McConnell envisions budget weapon to shut down Obama policies


Obama administration policies – particularly those involving the environment – would be the target of major spending restrictions in a Republican-controlled Congress, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. and the man who could lead a GOP-majority Senate, told Politico in an interview on his campaign bus.

Major donation for Columbia’s Center for Climate Change Law

National Law Journal

The Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University has received a donation of $3.5 million from the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation, the National Law Journal reports.

Report: Firefighting costs eroding conservation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration detailed on Wednesday the toll that the escalating cost of fighting forest fires has had on other projects as it pushes Congress to overhaul how it pays for the most severe blazes.

In a new report, the Agriculture Department said that staffing for fighting fires has more than doubled since 1998. Meanwhile, the number of workers who manage National Forest System lands has dropped by about a third.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that accommodating the rapid rise in firefighting costs has harmed an array of conservation efforts. For example, spending that helps restore vegetation and watersheds after a fire has fallen 22 percent since 2001. Another program that partners with states and private landowners to conserve wildlife habitat has been cut by 17 percent during that same period.

Moniz brings Quadrennial Energy Review to Cheyenne

Cheyenne, Wyo., August 21, 2014, 8:45 am

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz headlines a Quadrennial Energy Review forum on infrastructure siting issues. 

NH 10-year energy strategy pushes renewables


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.

Polis joins with brewer to back WOTUS

The Hill

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.

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Maryland offshore wind auction nets $8.7m from US Wind

The Interior Department said a subsidiary of Italian company Toto Holding on Tuesday won an offshore wind lease auction for a nearly 80,000-acre area off Maryland with a bid of more than $8.7 million.

The provisional winning bid by US Wind Inc. was more than the combined high bids from the department's two previous Atlantic offshore wind lease sales, which pulled in a total of about $5.4 million.

Josh Lopez, tarsandsaction

State put on defensive over Keystone XL study changes

The State Department on Tuesday again defended the June revision to its final environmental impact statement on the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, after an opposition group filed a demand for documents on the changes.

The group, Friends of the Earth, on Monday filed a Freedom of Information Act request for all communications between department staff from Jan. 31 to June 1 with its environmental review contractor and with project owner TransCanada, among other advocates for the line, including Alberta province.

Vilsack news teleconference on wildfire costs

Washington, August 20, 2014, 1:30 pm

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack holds news teleconference on costs of fighting wildfires and impacts to USDA budget. 

Putin to meet Ukrainian president in Minsk

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin says President Vladimir Putin will meet with his Ukrainian counterpart at an Aug. 26 meeting in Minsk, Belarus.

In a statement published on its website Tuesday, the Kremlin said Putin would meet with the Ukrainian president, as well as officials from the European Commission and the Eurasian Customs Union, which is comprised of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus.


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