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Jason Plautz

Jason Plautz
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A New Bill Could Gut the EPA

April 30, 2015 Plenty of Republicans hate the Environmental Protection Agency and want to gut its climate change programs and regulatory offices. Texas Republican Rep. Sam Johnson doesn't want to stop there. He's introduced a bill to wipe out the whole agency. Johnson's bill, introduced this week, would eliminate funding for the EPA ...

Congress Considers Roads for Robot Cars

April 28, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The House committee tasked with shaping the next generation of highways is trying to make sure they're ready for the next generation of cars—including ones without drivers. The House Transportation and Infrastructure panel is trying to forge a long-term transportation bill, which sets policy and funding for the nation's roads ...

Can Pope Francis Change Global Minds on Climate Change?

April 27, 2015 When the Pope talks, people listen. But as Pope Francis wades into the climate-change debate, will he change any minds? Francis will host a summit Tuesday in the Vatican on climate change with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. He is also preparing an encyclical—one of the highest forms of a ...

In Nod To Rick Scott, Obama Says Climate Change 'Cannot Be Omitted'

April 23, 2015 President Obama took a shot at Florida Governor Rick Scott's alleged ban on state employees using the phrase "climate change," saying it was an issue that "cannot be edited out" and "cannot be omitted from the conversation." "Simply refusing to say the words 'climate change' doesn't mean that climate change ...

White House Tweaks Rick Scott Ahead Of Earth Day Visit

April 22, 2015 To mark Earth Day, President Obama is taking the climate-change debate to a state that has been ground zero both for the impact of global warming and the politics around it. Obama Wednesday afternoon will deliver a speech at Everglades National Park in Florida, speaking about climate change and its ...

Forget Bullet Trains, Amtrak Needs a New Bridge

April 21, 2015 In President Obama's first term, the talk of the future of the Northeast Corridor was of state-of-the-art bullet trains zipping between Washington, D.C., and Boston in a luxurious three hours, half the time it takes today. Today, Amtrak president Joe Boardman would settle for something a little smaller: one working ...

Forget Bullet Trains, Amtrak Needs A New Bridge

April 20, 2015 In President Obama's first term, the talk of the future of the Northeast Corridor was of state-of-the-art bullet trains zipping between Washington, D.C., and Boston in a luxurious three hours, half the time it takes today. Today, Amtrak president Joe Boardman would settle for something a little smaller: one working ...

Contractor BP Wants You to Think the Gulf Is OK

April 20, 2015 On the fifth anniversary of the massive oil spill that spewed more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, environmentalists are ready to dredge up the pictures of oil-coated birds and tar balls lapping up onto beaches. At a Thursday press conference, Democratic Sen. Edward Markey ...

The House Wants to Let You Bring a Gun to Army Corps Land

April 16, 2015 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers controls 12 million acres of public land and water, 422 lake and river projects, and 7,700 miles of trails—and, except for hunting uses and other restricted purposes, you can't carry a gun on any of them. But under a rider in an appropriations bill ...

Despite Cuts, Appropriators Look to Lock Down Some Dam Money

April 9, 2015 Rick Calhoun is just waiting for a disaster. As president of Cargo Carriers, Calhoun oversees the shipping of more than 1,200 barges carrying grain down the Mississippi River to be exported, rock salt up the river to help de-ice roads in winter, and fertilizer across the Ohio River for farmers, ...