ESA Policy News: November 23

Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy News by ESA’s Science Policy Analyst, Terence Houston.

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ESA Policy News: March 26

Here are some highlights from the latest Policy News.  See the full edition here.   AIR POLLUTION: CARPER PLANS FOR APRIL MARK-UP OF 3-POLLUTANT BILL–Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) said this week that he expects a mid-April markup of legislation to curb power plant pollution in the full Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. Carper, who chairs the Clean Air Subcommittee, and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) unveiled a bill (S. 2995) last month that seeks steep cuts in electric utilities’ emissions. The measure aims to cut power plants’ soot-forming sulfur dioxide (SO2) by 80 percent by 2018, smog-forming nitrogen dioxide (NOx) by 50 percent by 2015 and mercury by 90 percent by 2015. Several Republicans on the EPW Committee signaled last month that while they support the goals of the bill, they had concerns about some of the details.  EPW Committee ranking member James Inhofe (R-OK) said last month that the bill imposes fairly strict emissions reductions over a short time frame, while Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) cautioned that the reductions would require fuel switching and significant increases in electric rates. Carper has said he would like to add his three-pollutant measure to comprehensive climate and energy legislation pending in the Senate, but he and Alexander stressed the importance of moving forward independently on a multi-pollutant bill. INVASIVE SPECIES: SUPREME COURT AGAIN REJECTS INJUNCTION IN ASIAN CARP CASE–The Supreme Court has for the second time denied a request to temporarily close Chicago-area waterways as the justices weigh whether to wade into the interstate lawsuit over invasive Asian carp. Michigan’s request, submitted in February 2010 after new test results detected Asian carp in Lake Michigan for the first time, was a last-ditch effort to force the closure of the locks after the Obama administration declined to take that action. In an Asian carp response framework released last month, the administration pledged to spend $78.5 million to prevent the fish from entering the Great Lakes but did not commit to lock closures, which have been fiercely opposed by Illinois’ shipping industry. Supporters of the lock closures say the structures would provide the most effective additional protection against the short-term spread of Asian Carp, which could threaten the fishing and recreation industries in the Great Lakes if they manage to establish a permanent population. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is studying short-term options for the Chicago-area waterways and will determine by April 30 whether it will close the locks on a specific timetable or not close them at all. WATER: GEORIGA TRIES TO SWAY CONGRESS IN TRI-STATE WATER STRIFE–As Georgia wages a legal war against Florida and Alabama over its access to a...

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