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Articles written by Ellen Knickmeyer

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Nuclear industry push for reduced oversight gaining traction

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer mock commando raids to test nuclear power plants' defenses against terrorist attacks. Fewer, smaller government inspections for plant safety issues. Less notice to the public and to state governors when problems arise....

 

Rough total for Trump's July Fourth extravaganza: $5.4M

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's July Fourth extravaganza — featuring tanks, a military flyover, and a Trump speech at the Lincoln Memorial — cost an estimated $5.4 million, according to rough figures Thursday.  Interior Secretary...

 

EPA restores broad use of pesticide opposed by beekeepers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency will allow farmers to resume broad use of a pesticide over objections from beekeepers, citing private chemical industry studies that the agency says show the product does only lower-level harm t...

 

EPA defies climate warnings, gives coal plants a reprieve

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite scientists' increasingly urgent warnings, the Trump administration ordered a sweeping about-face Wednesday on Obama-era efforts to fight climate change, easing restrictions on coal-fired power plants in a move it predicted...

 

Emails: Trump official pressed NASA on climate science

WASHINGTON (AP) — Once a skeptic about climate change, Jim Bridenstine came around to the prevailing view of scientists before he took over as NASA administrator. That evolution did not sit well with a Trump environmental adviser, nor a think-tank...

 

Research on children's health risks in doubt over EPA funds

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-running research projects credited with pivotal discoveries about the harm that pesticides, air pollution and other hazards pose to children are in jeopardy or shutting down because the Environmental Protection Agency will no...

 

Trump's EPA shifts more environmental enforcement to states

BOKOSHE, Okla. (AP) — Susan Holmes' home, corner store and roadside beef jerky stand are right off Oklahoma Highway 31, putting them in the path of trucks hauling ash and waste from a power plant that burns the high-sulfur coal mined near this...

 

Watchdog: EPA should recoup travel money from Pruitt, guards

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency's internal watchdog urged the agency on Thursday to look into recovering $124,000 in premium travel charges for former EPA head Scott Pruitt and his bodyguards. The EPA's inspector general...

 

Former US Interior boss parlays post into private career

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Former U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is quickly parlaying his time in President Donald Trump's cabinet into a lucrative private career. He's landed a more than $100,000-a-year post at a Nevada mining company and is...

 

Floods suggest national security threat from climate change

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. (AP) — The Missouri River floodwater surging on to the air base housing the U.S. military's Strategic Command overwhelmed round-the-clock sandbagging by airmen and others. They had to scramble to save sensitive...

 

AP-NORC Poll: Disasters influence thinking on climate change

WASHINGTON (AP) — When it comes to their views on climate change, Americans are looking at natural disasters and their local weather, according to a new poll. Lately, that means record deadly wildfires in California, rainfall by the foot in Houston...

 

Democrats hit Trump EPA nominee on coal lobbying, rollbacks

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday called climate change "a huge issue" but not the "greatest crisis" and drew fire from Democrats at his confirmation hearing over the...

 

EPA criminal action against polluters hits 30-year low

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency hit a 30-year low in 2018 in the number of pollution cases it referred for criminal prosecution, Justice Department data show. EPA said in a statement that it is directing "its resources to the...

 

Shutdown suspends federal cleanups at US Superfund sites

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The government shutdown has suspended federal cleanups at Superfund sites around the nation and forced the cancellation of public hearings, deepening the mistrust and resentment of surrounding residents who feel people in...

 

US orders refuges to staff for hunters despite shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is directing dozens of wildlife refuges to return staffers to work to make sure hunters and others have access despite the government shutdown, according to an email obtained Wednesday by The Ass...

 

Shutdown spares federal park rangers at site in Trump hotel

WASHINGTON (AP) — Smithsonian museums are closed. There are no federal staffers to answer tourists' questions at the Lincoln Memorial. And across the United States, national parks are cluttered with trash. Yet despite the federal government...

 

Garbage, feces take toll on national parks amid shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — Human feces, overflowing garbage, illegal off-roading and other damaging behavior in fragile areas were beginning to overwhelm some of the West's iconic national parks, as a partial government shutdown left the areas open to...

 

EPA targets Obama crackdown on mercury from coal plants

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Friday targeted an Obama-era regulation credited with helping dramatically reduce toxic mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants, saying the benefits to human health and the environment may not...

 

Interior Secretary Zinke resigning, cites 'vicious' attacks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, facing federal investigations into his travel, political activity and potential conflicts of interest, will be leaving the administration at year's end, President Donald Trump said Saturday. In his...

 

Trump administration proposes major rollback of water rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cabinet chiefs and GOP lawmakers celebrated alongside farm and business leaders Tuesday as the Trump administration made good on one of its biggest promised environmental rollbacks, proposing to lift federal protections for...

 

Trump EPA acts to roll back control on climate-changing coal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency acted again Thursday to ease rules on the sagging U.S. coal industry, this time scaling back what would have been a tough control on climate-changing emissions from any new coal plants. The...

 

Landmark protections falling for air, land, and soon, water

WASHINGTON (AP) — One after another, landmark U.S. protections for climate, air and land are in the crosshairs of the Trump administration as his agency leaders move past early fumbles and scandals to start delivering on a succession of promised...

 

Trump dismantling US climate efforts as warnings grow dire

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has moved steadily to dismantle Obama administration efforts to rein in coal, oil and gas emissions, even as warnings grow — from his own administration and others — about the devastating impact of...

 

Experts seek ways to boost extreme wildfire survival rates

BILLINGS, Montana (AP) — Creating fire buffers between housing and dry brush, burying spark-prone power lines and lighting more controlled burns to keep vegetation in check could give people a better chance of surviving wildfires, according to expe...

 

Trump says he's not firing Interior Secretary Zinke, for now

WASHINGTON (AP) — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and his boss, President Donald Trump, moved Friday to tamp down talk that Zinke might be the next Trump administration official to go. The 57-year-old former Montana congressman has pushed to develop...

 

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