Friday, December 12, 2014

What We Learned This Week - "Omnishambles"

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is fighting a U.S District judge's ruling that the agency needs to make a Gulf of Mexico "dead zone" rulemaking decision.  The White House sided with Republican leaders . . . the House passed the cromnibus . . . the Senate will soon . . . the government won't shut down.  The Army Corps of Engineers' commander general suggests that we not rely upon Congress to fund repair of the nation's failing inland water infrastructure.  Scientists are exploring a correlation between ALS (Lou Gehrig disease) and blue-green algal blooms.  The Des Moines Water Works was left with no alternative but to activate its expensive nitrate removal facility in the face of record high concentrations.  Organic crops could become more attractive to farmers who are faced with low corn and soybean prices, which isn't all good news for the agency that monitors the U.S. organic food system.  A Wisconsin-based watchdog says it has the aerial photos of large scale livestock operations to prove fraud in the organic food production industry.  The roles and number of women working on farms continue to grow, but USDA doesn't always count them.   They have counted Christmas trees and farms, however, and their numbers have dwindled.  Coal is king in Kentucky, whether you're a Democrat or a Republican. A House-passed Ohio water-quality bill has stalled in state senate after being weighed down with numerous amendments.  A related, federal water quality bill that was prompted by Ohio events passed the Senate but never saw House floor action.  And last but not least,  Rep. Bill Cassidy easily ousted incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu in a Saturday Senate runoff, as green groups said "good riddance."

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