Science and Environment

Science and Environment
10:38 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Advocacy Groups Tell Lawmakers To Back Off

Workers with the Pebble Mine project test-drill in July 2007 in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska near the village of Iliamma.
Al Grillo AP

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 3:00 pm

Three advocacy organizations — across ideological lines — are telling congressional investigators to back off in a probe of EPA ties to a leading environmental group, the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California and Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana are leading the investigation. They contend that NRDC lobbyists have exerted too much influence over EPA on the issues of carbon reduction and the proposed Pebble Mine at Bristol Bay, Alaska.

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Science and Environment
6:05 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Environmental Groups Draw Recommendations from Louisiana's Coastal Master Plan

Credit Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition

What to do with all the billions in Clean Water Act fines to be paid by BP and its contractors for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill?

Officially, it’s up to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, made up of governors from the five affected states and heads of several federal agencies, to decide.

A coalition of environmental groups has come up with their own ideas for how the first millions can best be spent to restore the coast.

Science and Environment
5:16 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

On Nebraska's Farmland, Keystone XL Pipeline Debate Is Personal

Susan and Bill Dunavan own 80 acres of land in York County.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:46 pm

Drive down gravel Road 22 in Nebraska's York County, past weathered farmhouses and corn cut to stubble in rich, black loam soil, and you'll find a small barn by the side of the road.

Built of native ponderosa pine, the barn is topped with solar panels. A windmill spins furiously out front.

Known as the Energy Barn, it's a symbol of renewable energy, standing smack on the proposed route of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline — a project of the energy giant TransCanada.

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Science and Environment
2:25 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Congress To Nutritionists: Don't Talk About The Environment

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:34 pm

A government-appointed group of top nutrition experts, assigned to lay the scientific groundwork for a new version of the nation's dietary guidelines, decided earlier this year to collect data on the environmental implication of different food choices.

Congress now has slapped them down.

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Science and Environment
6:15 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Ecotourism: A New Catch For Commercial Fishermen?

A fisherman sorts the day's catch on Tony Goutierrez's dock on Hopedale Highway in Hopedale, Louisiana.
Laine Kaplan-Levenson WWNO

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 5:27 pm

There’s a new push to get tourists in New Orleans off Bourbon Street and into nature. Eco-tourism is the new way to explore Louisiana, according to a new statewide campaign. And as commercial fishermen are seeing numbers drop in catch and profit, they’re considering the tourism industry as a way to make a living.  

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Science and Environment
11:51 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Supreme Court Rejects BP's Challenge To Gulf Oil Spill Settlement

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 2:13 pm

Oil giant BP has suffered a legal setback in its effort to limit how much the company will pay under a 2012 settlement with thousands of individuals and businesses along the Gulf Coast. Without comment, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected BP's request that it review previous lower court decisions that favored plaintiffs.

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Science and Environment
4:20 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Plan To Use Gulf Oil Spill Funds For Beach Hotel Sparks Lawsuit

The Alabama gulf coast is heavily developed with condo and hotel properties. Now the state wants to use Gulf Coast restoration funds to build a new beach hotel and conference center.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 4:04 pm

Money is flowing now to Gulf Coast states to remedy damage from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and subsequent spill. All kinds of projects are underway, from building boat ramps to shoring-up marshland.

They're being paid for with a $1 billion down payment BP made toward its ultimate responsibility to make the Gulf Coast whole, a figure estimated to be up to $18 billion.

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Science and Environment
6:08 am
Wed November 12, 2014

China And U.S., Titans Of Carbon Pollution, Move To Cut Gases

Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Obama, seen here during a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, announced pledges to reduce greenhouse gases.
HUANG JINGWEN Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 11:30 am

President Obama says the U.S. will sharply cut its emissions of greenhouse gases, announcing a new approach to climate change alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping. The plan also includes China's agreement to cap its emissions.

The two leaders' pledges are being called dramatic and ambitious — for the U.S., because Obama's earlier plans had called for a smaller cut in emissions, and for China, because the country had previously resisted calls for it to consider capping its emissions as it grows and modernizes.

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Science and Environment
10:34 am
Fri October 31, 2014

How To Learn To Love The Disaster Industry

Cities and states hire private companies to help handle the workload after disasters, but homeowners still face long delays and other problems.
Edward Dai/Epoch Times

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 2:51 pm

Disasters are causing more and more damage, and the federal government is spending more and more money to rebuild afterwards.

But before the construction crew can begin repairs, homeowners face months-long delays and poor customer service in the preliminary stages of the application process. Some homeowners even complain that the rebuilding process has become as traumatic as the storm itself.

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Science and Environment
4:33 am
Sun October 19, 2014

The Kissimmee: A River Re-Curved

The restoration's goal is to put as much of the Kissimmee as possible back to the way it was. This photo shows the river after restoration.
Courtesy the South Florida Water Management District

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 2:18 pm

It sounds almost superhuman to try straighten a river and then recarve the curves.

That's what federal and state officials did to the Kissimmee River in Central Florida. They straightened the river in the 1960s into a canal to drain swampland and make way for the state's explosive growth. It worked — and it created an ecological disaster. So officials decided to restore the river's slow-flowing, meandering path.

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