WASHINGTON (AP) — Faced with tougher and more resistant weeds, corn and soybean farmers are anxiously awaiting government decisions on a new version of a popular herbicide — and on genetically modified seeds to grow crops designed to resist it.
Critics say more study is needed on the effects of the herbicide and they are concerned it could endanger public health.
The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to rule this fall on Dow AgroSciences' application to market Enlist, a new version of the 2,4-D herbicide that's been around since the 1940s. It's partly a game of catch-up for the agriculture industry, as many farmers are dealing with weeds that have become resistant to glyphosate, an herbicide commonly used on corn and soybeans now.
Oil and ethanol will both be affected under new rules proposed by the Department of Transportation to tighten safety standards for tank cars, with many older cars likely to be scrapped at a time when the order backlog for new ones already tops 50,000, The Wall Street Journal reports.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Journalist and scientific organizations accused the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday of attempting to muzzle its independent scientific advisers by directing them to funnel all outside requests for information through agency officials.
In a letter Tuesday, groups representing journalists and scientists urged the EPA to allow advisory board members to talk directly to news reporters, Congress and other outside groups without first asking for permission from EPA officials. An April memo from the EPA's chief of staff said that "unsolicited contacts" need to be "appropriately managed" and that committee members should refrain from directly responding to requests about committees' efforts to advise the agency.
VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Two butterflies found only in South Florida have been added to the endangered species list.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Monday that it was listing the Florida leafwing and Bartram's scrub-hairstreak as endangered. It also is designating thousands of acres of critical habitat for both butterflies.
Both butterflies are found only in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials are withdrawing proposed protections for the snow-loving wolverine in a course reversal announced Tuesday that highlights lingering uncertainties over what a warming climate means for some temperature-sensitive species.
Wolverines, or "mountain devils," are rarely seen members of the weasel family that need deep, late-season snow to den.
But while there is broad consensus climate change will make the world warmer, drilling down to determine what that means for individual species remains difficult. That's stoking sharp disagreement over the fate of wolverines, with one researcher calling Tuesday's withdrawal a travesty of science.
Privacy concerns have torpedoed previous efforts to use driver tracking to fund roads, but the technology exists and advocates say charging drivers for the distances they travel could eliminate the problem created by fuel efficient cars generating less revenue from fuel taxes, National Journal reports.
As workers this week started moving contaminated soil from houses in the neighborhood around the Exide battery recycling plant in suburban LA, California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control has ordered lead testing in a two-square mile area that includes more than 140 homes, the Los Angeles Times reports.
CHILMARK, Mass. (AP) — President Barack Obama welcomed new leadership in Iraq as "a promising step forward" Monday amid a political and security crisis in Baghdad, saying the only lasting solution is the formation of an inclusive government.
Obama pointedly did not mention Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki but clearly was nudging the incumbent clinging to power to step aside as he urged Iraqi political leaders to work peacefully through a political transition.
"The United States stands ready to support a government that addresses the needs and grievances of all Iraqi people," Obama said outside his rented vacation home on Martha's Vineyard, where he earlier huddled with advisers for updates on events on the other side of the world.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is opening sealed bids Wednesday from 14 companies looking to pick up oil and gas leases in the western Gulf of Mexico, mostly concentrating on 81 tracts, FuelFix reports.
Wind energy is expected to grow in the U.S. over the next two years, but the expiration of the wind Production Tax Credit has cast doubt on the future beyond 2015 despite declines in cost and prices, says the Department of Energy’s annual report on the sector, according to Platts.
Oil was rising Wednesday as traders anticipated the day’s data would reveal a stockpile decline and speculated that recent price drops have been excessive. West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery gained 26 cents to $93.12 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex while the expiring September contract jumped $1.77 to $96.25, and in London October Brent was up 72 cents to $102.28, Bloomberg reports.
Berkshire Hathaway chief and billionaire Warren Buffett has sold off most of the conglomerate’s holding in ConocoPhillips and is looking to unload other oil company shares, FuelFix reports, noting that the decline in oil prices may be fueling his moves.
Faced with increasing drought and power plants that use large quantities of water, a Southern Co. subsidiary has teamed with other utilities and national industry research groups to create the Water Research Center in Georgia, a facility seeking to find ways of improving water management, E&E reports.
An event Thursday in Fort Collins, Colo., in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States rule is being hosted by Democratic Rep. Jared Polis and the company that brews Fat Tire, The Hill reports.
Moves by Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate to back Iowa Democrat Bruce Braley’s run for the Senate against Joni Ernst have him lending support to the Renewable Fuel Standard, which a number of environmentalists oppose because they say ethanol and the RFS undermine the fight against climate change, National Journal reports.
A draft of New Hampshire’s 10-year energy plan prepared by research firm Navigant, which is set to be finalized before Sept. 1, outlines what the state can do to boost renewables, efficiency and infrastructure, WMUR reports.