As the controversial oil and gas drilling practice known as hydraulic fracturing continues to spread, governments around the world are grappling with how to regulate it.

Last year, as wildfires raged in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, visitors to Guadalupe Mountains National Park had to settle for a more limited view when hiking up Guadalupe Peak, Texas’ highest poi

Sand dunes rise above a windy, desolate stretch of beach, miles beyond where most tourists venture. Occasional flocks of brown pelicans are visible, arcing through the sky above the water.

Texas has endured its worst one-year drought in recorded history. And the hottest July. August is on course to be hotter still, setting another record.

In a victory for environmentalists, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, reaffirmed a lower-court decision to reinstate a Clinton-era rule that substantially limited development of roads on national forest lands.

The biggest opportunity to improve the nation

In an ambitious proposal to counter global warming, an upstart power developer wants to build a coal-fired electric plant on the outskirts of New York City that would capture its emissions of carbon dioxide and pump the pollutant 70 miles offshore. The gas would be injected into sandstone a mile beneath the ocean floor in the hope that it would stay there for eons.

Solar cells adorn the roofs of many homes and warehouses across Germany, while the bright white blades of wind turbines are a frequent sight against the sky in Spain.

Wind and solar power grew at a blistering pace in recent years, and that growth seemed likely to accelerate, especially in the United States under the green-minded administration of the new president, Barack Obama.

An impasse over coal-fired power plants in Kansas has ended, with the new governor, Mark Parkinson, agreeing to allow construction of a large coal plant in the western part of the state. A Kansas utility, Sunflower Electric, had hoped to build two large coal plants.