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The birds no longer sing. The cows die. And if the people in this northern Myanmar forest complain, they too face the threat of death from militias. This forest is the source of key metallic elements known as rare earths, often called the vitamins of the modern world. Rare earths turn up in everything from hard drives to elevators, and are vital to the fast-growing field of green energy. But an AP investigation found their cost is environmental destruction, the theft of land and the funneling of money to brutal militias. The AP tied rare earths from Myanmar to the supply chains of 78 companies. Nearly all who responded said they took environmental protection and human rights seriously.

State regulators have approved an application from Dominion Energy Virginia to build an enormous offshore wind farm off the coast of Virginia Beach and recover the cost from ratepayers. The State Corporation Commission issued its order in the case Friday. The 176-turbine project is slated to be built about 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. No parties to the monthslong proceeding had opposed its approval. But many had raised concerns about affordability. Friday's order included several provisions aimed at protecting ratepayers, including a performance standard. Dominion says it is pleased with the approval but is reviewing the specifics of the order, including the performance requirement.

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An unexpected deal reached by Senate Democrats would be the most ambitious action ever taken by the United States to address global warming and could help President Joe Biden come close to meeting his pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. The deal would spend nearly $370 billion over 10 years to boost electric vehicles, jump-start renewable energy such as solar and wind power and develop alternative energy sources such as hydrogen. The deal stunned lawmakers and activists who had given up hope that legislation could be enacted after West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said he could not support the measure because of inflation concerns.

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Massachusetts House and Senate lawmakers have approved a compromise bill mandating some steps the state needs to take to meet a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Massachusetts House approved the compromise bill on a 143-9 vote Thursday. The Senate then voted 38-2 in favor of the bill. The bill takes more aggressive steps toward battling tailpipe emissions. It would increase to $3,500 the rebate for qualifying purchases and leases of zero-emission passenger cars and light duty trucks. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has 10 days to review the legislation and decide whether to sign or veto it.

Environmental and renewable energy groups have challenged Duke Energy Corp.'s proposal on how to reduce greenhouse gases in North Carolina. The coalition that includes the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club has filed documents with the state Utilities Commission in recent days. A landmark 2021 law ordered the commission to decide by the end of this year what Duke's mix of electricity production can be to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 70% by 2030 as compared to 2005 levels. The coalition says Duke relies too much on natural gas and unproven technologies and should focus more on solar, wind and batteries.

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President Joe Biden has announced modest new steps to combat climate change and promised more robust action to come, saying, “This is an emergency and I will look at it that way.” The president stopped short Wednesday of issuing a formal declaration of a climate emergency. Democrats and environmental groups have been seeking such a declaration after an influential Democratic senator quashed hopes for sweeping legislation to address global warming. Biden he hinted such a step could be coming. During a speech at a former coal-powered plan in Massachusetts, Biden said he would use his executive powers to turn concern about a climate emergency into “formal, official government actions.”

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President Joe Biden will travel to Massachusetts on Wednesday to promote new efforts to combat climate change. However, the White House says the president will not declare an emergency that would unlock federal resources to deal with the issue despite increasing pressure from climate activists and Democratic lawmakers. The White House says it has not ruled out issuing such a declaration later, which would allow the president to reroute funds to climate efforts without congressional approval. On Wednesday, Biden will announce other new climate actions when he visits a former coal-fired power plant in Somerset, Massachusetts, that shuttered in 2017 but has since been reborn as a wind power facility.

Consumer demand for cleaner sources of electricity and improved economics for wind and solar power are leading the Omaha Public Power District…

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OPPD President and Chief Executive Tim Burke said Thursday during the utility’s monthly board of directors meeting that Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources will build a 160-megawatt wind farm, from which OPPD will purchase the electricity generated.

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