U.S. House of Representatives

United States Approximately 90 percent of urban streams and 61 percent of rural streams in the United States contain levels of pesticides above thresholds that are considered safe for aquatic wildlife, though they are generally safe for humans, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, Reuters reported. The percentage of contaminated urban streams […]

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Public Health At least 10 children have been sickened and paralyzed by a polio outbreak in Syria, which World Health Organization officials fear could spread rapidly among young children in the war-torn country and its neighbors, Reuters reported. The disease can spread through contaminated food and water, and many children in Syria are now vulnerable […]

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Drought Zambia and Angola have both lowered their forecasts for economic growth this year due in part to a severe drought, AlertNet reported. The drought has affected the countries’ agricultural industries, which still make up a large share of their gross domestic product (GDP). As drought continues to be a persistent problem in Africa, there […]

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Energy and Water Pumping water underground to produce geothermal energy or to hydraulically fracture rocks could lead to large—magnitude 4 or 5—earthquakes, according to recent studies, the Guardian reported. One study found a clear correlation between underground water injection and the frequency of earthquakes. Australia’s government must decide whether or not to require a full […]

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As water levels dropped three meters (10 feet) in India’s Brahmaputra River, fears surfaced that China was diverting water near the river’s origin in Tibet, Agence France-Presse reported. The cause of the water shortage remains unknown. Africa’s Lake Chad is shrinking—it is now one tenth the size it was in the 1960s—but local residents have […]

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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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Energy A bill meant to speed up approval of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline passed the United States House of Representatives, Bloomberg News reported. Those opposed to the pipeline, which would carry crude oil from Canada’s tar sands to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico, say it could harm the environment. In this Guardian video, […]

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Bulgaria should pursue shale gas in order to achieve energy independence, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a visit to the country, according to EurActiv. In January, Bulgaria placed a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing, which forces large quantities of chemicals and water into shale gas formations underground to release […]

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If the Republican-sponsored bill passes the Democrat-controlled Senate, the final decision could come by the beginning of November.

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House Takes On the EPA The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from overturning state decisions on water quality, the Huffington Post reports. Sixteen Democrats voted with the Republican majority. GAO Rebukes the EPA The Government Accountability Office says that the Environmental Protection Agency ‘has not effectively […]

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With just a few weeks until the details of a draft plan for the Murray-Darling River Basin are revealed, a new report says that big water cuts could finish small country towns and communities in Australia’s food bowl, ABC News reported. A bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives could restrict the U.S. Environmental […]

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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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