Today's Top 5

Judge Rejects Standing Rock Request to Block Dakota Access Pipeline Drilling

A federal judge has rejected a request from indigenous tribes to block drilling of the Dakota Access pipeline, the latest blow to the Standing Rock Sioux after Donald Trump fast-tracked final permits for the last phase of construction. The tribe has argued that it’s unlawful for Trump’s administration to throw out the lengthy environmental review process that the US army corps of engineers began under Obama, which would have required close scrutiny of potential harms and consideration of alternative routes. Trump has been an investor in the pipeline operator Energy Transfer Partners, and its CEO donated to his presidential campaign. - The Guardian

Oroville Dam: Feds and State Ignored Warning 12 Years Ago

More than a decade ago, federal and state officials and some of California’s largest water agencies rejected concerns that the massive earthen spillway at Oroville Dam — at risk of collapse Sunday night and prompting the evacuation of 185,000 people — could erode during heavy winter rains and cause a catastrophe. - San Jose Mercury News

Trump Would Face Legal Battle For Dumping Climate Treaty

A complicated legal battle awaits the Trump administration if it tries to withdraw from the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, said the Congressional Research Service in a new report. The paper, released last week, examines the long-standing debate between the legislative and executive branches over the process for backing away from agreements under domestic and international law. - Greenwire

Heat Waves Scorch The Arctic, Australia, Parts of the US

For climate scientists, the relative warmth in the Arctic is arguably the most troubling. Temperatures in the far north of the planet have risen more than 20 degrees above normal on average in the past week, according to data from the Danish Meteorological Institute. Last week, the National Snow and Ice Data Center announced that the polar ice cap in January stood at a record low for the 38 years it has collected satellite data. Compared to a year earlier, which set the previous record for the smallest January ice cap, the North Pole had lost a Wyoming-sized area of ice. - InsideClimate News

Trump Administration Wants King Gold Mine Case Dismissed

The Trump administration is asking a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit by New Mexico and the Navajo Nation over a 2015 mine-waste spill caused by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Justice Department filed a brief Monday arguing that the EPA, as a government agency, has sovereign immunity because its workers and contractors were trying to clean up the abandoned Gold King Mine when it caused the spill in Colorado. The government is continuing the same argument of the Obama administration, which concluded in January that the EPA was legally barred from paying out the $1.2 billion in claims from people, businesses, governments and others who said they were harmed by the spill. - The Hill