Saturday, October 23, 2021

Play

Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.

Play

House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

New Biofuels Bill Aims to Protect Water, Wildlife and Climate

Play

Tuesday, March 13, 2018   

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Conservation groups are speaking out in favor of a new bill in Congress on biofuels, to reform the nation's renewable fuels standard and steer it away from ethanol and biodiesel.

The GREENER Fuels Act would wind down the ethanol mandate and invest billions to reclaim farmland lost to corn and soybean production as wildlife habitat.

Rose Garr is the campaign director for Mighty Earth, a non-government organization that works to break the link between agricultural production and deforestation. She explains that when farmers create fields from virgin soil, it not only displaces native species but the soil releases stored carbon. She says this makes the resulting biofuel almost as bad for the environment as burning gasoline.

"We've actually seen about 7 million acres of native prairie come under production in the Dakotas and the upper Midwest," Garr says. "And when you convert it into industrial agriculture, you actually release a lot of carbon into the air in the meantime."

According to Garr, the current standards have led to massive deforestation in other countries, as farmers clear trees to raise biofuel crops - trees that used to absorb excess greenhouse gases. Any change in the biofuel mandate will be closely watched by oil companies and the corn ethanol industry.

Collin O'Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, says the massive stretches of corn and soybean fields have reduced biodiversity and led to water pollution from pesticides. He supports a move toward more sustainable biofuels, made from other materials - such as corn stalks or used cooking oil - that previously would have been thrown out.

"It minimizes the impacts on the landscape and actually invests in the restoration of America's grasslands and other habitat that's been impacted, while at the same time moving us toward cleaner, more sustainable fuels - which then reduce emissions and help fight climate change," he explains.

The legislation would reduce the amount of ethanol in fuel and limit the amount of non-waste vegetable oil that can be turned into biodiesel.


get more stories like this via email

California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …


Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …


In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …

Environment

ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …

 

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