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A Japanese ship that ran aground on a coral reef off Mauritius may have changed course to get a mobile data signal for a birthday celebration on board. imo.un / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

A Japanese ship that wrecked off the coast of Mauritius in July and sparked one of the worst environmental disasters in the country's history may have run aground because of birthday celebrations on board at the time.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

OPEC remains only a pale shadow of its past glory. Pxfuel

By Ashutosh Pandey

In 1973, a handful of oil-rich countries, led by Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq, brought the mighty U.S. economy to its knees by slapping an oil embargo on Washington and its allies. The suspension of oil shipments from the Middle East to the U.S. and steep production cuts in retaliation for the Americans' support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy, leading to fuel shortages and causing oil prices to go through the roof.

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A new study finds only 10% of global energy utility companies are expanding their renewable energy capacity at a faster rate than their gas or coal-fired capacity. jwvein / Needpix

By Jo Harper

Only 10% of global energy utility companies are expanding their renewable energy capacity at a faster rate than their gas or coal-fired capacity. That is the main finding of a study by Galina Alova from the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford.

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The corner of Jefferson and 7th in Hoboken, N.J., is flooded on Oct. 30, 2012 following Superstorm Sandy. Alec Perkins / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Kenny Stancil

The city of Hoboken on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against multiple Big Oil players—including ExxonMobil, incorporated in New Jersey—joining an increasing number of state and local governments using litigation in efforts to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for defrauding the public about foreseen climate crisis damages and to make companies "pay their fair share" of the costs of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to a warming planet.

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A man scoops leaked oil from the Japanese-owned MV Wakashio that ran aground near Blue Bay Marine Park off the coast of Mauritius on August 8, 2020. Jean Aurelio Prudence / L'Express Maurice / AFP / Getty Images

By Seerat Chabba

Mauritius has asked Japan to pay close to 3.6 billion yen (€28.5 billion, $34 million) in order to support local fishermen whose livelihoods were adversely impacted by an oil leak last month, according to a Mauritian government document accessed by Japanese news agency Kyodo News.

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Two weeks before the start of the Republican convention in late August, President Trump rolled back Barack Obama's last major environmental regulation, restricting methane leaks. Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Vernon Loeb, Marianne Lavelle and Stacy Feldman

In the middle of his 44th month in office, two weeks before the start of the Republican convention in late August, President Trump rolled back Barack Obama's last major environmental regulation, restricting methane leaks.

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San Juan National Forest in Colorado is an example of the national forests that will be vulnerable to oil and gas drilling. Paxson Woelber / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 4.0

The Trump Administration released a proposed rule allowing oil and gas drilling on millions of acres of protected national forests, The Houston Chronicle reported.

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Local residents sit next to a vineyard as they watch the LNU Lightning Complex fire burning in nearby hills on August 20, 2020 in Healdsburg, California. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

Especially given the climate-fueled wildfires ravaging the region, conservationists sounded alarm Thursday in response to a Trump administration proposal for an oil and gas lease sale in California, which would be the state's first such federal auction in eight years.

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An LNG processing plant is seen in Cameron, Louisiana on August 26, 2020. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP / Getty Images

The full extent of the damage wrought by the storm formerly known as Hurricane Laura will only continue to grow as the weakened storm continues inland and pollution from petrochemical plants and other industrial sites is discovered.

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Environmental regulators across the country granted more than 3,000 requests from polluting oil and gas operations, government facilities, chemical plants, and other facilities to stop pollution monitoring. PxHere / CC0

Environmental regulators across the country granted more than 3,000 requests from polluting oil and gas operations, government facilities, chemical plants, and other facilities to stop pollution monitoring and other procedures intended to protect human health and the environment, an expansive two-month AP investigation revealed.

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Polar bears playing in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Cheryl Strahl / Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Scott L. Montgomery

The Trump administration has announced that it is opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development – the latest twist in a decades-long battle over the fate of this remote area. Its timing is truly terrible.

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An example of abandoned oil pumps and well. Martina Birnbaum / Getty Images

By Ray Levy-Uyeda

A farmer for most of his life, Sam Stewart bought farmland in Montana about 35 years ago. Since then, he's planted and harvested his wheat and other crops around 16 open oil wells on this land, which he estimates were dug in the 1920s.

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The MV Wakashio is seen on August 15, 2020 after the ship's mid-section broke in two, three weeks after running aground off the coast of southeast Mauritius. Stringer / AFP / Getty Images

The Japanese cargo ship that hit a coral reef near Mauritius and spilled thousands of metric tons of fuel into the island nation's turquoise waters split in two over the weekend, The Guardian reported.

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