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Nearly All Coastal Governors Denounce Plan to Expand Offshore Oil Drilling

Politicians from coastal states around the country continue to call for their states to be exempt from the Trump administration's proposed expansion of offshore drilling following its politically-tinged decision last week to remove Florida from the plan.

The Interior Department said last week that Secretary Ryan Zinke had spoken with seven coastal governors opposed to drilling, including the governors of North and South Carolina, Rhode Island, Delaware and Washington. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's office told press Zinke would consider removing the state from the plan following their call, while California Gov. Jerry Brown's office reports that Zinke promised to travel to the state to further discuss the offshore leases.

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Business

Recycling Must Be Included in the Infrastructure Bill

By Keefe Harrison

As Congress and the Trump administration contemplate a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure, the question of how to utilize those dollars looms large. If the focus is just asphalt and concrete, it will miss the heart of American manufacturing. At the top of manufacturers' needs is access to good, consistent, high-quality feedstocks to make into new products. Let's help meet that need with some of the best possible domestic sources of raw materials: the paper, plastics, glass, metals and packaging discarded by U.S. homes and businesses. That means including funding for improved recycling in the infrastructure bill as a way to ensure long-term reliable supply created right here at home.

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Food
Organic circle. Dan / Flickr

USDA Plans to Side With 'Fake Organic' Egg Producers, Ditch Animal Welfare Rule

By Katherine Paul and Alexis Baden-Mayer

If nutritional quality and animal welfare issues factor into your egg-buying decisions, get ready for more bad news out of the Trump administration's U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA plans to ditch rules, finalized under the Obama administration, that would have required organic egg producers to provide hens with more space and more outdoor access.

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Politics

Governors Weigh in on Water, Climate and the Environment: What We Know So Far

By Brett Walton

State of the State speeches are where governors sketch their legislative priorities and report on the overall health of their dominions. The state of the state is almost always "strong" and water issues are occasionally mentioned.

Below are summaries of the governors' references to water, climate and the environment.

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Chevron's KIC-1 post, seen in front of the Brooks Mountain Range in northern Alaska. Jonathan Rosenblum

Exposed: Chevron's Secretive Drilling Site in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

By Jonathan Rosenblum

It's the middle of the frigid, long midnight at Tapkaurak Point, a spit of gravel curling out into the Beaufort Sea off the northern coast of Alaska. Up in the middle of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the largest remaining wilderness area in the U.S., the sun set weeks ago and won't peek above the horizon until the middle of January.

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Motherboard / Vice

New Report Reveals Trump's Year of Systemically Censoring Climate Crisis

By Jessica Corbett

A watchdog group that monitors U.S. government websites released a new report on Wednesday detailing serious concerns about censorship and the "systemic" manner in which the Trump administration is misleading the public about the environment, energy and the climate crisis.

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Renewable Energy
China's State Power Investment Corp operates the São Simão dam in Brazil. NASA / ISS

China Leading on World’s Clean Energy Investment, Says Report

By Jocelyn Timperley

China is by far the largest force in global clean energy development and its firms are increasingly looking abroad for opportunities, a new report says.

The report, released Tuesday by the U.S.-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), details the rising importance of China's firms and investors for low-carbon projects outside the country.

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Gage Skidmore

Bundy Trial Dismissed: ‘A Sad Day for America’s Public Lands’

By John Dougherty

Shock, disappointment and warnings of potential for more armed standoffs over U.S. public lands were among the reactions Monday from two academic experts and a former Oregon county judge to a federal judge's order dismissing the government's criminal charges against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, two of his sons and a fourth man linked to militia groups.

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Animals
A coho salmon spawns on the Salmon River in Oregon. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Salmon and Orca Survival Threatened by Chlorpyrifos Pesticide: Government Report

A group of three widely used agricultural pesticides jeopardizes the survival of endangered salmon, according to a National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) biological opinion unveiled this week. Chlorpyrifos, malathion and diazinon—all organophosphate pesticides—harm salmon and their habitat to the point that their survival and recovery are at risk, according to the report. Southern Resident Killer Whales, or orcas, are also at risk as they depend on salmon.

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