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Maine Governor withdraws ‘provocative’ nomination to Land for Maine’s Future board

Portland Press Herald | Posted onJanuary 30, 2017 in Agriculture News

Gov. Paul LePage abruptly withdrew his nomination of a former state lawmaker to the Land for Maine’s Future board on Friday, giving no reason for his action on a nomination that had drawn fire from environmentalists.  LePage, in a three-sentence letter to House Speaker Sara Gideon, wrote that he is no longer nominating former state Rep.


Dicamba Herbicide Lawsuit Cites Endangered Species Act Concerns

Bloomberg | Posted onJanuary 27, 2017 in Agriculture News

Environmental groups are challenging an Environmental Protection Agency decision to allow the sale of an herbicide marketed as a solution for farmers dealing with difficult weeds ( Nat’l Family Farm Coal. v. EPA , 9th Cir., No. 17-70196, 1/20/17 ).  The challengers, which include the National Family Farm Coalition, Center for Food Safety, Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network North America, filed a lawsuit Jan. 20 in the Ninth U.S.


Montana-Measure would compensate ranchers for livestock killed by mountain lions

Independent Record | Posted onJanuary 27, 2017 in Agriculture News

Ranchers could receive compensation for livestock killed by mountain lions under a bill heard by a legislative committee. House Bill 286, introduced by Rep. Ray Shaw, and brought before the House Agriculture Committee, would add mountain lion predation to the purview of the Montana Livestock Loss Board.


Rogue Twitter accounts spring up to fight Donald Trump on climate change

The Washington Post | Posted onJanuary 27, 2017 in Federal News

What started as a gritty protest by a former Badlands National Park Service employee who wanted to give President Trump a piece of his mind snowballed overnight Tuesday and early Wednesday into a Twitter movement in support of climate change science.


Canadian utility agrees to buy Washington Gas

The Washington Post | Posted onJanuary 27, 2017 in Food News

WGL Holdings, which supplies natural gas to 1.1 million customers in the Washington region, was bought by Calgary-based ­AltaGas in a cash deal worth $6.4 billion, the companies said Wednesday. They hope to close the sale by year’s end.  AltaGas Ltd. said it will relocate its U.S. power business to WGL Holding’s headquarters on Constitution Avenue in Washington. The Canadian firm may add about 20 positions over the next two years, according to executives on both sides of the deal.


Pipeline leaks 138,600 gallons of diesel in northern Iowa

Des Moines Register | Posted onJanuary 27, 2017 in Energy News

An investigation is ongoing on how a pipeline leaked 138,600 gallons of diesel fuel in Worth County early Wednesday morning, according to Magellan Midstream Partners L.P., the pipeline company. "It’s a big one — it’s significant," said Jeff Vansteenburg, a field office supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.


NASA, NOAA Concur 2016 Was World’s Warmest Year on Record

Growing Produce | Posted onJanuary 27, 2017 in Rural News

It it felt like this past year was hotter than usual, you were not imagining things. According to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Planet Earth’s surface temperatures during 2016 were the warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880.  This finding makes 2016 the third year in a row to set a new record for global average surface temperatures and continues what has been a long-term warming trend. Globally-averaged temperatures in 2016 were 1.78°F warmer than the mid-20th century mean.


Appeals court to decide future of California carbon auctions

Washington Post | Posted onJanuary 27, 2017 in Energy News

Businesses looking to invalidate California’s fee for carbon pollution took their arguments to a state appeals court Tuesday in a case that could determine the future of one of California’s signature efforts to combat climate change. With a central piece of Gov. Jerry Brown’s legacy on the line, lawyers for the state and for environmental advocacy groups defended a program that has been closely watched around the world as a potential model for controlling carbon emissions.


US solar power employs more people than oil, coal and gas combined

Independent | Posted onJanuary 27, 2017 in Energy News

The latest report from the US Department of Energy (DOE) reveals solar energy accounts for the largest proportion of employers in the Electric Power Generation sector, with wind energy the third largest, while the coal industries have declined in the past 10 years. Solar energy employed 374,000 people over the year 2015-2016, making up 43 per cent of the sector’s workforce, while the traditional fossil fuels combined employed 187,117, making up just 22 per cent of the workforce, according to the report.


Obamacare repeal would hit rural America the hardest

Daily Yonder | Posted onJanuary 27, 2017 in Rural News

The health of rural America is failing, and a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without adequate replacement could prove disastrous. A December 2016 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that for the first time in 20 years, life expectancy in the United States has declined, particularly in small cities and rural areas, where people are dying at much higher rates. This shocking trend is driven in part by increasing mortality rates for white, working-class Americans, many of whom live in rural America.


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