"STUTSMAN COUNTY, N.D. — Over the past few years, Neil Shook has watched his world burn acre by acre. 'I could tell something was happening,' Shook recalled, when he first noticed the plumes of smoke in 2011. By 2013, fires were raging every day, sending smoke billowing into the air — imagery that reminded Shook of Kuwait’s burning oil wells during the Persian Gulf War."
Great Plains (IA KS ND NE MO SD)
"Sixteen years ago, a presidential task force mapped a plan for the United States to eliminate childhood lead poisoning by 2010. It never happened."
"The head of a Nebraska utility recommended shutting down the nation's smallest nuclear power plant by the end of the year, saying Thursday that it doesn't make economic sense to keep it open."
The Iowa-based publication Farm News has fired an editorial cartoonist who had contributed to the publication for 21 years. His crime: pointing out that the CEOs of Monsanto, Dupont Pioneer and John Deere made far more than average farmers.
"Brine spills from oil development in western North Dakota are releasing toxins into soils and waterways, sometimes at levels exceeding federal water quality standards, scientists reported Wednesday."
"While falling oil prices have slowed production from North Dakota's oil and natural gas fields, a company sees that lull as the perfect opportunity to build a crude oil refinery in the state. However, its proposed location just three miles from Theodore Roosevelt National Park has raised concerns from the National Park Service and conservation groups about how it will impact the park."
"TransCanada Corp. has resumed sending oil through the Keystone Pipeline after a weeklong shutdown prompted by a leak and oil spill in southeastern South Dakota."
"Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has declared state of emergency in 10 new counties to aid local jurisdictions affected by wildfires."
"A key section of the Keystone pipeline has been shut down due to an oil spill in South Dakota, TransCanada said on Monday."
"A wildfire that has scorched hundreds of thousands acres of prairie and ranch land in Kansas and Oklahoma since last week was slowly being contained, authorities said on Sunday, with a rare Easter snowfall providing some help to fire-fighting teams."