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Recall on Rocky Mountain Oysters!, Worst Energy Plan Everrr, Whither the Winter Olympics?
Our top picks: today's environmental news and best #greenreads.

These guys: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is making all kinds of friends with his latest statements regarding the Keystone XL pipeline. Basically, he's calling the project’s approval “inevitable” (it's not), saying if President Obama doesn’t approve it than the next president will. Meanwhile, Republican Senator Ted Cruz says, “We need an energy policy that goes beyond Keystone.” Very true ... but Cruz's plan, embodied in the American Energy Renaissance Act that he is expected to unfurl today, isn't exactly the sustainable, forward-thinking energy plan one who enjoys living on Earth might have in mind. Instead, his bill includes more offshore oil exploration, more drilling on federal lands, weaker environmental regulations on fracking, ending the crude oil export ban, and gutting the Environmental Protection Agency. Basically, everything but a Death Star. Bloomberg, Washington Post

Where’s the balls?: The Rancho Feeding Corp. of Petaluma, California, had to recall almost 9 million pounds of beef over the weekend, admitting the products were processed from “diseased or unsound animals.” The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service says the health risk is high, but luckily the recalled products aren’t the likeliest morsels to appear during your average Taco Tuesday. They include cow heads, sweet breads, beef blood, lips, tripe, hearts, veal bones, and last but certainly not least, Rocky Mountain oysters. NBC News

Gray days: Well, the water tests are back from last week's coal ash spill in North Carolina’s Dan River. In a sample taken two days after the spill, the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources confirmed that arsenic levels were four times higher than the level recommended for prolonged contact, like swimming. Fortunately, the water treatment plant downstream says it has been able to successfully remove the arsenic and other toxins from the water. It’s worth noting that environmental groups have been fighting for more than a year to get this storage facility moved off the river, but the DENR stonewalled all three attempts. Al Jazeera America

Supply and demand: Water in California is selling for five times its typical price, mostly because there really isn’t any to sell. Last year was the driest on record, spurring the state’s governor to declare a state of emergency and spelling dire times ahead for not only farmers, but the businesses, families, and communities that depend on those farmers. And if the dry spell continues on at this intensity, the economic impact will just keep rippling out. Washington Post

Crikey: Southern England is currently experiencing some of the worst flooding in recent memory, and the government’s response has been less than inspirational. Environmental groups charged their politicians with failing to address the effects of climate change on coastal and rural areas, despite the fact that such areas are crucial to the food security of the United Kingdom. Making matters worse are the recent cutbacks to the Environment Agency which is tasked with responding to such flooding. The Observer

Powder in peril: With shortened seasons and substandard conditions, the winter sports community confronts the realities of climate change each season—and yet their outrage has been mostly mute. While researching a new book, an editor of a skiing publication named Powder Magazine was shocked to learn how much the planet has warmed in recent decades and the impact it has had on his sport. Take the Sochi Winter Olympics: Officials had to hide 16 million cubic feet of snow under insulated blankets to make sure there was enough to give the games the illusion of winter white. And if climate models are correct, soon there won’t be very many places left on Earth where the winter games will be able to be held at all. New York Times

DAILY DISTRACTION

Pup-sicle: Doing the polar bear swim on Coney Island is a fun foray into cold water swimming. Lashing a rope to your waist and crawling out onto the ice of a frozen lake to save your dog? Less so. Watching this Norwegian dude save his frozen pooch is guaranteed to warm your heart. Trending Today

OTHER HEADLINES

Meet Obama’s New Go-To Guy on Climate Change The Hill

Nuclear Waste Solution Seen in Desert Salt Beds New York Times

Toxics Pervade Kids’ Products, Washington Disclosure Law Shows Environment News Service

Fracking’s Thirst for Water: Investors Warned of the Hidden Financial Risks Inside Climate News

Tips: @OnEarthMag (tag it #greenreads)

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