Environment

Reliability watchdog warns of potential electric shortfalls this winter

BY: - December 6, 2022

The nonprofit regulator charged with helping ensure the reliability of the North American electric grid is warning of potential electric supply shortfalls during severe weather this winter in several regions of the country. Earlier this month, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, which sets and enforces reliability standards for the bulk power system in the […]

Closeup photo of a man refueling a vehicle. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Big oil supports bills to make sales of 15% ethanol blends year-round

BY: - December 5, 2022

LINCOLN — The U.S. Senate, with volatile gasoline prices top of mind, is inching toward a bipartisan solution to a years-long push for year-round sales of ethanol blends of 15% or more. Bills to codify the change have shared support from agricultural organizations and biofuels boosters, including the congressional delegations from ag states like Nebraska, […]

President Joe Biden and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland talk about new initiatives for Native Americans and a possible new national monument sacred to many Southwest tribes at the 2022 White House Tribal Nations Summit, held at the Department of the Interior on Nov. 30, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

At tribal summit, Biden pledges federal commitment to Indian Country

BY: - November 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday said he is poised to designate Avi Kwa Ame, a sacred site for Native American tribes in southern Nevada, as a national monument that would ensure the preservation of ancestral lands for those 12 tribes.  “I’m committed to protecting this sacred place that is central to the creation […]

President Joe Biden meets with congressional leaders Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, at the White House. On the agenda was a $37-billion request for disaster relief. Biden met with (L-R) House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

More than $37 billion in disaster aid under scrutiny in congressional lame duck

BY: - November 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration wants Congress to approve more than $37 billion to help communities throughout the country recover from various natural disasters, including Hurricanes Ian, which battered Florida and the Southeast U.S. in late September, and Fiona, which hit Puerto Rico.  The supplemental funding request comes on top of a $9 billion COVID-19 […]

States test an electrifying idea: roads that can recharge your EV

BY: - November 25, 2022

On two short stretches of road near downtown Detroit, Michigan transportation officials hope to make history. Over the next two years, they plan to embed technology in the pavement that can charge electric vehicles while they’re being driven. The wireless system will be the first U.S. test of so-called inductive charging on public roadways, according […]

Little appetite for Manchin permitting bill in congressional lame-duck session

BY: - November 23, 2022

Among the items on Congress’ lengthy to-do list by the end of the year is U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s proposal to speed up the federal government’s permitting process that certifies energy projects do not harm the environment. But the bill, which was a condition of the centrist West Virginia Democrat’s support for his party’s larger […]

A typical pen format for swine in many Iowa animal feeding operations. (File photo/Iowa Watch)

EPA permits cover only a third of concentrated animal feeding operations

BY: - November 22, 2022

The Environmental Protection Agency is charged with protecting important waterways from pollution, but manure from concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, continues to harm waterways — and only one-third of the largest facilities have a federal permit. EPA permits require CAFO operators to tell the agency how much waste the animals will produce and how […]

As utilities spend billions on transmission, support builds for independent monitoring  

BY: - November 21, 2022

An aging electric grid, fossil fuel power plant retirements and a massive renewable electricity buildout are all contributing to a boom in transmission and distribution wire projects by electric utilities across the country.  In 2020, investor-owned electric utilities spent $25 billion on transmission, up from $23.7 billion in 2019, figures that the Edison Electric Institute, […]

Amid a major federal investment in electric cars, it’s time for states to step up, advocates say

BY: - November 7, 2022

For years, electric vehicles posed something of a chicken-and-egg problem.  Mass adoption, seen as critical to cutting the largest single source of U.S. carbon emissions, couldn’t happen until the infrastructure to allow drivers to recharge wherever they were heading was in place. And those charging stations weren’t coming until more drivers switched to plug-in electric […]

A house is seen near the Gavin Power Plant on Sept. 11, 2019, in Cheshire, Ohio. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Coal plant operators shirking responsibilities on ash cleanup, report contends

BY: - November 7, 2022

In the wake of major coal ash spills from power plant containment ponds in Tennessee and into the Dan River along the North Carolina-Virginia border, the federal Environmental Protection Agency in 2015 laid out the first federal rules for managing the ash, one of the nation’s largest waste streams, and the toxins it contains.   But […]

Photo of pigs in a feedlot to illustrate story about USDA grants to small meatpacking operations.

USDA gives $73 million to create, expand smaller livestock processors

BY: - November 2, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced its first grant awards on Wednesday — totaling about $73 million — to increase the processing capacity of smaller, independent meatpackers in 16 states. They range from a $292,000 grant to provide independent Montana farmers with a USDA-inspected meat processing facility — which is required to sell the products […]

Even as drought forces water cutbacks, climate gets short shrift in midterm election

BY: - October 31, 2022

LAKE MEAD, Nev. —The streaks of white on the rock ringing the nation’s largest reservoir show how far its water levels have dropped since it was last full. Lake Mead and nearby Lake Powell, which send water to 40 million people in the Southwest, are at their lowest levels since they were filled in the […]