Saturday, March 25, 2023

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Georgia prepares for the end of COVID-19 emergency; comment period open for experimental nuclear tech in eastern ID; Mexican gray wolf population rebounds in Arizona.

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Lawmakers grill the CEO of Tik Tok over national security concerns, the House Pro-Choice Caucus aims to repeal the Helms Act and allow U.S. foreign aid to support abortion care, and attempts to ban or restrict books hit a record high as groups take aim at LBGTQ+ titles.

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Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

AZ Lawmaker Urges Biden to Expedite Transition to Clean Energy

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Thursday, March 24, 2022   

As prices at the pump hit record-highs, a coalition of elected officials is asking President Joe Biden to invoke the Defense Production Act to accelerate the nation's transition to clean energy.

The Act, which is employed during times of crisis, allows the federal government to expedite the manufacturing of certain goods.

Rep. Richard Andrade, D-Phoenix, speaking at a discussion hosted by Elected Officials to Protect America earlier this week, argued while gas companies continue to profit over spiking gas prices, working families are feeling the pinch.

"When energy costs go up, who absorbs it? We do," Andrade pointed out. "Working families absorb the higher energy costs, and we're seeing that today."

Andrade added a quick transition could carry multiple benefits, from aiding Ukraine by permanently cutting off a major revenue source for Russia, to creating new jobs for Americans across the country. Biden has previously said his clean-energy initiatives will generate nearly 10 million new jobs over the next several years.

Per the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as of 2020, nearly three-quarters of the country's energy came from petroleum and natural gas. While more than 90% of the nation's natural gas was produced domestically as of 2018, the U.S. has historically relied on foreign oil supplies to meet its needs.

Julia Nesheiwat, a member of the Consensus for American Security network, said developing America's clean-energy infrastructure is a matter of national security.

"If we're able to really feed these diverse energy sources into our grid, it can insulate us from the fluctuations of fossil-fuel prices and autocrats who wield their oil and gas reserves as weapons," Nesheiwat asserted.

The spike in gas prices can be mostly attributed to America's embargo on Russian-produced oil, an economic sanction established after the invasion of Ukraine. According to Reuters, Russia's oil revenues totaled about $119 billion in 2021.


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