Saturday, July 2, 2022

Play

The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.

Play

SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Wildlife Refuge Concerns at Heart of Power-Line Controversy

Play

Monday, May 9, 2022   

Work continues on a proposed power-line system that would cross into Iowa from Wisconsin, even as court battles play out about the project. Conservation groups say the line would affect the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

Earlier this year, a federal judge struck down plans to drive the Cardinal-Hickory Creek power line through the refuge. But energy companies leading the project are appealing that decision.

Mike Senatore, vice president for conservation law of the group Defenders of Wildlife, said residents of the region should pay attention to the potential impact if the recent ruling is reversed.

"This particular refuge, it's a globally important bird area," said Senatore. "It has important floodplain areas. It's going to have impact that potentially increases the effectiveness of predators."

Senatore noted that this project also involves a potential land swap between the companies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which he warns could set a dangerous precedent.

Project officials argue they're in compliance with federal and state laws, and say the work replaces older power lines in the protected area with a less-intrusive setup.

Howard Learner is the president and executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, which represents the groups challenging the power-line plan. He said he's concerned that construction keeps forging ahead along other sections of the route, even as legal matters are still being decided.

"They are keeping spending money and plowing through and building right up to the edges of a refuge that they're not allowed to cross," said Learner. "And that's a waste of ratepayer's money, and it creates an enormous amount of unnecessary environmental and property damage."

Last month, the Iowa Utility Board denied a request to halt some of the construction work. Meanwhile, opponents are urging the Biden administration to reject the land swap and compel the companies to seek alternatives.




get more stories like this via email
While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…


Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Environment

The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …


The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …

Environment

Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021