Friday, February 6, 2015

What We Learned This Week - "That'll do, pig"

The President issued a budget proposal for the nation (one that has Mississippi River Basin implications) and Wisconsin's Governor issued one for that state (one that would tighten control over the DNR, cut science, and halt conservation purchases). The White House issued an Executive Order establishing flood risk reduction standards for federal assets.   Manure runoff was debated at an Ohio legislature hearing, where "sound science" came up.  U.S. pork production is expected to surpass beef production this year for first time since 1952.  A Tennessee federal judge ruled in favor of environmental groups over the Obama administration in the case of fish species threatened by mining-related pollution.  Major voluntary strategies used to curb Midwest farm fertilizer runoff don't work well enough.   Rep. Aaron Schock’s (R-Ill.) new Rayburn Building office in Washington, DC has a “Downton Abbey” feel to it . . . just don't photograph it.   Environmental groups filed a lawsuit against several federal agencies regarding pallid sturgeon endangerment by Missouri River Basin dams, and another set of environmental groups sued the Interior Department to protect another rare fish population; in the Upper Missouri River basin.  Minnesota farmers have adapted with drainage systems to big rains, but the result has caused downstream problems.   The GOP says that its new "sue and settle" bill will stop the EPA from developing regulations behind closed doors with special interest groups.  A bill was introduced to permanently extend the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The USDA will propose soon to cut off farm subsidies to "city slickers."  And last but not least, a small woodland creature named "Phil" in Pennsylvania may have ruined Americans’ week by predicting a long winter, but Phil's groundhog cousin, "Jimmy," in Wisconsin, ruined a mayor's day in the town of Sun Prairie.

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