and other fossil fuels. A new study has linked the historic rise in oxygen responsible for the formation of animal life on Earth to fossil fuels. Image: This black shale, formed 450 million years ago, contains fossils of trilobites and other organic material that helped support these increases in oxygen Scientists have long speculated that a large oxygen spike during the 'Cambrian Explosion' was key to the development of many animal species.

The Cambrian Explosion, around 541 million years ago, was a period when a wide variety of animals burst onto the evolutionary scene. It ended with the Cambrian-Ordovician extinction event, approximately 488 million years ago. Unconventional Oil and Gas Development: Key Environmental and Public Health Requirements. Hazardous Waste: Agencies Should Take Steps to Improve Information on USDA's and Interior's Potentially Contaminated Sites. Gov. Accountability Office: Managing Natural Resources. China gets tough on smog offenders as alert level hits 'red' Images-of-change. Arkansas Oil Spill Sheds Light On Aging Pipeline System.

Dry beds. Life in Flint a Year Into the State of Emergency Over Tap Water. Alberta working to ease the transition away from coal. U.S., Canada study ways to cut pollution from coal power. New B.C.-Alaska Deal Not Enough to Protect Transboundary Rivers from B.C.’s Mines, U.S. Fisheries Panel Hears. 1, 696 = Total number of Oilfield Environmental Incidents reported to the OIL & Gas Division (ND) in 2012-2013. 04.05.13 Oil, Gas, Sulphur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf-Revisions to Safety and Environmental Management Systems. The Climate Deception Dossiers: Internal Fossil Fuel Industry Memos Reveal Decades of Corporate Disinformation. POWERmap: Americas Maps and Geospatial.

WATER

Activists Attempt to Shut Down Five Major Oil Pipelines | Pipeline Law. New Pipeline Construction Issues: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Considers Allowing Incidental Takes Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act | Pipeline Law. The Latest: Not-Guilty Pleas by 3 Newly Charged in Flint. Water Emergency in Louisiana Town Follows Years of Concern Over Aging Infrastructure. NEWS  |  Poland: Fracking Found Not to Affect Environment  |  Rigzone.

Regulations.gov - Supporting & Related Material Document. Stonehenge, Easter Island, Venice: Climate Change Will Destroy Human History. 'God's Bathtub:' Ancient Lake In Australia Found To Be Unaffected By Climate Change (PHOTO) Net Loss: How We Continually Forget What the Oceans Really Used to Be Like [Excerpt] What Momentum on Climate Change Means for Business. Losing Ground. What really caused the Chernobyl disaster? At site of world's worst nuclear disaster, the animals have returned. Chilling Photos Show Coral Bleaching Across the Globe. Hundreds of Methane Plumes Erupting Along East Coast. Processes affecting oil spills. Gulf or BP Oil Spill. Oil, Gas & Mining | Texas Groundwater Protection Committee. BHP BILLITON PETROLEUM INC EXPLORATION PLAN - Regulations.gov.

Climate Impacts in the Great Plains | Climate Change Impacts | US EPA. Nestlé to Double Water Extraction 120 Miles from Flint. The Paris Agreement Is Now In Effect. In Canada You’d Never Know. High-Flow Experiment Underway at Glen Canyon Dam Simulates Natural Flooding through Grand Canyon. Interior Initiates Process to Protect Important Lands Near Joshua Tree National Park. Salazar Announces $395 Million Available to States and Tribes for Cleaning Up Abandoned Coal Mines. Obama Administration Protects 30,000 Acres from New Mining Claims near Yellowstone National Park. Secretary Jewell, Governor Mead Protect Key Land in Grand Teton National Park. Site C dam an 'outdated solution,' says ex-premier. How the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Works | Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) | US EPA.

Secretary Jewell, Governor McAuliffe Recognize Major Addition to National Park System in Virginia. Secretary Jewell, Senator Tester, Blackfeet Nation and Devon Energy Announce Cancellation of Oil & Gas Leases in Montana’s Lewis and Clark National Forest. Interior Department Announces Final Rule to Reduce Methane Emissions & Wasted Gas on Public, Tribal Lands.

This Is How We Can Tackle Climate Change, Even With a Denier in Chief. Landmark Report on Oil, Gas, Minerals, and Renewable Resources Provides New Insights into the Impact of Natural Resource Extraction on Taxpayers and Communities. Despite protests, fracking risks are modest and manageable | Fraser Institute. NY District Environmental Residency teams with EPA to clean up contamination in New Jersey > New York District > New York District News Story. Study Finds $600M Plus in Property Losses Averted by Coastal Wetlands. U.S., Canada study ways to cut pollution from coal power. Climate change predicted to halve coffee-growing area that supports 120m people | Environment. News - Scientist calls for World War mobilization vs climate change - The Weather Network. Massive Global Tree Die-Off Caused By Geoengineering - Zen Gardner. NASA-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'?

50% of the World's Wildlife Gone in Just 2 Human Generations. Court orders New York AG Schneiderman to turn over climate change secrecy pact | Competitive Enterprise Institute.