That's pretty much all the untrustworthy company had to say to win yet another round in a drawn-out court battle with organic farmers and seed producers.
The U.S. court system is refusing to protect the organic growers from future Monsanto lawsuits in the event that traces of genetically engineered genes accidentally end up in the farmers' crops. That's because of a single paragraph on the biotech giant's website that says it has no such litigious intentions.
States have begun introducing taxes on not using gasoline.
As the number of electric vehicles on the roads starts to climb, a number of states are introducing new fees to offset the projected losses in gas-tax revenues.
The AP reports that at least 10 states have considered or passed legislation that would impose such fees on electric or hybrid cars.
The new charges could help governments build and maintain the roads and bridges upon which the new generation of vehicles are being driven. But it seems that owners of gas-free cars are also being eyed to plug holes left in government budgets by the improved efficiency of traditional vehicles.
Gas taxes are one of the main sources of funding for bridges and roads. But people are driving more fuel-efficient cars, and many states’ tax rates haven’t kept up with inflation during the past decade. That’s left less money available for repairs. Nationwide, gas tax revenue declined every year from $40.7 billion in 2004 to $37.9 billion in 2010, according to inflation-adjusted data from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a research group in Washington.
That’s a big reason Virginia and Washington State are levying green-car taxes and New Jersey, North Carolina, Indiana, and at least four other states are considering doing the same. “The intent is that people who use the roads pay for them,” says Arizona State Senator Steve Farley, a Democrat who wrote a bill to tax electric-car drivers 1¢ for every mile they log on state highways under a yet-to-be-devised tracking system. “Just because we have somebody who is getting out of doing it because they have an alternative form of fuel, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t pay for the roads.”
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) loves fracking -- he once even drank fracking fluid to prove it -- but other elected officials in the state are not so gung ho. A handful of Colorado cities are trying to limit or ban the practice -- and are finding that it's not so easy to do.
Boulder is the latest Colorado municipality to take on the frackers. Last week, its city council unanimously passed a one-year moratorium on fracking within city limits and on city-owned open space, and council members are considering options for a more long-term policy. From the Boulder Daily Camera:
It would take an estimated 11 years and $40 billion to excavate a proposed canal through 130 miles of Nicaragua to link the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, providing shippers with an alternative route to the Panama Canal. And the project would have a huge environmental impact on the country, slicing through rainforest and messing with waterways.
But enough already with boring facts and details. President Daniel Ortega is trying to ram the project through his country's congress faster than Dick Cheney rammed America's Patriot Act through after 9/11.
Hydrofluorocarbons, the climate-changing twins of ozone-ruining chlorofluorocarbons, had best watch out. The world's two most powerful countries have agreed to join forces to prevent the harmful chemicals from entering the atmosphere.
Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping spent Friday and Saturday talking in California. They couldn't find much middle ground on cyberespionage, or on a handful of other security issues. But they agreed that their two countries will work together to tackle one of the world's greatest climate threats.
But while the news might be good for Detroiters, it's not so good for Canadians -- or anyone who cares about a livable climate. A Nova Scotia power plant is now burning the cheap, filthy fuel to produce electricity.
The petcoke is a byproduct of refining tar-sands oil, which began recently at a Detroit refinery. The pile's growth over the past six months has disgusted residents and their elected leaders. Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) introduced legislation in Congress that would direct the federal government to investigate the health and environmental impacts of the uncovered waste. A state lawmaker introduced a bill that would require such waste to be stored inside enclosed structures. And the Detroit City Council is mulling options [PDF] for dealing with the blight.
It's difficult to legally burn petcoke for energy in the U.S. because of the pollution it creates, but power plants in other countries -- like Canada, apparently -- are happy to buy it up and burn it.
Property owners who watched with disgust and fear as TransCanada contractors ripped up their land to lay the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline are being treated to a repeat performance.
The pipeline isn't even in service yet, but already TransCanada is digging up stretches of faulty piping and replacing them, raising fresh safety fears. The pipeline is intended to link up with the Keystone XL northern leg -- which is still waiting for approval from the Obama administration -- and then carry tar-sands oil down to refineries in Texas.
Dozens of anomalies, including dents and welds, reportedly have been identified along a 60-mile stretch of the southern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline, north of the Sabine River in Texas.
In the past two weeks, landowners have observed TransCanada and its vendor, Michels, digging up the buried southern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline on their properties and those of neighbors in the vicinity of Winnsboro, Texas. Some of the new pipeline has been in the ground on some owners’ land for almost six months. It is believed that problems identified on this section of the Keystone XL route must have triggered the current digging, raising questions from landowners about the safety of the pipeline and the risk to personal property and water supplies.
France's energy minister looked at the destruction being wrought on America's environment by hydraulic fracturing and said "non, merci" to the latest push by her country's business lobby to make fracking legal.
Fracking was banned in France in 2011, and it looks like it's going to stay banned. From Bloomberg:
France’s ban on hydraulic fracturing should not be eased because the oil and gas drilling technique is causing “considerable” environmental damage in the U.S., according to a government minister.
We told you about billionaire Sean Parker's obnoxious wedding romp in a Big Sur redwood grove. The Napster cofounder and former Facebook president will pay $2.5 million to the California Coastal Commission to help heal damages caused when a temporary wonderland backdrop was illegally built in the forest for his nuptial vows.
Well, it turns out that two of California's most senior elected officials attended the wedding, living the kind of high life that only comes with an assault on threatened fish species and the trashing of a forest. Those officials were Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and state Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Newsom's attendance at the anti-eco bash was interesting, given that the former San Francisco mayor has spent his political career yapping about how much he loves the environment.
Harris' was interesting because she is the state's top law enforcer, and Parker's penalties stemmed from violations of state law.
Not only did Friday's tornado outburst in Oklahoma lead to at least 20 deaths, but analysis by NOAA has revealed that it included the widest tornado ever recorded in the U.S. and one twister that spun the wrong way.
The diameter of the El Reno tornado, which on Friday killed three famous weather chasers, reached a mind-boggling and record-breaking 2.6 miles. Both the El Reno cyclone and the Moore tornado, which struck nearby a week earlier, were rated EF5, the most damaging type of cyclone on the Enhanced Fujita scale. From LiveScience:
"To have two EF5s within less than two weeks in the same general area — that's highly unusual," [University Corporation for Atmospheric Research scientist Jeff] Weber told LiveScience. "Off the top of my head, I haven't heard of it happening before."