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Jason Plautz

Jason Plautz
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Environmentalists Split With the Obama Administration Over Key Power Plant Rules

December 19, 2014 After six years of furious lobbying and lawsuits, the Obama administration is offering the first-ever regulations on the waste from coal-fired power plants. But while the move provides a long-awaited answer for the environmental and industry groups that have waged legal war over the rule, it's a resolution that comes ...

With Proposed New Ozone Rule, Obama Tees Up Next Environmental Fight

November 26, 2014 The Environmental Protection Agency is set to propose new regulations Wednesday to limit smog, kicking off the next great environmental power struggle—and setting up another difficult decision for President Obama. At issue is what is known as the air-quality standard for ground-level ozone, which causes smog when certain pollutants combine ...

Obama To Pledge $3 Billion To International Climate Fight

November 14, 2014 The U.S. will pledge $3 billion to a United Nations fund designed to help developing countries adapt to climate change, according to a White House official. President Obama is likely to make the funding announcement for the Green Climate Fund at this week's G-20 leaders summit in Brisbane, Australia. It's ...

Climate Change Is Making It Harder to Get to Space

October 31, 2014 Climate change won't just wreak havoc here on Earth—it's going to make it harder to leave. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, rising sea levels and extreme storms from climate change pose a risk to the nation's launch facilities, most of which are along coastlines. For example, NASA's ...

Clinton: America Can Be Clean-Energy 'Superpower'

September 5, 2014 The U.S. can become the "clean energy superpower of the 21st century," Hillary Clinton said Thursday, urging businesses and the government to build up the renewable sector. "Climate change is the most consequential, urgent, sweeping collection of challenges we face," the former secretary of State and likely 2016 Democratic front-runner ...

Scientists Go Beyond Science to Explain Their Climate Terror

August 26, 2014 Scientists are used to talking about climate change in facts and figures, a discussion framed around parts-per-million concentrations of carbon dioxide, millimeters of sea-level rise, and degrees of global temperatures. Joe Duggan wants them to talk about their feelings. Duggan, a masters of science communication student at the Australian National ...

Colorado Senator Defends Fracking, Says 'Burning Water' Helped Native Americans

August 14, 2014 A Colorado state legislator has dismissed concerns about hydraulic fracturing polluting water with methane as "propaganda," saying that it's natural to have methane in water. In fact, state Sen. Randy Baumgardner said that methane actually helped Native Americans. "If you go back in history and look at how the Indians ...

How to Eliminate Almost Every Federal Agency

August 13, 2014 This week, the Heartland Institute offered up a modest proposal: Eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency's 15,000-person staff, move the headquarters from Washington to Topeka, Kan., and reload it with 300 state delegates. The policy brief—written by Heartland science director Jay Lehr—is something of a dream scenario for tea partiers and ...

Big Brother Is Already Watching Your Driving … And It's Your Fault

August 12, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It has long been a nightmare scenario for privacy advocates: Every time you get in your car, a computer relays your location and tracks your trip from start to finish. It can track how far you go, where you drive, how long the trip is, and even how much traffic ...

Bullying, Threats and Chaos at Safety Agency

July 31, 2014 It was a rough week for Rafael Moure-Eraso. Four days after House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa dedicated a hearing to slamming his work as the head of the federal Chemical Safety Board, Moure-Eraso gathered his employees in a conference room at the board's K Street headquarters to address the ...