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US government failed to consider climate impacts of oil, gas: judge

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A U.S. judge blocked drilling on more than 300,000 acres of federal land in Wyoming, saying officials in their environmental analyses failed to adequately consider the climate change impacts of oil and gas leasing.

The ruling, by U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Rudolph Contreras, was issued late on Tuesday, according to court documents.

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The Department of Interior, which is the defendant in the lawsuit, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. DOI oversees the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which is responsible for oil and gas development on federal lands.

“Having reviewed the record and the relevant law, the Court concludes that — withholding judgment on whether BLM’s leasing decisions were correct — BLM did not sufficiently consider climate change when making those decisions,” Judge Contreras wrote in the order.

The lawsuit was filed in 2016 against the Obama administration by two conservation groups, WildEarth Guardians and Physicians for Social Responsibility. It alleged that the government failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act because it did not account for greenhouse gas emissions generated by oil and gas development when it leased parcels in three Western states – Utah, Wyoming and Colorado.

The ruling on Tuesday only pertains to 282 leases issued in Wyoming after five sales held between May of 2015 and August of 2016.

In his order, the judge ordered further environmental review by the Bureau of Land Management. Until those documents are completed, he blocked the agency from issuing drilling permits on the leases. He declined to cancel the leases.

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Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Devin Nunes likely under federal investigation over foreign contacts after Parnas phone call revelation: ex-FBI official

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On MSNBC's "AM Joy," former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi speculated that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) may already be under FBI investigation for his secret calls with indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas.

"What do you make of the fact that the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, who participated in the Adam Schiff portion of the impeachment hearings, never said anything to anybody about the fact that he was not just the guy who's sitting on the dais, he was involved in some way with one of the players?" asked host Joy Reid.

"Well, it says a lot on two levels," said Figliuzzi. "It says a lot about Devin Nunes as an individual, his ethics, his integrity, and what he's all about. And then on a larger level, it's just a huge, ironic development that we're hearing all of this about — the Republicans are defending allegations that the president lacks integrity and ethics, and they're sitting there overseeing this and they're not recusing themselves, and they're not saying anything about their colleague, Devin Nunes. So, you know, the hypocrisy is loud and clear here. And eventually when the dust clears, Joy, I wouldn't be surprised if ethics investigations and perhaps even criminal investigations really point the finger at Nunes as someone who should have recused himself and is much deeper into this than we know now."

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Trump hammered by ex-intel officials for sucking up to the Saudis after Florida naval base shooting

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President Donald Trump is taking heat from former U.S. intelligence officials for taking a very soft tone with the Saudi government after Friday’s shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.

Not long after the shooter was identified as a second lieutenant in the Saudi Arabian military, the president tweeted out words of sympathy from the Saudi king after a phonecall, writing, "The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people."

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Former right-wing presidential candidate scamming Americans with toxic bleach cure for cancer

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Former diplomat and Reagan adviser Alan Keyes is a well-known gadfly who has run multiple times for president and for Senate, most famously against future President Barack Obama in 2004.

But lately, according to The Daily Beast, he has been involved in a different pursuit: the promotion of a dangerous pseudoscience scam known as the "Miracle Mineral Solution," or MMS.

The substance, which is actually just the powerful bleach chlorine dioxide, is supposedly a cure for everything from viral infections to infertility, and there was even a cultlike church known as the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, that promoted it as a gift from God. MMS has particularly taken root in developing countries like Uganda, but it also has a following in the United States, and many autistic children have been forced to drink it. Versions of this scam have even been promoted on Amazon.

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