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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Missouri failed to submit its pollution reduction plan submission to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in July, along with 38 other states, all of which failed to comply with the Regional Haze Rule as required by the Clean Air Act.
A coalition of environmental agencies, including the Sierra Club, a non-profit organization with a chapter based in St. Louis, filed a notice of intent to sue the EPA Monday, claiming it failed to enforce the Regional Haze Rule as required by the Clean Air Act, thus neglecting its role as an overseeing governing body and its duty to hold states accountable to pollution reduction measures.
The Regional Haze Rule requires states to develop and implement air quality protection plans to reduce pollution that causes visibility impairment. It is intended to protect our national parks and wilderness areas from fossil fuel and other sources of pollution that reduce visibility, according to a Sierra Club press release.
“There’s an expectation of Congress that Americans should be able to visit their national parks and wilderness areas and not be faced with the degradation of the view,” Andy Knott, interim central region director at Sierra Club, said.
Missouri has at least 20 industrial facilities emitting pollutants with the potential to impact 29 different wilderness and recreation areas in the state – two of which are considered ‘Class I’ areas, or areas with the strongest clean air protections in the country, according to the National Parks Conservation Association’s regional haze factsheet on Missouri.
The association reports over 200 industrial facilities across the country may impact visibility in Missouri’s Class I areas. These areas include Hercules Glades Wilderness, located in the Ozarks of southwest Missouri, and the Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, situated just north of the Arkansas state line.
“We’re talking about sulfur dioxide emissions and nitrogen oxide emissions,” Knott said. “Both of these pollutants also have severe impacts on people’s health. They cause thousands of premature deaths every year, thousands of asthma attacks every year.”
“This particular program is about haze and visibility, however, the pollution that causes haze also has direct health impacts on people.”
The association analyzed publicly available data to reveal the worst sources and industrial sectors of haze pollution in the state.
It found 87% of haze pollution comes from fossil fuel electric power generation, while only 6% comes from lime manufacturing. Another 6% comes from cement manufacturing, and only 1% from secondary smelting, refining, and alloying.
“The problem is this pollution travels hundreds, if not thousands, of miles,” Knott said. “Nearly 90% of this pollution comes from coal-fired power plants. It’s hard to argue that coal is better because it’s now more expensive than clean energy, so that’s why you’re seeing utilities accelerate their transition from coal to clean energy.”
According to the association, 20 industrial facilities emit haze pollution in Missouri. An analysis reveals the Ameren Missouri Labadie power plant, situated right on the Missouri River, emits over 40,000 tons of sulfur dioxide and exhaust emissions – roughly 20,000 tons more than any other contamination source in the state.
Despite Ameren Missouri Labadie Plant’s vast contribution to haze pollution, data shows pollution from the New Madrid Power Plant Marston, situated along the Mississippi River, affects at least 22 environmental sites in the state – five more wilderness areas than those impacted by the Labadie Plant.
“We constantly have this struggle between what’s right and what is best for humanity and for people’s health and for making this a more just and equitable society,” Knott said. “Then, you have the folks who are profiting from the things that go against those values.”
“It can be frustrating but the reason for optimism is that surveys show the vast majority of people believe in these values, and they want clean air. They want to help the environment. It’s harder for the polluters in the long run to win.”
Knott said the Missouri Department of Natural Resources “needs to step up and do its job and they haven’t done that.”
“We need the governor of Missouri to hold this agency accountable and appoint the right people to run the agency, and on the Air Conservation Commission Missouri-appointed positions, too,” he said. “The states have a role in the Clean Air Act, but then it’s up to the EPA to enforce that, if the states aren’t doing their job.”
He said the Sierra Club believes the EPA could be doing a lot more to prioritize the safety of American citizens.
“We do think that, aside from haze, there are other things the EPA could be doing,” Knott said. “For example, strengthening health standards for air pollution – that’s something that’s very necessary – and just addressing more directly the health impacts of coal plants around the countries.”
Here’s something that did not change at the NBA Draft, which is supposed to be a night of new possibilities and new beginnings, just never around here:
The Knicks did not change.
The Knicks didn’t change, nor did their possibilities such as they are, at least before they make their run at Jalen Brunson, who apparently is the second coming of Clyde Frazier. There was no new beginning in Brooklyn. There was just the Knicks once again acting like the lumps of their league. We occasionally hear that the only way to build something that truly lasts in the modern NBA is through the draft. Except now, basically, the Knicks don’t even draft.
So what really did not change was that in the history of New York sports and New York fans, there has never been anything worse than being a fan of the Knicks of the 21st century. At least the Knicks can win that.
The Jets at least went to two AFC championships in the last two decades, before anybody in green wants to raise a hand, or ask somebody to hold their beer. The Nets, when they were still in Jersey, went to two NBA Finals in this century. The Knicks have won one playoff series since 2000. One. They have had losing seasons in 17 out of the last 21.
Even when there seemed to be hope under Tom Thibodeau — before you wondered if Thibodeau will even last here past this season — and the Knicks got to 41-31 and the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, they couldn’t get out of the first round. When they did get back to the playoffs, they got exactly one game off Trae Young and the Hawks.
Now they are clearing cap space again, for Brunson or maybe even Kyrie Irving, who seems to think that after his un-vaccinated triumph with the Nets that teams are suddenly lining up to have him come play for him. Kevin Durant must continue to be so darn proud he picked Dr. Irving as a wingman. If the Knicks go for him, we will see how desperate they really are.
You needed to be your own capologist after what the Knicks boss, and invisible man, Leon Rose, did during the draft, turning one pick into three down the road while clearing the aforementioned cap space. Rose did this while talented kids were finding new homes all over the NBA map. Of course, they couldn’t move up to take Jaden Ivey of Purdue before he went to the Pistons. Kids like Ivey always go somewhere else.
You know how this has gone for the Knicks in the draft, not counting the ones run by Phil (The Thrill) Jackson, whose management skills reminded everybody of a blindfolded kid swinging at a pinata on his birthday. Again: They never get the guy they want. Or need. Phil looked as if he might have found somebody in Kristaps Porzingis. You know how that worked out. The Knicks were, famously, one pick away from Steph Curry. Even when they had the No. 3 pick and took RJ Barrett, the No. 2 pick on that draft night was Ja Morant, one of the most exciting players to come into the league since, well, Curry.
So their new plan is stockpiling first-round picks down the road. And their new plan apparently involves Brunson, a nice player who was the second-best player on a Mavericks team that went to the Western Conference finals. That sounds very impressive, until you remember that the best player on that team is Luka Doncic, who is one of the best players on the planet.
The Knicks, and that means Rose, who is seen around here as often as Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day — in the Groundhog Day production that actually is the New York Knicks — better not make Brunson out to be more than he is as a basketball player if they do get him, make him out to be some kind of savior, because the landscape of New York sports is littered with guys being sold to fans as being more than they are.
But Rose is a former agent. Selling is what they do. He sold himself to James L. Dolan. Rose will try to sell his program, and soon, to Brunson or Kyrie. He will try to see one of them to his long-suffering fan base, trapped in one of the worst relationships in all of professional sports.
The Knicks thought that they could hire a former agent to run the team the way Warriors once hired Bob Myers, who has become one of the great front-office men of all time. At least Myers played the game once.
You know who Leon Rose’s big acquisition has been so far for the Knicks? William (World Wide Wes) Wesley. Another guy whose relationships were going to put the Knicks over the top, the way Steve Mills’ relationships were going to do that once. How’s that working out for the Knicks so far? All this time later, no one is even sure what Wesley does except have his picture taken.
So the long season of pain for Knicks fans continues. Some of the hard-core Knick fans actually get angry with you if you criticize management, and its blueprint of the moment. They cling to the belief that Rose actually has a vision for the Knicks going forward, other than the familiar and predictable plan for all who came before them in Dolan’s front office, the ones whose real plan, and real end game, was remaining part of the permanent government at Madison Square Garden.
It has been 23 years since the Knicks last played in the NBA Finals, one of the four times that has happened in the three-quarters of a century that the Knicks have been in existence. The last time they won a division title was nine years ago. That was the year they did win a playoff series, against the Celtics. They couldn’t even get that right. They should have swept the Celtics, didn’t, had to play a Friday night Game 6 before clinching, came home and lost Game 1 to the Pacers and never recovered from that.
Then Jackson came to town to get paid and set the franchise back five years. Or maybe it was 500 years. Now the Knicks have their own former agent, the former agent who isn’t Bob Myers of the Warriors. Their two best players are Barrett and Julius Randle, who wouldn’t be the very best players on any contending team anywhere. And here the Knicks are in a division with the Bucks and Celtics and Heat and, Lord help and protect us, the Nets.
They are the Knicks. Another draft has come and gone. But the rallying cry remains the same: Wait ‘Till Which Year?
Take the real Subway Series of 2000 out of play because that was something different, because it was the kind of World Series we used to get in New York in the ‘50s.
And take away the first in-season Subway Series, and the luster it had because of the novelty of it all.
And then know this:
The games this summer between these Yankees and the Mets will be the most anticipated we’ve ever had.
Buck Showalter is right.
Imagine what the air will be like when both teams are on the field together.
There haven’t been more important pitching stories in baseball this season than Clay Holmes.
Even though the Yankees have had some big innings this season — like, every 20 minutes or so — there wasn’t one that felt bigger than the bottom of the 9th on Thursday night against the Astros.
Still not quite sure what the point of the Yankees still negotiating with Aaron Judge over a couple of million dollars was at arbitration.
What point were they trying to make by getting him to come down even a little, in this season when he keeps hitting balls that don’t come down.
This may be one of the biggest regular seasons in the history of the Yankees.
The owner needs to start thinking a little bigger.
The Jan. 6 hearings are starting to make Watergate look like traffic court.
And while we’re on the subject of American politics:
America was shamed this week, on Roe v. Wade and on guns, by the worst and weakest and most dangerous Supreme Court in this country’s history.
One more thing that has come out of these Jan. 6 hearings?
The bindlestiffs trying to overthrow the government — and with all respect to Mr. Breslin — really were The Gang That Couldn’t Coup Straight.
While a few, brave honorable men at the Department of Justice stood strong against these enemies of the state and saved us all.
My friend Stanton says that Arch Manning will not just make Steve Sarkisian look smart again, but save his job at Texas, all because of what he learned from Nick Saban:
Get the best players and everything will take care of itself.
We often talk about once-a-generation players.
Ohtani is a once-a-century player.
If golf’s majors are going to do nothing to prevent the Blood Money Tour guys from playing them, then the PGA Tour is going to be defenseless about the sports-washing that tries to wash away the blood of Jamal Khashoggi.
The big lie here, and it is really a tremendous lie, is that grifters like Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson are doing this to grow the sport.
They’re doing it to grow their bank accounts.
If the refs couldn’t spot too many men on the ice in what was the most important moment of the NHL season — the end of Game 4, Avalanche vs. Lightning — then ask yourself a question:
What are they doing there?
All this time later, Giuliani is still the Yankee mascot.
OSLO, Norway — A gunman opened fire in Oslo’s night-life district early Saturday, killing two people and leaving more than 20 wounded in what Norwegian security service called an “Islamist terror act” during the capital’s annual Pride festival.
Investigators said the suspect, identified as a 42-year-old Norwegian citizen originally from Iran, was arrested after opening fire at three locations in downtown Oslo.
The PST security service raised its terror alert level from “moderate” to “extraordinary” — the highest level — after the attack, which sent panicked revelers fleeing into the streets or trying to hide from the gunman.
PST acting chief Roger Berg called the attack an “extreme Islamist terror act” and said the suspect had a “long history of violence and threats” as well as mental health issues.
He said PST first became aware of the suspect in 2015 and later became concerned that he had become radicalized and was part of an unspecified Islamist network.
Upon the advice of police, organizers canceled a Pride parade that was set for Saturday as the highlight of a weeklong festival. Scores of people marched through the capital anyway, waving rainbow flags.
One of the shootings happened outside the London Pub, a bar popular with the city’s LGBTQ community, just hours before the parade was set to begin.
Police attorney Christian Hatlo said the suspect was being held on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and terrorism, based on the number of people targeted at multiple locations.
“Our overall assessment is that there are grounds to believe that he wanted to cause grave fear in the population,” Hatlo said.
Police said two of the shooting victims died and 10 people were being treated for serious injuries, but none of them was believed to be in life-threatening condition. Eleven other people had minor injuries.
Olav Roenneberg, a journalist from Norwegian public broadcaster NRK, said he witnessed the shooting.
“I saw a man arrive at the site with a bag. He picked up a weapon and started shooting,” Roenneberg told NRK. “First I thought it was an air gun. Then the glass of the bar next door was shattered and I understood I had to run for cover.”
Another witness, Marcus Nybakken, 46, said he saw a lot of people running and screaming and thought it was a fist fight.
“But then I heard that it was a shooting and that there was someone shooting with a submachine gun,” Nybakken told Norwegian broadcaster TV2.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said in a Facebook post that “the shooting outside London Pub in Oslo tonight was a cruel and deeply shocking attack on innocent people.”
He said that while the motive was unclear, the shooting had caused fear and grief in the LGBTQ community.
“We all stand by you,” Gahr Stoere wrote.
Christian Bredeli, who was at the bar, told Norwegian newspaper VG that he hid on the fourth floor with a group of about 10 people until he was told it was safe to come out.
“Many were fearing for their lives,” he said. “On our way out we saw several injured people, so we understood that something serious had happened.”
TV2 showed footage of people running down Oslo streets in panic as shots rang out in the background.
Investigators said the suspect was known to police, as well as to PST, but not for any major violent crimes. His criminal record included a narcotics offense and a weapons offense for carrying a knife, Hatlo said.
Hatlo said police seized two weapons after the attack: a handgun and an automatic weapon, both of which he described as “not modern” without giving details.
He said the suspect had not made any statement to the police and was in contact with a defense lawyer.
Hatlo said it was too early to say whether the gunman specifically targeted members of the LGBTQ community.
“We have to look closer at that, we don’t know yet,” he said.
Still, police advised organizers of the Pride festival to cancel the parade Saturday.
“Oslo Pride therefore urges everyone who planned to participate or watch the parade to not show up. All events in connection with Oslo Prides are canceled,” organizers said on the official Facebook page of the event.
Inge Alexander Gjestvang, leader of FRI, the Norwegian organisation for sexual and gender diversity, said the shooting has shaken the Nordic country’s LGBTQ community.
“We encourage everyone to stand together, take care of each other. We’ll be back later, proud, visible but right now it’s not the time for that,” he told TV2.
King Harald V offered condolences to the relatives of victims and said the royal family was “horrified” by the attack.
“We must stand together to defend our values: freedom, diversity and respect for each other. We must continue to stand up for all people to feel safe,” the monarch said.
Norway has a relatively low crime rate but has experienced violent attacks by right-wing extremists, including one of the worst mass shootings in Europe in 2011, when a gunman killed 69 people on the island of Utoya after setting off a bomb in Oslo that left eight dead.
In 2019, another right-wing extremist killed his stepsister and then opened fire in a mosque but was overpowered before anyone there was injured.
Ritter reported from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Jari Tanner in Helsinki contributed to this report.
It’s the last Sunday of Pride Month, so we’re closing the observance with a young adult gay boys’ rom-com and picture books about children with same-sex parents or grandparents.
The words are stuck in my throat. I know how badly Emmett wants to hear them. But I can’t bring myself to say them. Because I’m not sure if they’re true. I like Emmett a lot. More than I ever thought possible. But I can count the number of people I’ve said ‘I love you’ to on one hand. and they’re all family, so I didn’t really have a choice in the matter … With Emmett, love feels too scary.”
This gentle debut by an author who grew up in St. Paul and Mendota Heights is an easy, enjoyable summer read that’s as much a mystery as a story about Emmett and Luke, who can’t ignore their attraction to one another.
Emmett is from Oak Park, Ill., and can’t wait to get away from home to work for a summer at Wanda World, owned by his country music idol Wanda Jean. (The author admits on his website that one of his “slightly unhealthy obsessions is all things Dolly Parton.”) Emmett hopes his summer as a performer at the amusement park will be the first step in his goal to become country music’s first gay superstar.
Luke, who lives in the Wanda World’s town of Jackson Hollow, Tenn., is weighed down with family obligations and believes he cannot come out as gay because his mother would never forgive him. He hates country music because something happened between his grandmother and Wanda years earlier, and Luke believes that destroyed his family.
The two young men are not sure where their relationship is going since their goals are so different. Emmett urges Luke to come out, but Luke isn’t ready. Still, they meet secretly in Wanda World, amidst the sweet carnival smells and sounds of people having fun. (There is no overt sex in the narrative and it’s handled so delicately even would-be censors won’t find a reason to clutch their pearls.)
After the men discover a stash of songs hidden by Luke’s grandmother, their feelings about country music have to be revised because it seems Wanda Jean might be living a lie.
Kennedy, who lives in New York City with his husband and photogenic dog, will be in person at the Red Balloon Bookshop, 891 Grand Ave., at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, to sign books and talk about his novel with guest author Emily J. Taylor. There’ll be special launch party favors at this free program. Space is limited so a ticket is required. Register through June 29, 4:30 p.m., at redballoonbookshop.com. Face coverings are required.
This happy book, with bright, energetic illustrations, is written by a father-daughter team. Julie Lyford lives in the Twin Cities with her husband and two daughters and is an LGBTQ+ activist. She and her book were highlighted in a Feb. 21 Publishers Weekly article crediting her with persuading Amazon to create its new LGBTQ+ Families children’s book category.
Robert Schanke is a retired college theater professor who lives in Des Moines, Iowa, with his husband of 34 years. His books have been finalists for the Lambda Literary Award.
Charlotte Wilds Sullivan, a Minneapolis native with an MFA from Hamline University, wrote most of this book in the Twin Cities with the support of community organizations and Minnesota grants. She blogs that she was a kid like Violet, with crushes on other girls.
Molly B. Ellis, executive director of publicity for Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, says this is one of the first picture books by a major publisher to portray a queer crush between girls.
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