Friday, February 27, 2015
What We Learned This Week - "Let me count the ways"
major rail investments along the Upper Mississippi River corridor, along with calls for an environmental impact assessment. The Transportation Department predicts that trains hauling crude oil or ethanol will derail an average of 10 times a year over the next 20 years. Nearly 400 organizations told Congress not to mess with farm bill programs. Agriculture must change, and agricultural science is in trouble, as well. Iowa state bills would tighten regulations on manure fertilizer application. The Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District announced plans to revise its Mississippi River Master Plan. 55,000 gallons of ethanol remain unaccounted for from a freight train derailment and spill in Iowa along the Mississippi River. The U.S. House resoundingly passed a bill requiring the EPA to develop a plan for evaluating the health risks of cyanotoxins and issuing health advisories, as well as plan for treatment options. Following the President's pipeline bill veto on Tuesday, there are five possible ways the Keystone XL saga could end. That veto left the GOP on a track for an override vote - one that will most likely fail. A team of six paddlers is ascending the Mississippi River in the first stage of a journey taking them to the Arctic Ocean. Minnesota officials warned state legislators that their push to ease state wild rice water pollution standards could lead to federal oversight. West Virginia state lawmakers are having second thoughts about a storage tank spill prevention act passed unanimously last year. Senate Agriculture Committee members expressed concerns over cuts to USDA conservation programs at a Tuesday hearing. The Supreme Court ruled that Nebraska "recklessly gambled" in taking more water from the Republican River than it was allowed to take in 2005 and 2006. Amid Oklahoma lawmakers' busy schedules this year, they may need to decide the fate of the watermelon as the official "state vegetable." And last but not least, Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma threw a snowball in the Senate chamber on Thursday to make a climate change point.