Pressure increases on Obama to block Keystone XL pipeline

By John Parnell

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Tuesday 08 January

Last updated: 0830

US: Environmentalists have stepped up their campaign urging President to vote against the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline with 70 groups signing a letter to Barack Obama. The project will transport tar sands across the US from Canada but there are concerns about leaks of the thick, volatile, potential contamination of water sources as well as with the effect burning the carbon heavy fuel will have on the climate. (The Guardian)

Canada: A new study has found levels of toxic and carcinogenic compounds in lakes near Canada’s tar sand fields have increased by as much as a factor of 23 since the 1960s. While some can be attributed to forest fires they found industry related chemicals had spiked sharply since the 1990s. (Nature)

South Korea: Nuclear power will continue its expansion in South Korea despite a new survey showing the proportion of the public who think it is safe fell to 34.8%. In January 2010 this figure was 71% and while the government says it will seek to regain this trust, its plans to develop more reactors continue. South Korea is currently establishing a domestic carbon market to reduce its emissions. (Reuters)

Arctic: The Shell oil rig that ran aground off the coast of Alaska is back under control after a week-long rescue operation. More than 600 people were involved in the salvage operation which was one of a string of difficulties facing the company’s operations in are during the last 12 months. (Reuters)

Brazil: A dry summer has left Brazil’s hydropower dams short of water raising the spectre of energy rationing for the first time since 2001. The hot dry weather also boosted demand lowering the level of reservoirs further as turbines sought to meet the demand. (Reuters)


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