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Owner of Broken Santa Barbara Oil Pipeline is a Repeat Offender

Damon Nagami
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On Tuesday, an oil pipeline owned and operated by Houston-based Plains All American ruptured and spilled at least 105,000 gallons of crude oil into the ocean off of Santa Barbara. The oil slick created by the spill is now reported...continued | comments

Sluggish Response to Santa Barbara Oil Spill Rings Alarm Bells for the Arctic

Giulia C.S. Good Stefani
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An oil pipeline near Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County ruptured Tuesday morning, spewing about 105,000 gallons of oil onto the coast and into the Pacific Ocean. The spill was discovered by locals. By the time the Coast Guard...continued | comments

DC Water Announces New Proposal to Clean Up Rivers Using Green Infrastructure Instead of Tunnels

Becky Hammer
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If you're a fan of the idea of turning our nation's capital into a cleaner, greener city, you should be excited by yesterday's news from DC Water. The water and sewer utility announced that it will use green infrastructure to...continued | comments (2)

Santa Barbara pipeline spill highlights threats of tar sands expansion into the West Coast

Anthony Swift
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The most recent oil spill in California highlights both fundamental weaknesses in basic safeguards for our nation's oil infrastructure as well as risks associated with industry plans to expand tar sands infrastructure in the West Coast. On May 19,...continued | comments (2)

Serving Up a Better School Plate

Margaret Brown
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Across the country, more than 100 jurisdictions - including New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. - have enacted bans on polystyrene foam of one sort or another. And NRDC has played a leading role in New York...continued | comments

Big Cities Once Again Step Up to the Plate on Improving School Food

Mark Izeman
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School food usually gets a bad rap. But six of the largest school districts in the nation are once again trying to change that reputation. Today, the Urban School Food Alliance - a unique coalition including New York City, Los...continued | comments

The 30-Meter Difference: DOE Study Blows Away Limits on Midwest Wind Power

Rebecca Stanfield

Boosting the height of wind turbines by 30 meters could massively boost the technical potential for cost-effective wind power in the Midwest, according to a new analysis released by the Department of Energy this week. In some places like Iowa...continued | comments

Taller turbines change the political landscape of which states benefit from wind power

Nathanael Greene
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Improved wind power technologies already widely used in Europe--taller turbine towers of 110 meters and more, and more powerful rotors--can cost-effectively open up huge swaths of the country to wind power development. That's the great news out in a new...continued | comments

Drill in the Arctic? Shell No

Giulia C.S. Good Stefani
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Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. plans to drill in the Arctic's Chukchi Sea this summer, and we plan to stop them. This weekend, while hundreds of Seattle activists were peacefully protesting in their kayaks, we were finalizing our court papers....continued | comments (10)

To understand animal drug use, estimates are better than nothing, but actual data are needed

Avinash Kar
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The FDA is announcing this morning that it plans to collect more estimates from animal drug manufacturers about how much of the antibiotics sold are for use in particular species, i.e. whether the drugs are being sold for use on...continued | comments

What the Numbers Reveal About California's Water Priorities

Kate Poole
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California's drought and the responses to it have prompted a lot of finger pointing about who is responsible for the state's current water shortages. But what do the facts tell us? First and foremost, the facts confirm that the lack...continued | comments (8)

Radon and Fracking: A New Study

Bemnet Alemayehu

According to a new study published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the level of Radon in Pennsylvania houses is increasing in areas where hydraulic fracturing is used to produce natural gas from the Marcellus tight shale formation....continued | comments (1)

Imagine fixing our crumbling infrastructure in ways that last. It can be done.

Doug Sims

We usually don't talk as a nation about infrastructure. It's best when it's invisible. Literally, it is the structure-beneath-the-structure that supports our lives. Your job supports your family, but infrastructure -- power, water, transportation as well as social infrastructure like...continued | comments

Getting to know the HPA axis

Kristi Pullen
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In my last post, we discussed how a chemical and non-chemical stressor might interact to make a person more likely to experience an adverse health outcome. More specifically, we talked about how lead and psychosocial stress - particularly that related...continued | comments (1)

This Week in Whales: Good News/Bad News for Vaquita; Blue Whales in Danger of Ship Strikes but NASA May Be Coming to the Rescue; Well-Deserved Award for Book on Navy Sonar Fight...

Zak Smith
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Yay for the Center for Biological Diversity and the Animal Welfare Institute's petition to the World Heritage Committee to designate vaquita (a small porpoise species found only in the northernmost part of the Gulf of California with fewer than 100...continued | comments (1)

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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