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Prosecutor asks judge to keep environmental, treaty issues out of first protester trial

The first pipeline protesters will go on trial Monday and the prosecutor is asking that they keep issues of tribal sovereignty, the concerns about the Dakota Access Pipeline and "any other social or political cause" out of the courtroom. "This trial is not being held so there can be a forum to extend the months of conflict and context over these extraneous issues," Ladd Erickson, who is prosecuting the case for Morton County, wrote in a motion filed Dec. 12.

U.S. Bioenergy Statistics

Society has just begun to tap new renewable sources of energy from agriculture and forestlands on a commercial scale that impacts energy markets.  Among these sources are biofuels, a small but important component of current fuel consumption in the U.S.

U.S. slated to sell $375 million of emergency reserve oil this winter

The U.S. government is slated to sell $375 million worth of crude oil from the country's emergency reserve this winter after Congress passed a temporary spending bill on Friday that contained a measure authorizing the sale. President Barack Obama's administration has pushed Congress to approve an up to $2 billion plan for a revamp of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a string of heavily guarded underground salt caverns along the Gulf of Mexico filled with crude.

Trump taps former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to head Energy Department he once vowed to abolish

President-elect Donald Trump picked Rick Perry to head the Energy Department on Wednesday, seeking to put the former Texas governor in control of an agency whose name he forgot during a presidential debate even as he vowed to abolish it.  Perry, who ran for president in the past two election cycles, is likely to shift the department away from renewable energy and toward fossil fuels, whose production he championed while serving as governor for 14 years.

Huge new power lines in West get federal OK

Two power line projects that won federal approval Tuesday will give a big capacity boost to the Western energy grid, including power for up to 1 million homes from what’s on track to become the biggest wind farm in the U.S.  The TransWest Express project will help California meet its goal of getting half its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 by carrying up to 3,000 megawatts from the Chokecherry-Sierra Madre wind farm in southern Wyoming. The new power lines would span 728 miles from the wind farm to southern Nevada, crossing northwest Colorado and all of Utah along the way.

EPA fracking report offers few answers on drinking water

Is hydraulic fracturing — better known as fracking — safe, as the oil and gas industry claims? Or does the controversial drilling technique that has spurred a domestic energy boom contaminate drinking water, as environmental groups and other critics charge? After six years and more than $29 million, the Environmental Protection Agency says it doesn’t know. A new report said fracking poses a risk to drinking water in some circumstances, but a lack of information precludes a definitive statement on how severe the risk is.

Pipeline spills 176,000 gallons of crude into creek about 150 miles from Dakota Access protest camp

pipeline leak has spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil into a North Dakota creek roughly two and a half hours from Cannon Ball, where protesters are camped out in opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline.Members of the Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes, as well as environmentalists from around the country, have fought the pipeline project on the grounds that it crosses beneath a lake that provides drinking water to native Americans. They say the route beneath Lake Oahe puts the water source in jeopardy and would destroy sacred land.

In R.I., green energy grants help small farms stay in the black

Matt Tracy and his partner, Catherine Mardosa, have experienced all the difficulties of farming in Rhode Island. There has been drought (still is), floods (the historic 2010 deluge), the ever-present challenge of finding agricultural space in a land-strapped state, and the high fixed costs of machinery, equipment and fuel.

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