Friday, September 5, 2014

What We Learned This Week - "Martha My Dear"

The U.S. EPA's approach of working with states to reduce nutrient pollution and shrink the Gulf of Mexico dead zone has some major flaws. Kentucky issued new rules for coal mine water pollution; environmental groups plan to sue the state over one of its provisions. Fracking has impacted groundwater quality in Pennsylvania  and in Texas' Trinity River Basin, but West Virginia is betting it won't be much of a problem there; specifically beneath the Ohio River. Environmental groups filed petitions with three federal courts seeking to overturn the recently-issued final U.S. EPA cooling water intake rule. Monday was the 100th anniversary of the death of Martha, thought to be the last passenger pigeon.  One of the House GOP September legislative priorities is to limit the Obama administration's ability to redefine the jurisdictional reach of the Clean Water Act.  A federal judge found BP to have been grossly negligent in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster; a ruling that could add billions of dollars more in fines to the over $42 billion in charges taken already.  A "must-use" for policy and political junkies: the updated, on-line, interactive "Vital Statistics on Congress."   One vital statistic: women who serve in office continue to be underrepresented at all levels of government in the U.S.   In a move that will boost the precarious re-election chances of fellow-Republican Pat Roberts, the Kansas Secretary of State denied Democrat Chad Taylor’s request to be removed from Kansas' U.S. Senate ballot.   And last but not least, 84 percent of U.S. House incumbents and 64 percent of Senate incumbents on a glide path to an easy November re-election, largely - in the House - because of redistricting.

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