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A Senate committee hosts arguments on the federal government’s role in the U.S. natural gas boom, while Democrats this week released a climate bill that could be the first in years to reach the Senate floor.

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Four decades ago, national leaders talked about our duty and responsibility to cut water pollution–and about its costs.

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Congress adjourned until after the November elections, leaving quite a bit of work on the table for a short lame-duck session. In addition to anticipated debates about fiscal policy, there are a few water-related bills that might be considered at year’s end. In a hearing last week, Senate committee chair Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said she […]

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The Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project envisions a dam 700 feet tall capable of producing 600 megawatts from a 39-mile-long reservoir on the Susitna River in south-central Alaska. It would generate half the electricity currently produced in the state’s most populous region, and it would be the largest dam built in the United States since the late […]

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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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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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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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Bills, Bills, Bills More than 40 senators called on the body’s leadership to pass a flood insurance bill, The Hill reports. The bill, among other things, would change insurance premiums to help cover the billions in debt the program has run up. The Government Accountability Office, which has been concerned about the insurance program for […]

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Budget and Taxes On Sunday the House Republican leadership backed away from a tax deal that passed the Senate a day earlier, according to the New York Times. The Senate bill to extend the payroll tax cut included a provision, requested by Republicans, that would force President Barack Obama to issue a permit within 60 […]

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Biofuel Reality Check In 2007, Congress enacted revised standards for national biofuel production, setting annual volume mandates for transportation fuels up to 2022. To assess the benefits and barriers to achieving the standards, Congress asked the National Research Council to investigate. As with any prognostication, the major findings in the 447-page report are peppered with […]

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Arsenic in Drinking Water US

When the EPA lowered the arsenic standard for drinking water from 50 parts per billion to 10 in 2001, there were 3,000 water systems in violation. Today, nearly a thousand still are.

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Montana Oil Spill Only a small fraction of the oil spilled from an ExxonMobil pipeline into the Yellowstone River in Montana is likely to be recovered, according to an Environmental Protection Agency staff member, speaking with the Associated Press. In the last year, several pipeline breaks have fouled waterways in the U.S, most notably the […]

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US Forest Service Maps its Waters For the past few years, through the marbled halls of government and the glass towers of multi-lateral development agencies, a conservationist buzz phrase has resonated: ecosystem services. The term designates the things nature does—like scrub the air and pollinate flowers—that benefit humans. For forests, one of the key functions […]

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Farm-to-Tank Takes a Congressional Detour While the budget brouhaha got top billing, biofuels were working their way through the back alleys of Congress last week. On April 7 the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing on the national renewable fuels policy. In acknowledging that hope exceeded reality, committee member Lisa Murkowski […]

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What About the Kitchen Sink? In February, the Republican-majority U.S. House of Representatives voted to cut $61 billion from the federal budget for the remaining seven months of fiscal year 2011. Among the cuts were a 56 percent reduction in funding for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, which provides low-interest loans […]

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Anyone who pays attention to water in California knows that the state is just getting over (we hope) a serious three-year drought.

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Bill passes that will ban mining and oil drilling in Andean ice fields.

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Start of a new era?

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CHICAGO – After a decade of deliberation, the bill created to protect the Great Lakes Basin from interests that would divert the resource to water-starved regions of the country, is finally finding its way through Congress.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – While the Senate has moved to pass the Great Lakes Compact, it has stalled on legislation that would address the invasion of harmful non-indigenous species into the basin.

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