A firebrand organizer has convinced conservative Nebraska farmers to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline because they will bear the brunt of Canada's energy expansion. It's about local environmental impacts rather than climate change.
Great Plains (IA KS ND NE MO SD)
"Seemingly unrelenting winds and drought conditions have whipped up massive dust storms this week across the High Plains, but respite is near since the weather system that's to blame has moved east into the Great Lakes and Northeast, the National Weather Service said Wednesday."
"North Dakota this week confirmed the discovery of a new radioactive dump of waste from oil drilling. And separately, a company hired to clean up similar waste found in February at another location said it had removed more than double the amount of radioactive material originally estimated to be there."
"For the past month, in part of eastern Kansas, the prairie has been burning, as it does almost every spring. On some days, you could look toward the horizon in any direction and see pillars of smoke. The plumes of pollution have traveled so far that they've violated limits for particulates or ozone in cities as far away as Lincoln, Neb."
"The Missouri Department of Natural Resources should deny a construction permit for a proposed Ameren coal ash landfill in Labadie, residents said Tuesday."
"The city of St. Louis has been working to reduce lead poisoning since the health department introduced a lead program in the 1940s. Since that time great strides have been made. But the danger of exposure to lead still exists in the city, and screenings reveal more than a thousand cases of elevated blood lead levels each year."
"It's a busy Monday night at Whispers strip bar in the oil boomtown of Williston, North Dakota. A man in overalls drains his glass before showering money on a pole dancer."
"A contractor’s complaint has prompted closer scrutiny of possible asbestos exposure involving workers at a downtown Des Moines renovation project, but an inspector doesn’t even visit hundreds of sites across Iowa each year where workers could face risks from the cancer-causing material."
"Millions of pigs are crammed into overcrowded barns all across the state, being fattened for slaughter while breeding superbugs—all to feed China's growing appetite for Spam."
"What does oil independence look like? Those living and working in North Dakota's booming Bakken oil field are seeing first-hand both pros and cons. Photographer Gary Braasch returned from the region with a slice of that life." The photoessay appeared February 5 in The Daily Climate.