Monday, September 27, 2021

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The House could vote this week on the Build Back Better infrastructure bill, which contains resources to fight climate change, and the NTSB investigates an Amtrak derailment in north-central Montana.

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A government shutdown looms as the Senate prepares to vote on the debt ceiling, former President Trump holds a rally in Georgia, the U.S. reopens a Texas border crossing, and an Amtrak train crash kills three in Montana.

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A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Climate scientists say drought, megafires and air pollution are becoming more extreme and more common because of climate change. (Hotblack/Morguefile)
Climate scientists say drought, megafires and air pollution are becoming more extreme and more common because of climate change. (Hotblack/Morguefile)

Monday, September 27, 2021
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The U.S. House of Representatives is supposed to vote this week on President Joe Biden's Build Back Better infrastructure bill…

Under a proposal from U.S. House Democrats, utilities would be incentivized to increase clean electricity by 4% each year. Detractors say that's moving too quickly. (ozerkina/Adobe Stock)
Under a proposal from U.S. House Democrats, utilities would be incentivized to increase clean electricity by 4% each year. Detractors say that's moving too quickly. (ozerkina/Adobe Stock)

Monday, September 27, 2021
SEATTLE - Democrats in Congress are aiming to have legislation passed by the end of September that could have big implications for the climate…

The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)
The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)

Friday, September 24, 2021
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …

The least tern is among nearly 500 species under threat of decline in North Carolina. (Don Henise/Flickr)
The least tern is among nearly 500 species under threat of decline in North Carolina. (Don Henise/Flickr)

Monday, September 27, 2021
RALEIGH, N.C. - A bipartisan bill to protect wildlife species before they're imperiled has gained the support of North Carolina's senators. It's the …

The Bridger-Teton National Forest occupies the traditional lands of the Shoshone-Bannock, Eastern Shoshone and Cheyenne people. (Adobe Stock)
The Bridger-Teton National Forest occupies the traditional lands of the Shoshone-Bannock, Eastern Shoshone and Cheyenne people. (Adobe Stock)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- A federal court agreed with conservationists this week, ordering winter feeding of elk on the Bridger-Teton National Forest …

This, year the theme of Sea Otter Awareness Week is the species' key role in the mosaic of the ecosystem. (Wikimedia Commons)
This, year the theme of Sea Otter Awareness Week is the species' key role in the mosaic of the ecosystem. (Wikimedia Commons)

MONTEREY BAY, Calif. - This week, conservation groups are celebrating Sea Otter Awareness Week with online and in-person events across the state…

PNM is New Mexico's largest electric generation, transmission and distribution utility, serving more than 530,000 customers around the state. (Wikipedia)
PNM is New Mexico's largest electric generation, transmission and distribution utility, serving more than 530,000 customers around the state. (Wikipedia)

Monday, September 27, 2021
SANTA FE, N.M. - A decision over a proposed utility merger in New Mexico is expected before year's end, but opponents warn approval could spell …

Geothermal energy is produced by drilling deep into the earth's bedrock, pumping in water, and using the resulting steam to generate power. (Utah FORGE)<br /><br />
Geothermal energy is produced by drilling deep into the earth's bedrock, pumping in water, and using the resulting steam to generate power. (Utah FORGE)

Friday, September 24, 2021
SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

A 2016 study from Princeton and Stanford found the combined emissions output of Pennsylvania's abandoned wells adds an estimated 50,000 metric tons of methane per year into the atmosphere. (Adobe Stock)
A 2016 study from Princeton and Stanford found the combined emissions output of Pennsylvania's abandoned wells adds an estimated 50,000 metric tons of methane per year into the atmosphere. (Adobe Stock)

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Some environmental groups are formally requesting that Pennsylvania's Environmental Quality Board raise the bond amounts companies …

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Run the Red begins in the former gold mining community of South Pass City and takes runners through the northern Red Desert - a maze of buttes, canyons, badlands, wilderness study areas and miles of open country. (Adobe Stock)
Run the Red begins in the former gold mining community of South Pass City and takes runners through the northern Red Desert - a maze of buttes, canyons, badlands, wilderness study areas and miles of open country. (Adobe Stock)

Monday, September 27, 2021
ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. -- This weekend, athletes from across the nation gathered in South Pass City to Run the Red, a series of marathons through the Red …

Local opposition to the proposed land swap near Payette Lake was strong before the Idaho Department of Lands rejected the deal. (Ty/Adobe Stock)
Local opposition to the proposed land swap near Payette Lake was strong before the Idaho Department of Lands rejected the deal. (Ty/Adobe Stock)

MCCALL, Idaho -- After the rejection of a developer's proposed land swap near Payette Lake, a coalition of groups wants the state to do the opposite…

More than 80% of Nevada is public land owned by the federal government, which is charged with managing it for the public's benefit. (Kurt Kuznicki)
More than 80% of Nevada is public land owned by the federal government, which is charged with managing it for the public's benefit. (Kurt Kuznicki)

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Admission to any state park in Nevada is free this coming Saturday, as part of the first Nevada Public Lands Week - with a series …

The Truckee River is considered exceptional for its water quality and importance to wildlife. (Lauren Kuhlman)
The Truckee River is considered exceptional for its water quality and importance to wildlife. (Lauren Kuhlman)

Monday, September 27, 2021
RUBY MOUNTAINS, Nev. -- Nevada is the driest state in the nation, yet few of its rivers and streams have federal protections. Now a new report …

A new report examined 15,221 miles of Colorado's rivers that currently lack any conservation designation, but that also met criteria for protections under state law. (Adobe Stock)
A new report examined 15,221 miles of Colorado's rivers that currently lack any conservation designation, but that also met criteria for protections under state law. (Adobe Stock)

DURANGO, Colo. - Colorado's rivers and streams supply drinking water and outdoor recreation opportunities, and support biodiversity and wildlife…

Zebra mussels are among the aquatic invasive species that have surfaced in Minnesota lakes. (Adobe Stock)
Zebra mussels are among the aquatic invasive species that have surfaced in Minnesota lakes. (Adobe Stock)

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota continues to battle aquatic invasive species in certain lakes. As the state fights these threats, there are calls for the …

Arkansas farmers produce more than 9 billion pounds of rice each year. (Adobe Stock)
Arkansas farmers produce more than 9 billion pounds of rice each year. (Adobe Stock)

Friday, September 24, 2021
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

According to the most recent Census of Agriculture, cover-crop acres in the United States have increased to 10 million. (Adobe Stock)
According to the most recent Census of Agriculture, cover-crop acres in the United States have increased to 10 million. (Adobe Stock)

EAST TROY, Wis. - Wisconsin farmers are looking ahead to the fall harvest, and those who use cover crops face a deadline to sign up for a research …

Pasture grazing cattle is a climate-friendly practice by cycling nutrients in the soil. (Drausin Wulsin)
Pasture grazing cattle is a climate-friendly practice by cycling nutrients in the soil. (Drausin Wulsin)

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- As the contributor of 10% of greenhouse gas emissions, agriculture has had a profound impact on climate change. Legislation in …

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Beginning in 2022, Nebraska's Department of Education will begin offering farm-to-school producer training in various regions of the state. (Adobe Stock)
Beginning in 2022, Nebraska's Department of Education will begin offering farm-to-school producer training in various regions of the state. (Adobe Stock)

GERING, Neb. -- With school back in session, many Nebraska students will be fueled by fresh beef, fruits and vegetables sourced from local farms…

Puget Sound Agrarian Commons' property on Whidbey Island is about an hour north of Seattle. (Northwest Meadowscapes)
Puget Sound Agrarian Commons' property on Whidbey Island is about an hour north of Seattle. (Northwest Meadowscapes)

WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. - A farming project on a Puget Sound island is looking to reshape agriculture and access to land. The nonprofit Agrarian …

Black farmland ownership peaked in 1910 at 16 to 19 million acres, according to the USDA's Census of Agriculture. A century later, 90% of that land had been lost. (Adobe Stock)<br />
Black farmland ownership peaked in 1910 at 16 to 19 million acres, according to the USDA's Census of Agriculture. A century later, 90% of that land had been lost. (Adobe Stock)

RICHMOND, Va. -- Farmers of color are urging Congress to end a slew of lawsuits delaying a loan-forgiveness program designed to make amends for years …

Over the past 30 years, nutrient and sediment pollution has been reduced by half in Chesapeake Bay, but more needs to be done to meet federal cleanup goals for the watershed. (Adobe Stock)<br />
Over the past 30 years, nutrient and sediment pollution has been reduced by half in Chesapeake Bay, but more needs to be done to meet federal cleanup goals for the watershed. (Adobe Stock)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Farm bureaus and agricultural leaders of Chesapeake Bay watershed states are pushing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fund a …

Dulce Ortiz of Clean Power Lake County was among those who spoke at the signing of landmark clean-energy legislation in Illinois. (Office of Gov. J.B. Pritzker)
Dulce Ortiz of Clean Power Lake County was among those who spoke at the signing of landmark clean-energy legislation in Illinois. (Office of Gov. J.B. Pritzker)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The historic clean-energy bill signed into Illinois law yesterday includes measures from closing coal and natural gas plants by 2…

Sen. Jon Tester helped craft an infrastructure package that won over 69 senators in August. (Carlos M. Vazquez II/Department of Defense)
Sen. Jon Tester helped craft an infrastructure package that won over 69 senators in August. (Carlos M. Vazquez II/Department of Defense)

HELENA, Mont. -- Montanans are delivering a message to the offices of Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., across the state today: Support bold investments in …

Anglers in the Columbia River Basin have been packing up earlier than normal this year. (ftfoxfoto/Adobe Stock)
Anglers in the Columbia River Basin have been packing up earlier than normal this year. (ftfoxfoto/Adobe Stock)

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Closed fisheries from imperiled fish runs in the Columbia River Basin are prompting calls for action before it's too late. …

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., has proposed $1 billion in culvert removal and restoration for salmon in the budget-reconciliation bill. (Bill Perry/Adobe Stock)
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., has proposed $1 billion in culvert removal and restoration for salmon in the budget-reconciliation bill. (Bill Perry/Adobe Stock)

SEATTLE -- Closed fisheries from imperiled fish runs in the Columbia River Basin are prompting calls for action before it's too late. Steelhead …

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-ID, has proposed a $33.5 billion plan to save Chinook salmon and other endangered fish in the Columbia River Basin. (BLM/Flickr)
Rep. Mike Simpson, R-ID, has proposed a $33.5 billion plan to save Chinook salmon and other endangered fish in the Columbia River Basin. (BLM/Flickr)

BOISE, Idaho -- Closed fisheries from imperiled fish runs in the Columbia River Basin are prompting calls for action before it's too late. Steelhead …

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In 2018, there were an estimated 1,115,000 career and volunteer firefighters in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association. (TheHilaryClark/Pixabay)
In 2018, there were an estimated 1,115,000 career and volunteer firefighters in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association. (TheHilaryClark/Pixabay)

DALLAS -- Lawmakers and regulators are increasingly mobilizing behind efforts to crack down on so-called "forever chemicals" known as Perfluorinated a…

A class of toxic chemicals known as PFAS have been used in products such as firefighting foam. (Adobe Stock)
A class of toxic chemicals known as PFAS have been used in products such as firefighting foam. (Adobe Stock)

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin policymakers are looking to provide more aid to towns and cities faced with contamination cleanup of so-called "forever …

Lung-scarring injuries and various types of cancers caused by exposure to asbestos were, in many cases, not diagnosed for many years after the exposure took place. (Adobe Stock)
Lung-scarring injuries and various types of cancers caused by exposure to asbestos were, in many cases, not diagnosed for many years after the exposure took place. (Adobe Stock)

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Opponents of a new North Dakota law, which places restrictions on suing companies over asbestos exposure, say time is running out …

In a national survey, 50% of school transportation coordinators said the rate of pay is a major factor that affects their ability to recruit and retain school bus drivers. (Adobe Stock)
In a national survey, 50% of school transportation coordinators said the rate of pay is a major factor that affects their ability to recruit and retain school bus drivers. (Adobe Stock)

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa -- Iowa school districts are reporting bus driver shortages as the academic year gets underway. Transportation officials said more …

When drivers fill up their tanks in Massachusetts, they pay 24 cents per gallon to the state and a little more than 18 cents per gallon to the federal government. (blackday/Adobe Stock)
When drivers fill up their tanks in Massachusetts, they pay 24 cents per gallon to the state and a little more than 18 cents per gallon to the federal government. (blackday/Adobe Stock)

BOSTON -- Advocates for clean transportation are fighting a proposed ballot initiative, which would prevent Massachusetts from taxing gas and other …

The Reconnecting Communities Initiative would work to eliminate certain highways that dissect neighborhoods in cities including Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven and Waterbury. (Adobe Stock)
The Reconnecting Communities Initiative would work to eliminate certain highways that dissect neighborhoods in cities including Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven and Waterbury. (Adobe Stock)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Connecticut is expected to see over $500 billion in federal funds to modernize roads, bridges, transit, broadband and more…

The United States has 93 nuclear reactors, down from 104 in 2012. (ThomasLENNE/Adobe Stock)
The United States has 93 nuclear reactors, down from 104 in 2012. (ThomasLENNE/Adobe Stock)

BOISE, Idaho -- Hundreds of groups have signed a letter opposing nuclear subsidies in Congress's infrastructure and budget reconciliation bills…

Researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory near Idaho Falls study nuclear energy. (Sam Beebe/Flickr)
Researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory near Idaho Falls study nuclear energy. (Sam Beebe/Flickr)

BOISE, Idaho -- The U.S. Senate has passed a massive infrastructure bill, and buried within the package is $12 billion for the nuclear industry…

Reprocessing spent nuclear fuel was studied at the Argonne National Laboratory-West site in Idaho. (Argonne National Laboratory-West/Wikimedia Commons)
Reprocessing spent nuclear fuel was studied at the Argonne National Laboratory-West site in Idaho. (Argonne National Laboratory-West/Wikimedia Commons)

BOISE, Idaho -- As the U.S. aims to push past fossil fuel dependency, nuclear power is part of the conversation, but non-proliferation watchdogs hope …

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Before Mackinaw City, the Red Road to DC Project stopped in Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota. (House of Tears Carvers)
Before Mackinaw City, the Red Road to DC Project stopped in Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota. (House of Tears Carvers)

MACKINAW CITY, Mich. -- A group of artisans from Lummi Nation is carrying a 25-foot carved totem pole from Washington state to Washington, D.C.…

Electrifying heat pumps are key to lowering the carbon cost of buildings. (SkyLine/Adobe Stock)
Electrifying heat pumps are key to lowering the carbon cost of buildings. (SkyLine/Adobe Stock)

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Last month's deadly heat wave in the Northwest underscored the need to reduce carbon emissions, but advocates want to ensure low-…

Backers of a new initiative say nearly 9 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the world's oceans each year. (Raftography/Sustainable Coastlines)
Backers of a new initiative say nearly 9 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the world's oceans each year. (Raftography/Sustainable Coastlines)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A groundbreaking measure to reduce plastic waste has just qualified for the 2022 ballot. The proposal would give companies a …

It's estimated that sea levels could rise another 18 inches by mid-century in Virginia. (Sarah/Adobe Stock)
It's estimated that sea levels could rise another 18 inches by mid-century in Virginia. (Sarah/Adobe Stock)

RICHMOND, Va. -- Conservation groups are asking Congress to include $10 billion for coastal restoration projects in its infrastructure package…

According to Ocean Defense Initiative, 18 coastal states have already identified more than $6 billion worth of resiliency projects to undertake if they receive funding through the American Jobs Plan. (Adobe Stock)
According to Ocean Defense Initiative, 18 coastal states have already identified more than $6 billion worth of resiliency projects to undertake if they receive funding through the American Jobs Plan. (Adobe Stock)

NEW YORK -- Environmental groups across the U.S. are asking Congress for money in the next infrastructure package to curb the negative effects of …

To fulfill President Donald Trump's promised U.S.-Mexico border wall, the administration waived requirements for environmental reviews and mediation. (wikipedia)
To fulfill President Donald Trump's promised U.S.-Mexico border wall, the administration waived requirements for environmental reviews and mediation. (wikipedia)

EL PASO, Texas -- The Biden administration has promised to conduct a damage assessment after announcing that billions diverted for construction of …

Wildlife-protection groups say despite promising numbers in certain regions, America's gray wolf population has not recovered enough to allow hunting of the animal. (Adobe Stock)
Wildlife-protection groups say despite promising numbers in certain regions, America's gray wolf population has not recovered enough to allow hunting of the animal. (Adobe Stock)

MADISON, Wis. - This week, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources began gathering public input on a new gray wolf management plan following …

Jaguars are considered an Endangered Species across their range along the border of Mexico and state-level protections exist in Arizona and New Mexico. (defenders.org)
Jaguars are considered an Endangered Species across their range along the border of Mexico and state-level protections exist in Arizona and New Mexico. (defenders.org)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Jaguars once roamed much of the Southwest, and wildlife scientists say they've identified plenty of land where they could thrive …

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A bill in Congress aims to reduce microplastics in the ocean by incentivizing companies to produce more sustainable products and packaging. (Ignacio/Adobe stock)
A bill in Congress aims to reduce microplastics in the ocean by incentivizing companies to produce more sustainable products and packaging. (Ignacio/Adobe stock)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Conservation groups are calling for passage of a bill to phase out single-use plastics. The Break Free From Plastic Pollution …

 

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