Friday, January 9, 2015

What We Learned This Week - "Groundhog Day will mean something again in this town"

The Des Moines Water Works intends to sue three Iowa counties because of high nitrates in its source water. Environmental groups filed three lawsuits seeking greater USEPA regulation under the Clean Water Act of West Virginia and Kentucky coal mining operations. Asian carp are present in the Upper Mississippi River near Winona, but are still rare.  Also rare, an ivory gull spotted along the Mississippi River in Illinois attracted bird watchers in droves. New Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promises to go after the Obama Administration's proposed Clean Water Act jurisdiction rule this year.  McConnell says he's willing to compromise on legislative issues, but it's really up to the President.  The President, apparently will not compromise on a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline, and plans to veto the measure, should it pass. Congressional backers are scrambling, meanwhile, to keep the pipeline project alive.  The new U.S. Congress, despite being the most diverse to date, is still overwhelmingly white, male and Christian.  President Obama plans to release his Administration's fiscal year 2016 budget plan on February 2.  The Missouri Department of Natural Resources granted a construction permit for a 167-acre, proposed coal ash landfill in the Missouri River floodplain, despite environmentalists' objections.  The projected magnitude of this year's farm economic downslide is the largest in the last quarter century. It's official: 2014 was the hottest year on record.  And last but not least, the earth is slowing down, a fact that won't be easy on the planet's computers come July 1.

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