Friday, January 30, 2015

What We Learned This Week - "Civilized" is in the Eye of the Beholder

Over 100 U.S. House members believe that the Obama administration is practicing "regulatory overreach" with its proposed clean water act rule, and proposed a bill to stop that.  The Senate Agriculture Chairman pledged to work with the President to resolve farmers' concerns about that proposed rule. The Des Moines Register editorial board believes that a Des Moines Water Works lawsuit would be a "civilized approach" to resolving a public health threat.  That opinion isn't universally held.  The U.S. Senate passed a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline - a bill that is highly unlikely to become law, assuming the House passes the Senate version. Seventy-two dams were removed across the U.S. last year, including nine in the Mississippi River Basin.  A Federal judge ruled in favor of the U.S. EPA in an agribusiness information privacy case; a ruling quickly appealed by the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Pork Producers Council. The cost projections for new farm bill risk management programs are higher than anticipated; and Minnesota's Rep. Collin Peterson expects criticism of those high costs to follow.  A new study predicts a rise in the frequency of climate change-induced extreme weather events.  Minnesota's statehouse Republicans are eager to scale back environmental regulations that they say hinder economic growth. The U.S. Senate fell one vote shy of permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund.  The World Resources Institute reports that the world cannot both meet its future food needs and produce bioenergy.  The Electric Power Research Institute was recognized with a "water prize" for its Ohio River Basin water quality trading project.  And last but not least, there are officially over 70 kinds of cheese, but there's no such thing as "nacho cheese."

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