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Paris Is the New Beijing, Fracking the Everglades(!), Will Ferrell & the Sundance Kid
Our top picks: today's environmental news and best #greenreads.

Thick as thieves: Duke Energy, the company responsible for sullying 70 miles of North Carolina’s Dan River with toxic coal ash, is under investigation again for questionable wastewater at another site. Aerial photos reveal some suspicious pumps siphoning from two coal ash ponds and directing it into a canal that leads to the Cape Fear River. Duke claims the activity is part of a routine maintenance program. The state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources said it noticed the pumps last week while conducting a site visit and would investigate. But the prospect of swift action is a bit doubtful—emails have already exposed an exceptionally cozy relationship between Duke and state regulators. New York Times, Big Story AP

Oui-zing: We’re accustomed to headlines about air pollution crippling cities in China and India, but today’s haze du jour comes courtesy of Paris, France. Officials there have had to limit personal car use by license plate number in an attempt to get half the city’s cars off the road each day. The move is the first time Paris has restricted personal vehicles in 20 years, but the City of Lights has also introduced free public transport via bicycle and electric car sharing program. Reuters

Fracking Florida: The Sunshine State isn’t usually known for its oil production. In fact, Florida extracts in one year what Texas squirts out in one day. But that could all change thanks to advances in directional drilling and fracking. Oh, and you’ll never guess where they want to sink the first wells … the Western Everglades, home to the endangered Florida Panther. NPR

All together now?: President Obama will meet with leaders from the European Union for a climate summit later this month in Brussels. And apparently, both parties want to use the opportunity to come together “in a show of developed world solidarity on the need for a new global deal.” Coming to an accord, however, won’t be as easy as getting everyone together for a magical fist-bump. Poland and some other member states say for the E.U. to lead the way in cutting emissions while the United States and China account for a majority of the problem is silly. Reuters

Swamp thing: When a train carrying crude oil crashed and burned—literally—in an Alabama swamp last fall, environmental regulators promised an aggressive cleanup. And yet tests show remnants of that oil have breeched the containment zone and are moving downstream toward the Tombigbee River. Critics of the cleanup effort say the government agencies responsible cared more about getting oil trains back on the rails than properly addressing the disaster. Associated Press

When Irish eyes are reading: As your body recovers from pints of Guinness and shots of Irish car bombs, take a wee rest and dive into some longreads. This week, your adventures include getting up close and very personal with some Sumatran rhinos, a defense of “stuff” that even environmentalists can get behind, giant salamanders, and a sad story about the night sky. OnEarth

DAILY DISTRACTION

“Un-disconnect the Colorado!”: So heavy is the human demand on water from the Colorado River that the river usually sputters out before reaching its terminus in the Pacific Ocean. That’s why Will Ferrell wants you to donate money to the effort of moving the Pacific Ocean inland! Ok, not really, but that’s the premise behind the war of words going on between Ferrell and Robert Redford in a campaign to restore the Colorado and the wetlands it supports. Whether you choose to Raise the River or Move the Ocean, it’s worth a watch just to hear Ferrell call Redford “ol’ Sundance” a few dozen times. Mother Jones

OTHER HEADLINES

North Dakota Oil Boom: American Dream on Ice BBC

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Delta Smelt Protections Los Angeles Times

Wyoming Rejects Science Education Standards over Climate Change Ars Technica

Warming Melts Last Stable Edge of Greenland Icesheet The Telegraph

Tips: @OnEarthMag (tag it #greenreads)

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