In the News

Farm bill proposal eyes expansion of conservation...

March 16, 2007
Conservation programs would see a $3 billion increase per year under an alternate farm bill proposal House and Senate members from outside the Agriculture Committee introduced yesterday. The "Healthy Farms Food and Fuels Act of 2007" from Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.)...

National system could lose one-fifth of workforce

March 15, 2007
The National Wildlife Refuge System stands to lose up to one-fifth of its workforce over the next three years, according to restructuring plans from the Fish and Wildlife Service that project downsized staffing and fewer resources to fit within tight budgetary constraints. A budget-crunch across...

TXU abused Texas power market, report says

March 13, 2007
TXU Corp. abused its dominant position in the Texas energy market in 2005 by overcharging customers $70 million in rate increases while earning itself $20 million in extra profits, according to a report commissioned by the Texas Public Utility Commission. The report concluded that TXU repeatedly...

Rep. Barton sets sights on TXU takeover proposal

March 12, 2007
The House Energy and Commerce Committee's top Republican is taking aim at the proposed TXU leveraged buyout, suggesting he would support demolishing the wall that protects the Texas power market from federal oversight and electricity imports. Texas Rep. Joe Barton's suggestion that he would...

TXU partners plan IGCC, carbon-capture...

March 9, 2007
The leverage-buyout partners involved in the takeover of TXU Corp. followed up promises to reduce air pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions today by announcing plans to build two integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) demonstration plants with carbon-dioxide capture in Texas. "It's...

Rey sees opening for future CRP enrollments

March 7, 2007
The Conservation Reserve Program is not oversubscribed, but it does need restructuring to focus on more environmentally sensitive lands, Agriculture Department officials said yesterday. The program — a favorite of hunting and conservation groups — pays farmers to idle some 36 million...

TXU buyout rings hollow to some enviros

March 5, 2007
While the participants in last week's $45 billion buyout of TXU Corp. are trumpeting a provision to scale back TXU's controversial plans to build 11 new coal-fired power plants in Texas to three, groups outside the deal are saying the environmental negotiators should have held out for more...

Senate Finance leaders back incentives bill

March 1, 2007
Landowners who protect endangered species or their habitat would net beneficial tax treatment under legislation unveiled yesterday by a bipartisan group of senators. Cosponsors include the chairman and top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, which has sole jurisdiction over the bill. The...

Panel says refuge budget dangerously low

March 1, 2007
The Bush administration's plans to flatline national wildlife refuge funds and lay off staff across the country could imperil the system and the wildlife that call it home, members of the House Resources Committee said Tuesday. Leaders of the Fisheries, Conservation, Wildlife and Ocean...

'Evolving West' hearing reverts to...

March 1, 2007
A House Natural Resources Committee hearing designed to draw attention to the "Evolving West" devolved yesterday into partisan bickering as Western Republicans attacked federal government policy and environmental advocates they say limit economic opportunity and development. Chairman Nick...
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