Photo: bbum

In a big setback for whales and environmentalists, the U.S. Supreme Court has yanked restrictions on sonar use in Navy training exercises near the California coast. The court, which split 5-4, didn’t quibble with the Navy’s own estimates that sonar can lead to substantial and irreparable harm to whales. However, the majority opinion stated that those concerns are “plainly outweighed by the Navy’s need to conduct realistic training exercises.”

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