The Gulf of Mexico: Resilient but scarred 5 years after Deepwater Horizon spill

AP writers
Tuesday, 21 April 2015 13:40

Five years after the BP well explosion, there is no single, conclusive answer to how the Gulf of Mexico is doing, but there are many questions. Here are some of them.

Some governors push back against McConnell letter to defy EPA

Written by The AP Thursday, 16 April 2015 05:44

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's call for governors to defy proposed federal rules to limit pollution has been met with mostly silence, but leaders in downwind New England states and drought-stricken areas in the West are pushing back.

The Kentucky Republican wrote to all the nation's governors in March after the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule to limit carbon pollution from existing coal-fired power plants. McConnell said he thinks the rule is illegal and, if enacted, would hurt the U.S. economy and kill energy jobs.

Reason to “whoop”: Central Wisconsin is welcoming back “snowbirds” — Nana and Papa are packing up suitcases and closing down condos on Florida’s sunny shores and heading home. But actual snowbirds are flying 1,000-plus miles over the United States to nest in Wisconsin’s woods and marshes, backyards and shorelines.

Report: USDA scientists harassed for questioning Roundup's safety

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Tuesday, 31 March 2015 03:57

A watchdog organization is calling on the U.S. Senate and House agriculture committees and the inspector general at the USDA to investigate a possible coverup for Monsanto and whether USDA scientists were harassed for questioning the safety of Roundup and other Big Ag products.

The call from U.S. Right to Know for review follows a report on March 27 from Reuters news service, which cited a claim from the the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility: “Some scientists working for the federal government are finding their research restricted or censored when it conflicts with agribusiness industry interests…. At least 10 USDA scientists have been investigated or faced other consequences arising from research that called into question the safety of certain agricultural chemicals…. Research into glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, and neonicotinoid insecticides, which have been linked to honey bee and monarch butterfly endangerment, face particular scrutiny…"

Isle Royale National wolf population drops to 3

Written by The AP Monday, 20 April 2015 08:39

Scientists say the gray wolf population at Isle Royale National Park has dropped to three and is on the verge of disappearing.

Researchers with Michigan Technological University released their annual report on the park's wolves and moose late last week. They said the wolf count has continued a sharp decline since 2009, when it stood at 24. It was nine last year.

Report: USDA agency kills 2.7 million wild animals in 2014

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 15 April 2015 07:06

New data from the U.S. Agriculture Department's Wildlife Services reveals that the somewhat secretive agency killed more than 2.7 million animals during fiscal year 2014, including wolves, coyotes, bears, mountain lions, beavers, foxes, eagles and other animals.

The services killed more than 4 million animals in 2013.

Obama:Climate change harms Americans' health

Written by The AP Wednesday, 08 April 2015 10:46

Global warming isn't just affecting the weather, it's harming Americans' health, President Barack Obama said this week as he announced steps government and businesses will take to better understand and deal with the problem.

Obama said hazards of the changing climate include wildfires sending more pollution into the air, allergy seasons growing longer and rising cases of insect-borne diseases.

'Perfect protein' — World's top chefs say eat small to protect oceans

Written by The AP Wednesday, 25 March 2015 10:39

Want to make a big impact on the health of our oceans? Think small, top chefs say. As in anchovies and sardines.

That's the message from 20 of the world's leading chefs, who gathered in northeastern Spain recently to draw attention to what they hope is a simple solution to the threat facing many of the larger fish species that overfishing has pushed to near collapse. Their take: If more people ate more little fish - anchovies, sardines, herring and mackerel, for example - both human diets and seafood populations would improve.

Koch-backed law seeks to block GMO labeling

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Sunday, 19 April 2015 16:56

A super-majority of Americans support labeling food that is genetically modified, according to the Environmental Working Group. —Photo: Jasminko Ibrakovic/Pixabay.com

Koch Industries’ favorite congressman recently introduced a bill to restrict the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ability to mandate GMO labeling and block states from requiring labels for genetically engineered food.

Portland, Maine, imposing nickel fee on grocery bags

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 14 April 2015 04:52

Consumers in Portland, Maine, this week will begin paying a nickel fee for the disposable shopping bag they carry from a store.

Portland is the first community in the New England state to both impose a fee for disposable shopping bags and also to ban polystyrene foam food and beverage containers. The intent is to reduce litter and help the environment.

Court: Navy war games harm whales, dolphins

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Friday, 03 April 2015 06:22

A federal court this week said the U.S. Navy’s training and testing activities off the coast of Southern California and Hawaii illegally harm more than 60 whale, dolphin, seal and sea lion populations.

The U.S. District Court of Hawaii ruled that the National Marine Fisheries Service violated multiple requirements of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act by allowing the Navy’s plan.

Feds poison tens of thousands of birds in Nevada

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 25 March 2015 10:29

Land owners surprised to discover tens of thousands of dead birds across the high desert are criticizing the federal government over a mass killing of starlings in northern Nevada.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesman said a pesticide was used to destroy the birds to prevent the spread of disease to dairy cows.