Department of Energy

Language in the budget deal that passed Congress in January instructed U.S. representatives to the World Bank and other development banks to oppose loans, grants, or policies that support large hydroelectric dams, defined as those taller than 15 meters (49 feet). It is not clear, however, how that message, which was directed at international financial […]

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By Friday, a working group comprising state representatives, federal officials from the U.S. and Mexico, and environmental groups will submit a plan for using a high-volume surge of water in the Colorado River to revive its delta. The goal is to begin releasing the water – called a pulse flow – from U.S. dams by […]

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Popping U.S. corn production in 2013 set a record of 13.9 billion bushels, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Collectively, farmers topped the old record, set in 2009, by 7 percent. Also faring well was the soybean crop, the third largest ever. Drought and new demand for gluten-free grain pushed sorghum acreage higher. Production […]

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MIT’s Ernest Moniz will become the next secretary of energy, but EPA administrator nominee Gina McCarthy still faces stiff Senate opposition.

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In a near-unanimous vote Thursday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved Ernest Moniz’s nomination to become the next Secretary of the Department of Energy.

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President Barack Obama’s nominees to lead the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy are expected to join just-confirmed Interior Department Secretary Sally Jewell in developing the United States’ water, food, and energy systems.

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The Senate will host confirmation hearings this week for two more members of President Barack Obama’s cabinet with significant influence over water, agriculture, and energy management in the United States.

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Confirmation hearings are pending for President Barack Obama’s nominees to lead the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency.

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This week, Circle of Blue will publish a water guide to the 2012 election. It will explain the presidential candidates’ positions on water, as well as point out various state and local initiatives related to desalination, financing and water supply. Look for it in the next few days. (Update 10/31/12: 2012 Election Guide.) Storm Warning […]

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The Government Accountability Office recommends that the two federal agencies that run the three main assistance programs for rural water systems better coordinate their application requirements. This would save rural communities time and money, the GAO says. Water-Energy The GAO also evaluated federal progress on the connections between water and energy. Having written five reports […]

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The U.S. government spent US$734 million on water-related activities in fiscal year 2011, according to a State Department report. This represents a 23 percent drop from the previous year, when US$953 million was spent. Roughly one out of every two dollars in fiscal year 2011 was spent on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. The annual […]

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The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a bill that would limit the scope of the Clean Water Act to guidelines written by the Bush administration in 2007. Bloomberg BNA reports that a House floor vote should happen soon. The House Appropriations Committee also included language to block the new guidance in a water and […]

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that a pollution permit, called a NPDES permit in the lingo, will not be necessary for stormwater coming from logging roads. The agency will continue to study the best way to reduce sediment runoff from what it calls “a relatively small subset” of roads that affect stream quality. Powder […]

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The Proposal Under a rule the Obama administration submitted for review on Friday, energy companies using hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil and gas on public lands would be required to disclose the chemicals they use in the process, the New York Times reports. However, owing to industry lobbying, companies will be allowed to wait […]

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Rise and Fall The bilateral commission charged with coordinating U.S. and Canadian policies on the Great Lakes released a draft plan for regulating water levels in Lake Ontario. The proposal will keep the lake closer to natural flow patterns: water levels during high and average conditions will be kept higher, and kept lower under low […]

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Military Base Water Contamination From the 1950s to the 1980s people living at Camp Lejeune Marine Base near Jacksonville, N.C. unknowingly drank tap water contaminated with benzene and other chemicals. Lawsuits have been filed. Now, the state’s U.S. senators are criticizing attempts by military officials to redact information in a federal report about the base’s […]

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President Obama spoke to students at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va., on Monday, the day he submitted his fiscal year 2013 budget to Congress. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

The president throws more clean-energy money at the Energy Department, while cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget come at the expense of water and sewer infrastructure.

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A few choice items have already trickled out or were set in deals made months ago, but today President Barack Obama will submit his fiscal year 2013 budget to Congress. We’ll have all the water details here, once the complete document lands. Afterward, the budget debate moves to the east end of the National Mall […]

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Pakistan A high-level official from the U.S. State Department met with counterparts from Pakistan last month during the fourth water “dialogue” between the two countries. The U.S. government has given Pakistan money for irrigation, hydroelectric, and water supply projects under the Kerry-Berman-Lugar bill—legislation signed in 2009 that authorizes $7.5 billion in aid to Pakistan. Pakistan […]

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That Record Does (Not) Exist This item is not explicitly about water, but it does touch on a basic tool for keeping the government honest. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA, for short) requires federal agencies to provide records at the public’s request, with certain exemptions for things like classified documents. The Department of Justice, […]

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