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Extinction Countdown

Fewer Manatee Deaths in 2012, but Threats Remain


Unlike a lot of other endangered species, the Florida manatee didn’t have all that bad a year in 2012. Only 392 manatees were found dead in Florida last year (pdf), according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This figure is a drop from 453 in 2011 (pdf) and well below the record high [...]

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FDA Was Right to Block 23andMe

A few techno-libertarians are up in arms over the FDA’s letter warning the genetics company 23andMe to stop selling its personalized genome services kit. But a quick search of the Food and Drug Administration’s admittedly user-unfriendly website shows federal regulators have been targeting various low-cost genetic testing ventures to provide the necessary analysis that goes [...]

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The Answer to Coal Climate Pollution Is Natural Gas and Carbon Capture, EPA Says


The Environmental Protection Agency has new rules for how much carbon dioxide power plants can spew. Designed to ensure that no new plants built in the U.S. can be highly polluting, the regulations would prohibit the dirtiest coal-fired power plants without additional technology to capture and store CO2. The trouble is: hardly any such coal-fired [...]

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EPA Study from 1980s Linked Fracking to Fouled Drinking Water


“There’s never been a documented case of contaminated water supply,” Ed Ireland, executive director of the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council, an industry group, told me in 2010. It’s a line that has been repeated by various people in the energy industry—and quoted by reporters like me—as the practice of fracking (or using pressurized water [...]

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