The Obama administration decided Thursday to study an alternate route for the Keystone XL pipeline, postponing a final verdict on the proposal until after the 2012 election, The New York Times reported. The controversial pipeline has stirred up widespread opposition in Nebraska, where it would cross the Ogallala Aquifer as it carries crude oil from Canada to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico.
Water shortages may thwart China’s plans to produce 80 billion cubic meters of shale gas by 2020, according to this AFP report.
Amnesty International is calling for oil company Shell to pay $1 billion to clean up the Niger Delta, where two large oil spills in 2008 damaged fisheries and farmland, the Guardian reported.
Foreign investors are rushing to claim mining contracts for Afghanistan’s vast wealth of natural resources, AFP reported. The estimated $1 trillion deposits of copper, iron ore and other minerals would require infrastructure, power and water to extract.
The strongest storm in four decades slammed the Alaska coast with snow, floods and hurricane-force winds, the Associated Press and CBS News reported.
Australia’s Labor Party has changed its stance on coal-seam-gas mining in New South Wales and is now asking the state government to suspend all exploration licenses until the effects of mining on water are further studied, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.