Friday, October 10, 2014

What We Learned This Week - "Delay of Game"

EPA extended the comment period on a proposed Clean Water Act jurisdiction rule until November 14.  The delay will allow more time for opinions to be aired regarding the rule; such as these from the Des Moines Water Works, Missouri Farmers Union, North Dakota Senator John Hoeven and the American Farm Bureau Federation.  West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio-based groups have expressed water quality concerns over West Virginia plans to drill for natural gas beneath the Ohio River. West Virginia biologists are hard at work trying to restore freshwater mussel populations in the Ohio, Kanawha and Elk rivers.  U.S. farmers are on track to harvest a record 14.54 billion bushels of corn this year; that's a little over 407 million tons.  However, crop shipment delays are hitting farmers hard in western Minnesota  and causing upper Midwest corn prices to drop.  Manure from antibiotic-treated farm animals spread onto soil can cause soil bacteria to grow resistant to the drugs. Money targeted for coastal Louisiana restoration may have been misspent by the Environmental Protection Agency and the state, according to two Inspector Generals' reports.  A Louisiana judge ruled that a new state law crafted specifically to terminate a levee board's wetland loss lawsuit against oil and gas companies doesn't apply to that suit. The Union of Concerned Scientists predicts that sea-level-rise-driven tidal flooding will dramatically increase along the Gulf Coast.  Nonetheless, Americans are flocking to their sinking shores even as flooding risks mount.  In related news, Congress has been characterized as "squirrely" when it comes to disaster mitigation. It's still 25 days until the "official" mid-term election day, but early, in-person voting is already underway in the Mississippi River Basin states of Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio and Indiana, and seven other states.  But do voters anyone really care this time around? Polls imply that they don't seem to like anything or anybody.  One reason may be that negative political ads are far outweighing positive ads, and airing at a rate higher than in recent elections.  Senators Roy Blunt (Missouri) and Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota) tied this year as "best cooks" in the U.S. Senate.  And last but not least, it costs too much to ship grains from the Midwest by barge to New Orleans export terminals.

No comments:

Post a Comment