Environment

Obama expresses scepticism over Keystone pipeline

President says pipeline’s extension from Canada to Nebraska would do little to reduce American energy prices, and generate only a limited number of US jobs

US President Barack Obama has delivered his most sceptical remarks yet on the future of the Keystone oil pipeline, claiming its controversial extension from Canada to Nebraska would do little to reduce American energy prices and generate only a limited number of US jobs, but could add to the infrastructure costs of climate change.

Speaking during an end-of-year press conference just one day after Republicans promised fresh legislation designed to force the project’s approval, the president departed from official White House neutrality on an upcoming review by the State Department to deliver a withering assessment of its merits, claiming his opponents were wrong to insist the pipeline was a “magic formula” for economic growth.

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50 years ago: Invasion of the short-eared owls

Originally published in the Guardian on 23 December 1964

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Great Barrier Reef at risk from 'rushed' sediment dumping plan at Abbot Point

Environment group WWF says project’s modelling greatly underestimates amount of sediment and water that would be discharged into the ocean near reef

A plan to dump dredged sediment onto a sensitive wetlands area beside the Great Barrier Reef near Abbot Point would lead to much more slurry being pumped into the waters of the reef than officially estimated, a report has warned.

In its submission to the federal government, the environment group WWF cites expert advice that the project’s modelling underestimates by nearly 30% the amount of sediment and water that would be discharged into the ocean through a pipe from the wetlands ponds.

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