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Brant at Izembek Lagoon. Kristine Sowl / USFWS

Groups Slam Zinke's 'Backroom Deals' to Build Road Through Alaskan Wildlife Refuge

Ryan Zinke's Interior Department is working behind the scenes to build a controversial and long-contested road through the heart of Alaska's Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, documents show.

The refuge was established more than 30 years ago to conserve wetlands and habitats for migrating birds, brown bears and salmon and other wildlife. 300,000 of its 315,000 acres has been designated as Wilderness in 1980 under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.

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California Wildfires: One of 'Greatest Tragedies' State Has Ever Faced

With aid from easing winds, the 11,000 firefighters beating back the Northern California wildfires are making "good progress," as the number of major blazes dropped to 15, the state's fire agency Cal Fire announced Sunday.

But as Cal Fire noted‚ "Sadly, the death toll has risen to 40 people."

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Oil Rig Explodes in Louisiana: 7 Injured, 1 Missing

An oil rig exploded on Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana Sunday night, injuring seven crew members, with an eighth believed to be missing, authorities said.

The explosion was reported at 7:18 p.m. near St. Charles Parish and the city of Kenner. The platform, located in unincorporated Jefferson Parish, is owned by New Orleans-based Clovelly Oil Company.

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Energy
Photo credit: Michigan Residents Against the ET Rover Pipeline

Rover Pipeline Spills Water Containing Gasoline Into Michigan Wetlands

Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) issued a violation notice to Energy Transfer Partners after its Rover pipeline project spilled water containing gasoline into wetlands near Pinckney.

The violation notice was issued after the department's Water Resources Division (WRD) staff received a complaint on Wednesday regarding a petroleum odor coming from water discharged from the pipeline project near the northern crossing of Dexter-Townhall Road in Washtenaw County.

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31 Killed in Deadliest Week for Wildfires in California History

Firefighters continue to battle against 17 wildfires that have burned more than 220,000 acres in California, Cal Fire announced in a Friday update.

The death toll from the Northern California blazes has risen to 31, the deadliest week for wildfires in the state's history.

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Animals
One of the dead penguin chicks found in Terre Adélie. Y. Ropert-Couder / CNRS / IPEV

Only Two Penguin Chicks Survive in Catastrophic Antarctic Breeding Season

Thousands of Adélie penguin chicks in Terre Adélie, Antarctica died of starvation at the start of 2017 due to unusually thick sea ice that forced their parents to travel an extra 100 kilometers (62 miles) to find food, according to French scientists.

The colony of over 18,000 pairs of Adélie penguins suffered a "catastrophic breeding failure" that left with only two chicks surviving at the beginning of the year.

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Climate
Paris smog. Damián Bakarcic / Flickr

Two European Cities and a Whole Country Join Movement to Outlaw Gas Guzzlers

The movement to ban the internal combustion engine is growing.

The European cities of Paris, Oxford, as well as the whole of the Netherlands, have recently announced separate proposals to phase out cars powered by fossil fuels.

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Trump Taps AccuWeather CEO to Head NOAA

President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Barry Myers, the CEO of private weather company AccuWeather, to lead the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the country's foremost scientific agency for oceanic and climate research.

The White House praised Myers and his company for its "highest grossing years, and its largest global web and mobile audience growth. He is one of the world's leading authorities on the use of weather information."

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California Wildfires: Death Toll Rises to 23, 'Worst Air Quality Ever Recorded' in Bay Area

Firefighters continue to battle the unprecedented wildfires ravaging Northern California.

As of Wednesday, the fast-moving blazes—aided by high winds and low humidity—have burned nearly 170,000 acres and destroyed at least 3,500 homes and commercial structures since the outbreak started Sunday.

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