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Articles written by John Flesher

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EXPLAINER: Why a rural pipeline is a climate battleground

As Enbridge Energy prepares to finish rebuilding an oil pipeline across rural northern Minnesota, protesters are occupying part of the construction area and pledging a "summer of resistance" on the ground and in court. Enbridge, which has obtained...

 

Flint water charges escalate debate over officials' failures

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — When a former Michigan public health director was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the Flint water crisis, the man who previously held the job says a chilling thought crossed his mind: It could have been me. "I spent 14...

 

EPA chief pledges more cleanups, less focus on climate

Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler on Thursday defended the Trump administration's record on protecting the nation's air and water and said a second term would bring a greater focus on pollution cleanups in disadvantaged...

 

Trump administration accuses California of water pollution

Escalating its fight with California, the Trump administration accused the state Thursday of failing to stop water pollution from such sources as human waste left on the pavement by the homeless in big cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles....

 

Report: Great Lakes feeling effects of rapid climate warming

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The Great Lakes region is warming faster than the rest of the U.S., a trend likely to bring more extreme storms while also degrading water quality, worsening erosion and posing tougher challenges for farming, scientists...

 

National parks struggle to stay open, safe during shutdown

Nonprofits, businesses and state governments nationwide are putting up money and volunteer hours in a battle to keep national parks safe and clean for visitors as the partial U.S. government shutdown lingers. But such makeshift arrangements haven't...

 

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...

 

Outgoing Michigan governor pushing for Great Lakes pipeline

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder hopes to use the final weeks of his tenure to lock in a deal allowing construction of a hotly debated oil pipeline tunnel beneath a channel linking two of the Great Lakes — a plan his successor...

 

Federal officials pledge readiness for pipeline spills

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Federal officials said Monday they were prepared to act quickly if oil pipelines in a sensitive Michigan waterway leak, drawing a skeptical response from a U.S. senator who said the handling of a suspected anchor strike...

 

Trump budget again targets regional water cleanup programs

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — For a second consecutive year, President Donald Trump is trying to drastically reduce or eliminate federal support of cleanups for iconic U.S. waterways including the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay. Trump's proposed...

 

EPA chief defends spending on travel and soundproof booth

WASHINGTON (AP) — Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt on Thursday defended his frequent taxpayer-funded travel and his purchase of a custom soundproof communications booth for his office, saying both were justified. Pruitt made his...

 

First-ever tally finds about 465 bee species in Michigan

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is home to about 465 bee species, according to a first-ever census that scientists hope will provide information helpful for conserving the insects, which perform the vital chore of pollinating crops and wild...

 

Toxic algae: Once a nuisance, now a severe nationwide threat

MONROE, Mich. (AP) — Competing in a bass fishing tournament two years ago, Todd Steele cast his rod from his 21-foot motorboat — unaware that he was being poisoned. A thick, green scum coated western Lake Erie. And Steele, a semipro angler, was...

 

AP Explains: Farm runoff and the worsening algae plague

Harmful algae blooms have become a top water polluter, fueled by fertilizers washing into lakes, streams and oceans. Federal and state programs have spent billions of dollars on cost-sharing payments to farmers to help prevent nutrient runoff, yet...

 

Video game enabling fantasy pipeline attacks draws fire

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — An energy industry group says a video game created by a Michigan State University assistant professor encourages "eco-terrorism" by enabling players to zap imaginary oil pipelines with lightning bolts, although the...

 

Company finds gaps in underwater oil pipeline's coating

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The company that operates twin oil pipelines in the waterway linking Lake Huron and Lake Michigan said Wednesday it has found a number of gaps in a protective layer of enamel coating on the pipes. Enbridge Inc.'s...

 

Supporters, foes clash over underwater oil pipeline's future

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — An engineering company's report on the future of twin oil pipelines beneath the Straits of Mackinac is flawed and biased in favor of continuing the existing system, critics said Monday. A business coalition said keeping...

 

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