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Report: EPA used ‘covert propaganda’ on WOTUS

Last week was a tough one for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the U.S. proposal. First, the government watchdog found the EPA campaign to promote WOTUS violated federal lobbying rules and the proposal was nearly killed in a 2,000-page congressional omnibus bill. WOTUS proposed tougher standards for water quality around coal mines and requiring companies to accept additional responsibility ...

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Man camp gets preliminary approval in Mercer County

Target Logistics, Williston Lodge North, North Dakota. Exterior structures at dusk/dawn.

STANTON, N.D. — A company has received preliminary approval for a man camp between Hazen and Beulah to house workers building a $500 million urea fertilizer plant in the area. The Mercer County Planning and Zoning Commission recommended a plan by Civeo Corp. to move unused oil patch units from Dickinson into Coal Country on Thursday night. Planning official Wes ...

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In North Dakota, donations slip as oil slides

salvation army williston

BISMARCK, N.D. — Thousands of layoffs from the oil industry’s slide have taken a toll on donations in western North Dakota’s oil patch, just as charities say their need is increasing. Donations to the Salvation Army were down by more than 60 percent in Williston, in the heart of oil country, as of mid-December. And energy companies that used to ...

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Massive spending and tax deal at a glance

WASHINGTON  — A divided Congress on Friday cleared a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government for the 2016 budget year and extend $680 billion in tax cuts for businesses and individuals. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the legislation. Here are the highlights: TAXES —Family tax credits. Permanently extends recent changes to the $1,000 child tax-credit that ...

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EPA’s social-media strategy broke the law, federal report says

The Environmental Protection Agency is under fire again over the Clean Water Act rule — this time for using what a federal watchdog called “propaganda” to push the controversial rule. In a report released this week, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said the EPA violated federal law when it sent out messages through social media regarding the Clean Water Act ...

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ND Petroleum Council: Vote will lift oil export ban to provide long-term benefits, energy security

Bismarck, N.D. – The vote in the United States Senate and House of Representatives to lift the ban on crude oil exports will strengthen the nation’s national security, keep energy prices low for consumers and help add stability to an otherwise volatile commodity market said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. “The petroleum sector has been an ...

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North Dakota awards impact grants to oil patch hospitals

BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota’s Land Board has awarded $5 million to hospitals in the state’s oil-producing region. Officials say the grants are part of a program aimed at helping communities deal with the effects of rapid energy development. St. Joseph’s Hospital and Health Center in Dickinson is getting most of the money, at $2.1 million. Six other hospitals are ...

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Crews finish effort to drain sunken barge found in Lake Erie

TOLEDO, Ohio — Crews have finished an effort to eliminate environmental threats from a sunken barge that apparently sat undiscovered in Lake Erie for nearly 80 years, The U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday. Salvage crews recently pumped out hazardous, oil-based substances from the barge, though six of the eight tanks onboard were empty. The mixture of cargo and water removed ...

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Cheap gas spurs SUV sales and puts U.S. climate goals at risk

A car is filled with gasoline at a gas station pump in Carlsbad, California August 4, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake

WASHINGTON/DETROIT – Surging demand for trucks and SUVs fueled by cheap gasoline is holding back improvements in U.S. fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions, a government report due out on Wednesday is expected to show. The disconnect between consumer demand for larger, less efficient vehicles and the Obama administration’s climate goals sets up a clash between the auto industry and ...

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