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Many environmentally related posts appearing at Daily Kos each week don't attract the attention they deserve. To help get more eyeballs, Spotlight on Green News & Views  (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue) appears twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The most recent Saturday Spotlight can be seen here. So far, more than 18,500 environmentally oriented diaries have been rescued for inclusion in this weekly collection since 2006. Inclusion of a diary in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.
Sunday Train: Is There A Beam of Hope for Texas Rooftop Solar?—by BruceMcF: "A few weeks back, I teased that I wanted to take a bit of a look at Texas Rooftop Solar in the Sunday Train (which is, recall, focused on Sustainable Transport & Energy, and so both not just about trains, and also not in favor of trains when the trains are advancing climate suicide) ... and then the California budget passed and I went on a two week binge on California HSR. But now its time to take that glance over at Texas Rooftop Solar. After all, you'd think that Texas would be an ideal state for rooftop solar, and for years we've been seeing articles about how Lone Star State Rooftop Solar would hit big 'real soon now'." [...] But if the future doesn't start arriving, it might never get here, brought crashing down by the catastrophic impact of runaway climate crisis. So, what are the prospects that rooftop solar might really start hitting its stride really soon now?
green dots
Cops and Firefighters Could Soon Be Charged for Disclosing Fracking Chemicals in North Carolina—by windsong01: "Today North Carolina Fracking (Senate Bill 786): The bill passed the state legislature and was signed into law by Governor McCrory. Lawmakers broke the promise they made in 2012 (and again in 2013) to have the finished package of fracking rules in front of them before deciding whether to allow fracking in North Carolina. As passed, Senate Bill 786 also makes it a CRIME (details here) for those with access to the fracking recipe to reveal what chemicals are used in the drilling process. Also in tandem with this bill, there was a item on Air Quality Monitors: State leaders introduced a provision that would remove half of the state’s air quality monitors. The Senate has already approved the provision and it could pop up in any of the regulatory reform bills currently making their way through the legislature. Removing these monitors limits the amount of information the state and residents will have available to protect themselves from unhealthy levels of air pollution."
green dots
An American Moment—by Michael Brune: "Just last year, Al Gore and I stood and watched as then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's history-making plan to stop using coal-fired power by 2025 and replace it with cleaner energy sources. That was a proud moment for Los Angeles, and Al Gore ended an impassioned speech that day on a hopeful note about the ability of our society to quickly evolve: 'If somebody had told you four years ago," he said, 'that on this beautiful March day, 60 percent of the American people would say, 'we are in favor of gay marriage,' you would have said, 'no we can't change that much that fast.' But we can, and we did.' The same will be true of attitudes about cutting carbon, he predicted. My guess is that even Al Gore is surprised by how soon his prophecy has become reality. When this month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its Clean Power Plan for cutting carbon emissions from power plants, polls found about 70 percent of Americans in favor. This really is a potentially defining American moment. We cannot let it slip from our grasp, for while momentum is on our side, time is not. And so on September 21, tens of thousands of people will converge on New York City to urge the president to show the hundreds of world leaders gathering in that city for the United Nations Climate Summit, that America is ready to lead a global response to this global crisis."

You can find more rescued green diaries below the sustainable squiggle.

Climate Chaos

New CO2 record - third month in a row where C02 is measured above 400 ppm—by HoundDog: "Andrea Thompson of Climate Central reports the shocking news that the measured levels of atmospheric CO2 has remained above 400 ppm for the third month in a row, in New CO2 Milestone: 3 Months Above 400 PPM, levels higher than have existed earth for "somewhere between 800,000 and 1.5 million years ago. Wow! That's a lot of years. And while the 400 ppm mark is somewhat symbolic (as the increase in warming between 399 ppm and 400 ppm is small), it serves to show how much carbon dioxide has been put into the atmosphere since preindustrial times, when concentrations were around 280 ppm. The increase in this and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has warmed Earth’s average temperature by 1.6°F since the beginning of the 20th century. World leaders agreed at a UN summit in 2009 to limit warming to 3.6°F, but prominent climate scientists like James Hansen have said that amount of warming will still be too much."

An additional Tipping Point has Passed—by Pakalolo: "We have now had 3 months in a row of CO2 ambient atmospheric gas concentrations  above 400 PPM, this has not happened since between 800,000 thousand years and 15 million years ago. Though we know that this was coming it is still terrifying to see that the atmosphere is on it's way to perhaps surpass the Permian period of extinction. The planet does not care how the carbon is released into the atmosphere whether it is caused by human activity or by a meteor. According to Climate Central: The world first passed the 400 ppm milestone on May 9, 2013. The first 400 ppm measurement of 2014 came two months earlier. CO2 concentrations at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii, which have been monitored since 1958, have been steadily above that level since the beginning of April, which marked the first full month with an average CO2 level above 400 ppm. While concentrations of CO2 have begun their seasonal decline from their May peak (which was just shy of 402 ppm), the daily averages have stayed consistently above 400 ppm. With the month almost at an end, June’s average will be above 400 ppm."

Reconciling the Antarctic Sea Ice Paradox—by ClimateDenierRoundup: "The latest recycled argument from WUWT (and echoed by others) is the oft-repeated fallacy that, 'since Antarctica's sea ice is growing, scientists are all wrong about climate change.' [...] At the Bellingshausen Sea,  where the warm air meets the continent, sea ice is melting. Meanwhile, the displaced cold air combined with the winds circling the continent (known as the Southern Annular Mode or SAM for short) are driving sea ice growth in the Ross sea. And it turns out, SAM is being strengthened by ozone depletion and greenhouse gas emissions. So yes, the expansion of Antarctic sea ice is actually a symptom of human emissions!"

Global Cooling Ahead? NOPE.—by ClimateDenierRoundup: "Climate Depot—not content flogging the 'pause' meme—has a roundup of claims arguing we will soon experience cooler temperatures. Most of these studies point to the sun to justify their claims. One paper, for example, predicts that the current lull in solar activity 'will lead to a new Little Ice Age within the next 30 years.' Back here in the real world, NOAA recently announced as part of its monthly global analysis on the state of the climate that May 2014 was the hottest May on record, making it the 351st consecutive month with temperatures warmer than the 20th century average. Putting these pieces together: solar activity is experiencing a lull, yet warming continues. Could that mean that something other than the sun is affecting global temperatures? Greenhouse gases, perhaps?"

Energy

Exxon Hates America—by dturnbull: "We at Oil Change International are excited to have teamed up with The Other 98% and Environmental Action to launch a blistering new ad that targets Exxon and the $20 billion per year in taxpayer subsidies going to the fossil fuel industry. Given how Exxon (and their Big Oil partners) are threatening our communities with bomb trains, leaky pipelines, and exacerbating climate change all while receiving billions in taxpayer dollars via subsidies, we think it’s time to start asking the question: does Exxon Hate America? You can learn all about it at http://exxonhates.com. It’s our long-awaited sequel to the hit 'Exxon Hates Your Children' ad and campaign from last year."

Killing Coal - Dispatches from the Front Lines—by Wisper: "Let’s check in first on the hard numbers: Today’s Coal trading price: 61.50 per Short Ton, which is actually a bit of a recovery from its $52 low point earlier this year, but still well off its former days of $80+ back in 2011, much less its $140 high-point back in 2008. The FERC released its Infrastructure Report for May and it’s heartening to see that there has still not been a single new coal powered energy source brought online in 2014.  And coal continues to only provide 28.45% of the US Energy off its former bragging point of 41%. (Note: this is Utility scale energy only and specifically excludes all the gains in rooftop solar)."

Renewables

New wind turbines generate back the energy it took to make them in just six months say new study—by HoundDog: "Joe Romm of Think Progress reports 'A New Wind Turbine Generates Back The Energy It Takes To Build It In Just 6 Months,' based on a study just published by The European Photovoltaic Industry Association which says, '(d)epending on the type of PV system and the location of the installation, the EPBT at present is between 0.5 and 1.4 years.' After doing a comprehensive study of the full life-cycle of 2 megawatt wind turbines researchers at Oregon State found their energy payback time comparable to solar photovoltaic systems which have fallen from 40 years to half a year to a year and half from 1970 to 2010."

President Obama says the U.S. will help Chile build Latin America's largest solar power plant—by HoundDog: "First Solar has just landed another big contract. During a meeting in the Oval Office with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, President Obama announced the Overseas Private Investment Corporation has approved a loan guarantee of  $230 million for he construction of the largest solar electrical generation plant in Latin American, The Associated Press reports in Obama Says US Supporting Chilean Solar Power Plant. Obama touted the project during an Oval Office meeting with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who has returned to office after winning election in March. Obama said Chile has been a model democracy in Latin America and he wants to deepen cooperation between the two nations. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation on Friday approved a loan guarantee of up to $230 million to support Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar's construction of a 141-megawatt solar power plant in Chile's Atacama Desert, which receives some of the planet's steadiest concentrations of direct sunlight."

Fracking

A victory in New York: Top court says towns can impose fracking bans with zoning ordinances—by Meteor Blades: "The oil and gas industry took a hit Monday, when New York's highest court ruled 5-2 that the state's towns are within their home-rule rights to use zoning ordinances to ban hydraulic fracturing. There is already a statewide ban on hydrofracking, which uses water and chemicals under high pressure to pry hydrocarbons from tight geological formations. But residents of some towns fear the state moratorium may be allowed to expire, leaving them vulnerable to renewed fracking. The state Department of Environmental Conservation is studying whether the practice should be allowed statewide."

Dirty energy money vs. Grassroots in Butte County—by AntoniaB: "This month featured one of the dirtiest episodes yet of The California Frack Wars, starring the conservative, fossil-fuel funded Californians for a Safe, Secure Energy Future versus the local, grassroots organization Frack-Free Butte County. The volunteers of Frack-Free Butte County have spent the last year gathering the 10,000 signatures needed to put a citizen initiative on the ballot to ban fracking in Butte County. With endless energy and a couple thousand dollars from an Indiegogo campaign, they reached their signature goal on June 1st. A couple short weeks later, a law firm hired by Californians for a Safe, Secure Energy future swept in and disqualified the citizen initiative due to facial defects€™ such as certain words not being in bold-face. This is not Californians for a Safe Secure Energy Future's first effort to block the fracking ban in Butte County and spread misinformation around the state."

Keystone and Other Fossil Fuel Transportation

For Oil-By-Rail, a Battle Between “Right to Know” and “Need to Know”—by Steve Horn: "Since the first major oil-by-rail explosion occurred on July 6, 2013, in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, citizens in communities across the U.S. have risen up when they’ve learned their communities are destinations for volatile oil obtained from hydraulic fracturing ('fracking') in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale basin. As the old adage goes, ignorance is bliss. It’s also one of the keys to how massive oil-by-rail infrastructure was built in just a few short years — the public simply didn’t know about it."

Eco-Related DC & State Politics

My Governor Denies Climate Change. How about yours?—by Desert Rose: "Think Progress has an informative map. Check it out. [...] You can click on a state and get details on your governor's actions in regard to climate change. For example, here's my governor, Jan Brewer: A climate-denier, Governor Jan Brewer (R) said, 'Everybody has an opinion on it, you know, and I probably don’t believe that it’s man-made. I believe that, you know, that weather and certain elements are controlled maybe by different things.' In 2010, she signed a bill that bars new state rules or regional agreements to reduce greenhouse gases unless the legislature approves. In 2011, Brewer opted out of the Western Climate Initiative, a multi-state attempt to limit greenhouse gases, despite recognizing that their greenhouse gas pollution was expected to rise. A spokesman for the governor said she objects to the president’s Clean Power Plan, saying the EPA has overstepped its authority. As governor, she has worked to expand renewables in the state, particularly solar energy. She also vetoed a bill that would turn over 25 million acres of public lands to the state, which was consistent with Arizona voters views. Governor Brewer is term-limited and cannot seek re-election in 2014."

SC-Gov: Sheheen (D) Fights Back To Prevent SC From Becoming More Of A Nuclear Waste Dumping Ground—by poopdogcomedy: "Received this e-mail today from State Senator Vincent Sheheen's (D. SC) gubernatorial campaign: This is the kind of issue that will affect generations of South Carolinians, but Governor Nikki Haley has refused to stand up for us or tell the truth about this proposal. In fact, she hasn’t attended a single meeting of her own Nuclear Advisory Council.
Nikki Haley has proven time and time again she is not looking out for the interests of South Carolinians. She has failed our state and our families. That’s got to stop. We cannot allow her leadership failures to chain our children and grandchildren to radioactive, nuclear spheres forever. That is why I’m asking you to step up today and make your voice heard. South Carolina does not want to be a dumping ground for nuclear waste.
"

Republican Greg Abbott: Just 'drive around' to 'ask every facility whether they have chemicals'—by David Nir: "When Greg Abbott's handlers actually allow him to talk to the press, his usual response is 'no comment.' Now you'll understand why, once you read these jaw-dropping remarks: Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, under fire for blocking public access to state records documenting the location of dangerous chemicals, said Texans still have a right to find out where the substances are stored—as long as they know which companies to ask. 'You know where they are if you drive around," Abbott told reporters Tuesday. "You can ask every facility whether or not they have chemicals or not. You can ask them if they do, and they can tell you, well, we do have chemicals or we don't have chemicals, and if they do, they tell which ones they have.' That's just awesome. Think about all the unnecessary regulations we could eliminate if only we adopted Abbott's way of thinking!"

11:11:1 - $11 for the 11th District for 1 Candidate to Lead on Climate Change—by Nancy4MI11: "The overwhelming world-wide consensus from scientists, industries and governments is that man-made climate change is real, and it is already starting to hurt economies world-wide and has become a danger to people's safety. Coca-cola, Nike, Delta Airlines, and countless other companies (including big oil companies!) are voicing their concerns. Wall street figures from both sides of the aisle, including Michael Bloomberg, Hank Paulson, and Tom Steyer are all calling for action. Now it's time for our politicians to stand up and start addressing the clear and present dangers of climate change. We need to ACT NOW in order to limit the damage from climate change and the only way we can ensure nation-wide action is to elect politicians that will fight hard to address climate change. Elect me in Michigan's 11th (one of the very few seats in play) - and the only Progressive in The Democratic primary on August 5th - and I will elect more climate Members to Congress!"

The Great Outdoors

Do you have a favorite flower?—by Eddie C: Photo Diary.

Goodbye to the Ash Trees of North America?—by xaxnar: "Something I missed at first in the Monday NY Times: 'Ninety-nine percent of the ashes in North America are probably going to die,' said Andrew M. Liebhold, a research entomologist with the United States Forest Service. [...] A 2009 study in the journal Biological Invasions listed 43 native insect species that rely on ash trees for food or breeding. Those insects are the food supply for birds, including woodpeckers. The problem is this. The emerald ash borer is an insect invader that is normally found in Asia. It is believed to have arrived in North America in ash wood used to reinforce shipping crates. Here, its lifestyle is fatal to North American ash trees. It has no native enemies here, nor diseases."

Critters

And Now Comes Illegal Mining In the Salmon River—by Senor Unoball: "Protesters gathered to illegally dredge for gold on Tuesday in an Idaho river where such mining is banned, in an open challenge to the U.S. government's authority to regulate public waters and lands in Western states, an organizer said. According to this Reuters story, it's yet another protest against the federal government which, the miners claim, is totally preventing their god-given right to destroy pristine wild lands. [...] According to the story, the EPA says that dredging could harm habit for species such as chinook salmon, which are protected under the Endangered Species Act. (Now, we all know that chinook are not, in themselves, endangered. Perhaps this particular run of salmon is endangered? Or perhaps this river's fish are considered endangered?)"

dragonfly eating another
The Daily Bucket: Do Dragonflies eat each other?—by PHScott: "Dragonflies  - their order in the insect world is Odonata. I've read that a dozen times the last couple days so I should remember that. O do na ta - simple enough to pronounce, a 3 y/o could say it.  And like any kid, I was on the hunt for answers about 'Do Dragonflies eat each other?' It gets asked often. This photo was posted in the comments the other day, but for those who didn't see it—yup, they do. As adults, dragonflies feed on other live insects. They aren't picky eaters. They'll eat any insect they can catch, including other dragonflies. Midges and mosquitoes make up the bulk of their diet, but dragonflies will also prey on flies, bees, beetles, moths, butterflies, and other flying insects. The larger the dragonfly, the larger the prey insect it can consume. A dragonfly will eat roughly 15% of its own body weight in prey each day, and larger species can easily consume much more than that."

Grey Rat Snake @4 ft
The Daily Bucket: Snakes!!—by PHScott: "I took this photo yesterday at Spring Canyon as I was walking back to where the ladies were working. The snake was crossing the dam, same as me. It stopped no doubt because it heard me thumping down the lane. No grass or weeds or even a stick so I actually saw it in time to stop and not scare it off. So I stopped several feet away, got out the iPhone and snapped a couple and then stepped off tail to head to get a 'foot' measurement. Yup, 4 feet. Next I walked way around it and up to where Helen and Karen were working and got them back in time to see the snake slowly slipping towards the down side of the dam. Really, this is the thinnest Grey Rat snake I have seen. The ones I see in my yard and out and about have always been much thicker. Age difference I guess. Bet it can still climb a tree and eat bird eggs."

Dawn Chorus: I know you? I don't know you? Where are you?—by JupiterSurf: "During the  second week of May the Black Swamp Bird Observatory hosts the "The Biggest Week in American Birding" at Magee Marsh, which is on the south shore of Lake Erie. It is crossroads of flyways..Birds are making their way north to Canada and stop in the area for a rest before heading across the big lake into Canada. Warblers are plenty and so are other birds. Depending on the weather they may be there a couple of days. Magee Marsh is located in Ottawa County, Ohio, which is just outside the Toledo area. On one side of the parking lot is Lake Erie and the other side is Magee Marsh an area with a maze of boardwalks, which I always fear I will get lost on one day. The trees this time of year are starting to leaf out or bare so it makes for easy spotting of warblers if your there on the right days. You see all ages of birders, with all skill levels to no skill level, just folks wanting to see what the hoopla is about...But everyone is always willing to help identify, explain to you  or tell you where the birds are. There is also a small king's ransom in cameras, lens, and spotting scopes. It brings in a good deal of tourist income to an area that is farmland and a rust belt city. I was there for only a couple of hours and few days past prime spotting days. I saw 17 species of birds."

Daily Bucket: Wild Florida--White Ibis—by Lenny Flank: "With its stark-white plumage, red face, and its long curved pink bill, the White Ibis is a familiar sight in Florida. Flocks of them can be seen wading in ponds, probing for food on lawns, or flying overhead. The White Ibis, Eudocimus albus, is a member of the Threskiornithidae family, which includes 34 species of ibis and spoonbills. DNA analysis shows them to be related to the Pelican family. Ibis species can be found virtually worldwide. In Egypt, the Sacred Ibis was believed in ancient times to be the symbol of the ibis-headed god Thoth, and thousands of the birds were mummified and buried as offerings to the gods. Florida has two native species of Ibis, the White Ibis and the less-common Glossy Ibis. Both species range around the Gulf Coast and up the southeast Atlantic coast, and across the Caribbean to Central and South America, where they are replaced by the Scarlet Ibis (which may be just a color variant of the White Ibis species--in parts of southern Florida where Scarlet Ibis have been introduced, the two have been observed interbreeding). A small population of Sacred Ibis has become established in Palm Beach County, Florida, that may have blown here in a storm in 2000, but so far there are no indications that those birds are expanding their range."

The Daily Bucket--Response to Comments on the Environmental Review of the Frog Mitigation Area—by 6412093: "The Frog Mitigation Project is the creation of .003 acres of riparian areas on private residential lands in the Pacific Northwest, to mitigate for a landscaping project's reduction of frog habitat. [...] The proposed project includes enlarging and deepening of a receiving pond to 8 x 8 x 1.5 feet, relocation of a waterfall, and creation of a 30-foot, 2-foot-wide, 1-foot deep creek. Nearby but unrelated projects include removal of several arborvitae trees, trimming a pear tree, relocation of ornamental flowers, and an upcoming fence replacement."

The Oceans, Water & Drought

Seafood's newest ingredient: Plastic!—by Aximill: "Humans produce almost 300 million tons of plastic each year. There's ~40,000 tons of plastic currently bobbing along in the ocean, travelling the currents or spinning around in gyres. And that has scientists worried since there should be a lot more. 'A conservative first-order estimate of the floating plastic released into the open ocean from the 1970s (10^6 tons) is 100-fold larger than our estimate of the current load of plastic stored in the ocean,' Cozar wrote. 'Large loads of plastic fragments with sizes from microns to some millimeters are unaccounted for in the surface loads. The pathway and ultimate fate of the missing plastic are as yet unknown.' Andres Cozar, of Spain's University of Cadiz, offered up some suggestions to how the plastic is unaccounted for from shore deposits to nano-fragmentation to biofouling. While it's likely a combo of processes, Cozar and other scientists think ingestion by wildlife is the most likely way plastic is being removed from the oceans."

California Evacuates Fish At American River And Nimbus Hatcheries—by Dan Bacher: "The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) evacuated 1 million rainbow trout from the American River Fish Hatchery and nearly 430,000 fingerling steelhead from Nimbus Fish Hatchery by June 30. This was due to concerns that the cold water pool in Folsom Lake that keeps the water cold in the American River  that supplies the water for both hatcheries would become lethally warm. The impact of the plants was obvious on my recent trips to Silver and Caples Lakes. Both lakes were planted with big loads of rainbows by the American River Fish Hatchery—and boat and bank anglers were catching lots of rainbows on a variety of lures and baits. Anglers fishing lakes and streams throughout the region planted by this hatchery are seeing a similar boost in fishing success."

Delta farmer files 'No Blank Checks Initiative" with Attorney General—by Dan Bacher: "Dean Cortopassi, the Stockton area farmer known for the many television, radio and TV ads against the peripheral canal and tunnels that he sponsored during the Schwarzenegger administration, filed a request On Friday, June 17, with the Attorney General’s office for a title and summary for a proposed initiative constitutional amendment titled the 'No Blank Checks Initiative.' 'Currently, state bonds only need to be approved by voters if the bonds are to repaid out of the state’s general revenues,' reported Maven's Notebook. "Mr. Cortopassi’s initiative would greatly expand the requirement for voter approval, extending it to bonds that would be repaid by specific charges imposed on residents, such as taxes, fees, rates, tolls, or rents.'"

Pollution, Hazardous Wastes & Trash

A hidden war on women—by DWG: "David Heath, writing for the Center for Public Integrity, tells the fascinating tale of how politicians have colluded with corporations to allow high levels of arsenic to remain in our food, beverages, and drinking water. The EPA has been prepared to say since 2008, based on its review of independent science, that arsenic is 17 times more potent as a carcinogen than the agency now reports. Women are especially vulnerable. Agency scientists calculated that if 100,000 women consumed the legal limit of arsenic every day, 730 of them would eventually get bladder or lung cancer from it. So if arsenic is a much more potent carcinogen than previously thought, particularly for women, how come nothing is being done to remove it from our food and drink? Are those Republicans I smell?"

Transportation & Infrastructure

Who said you must give up the car?—by bluegoatwoods: "Consider: most of us have spent some time wondering "will I have the guts to fight for what's right even when my community despises me for it?" Here's your chance. Get out there and defy the automobile. Do it smart and do it proud. We'll be 'the brave pioneers'. And those who follow will be able to do so more safely under the social protection that we've helped to establish. So keep your car. It's the right tool for some jobs. Just cut way back on the extensive distances and use something else most of the time for the short distances. Our society, sooner or later, will be ruined if you don't. But our society might become a whole lot better, and less of a rat race, if you do."

Miscellany

The Great European Heat Wave and Drought of 1540—by BMScott: "In a paper ‘The year-long unprecedented European heat and drought of 1540 – a worst case’ in the journal Climate Change an international group of 32 scientists shows that in 1540 Western Europe suffered a heat wave and ‘Megadrought’ that were probably worse than the European heat wave of 2003.  They also determined that even the best current climate models can’t simulate so severe an event."

Texas: Any Regulation is Overkill—by DRo: "Remember that blast at the West fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people and injured another 200 in April 2013? When ammonium nitrate caused the massive and deadly fireball? A bill drafted by Texas lawmakers written to prevent another fertilizer plant explosion giving the state fire marshal more inspection authority and requiring ammonium nitrate to be stored in non-combustible containers or to install a sprinkler system was immediately pushed back by State Republican leaders who said the tougher proposed regulations would overburden storage facilities with complexities and cost. They called this 'overkill' and a 'power grab.' Additionally, Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott defended a recent ruling he made that allows the state to withhold the exact location of facilities storing potentially dangerous chemicals like ammonium nitrate. Previously, Texans wanting to know about companies keeping such chemicals could find out from the Department of State Health Services. Now they can't."

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