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Will the Gulf of Mexico Remain a Dumping Ground for Offshore Fracking Waste?

By Mike Ludwig

As the Trump administration moves to gut Obama-era clean water protections nationwide, an environmental group is warning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that its draft pollution discharge permit for offshore drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico violates clean water laws because it allows operators to dump fracking chemicals and large volumes of drilling wastewater directly into the Gulf.

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Energy company filings (shapefile), Energy Information Administration. Leanne Abraham, Alyson Hurt and Katie Park/NPR

Thousands of Miles of Pipelines Enrage Landowners, Threaten the Future of Our Planet

By Kristen Lombardi and Jamie Smith Hopkins

They landed, one after another, in 2015: plans for nearly a dozen interstate pipelines to move natural gas beneath rivers, mountains and people's yards. Like spokes on a wheel, they'd spread from Appalachia to markets in every direction.

Together these new and expanded pipelines—comprising 2,500 miles of steel in all—would double the amount of gas that could flow out of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. The cheap fuel will benefit consumers and manufacturers, the developers promise.

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States Sue EPA for Failing to Ban Toxic Pesticide

By Farron Cousins

In late March, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt decided that his agency would not place an outright ban on a pesticide manufactured by Dow Chemical called chlorpyrifos.

The decision came after a federal court ordered the EPA to make a final decision on whether or not to ban the pesticide, which the Obama administration had proposed banning in 2015. The chemical has been on the market in the U.S. since 1965 under the brand name Lorsban and indoor use of the chemical has been banned for more than a decade.

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EPA Chief Wants TV 'Debate' on Climate: Scientists Call Foul

A red team/blue team debate on climate science is in its "formative stages" at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the agency may consider putting the event on television, according to EPA chief Scott Pruitt.

In an interview with Reuters, Pruitt said the debate idea "advances science," while skirting around the question of how the agency would ensure no conflicts of interest with debate participants.

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Another Koch Cadet Hired​ at Trump's Department of Energy

By Ben Jervey

The Koch brothers have landed yet another of their trusted fossil fuel think tank veterans in the Trump administration's Department of Energy (DOE). Alex Fitzsimmons was manager of policy and public affairs at the Institute for Energy Research (IER) and its advocacy arm, the American Energy Alliance (AEA), while also working as a "spokesman" and communications director for Fueling U.S. Forward (FUSF), the Koch-funded campaign to bolster public opinion of fossil fuels.

Fitzsimmons will be joining former IER colleagues Daniel Simmons and Travis Fisher at the DOE.

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Court to EPA: You Overstepped ​Your Authority​ on Methane Rule​

The Trump administration cannot block an Obama-era rule restricting methane leaks from oil and gas wells, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has overstepped its authority in attempting to suspend the rule's implementation for two years, and that the agency must follow a new rulemaking process to fully undo the regulations.

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EPA Boss Launches Program to 'Critique' Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

The ever-prescient John Oliver talked about this back in 2014. In the clip above, the Last Week Tonight host takes aim at climate change deniers who contest the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is causing the planet to warm.

"You don't need people's opinion on a fact," the British comedian said. "You might as well have a poll asking: 'Which number is bigger, 15 or 5?' or 'Do owls exist?' or 'Are there hats?'"

Well, the Trump administration is now seeking opinions.

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Weed Resistance to Glyphosate on GMO Crops: EPA Needs to Do Better

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not doing enough to prevent weed resistance to the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) says a new report from the EPA's Inspector General's Office, which draws in part on a report from the agbiotech company, Pioneer: Weed Management in the Era of Glyphosate Resistance.

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Dow CEO Andrew Liveris and President Donald Trump in February.

EPA Chief Met With Dow Chemical CEO Before Deciding Not to Ban Toxic Pesticide

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt met with Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris before deciding to reverse an earlier EPA decision to ban the company's toxic and widely used pesticide, chlorpyrifos.

According to records obtained by the Associated Press, the EPA boss met with Liveris for about 30 minutes at a Houston hotel on March 9. Later that month, Pruitt announced that he would no longer pursue a ban on chlorpyrifos from being used on food, ignoring his agency's own review that even small amounts of the pesticide could impact fetus and infant brain development.

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