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Andrew Wheeler testifies Wednesday at a Senate confirmation hearing on his nomination to officially head the EPA. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Acting EPA Head Wheeler Downplays Climate Crisis at Confirmation Hearing

Acting U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator and former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler downplayed the threat of climate change and defended his deregulatory record at the first Senate confirmation hearing on his nomination to officially run the agency Wednesday. It was a hearing that some activists and Democrats did not even think should take place, given that business as usual at the EPA has been hampered by the ongoing government shutdown.

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EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler / EPA

Senate Shouldn’t Put Wheeler at the Wheel of the EPA

By Ana Unruh Cohen

As the longest government shut down in history drags on, and the experts protecting our air and water remain off the job, the Senate is barreling forward to put Andrew Wheeler at the wheel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He is unfit for this public trust.

In his seven-month tenure as the acting administrator at EPA, Wheeler's relentlessly pushed to advance the pro-polluter agenda launched by Scott Pruitt, the worst administrator in the agency's storied 48-year history. Wheeler may lack Pruitt's scandals, but he's no improvement.

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Insights/Opinion
Produced water from gas drilling in the Marcellus shale. Tara Lohan

Warning: A ‘Shrinking Window’ of Usable Groundwater

By Tara Lohan

We're living beyond our means when it comes to groundwater. That's probably not news to everyone, but new research suggests that, deep underground in a number of key aquifers in some parts of the U.S., we may have much less water than previously thought.

"We found that the average depth of water resources across the country was about half of what people had previously estimated," said Jennifer McIntosh, a distinguished scholar and professor of hydrology and atmospheric sciences at the University of Arizona.

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Insights/Opinion
Glen Canyon Dam, Colorado River. Sharon Mollerus, CC BY 2.0

2019 Will Be a Big Year for Water

By Tara Lohan

In the last few weeks of 2018, the Trump administration set the stage for a big battle over water in the new year. At stake is an important rule that defines which waters are protected under the Clean Water Act. The Trump administration seeks to roll back important protections for wetlands and waterways, which are important to drinking water and wildlife.

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Politics
A sign is displayed at the National Archives building that is closed because of a U.S. government shutdown in Washington, DC, on Dec. 22. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP / Getty Images

EPA Runs Out of Funds as Government Shutdown Drags On

The partial government shutdown that began nearly a week ago is likely to drag into the New Year, CNN reported Friday. The House and Senate both met only briefly on Thursday and made no progress towards resolving the impasse between congressional Democrats and President Donald Trump over $5 billion in spending for his proposed border wall.

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Health
The Flint River in downtown Flint, Michigan. Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

Two More Michigan Officials Plead ‘No Contest’ as Flint Water Crisis Investigation Continues

Two Michigan environmental regulators implicated in the Flint water crisis plead "no contest" in a bid to avoid felony charges. As part of their deal, they will also testify against others involved with the scandal, which contaminated the town of Flint, Michigan's drinking water with lead and resulted in 12 deaths from Legionnaires' Disease, The Huffington Post reported Thursday.

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Insights/Opinion
#Break Free from Plastic written on the beach using collected bottle caps. Chanklang Kanthong / Greenpeace

Plastic Straws Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg

By Kate Melges

Much of the stuff that accumulates during the holidays comes with single-use plastic packaging. We open a gift, rip it out of the package and toss the plastic into a bin, hoping it will get recycled and not end up polluting our oceans.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of single-use plastic is not recycled. In fact, only 9 percent of the plastics ever created have actually been recycled. And much of it ends up in our oceans. Every single minute, the equivalent of a truckload of plastic enters the ocean, harming marine life and entering seafood supply chains around the world. For a long time, corporations have tried to pass the blame and responsibility to all of us so they could continue churning out cheap throwaway packaging in the name of profit.

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sonsam / iStock / Getty Images

Trump Plan to Protect Kids From Lead Falls Far Short

The long-awaited plan by the Trump administration to "wage a war against lead" and protect children from exposure to the potent neurotoxin is a woefully unacceptable response to this public health crisis, said Environmental Working Group.

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Insights/Opinion
Hikers on the Mt. Hollywood Trail in Griffin Park, Calif. while a brush fire burned in the Angeles National Forest on Aug. 26, 2009. Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Major Health Study Shows Benefits of Combating Climate Change

During the holiday season, people often drink toasts to health. There's something more we can do to ensure that we and others will enjoy good health now and into the future: combat climate change.

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