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Thursday, June 13, 2024

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Republicans have put Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress; state legislatures are missing people from working-class jobs, and FDA has advice for formulating the next COVID vaccine for a new strain.

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House Republicans vote to hold AG Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress. The Senate battles it out over federal protections for in vitro fertilization. North Dakota becomes the first state to impose an age cutoff to run for Congress.

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Rural America's job growth is up, but still hasn't recovered from the pandemic, about one in five rural Americans lives in a town with a prison, rural women seeking birth control have a new option, and dark skies beckon as summer arrives.

An Associated Press/NORC poll found 47% of people are unlikely to purchase an electric vehicle, with the biggest reason being the high cost. (Adobe Stock)
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Thursday, June 13, 2024
As New York and New Jersey transition to electric vehicles, consumers have mixed feelings about it. Polls show fewer than half of New York drivers …

Senate Bill 252 would require state pension funds to divest from oil and gas companies by 2031, with an extra four years of leeway if certain market conditions arise. (Dogora Sun/Adobestock)
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Tuesday, June 11, 2024
State lawmakers are considering a bill which would require two public pension systems to pull about $15 billion in combined investments from the fossi…

A First Street Foundation report found 7.5 million people are expected to leave current and emerging climates in the next 30 years. (Adobe Stock)
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Monday, June 10, 2024
As summer storms begin, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network is speaking to people about how climate change affects them. Worsening storms are …

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocated a total of $16 billion to address legacy pollution, including $11.3 billion in abandoned mine land funding over 15 years. (Adobe Stock)<br />
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Thursday, June 13, 2024
Kentucky will receive $74 million to clean up legacy pollution in regions decimated by decades of coal mining. The money is part of $725 million in …

Energy derived by coal in Montana overtook hydropower last year as the result of Western drought. Hydropower had been the recent leader. (Adobe Stock)
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Thursday, June 13, 2024
While only 18% of Americans live in rural areas, they produce more than a third of the nation's emissions. Nearly half of Montana's population is …

A new Rural Climate Partnership report found rural communities have not been prioritized in efforts to help them harness the benefits of clean energy and energy efficiency. (Adobe stock)
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Thursday, June 13, 2024
A new report from the Rural Climate Partnership revealed a significant climate impact on rural Americans, including more than one in five Hoosiers…

South Dakota loses up to 100,000 acres of grasslands annually, according to the South Dakota Grassland Coalition. Grassland bird species are declining faster than any other group on the continent. (Gregory Johnston/Adobe Stock)
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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
About 1.6 million acres of Great Plains grasslands were destroyed in 2021 alone, according to a recent report, an area the size of Delaware. One …

Alan Bedtka is pictured in a stand of sorghum-sudangrass, which he was paid to plant to boost soil health and reduce his fertilizer use. (Photo courtesy of Alan Bedtka)
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By Brian DeVore for Civil Eats.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public News…

Workers harvest a field before the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. (Jeff Huth/Adobe Stock)
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An annual march for farmworkers' rights is being held Sunday in northwest Washington. This year, marchers are focusing on the conditions for local …

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Revolution Mill is a former textile factory, spanning 45 acres about two miles outside downtown Greensboro. The 800,000-square-foot development features shops, offices, restaurants and apartments, and 2005 Revolution Mill, a $38 million mixed-use commercial and residential project. (Adobe Stock)
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Tuesday, June 11, 2024
Federal New Market Tax Credits are helping transform abandoned areas and boost local communities in North Carolina and across the nation. In …

The term "15-Minute City" was coined in 2016 by Carlos Moreno, a professor in Paris, as he contemplated alternative methods of urban planning. (Roland)
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Tuesday, June 11, 2024
By Steve Mencher for Next Avenue.Broadcast version by Chrystal Blair for Michigan News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Publi…

Michigan currently has tolls in place in certain tunnels and bridges, but not on any roads. <br />(Alexey Stiop)
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As Michiganders hit the road this holiday weekend, state lawmakers are brainstorming ways to help close the state's $3.9 billion road funding gap…

Ohio artist Kenia Lamarr created a mural for the rusty-patched bumblebee, the first native bee on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's endangered species list. (Kenia Lamarr)
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Monday, June 10, 2024
An upcoming festival in Columbus, Ohio, aims to raise awareness about the plight of pollinators and ongoing conservation efforts. According to the U.…

The United States loses on average more than 1 million acres of sage-grouse habitat each year to a combination of fires, invasive species, drought, energy development, mining, and roads. (Dale/Adobestock)
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The public comment period closes next week on the Biden administration's plan to protect the sage grouse, a bird whose health is linked to the larger …

Federal regulators are considering the effects modernizing America's energy grid will have on wildlife. A 2023 NatureServe report showed 40% of animals are at risk of extinction and 41% of ecosystems are at risk of range-wide collapse. (Adobe Stock)<br />
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Conservation groups in Massachusetts are backing the Biden Administration's new plan to update the nation's power grid. Studies show the U.S…

New York gained more than 170,000 clean-energy jobs in 2022 with work in grid modernization growing more than 8% that year and making New York's battery storage and grid modernization sector one of the largest in the country. (Adobe Stock)
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Monday, June 10, 2024
New York State's legislative session has ended with climate bills a top priority. Legislation such as the Climate Change Superfund Act awaits Gov…

The rural population of the United States is roughly one fifth of all its residents, according to the Rural Climate Partnership report. (Adobe Stock)
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At least 12% of Utah's population lives in rural areas, and a new report finds that a significant portion of the state's greenhouse-gas emissions …

The Rural Climate Partnership report found that 47% of all emissions from US power plants are based in rural America. (Adobe Stock)
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Nevada's rural population accounts for about 6.5% of the total state population, and nearly 100% of combustion power plant emissions in the Silver …

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The group says the United States should work with partner countries willing and able to enforce strict terms or face sanctions. (Anastasiia/Adobe Stock)
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A group of environmental and civil society organizations is fighting for better working conditions for people in countries that supply critical minera…

About 400 companies will be involved in building the new Highmark Stadium in Buffalo through bids for new construction and demolition of the old stadium. (Quintin Soloviev/Wikimedia Commons)
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The new Buffalo Bills stadium may not be the best environmentally but it has some green qualities. The steel for the stadium is being made locally …

A flooded site at the Austin Master Services toxic-waste storage facility in Martin's Ferry, Ohio. (Jill Hunkler)
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Environmental groups say more should be done to protect people's health from what they call toxic, radioactive sludge. A court granted a temporary …

Monterey Bay is one of many marine areas to be evaluated for inclusion on the list of places that qualify as "conserved" under the state's goal to protect 30% of California's land and water by 2030.(Nikolas_jkd/Adobe Stock)
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The public comment period is now open on California's new framework for deciding which managed areas within coastal waters meet the definition of "con…

The latest Living Planet Index report finds freshwater migratory fish saw an average 81% collapse in monitored population sizes between 1970 and 2020. This includes massive declines in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. (Adobe Stock)
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Groups in Connecticut are preparing to celebrate World Fish Migration Day on Friday. The biennial event celebrates migratory fish species and their …

Maine's aquaculture harvest more than doubled in volume and in value over the past decade. It creates more than $100 million in annual revenue for the state, according to the Maine International Trade Center. (Adobe Stock)<br />
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New England fishermen and environmental groups are working to prevent the growth of industrial-size fish farms in U.S. open waters. They said …

Utah hog farms and pork processors directly employed 1,899 workers and paid more than $100.7 million in total wages, according to the National Pork Producers Council. (Adobe Stock)
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An international animal right's group is calling on the U.S. restaurant chain industry to reduce or eliminate the use of gestation crates for …

Animal welfare groups say food companies that rely on inhumane practices in their supply chain expose themselves to financial risks, with investors and shareholders showing increasing concern about these issues. (Adobe Stock)
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Today is National Animal Rights Day, and some of the more popular restaurant chains in North Dakota are under fire for how the meats they use are …

A similar bill failed to pass last year. Opponents of the revived legislation say it's a win for puppy mills and pet-store owners. (Adobe Stock)
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Some Hoosiers want Indiana lawmakers to rethink proposed legislation that would usurp existing local laws that prohibit retailers from selling puppies…

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The U.S. per capita consumption of pork amounted to 51.1 pounds in 2022, according to Statista. (zyabich/AdobeStock)
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For 15 years, U.S. restaurant chains have pledged to stop using gestation crates for pregnant pigs but a new report from an animal welfare group …

Montana is not among the list of states outlawing or restricting restaurants' use of meat products from producers using gestation crates to raise their livestock for the food chain. (Adobe Stock)
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A prominent animal-safety group is calling on restaurants to do more to ban the use of animal gestation crates where livestock and poultry are grown f…

Iowa is among 11 states to outlaw or restrict restaurants' use of meat products from producers using gestation crates to raise their livestock for the food chain. (Adobe Stock)
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A prominent animal safety group is calling on restaurants to do more to ban the use of animal gestation crates where livestock and poultry are grown f…

Two South Dakota drought resiliency projects will supply about 130 homes with high-quality drinking water. (Adobe Stock)
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Some rural South Dakotans struggle to get good drinking water but the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has awarded two local communities with grants to …

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has proposed issuing water withdrawal permits, which would allow several local water utilities to increase the amount of water they pull from the Duck River by about 16 million gallons daily. (RobertMiller/Adobe Stock)<br />
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The Duck River, which flows through seven Middle Tennessee counties, has made a national list of "most endangered" rivers. The group American Rivers …

The Washington County Water Conservancy District's Quail Creek water treatment plant is currently capable of treating 60 million gallons of water per day. (Adobe Stock)
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As water scarcity affects states across the West, a Utah community is getting funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help support its water …

The white-nosed coatimundi, classified as an endangered species in New Mexico, roams and hunts during daytime hours in the Gila Wilderness. (National Park Service)
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New Mexico's Gila Wilderness is special - not only for its natural beauty, but also because it received the world's first-ever "wilderness" …

Conservation groups say the Northwest's old growth forests need greater protections. (Bob/Adobe Stock)
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An update to the 30-year-old Northwest Forest Plan is expected soon. The plan has a been a critical tool for managing 19 million acres of federal …

The U.S. Forest Service received 275 public objections to its management plan for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. (pmilota/Adobe Stock)
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A coalition of groups are criticizing plans for managing about 4 million acres of national forest lands in Idaho and Montana. Conservation groups in …

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A soldier participates in the Norwegian Foot March at Fort Ord National Monument in Monterey County, Calif., in 2022. (Winifred Brown/U.S. Army)
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By Hannah Norman and Patricia Kime for KFF Health News.Broadcast version by Suzanne Potter for California News Service reporting for the KFF Health Ne…

The Drug Enforcement Administration reported seizing more than 115,000 pounds of methamphetamine in 2020, marking a 55% surge compared with 2018. (Gorodenkoff/Adobe Stock)
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Missouri may, at one time, have had a reputation as the "meth-lab capital of the country" - but a five-part podcast uncovers its true history…

PFAS are chemicals used since the 1940s. They are found in everyday products such as nonstick cookware. Public officials are sounding the alarm about health risks associated with the chemicals, including their presence in drinking water. (Adobe Stock)<br />
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Efforts to limit human exposure to so-called forever chemicals continue to unfold in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, advocates are hopeful residents will be …

If Minnesota adopts a plan that asks private companies to fund innovations in recycling and the collection of discarded materials, the state also would set a goal of all packaging being reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2032. (Adobe Stock)
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Minnesota ranks high for its recycling rate, but it still has a waste problem, putting more pressure on local governments. A plan in the …

Americans generate about 6.9 million tons of e-waste each year. (Adobe Stock)
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Tech giant Microsoft has responded to concerns about the environmental impact of discontinuing support for Windows 10 by offering extended security up…

Some 90% of middle and high schools and 84% of elementary schools were providing a device for every student, according to a March 2021 Education Week survey of school leaders. (Adobe Stock)
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Education advocates say pending expiration dates for Google Chromebooks teach kids the wrong lesson about technology. Software on thirteen models …

Y12 annually hosts female high school students as part of a program called "Introduce a Girl to Engineering." The goal of the event is to inspire girls to pursue careers in STEM-related fields. (angellodeco/Adobe Stock)
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Environmental groups in Tennessee will soon learn more about the approval process behind a radioactive waste landfill which has been processing and st…

A mural at the Patagonia store in Belltown, Washington, reminds residents they all live downriver from the Hanford nuclear site. (Hanford Challenge)
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"We all live downriver from Hanford," is the message painted on the windows of the Patagonia store in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood. It is a …

According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, the Y12 complex has about 4,500 employees and another 2,000 contractors. (Enzo/Adobe Stock)
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A Knoxville-based environmental group is voicing health and safety concerns about the development of a landfill for radioactive waste from the Y12 Ura…

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Critics of PacifiCorp say the company broke a 2004 promise to retrofit its hydroelectric dams to include fish passages. (Kevin/Adobe Stock)
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Coming into the new year, Columbia Riverkeeper is supporting efforts by the Cowlitz Tribe and Yakama Nation to restore salmon migration throughout …

Salmon continue to struggle to migrate from the Pacific Ocean to Idaho to spawn. (NorthwestWildImages/Adobe Stock)
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The Biden administration wants to get serious about restoring salmon populations to the Northwest. A presidential memorandum directs federal …

Roughly 68 million culverts carry roadways that were built with design approaches dating from the 1950s, which did not consider the needs of aquatic organisms to move up and downstream, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. (Adobe Stock)
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Fish passage is set to improve in the Northwest with an investment from Congress's bipartisan infrastructure law. The Biden administration has …

 

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