Environmental activists more organized, active and united than ever

The New York Times

Environmental groups -- including the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the League of Conservation Voters -- are flexing their political and activist muscle more than ever, The New York Times reports, noting that their support of the Obama administration rule limiting carbon emissions from existing coal-fired plants will be a big test of their effectiveness.

Democrats hoping climate change fight will help their election efforts

National Journal

Democrats pushing the Obama administration plans to fight climate change are hoping that as more Americans are directly affected by the impact of severe weather they will start taking environmentalists’ views more seriously at the ballot box, National Journal reports.

Bill to halt fracking in Calif. gets turned back by state senate


A few Democrats joined with Republicans in the California Senate Thursday to reject a bill that would have imposed a moratorium on fracking, Reuters reports.

Senate campaign committees buying fall ad time

WASHINGTON (AP) — Political operatives are starting to reserve advertising time ahead of the fall elections.

Senate Democrats' political committee is booking more than $9 million on ads to help three endangered incumbents. House Democrats plan almost $44 million more on their uphill climb to overtake Republicans as the majority party.

Senate Republicans, meanwhile, booked more than $2 million of ads in Colorado.

Texas Gov. Perry in Iowa; mulling 2016 GOP run

HIAWATHA, Iowa (AP) — Behind Texas Gov. Rick Perry's visit to Iowa this week to campaign for local politicians is a careful effort to remake his image from the 2012 Republican presidential candidate who couldn't remember a key message during a debate, to a more polished and prepared contender.

While he denies it is a dress rehearsal for a second presidential run, Perry is studying policy, traveling and meeting with key activists as he campaigns for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and U.S. Senate candidate Matt Whitaker in the state expected to host the first presidential caucus of 2016.

Ex-Montana gov, others seek money for mine access

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A group of investors that includes former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer is seeking $10 million from a mining company in exchange for access to a huge copper and silver reserve — a move the company's chief executive said Wednesday was "extortion" and included a threat to stir up negative publicity for the project.

Schweitzer, who has hinted at a 2016 presidential run, rejected the accusation and said he had been making a good-faith effort to resolve the dispute with a cash and stock settlement.

Office of Sen. Mary Landrieu

Moniz steps up for vulnerable energy state Democrats

As Senate Democrats try to hang on to their majority with more vulnerable seats than Republicans to defend in elections this fall, President Barack Obama has turned to a seasoned, if wonky, Washington operator to lend a hand.

That would be none other than Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz -- or Ernie Moniz, according to the rundown from the White House for its joint energy "Datapalooza" event with the department.

Ohio lawmakers OK pause in green energy targets

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A contentious bill delaying phase-in of Ohio's renewable energy targets for two years has cleared the Republican-led state Legislature and is headed to GOP Gov. John Kasich.

The bill cleared the House 53-38 Wednesday amid objections from Democrats. Senators agreed to House changes.

The measure delays implementation of goals set in 2008 for the use of renewable and advanced energy by Ohio utilities and creates a 12-member legislative commission to review the issue. After earlier attempts at effectively repealing the mandates failed, Kasich brokered a compromise allowing them to resume in 2017 if lawmakers fail to act.

Illinois lawmakers drop fracking bill, urge action

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Lawmakers supporting hydraulic fracturing Wednesday abandoned proposed legislation to speed use of the practice in Illinois, and said they would instead urge a state agency to move more quickly writing rules to regulate it.

The Legislature last May authorized the process commonly known as fracking, which uses a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals to crack and hold open thick rock formations, releasing trapped oil and gas. But the Department of Natural Resources has spent months holding hearings and gathering more than 30,000 comments on the best way to regulate the drilling method. The agency has until November to publish rules for fracking.

Grimes running against McConnell as a pro-coal Democrat


Alison Lundergan Grimes calls herself a pro-coal Democrat as she campaigns across Kentucky hoping to win backing for her attempt to unseat Republican incumbent Sen. Mitch McConnell, Reuters reports.


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