Obama administration

For Water, Cities Look to Farms Conserving water on farms is the key to securing water for cities that face recurring shortages, according to a new study published in the journal Water Policy, National Geographic reported. The growth of both irrigated agriculture and cities in water-scarce regions has fueled these shortages, necessitating working relationships between […]

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The increasing demand for water, food, and energy is one of four “megatrends” that will shape the next 15 to 20 years, according to a National Intelligence Council report that looks at the forces creating “tectonic shifts” in how the world works. Many countries will not be able to avoid food and water shortages without […]

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Climate change will have the greatest economic effect on crops in the Midwest’s Corn Belt states, where annual loses could range from US$1.1 billion to US$4.1 billion by 2030. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service used four climate projections, a crop-growth simulation, and a model for predicting how farmers would change their crop […]

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Two reports from federal research agencies suggest that sea-level rise along the coastal United States will happen quicker and surge higher than the global average. Combined with storm surges and tidal fluctuations, higher seas increase the flood risk for billions of dollars of property, as well as vital infrastructure such as roads, power stations and […]

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Some key programs identified in the draft, which was released earlier this week, are also facing budget cuts for the 2013 fiscal year.

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Jumping Asian Carp

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is taking steps to speed up its recommendations for keeping invasive species out of the Great Lakes — but will its actions be quick enough to stop Asian carp?

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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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Clean Water Act Interpretation The Obama administration is mulling regulatory guidance for the Clean Water Act that would reinstate language that was proposed by the George W. Bush administration, but was stymied by opposition from industry groups. Greenwire reports that the new guidance would make a broader claim as to which wetlands and small streams […]

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Restoration Hardware The Mississippi River Delta is the beating heart of economic activity in the nation’s midsection. From grain exports to fisheries to oil and gas production, the lower stretch of the country’s longest river is a both a trade conduit and a bulwark against storm surges and rising seas. Restoring it has become a […]

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Build Them Faster Continuing his mission of cutting red tape and making federal review processes leaner, President Obama signed an executive order to speed the pace of approval for infrastructure projects. The order establishes a committee comprised of cabinet-level departments, which will submit a plan for a streamlined, coordinated review process for water, energy, transportation […]

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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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Hear Ye, Hear Ye Last Thursday the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs heard testimony on tribal water rights settlements. Federal officials talked about the Obama administration’s preference for negotiated settlements instead of litigation. Some 16 negotiations are in progress, two of which—the Blackfeet and the Navajo-Hopi—have legislation under consideration in Congress. The chair of the […]

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A National Standard It’s not what clean-energy advocates would have envisioned three years ago when the House of Representatives passed a cap-and-trade bill, but it’s something. Last week in the Senate, Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) introduced the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012, which would set national targets for energy produced from renewable and low-carbon sources. […]

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Jumping Asian Carp

The Supreme Court denied a request by five states that were calling for immediate action to stop invasive Asian carp from infiltrating the Great Lakes. This is the third time that the court has denied an injunction for the Asian carp case.

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Energy South Africa may invest $78 billion in new nuclear power plants, a hydropower project and a coal-fired power plant in order to keep up with energy demand, Business Week reported. A European Union expert committee failed to reach a decision on a proposal that would label fuel from tar sands as highly polluting, pushing […]

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The proposed pipeline could be approved on a much shorter timeline than was laid out by President Barack Obama, after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday giving approval power for the project to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Senate has not yet considered the bill.

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Solar Review The deadline for submitting public comments on the Bureau of Land Management’s broad environmental review of solar energy development in six western U.S. states is Friday. The review will result in changes to the agency’s resource management plans, allowing it to concentrate solar energy projects on the most suitable parcels of land. Comments […]

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Lines in the Sand Last Wednesday, the Obama administration denied a permit for Keystone XL, a 2,750 km (1,710 mi) pipeline from Canada’s tars sands to oil refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. In a statement, President Barack Obama said that the decision was “not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but [on] […]

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Tar Sands Map

However, the company building the pipeline will be invited to re-appl,y after finding a new route through Nebraska, according to a government official.

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Peer Reviewers for Fracking Study The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting nominations for qualified scientists to review its draft study of groundwater contamination in a Wyoming town. The draft, released in December, found compounds that are associated with natural-gas drilling processes in two monitoring wells. To nominate someone, send the person’s name, address […]

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