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Environment

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 13:15:00

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge battles evil federal government protections of clean air and water

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is not a fan of the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed new rules regarding the Clean Water Act. Shocking, we know.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015 - 17:18:00

Renewable energy bill dies in committee

HB 1885, a bill sponsored by Rep. Warwick Sabin to promote renewable energy and distributed generation (producing smaller quantities of power closer to the point of consumption) was killed in the Joint Energy Committee today when Rep. Jim Sorvillo moved for immediate consideration of the bill, which was voted down without hearing from eight citizens present to testify for the bill.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - 09:26:00

The coal industry's attorney general: Leslie Rutledge and others

Take a minute and read Ernest Dumas' column this week. It explains who Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is really representing when she fights EPA clean air rules — railroads and coal miners. Dumas explains the history of regulation of coal-burning power plants — Arkansas is home to two of the dirtiest — and also explains why fixing them or looking for alternative energy supplies closer to home is actually good for the economy, not bad.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday, December 5, 2014 - 04:51:00

Legislature votes today on the future of the Buffalo River

A rule to limit future hog feeder operations in the Buffalo River watershed is up for review by legislative committees this morning. Environmentalists view the rule as vital to protection of the river.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 16:24:00

Cotton on climate change: Yes, it's probably real, but let the market handle it

At a lunchtime panel today on energy policy, Cotton devoted most of his time to criticizing Obama's energy and climate policy. But he also acknowledged that there just might possibly be a relationship between a warming planet and the activities of mankind, albeit in the most qualified and circumspect way.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 10:18:00

National Geographic examines Arkansas under EPA carbon rule

National Geographic writes about the challenges and opportunities faced by Arkansas in complying with the EPA Clean Power Plan, the agency's proposed rule for reducing carbon emissions from power plants. This week, the EPA extended by 45 days the public comment period on the proposed rule, which gives stakeholders — power companies, environmental groups, etc — more time to give input.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014 - 09:39:00

Buffalo River Coalition not assured by Cargill response on hog farm

The Buffalo River Coalition said today thanks, but no thanks to Cargill's promise to take extraordinary measures to keep the hog feeding operation it supports from polluting the Buffalo River watershed. It is no place for a hog farm, the coalition says.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 17:20:00

Will the EPA carbon rule destroy jobs or create them? Probably both.

Limiting carbon emissions could shut down dirty coal-burning power plants and raise electric bills. It could also create jobs in energy efficiency and make Arkansas a healthier place to live.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014 - 12:54:00

Up to 33 trains carrying over a million gallons of oil traverse Arkansas each week

An AP story this weekend filled in some crucial numbers on the volume of highly flammable oil transported across Arkansas by railroad:  up to 33 trains per week that use Arkansas rail lines are carrying crude originating in the Bakken shale formation in the Dakotas, according to correspondence between rail operators and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management that was obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request by the AP.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 14:59:00

Efficiency expert says Arkansas leading the nation on planning for EPA carbon rule

Neal Elliott of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says much of Arkansas' compliance with EPA's new carbon guidelines can come from efficiency improvements in homes, businesses and industry, not just shifting to cleaner sources of power.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 15:58:00

Legislative committee passes resolution against EPA carbon rule

Arkansas lawmakers want state agency heads reject the nation's best shot at reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 11:52:00

Nucor sues to stop Big River Steel plant in Mississippi County

Nucor Steel Arkansas and Nucor Yamato Steel, which operate steel mills near Blytheville, have filed suit in federal district court in Jonesboro to stop construction of the Big River Steel mill, an operation heavily subsidized by state and local tax money that's a venture by Nucor's former boss, John Correnti.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 20:06:00

Arkansas starts talking about how to address climate change

Earlier this month, the EPA announced a proposed rule that will require a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions produced by power plants, phased in over the coming decades. The feds are setting goals (which will be tailored to individual states), but it’s up to the states themselves to come up with plans that address those targets. On Wednesday morning, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) held a public meeting to solicit preliminary input from stakeholders including utility companies, environmental groups and consumer advocates. Finally, Arkansas is starting to talk about thinking about how to address climate change.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saturday, June 21, 2014 - 06:42:00

Daily Show ridicules John Boozman on climate change

The Daily Show held climate deniers up to ridicule Thursday night and those skewered included Arkansas Sen. John Boozman, whose denial including citing his optometrist creds in his scientific view of the issue. Which leads to a little climate change eye exam by Jon Stewart.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 13:36:00

Commission holds public hearing on banning new large hog farms in Buffalo River Watershed

The latest on a proposed ban on new controlled animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in the Buffalo National River Watershed. The proposed rules would only impact permitting for new operations, not C&H Hog Farm, the 6,500-hog facility in Mt. Judea near Big Creek, one of the largest tributaries of the Buffalo National River, raising concerns about environmental impacts. The coalition behind the proposed ban also continues to apply pressure on C&H, hoping that the farm will move out of the watershed. Photographer Kat Wilson took aerial photos of the farm and the surrounding watershed on a recent flyover tour.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 09:22:00

Walton Family Foundation announces leader of environmental focus

The multi-billion-dollar Walton Family Foundation has announced that Dr. Barry Gold will soon join the foundation as leader of its "environmental focus." He's currently director of Marine Conservation at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 12:12:00

Environment under attack in Batesville today

A right-wing congressman, Doc Hastings, abetted by Republican Rep. Rick Crawford, is holding a hearing in Batesville today to continue the public alarum over designation of habitat for some endangered wildlife species in Arkansas. Environmental groups aren't happy, but a torrent of publicity has left little sympathy here for the mussels at issue.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 09:04:00

Will approval of the Keystone XL pipeline really generate more jobs for Arkansas?

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline brought together campaign rivals Sen. Mark Pryor and U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton this morning at a press conference hosted at Welspun Tubular LLC, the east Little Rock pipe plant, along with U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin and state legislators and business leaders. Because of environmental concerns, the White House is reluctant to approve the Keystone project, which would deliver about 800,000 barrels of carbon-heavy Canadian tar sands oil each day to Gulf Coast refineries and cross hundreds of miles of sensitive lands. Pryor, Cotton and Griffin all urge President Obama to drop objections to the pipeline, which they say are standing in the way of job creation in Arkansas.

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014 - 16:01:00

Ozark Society and Arkansas Public Policy Panel pushing rule to ban new large swine farms in Buffalo River watershed

The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission today granted petitions to begin the rulemaking process to prohibit new controlled animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in the Buffalo National River Watershed. The petitions were brought by the Arkansas Public Policy Panel and the Ozark Society, and would prohibit the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality from issuing new permits to swine operations in the watershed with 750 or more swing weighing 55 pounds or more, or 3,000 or more swine weighing less than 55 pounds.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014 - 17:16:00

Mark Pryor responds to Keystone delay (you'll never guess what he says)

Sen. Mark Pryor's office sent this statement: "When it comes to the Keystone XL pipeline, there's no excuse for another delay. The President needs to approve this project now to ensure our future energy security and create jobs here at home."

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  • Magazine obtains police report over Josh Duggar sexual molestation investigation; he admits past 'mistakes,' resigns Family Council job

    In Touch magazine reports that it has obtained a Springdale police report containing allegations of sexual misconduct against an unnamed teen that it says it has confirmed was Josh Duggar, a minor at the time and now a prominent lobbyist for the Family Research Council and a leading voice for legal discrimination against gay people.
  • State budget administrator Brandon Sharp fired; no reason given

    KATV reports that Brandon Sharp was fired Monday afternoon after four years as state budget administrator, a $101,000-a-year job in the Department of Finance and Administration.
  • KATV: Bill Walker's state agency approves grants to sister UPDATE

    KATV has dug up on questionable public dealings by a familiar figure — former state Sen. Bill Walker, who headed the state Career Education Department during the administration of Gov. Mike Beebe.
  • What's not to love about the Bentonville Film Festival? Walmart.

    The Bentonville Film Festival, launched this year by actress Geena Davis and held earlier this month from May 5-9, earned a number of largely positive notices from major outlets like the Huffington Post ("At the Bentonville Film Festival, Women Are Playing in the Major Leagues"), the L.A. Times ("Bentonville Film Festival pushes diversity message from year one") and the New York Times ("Bentonville, Ark., Hosts a Film Festival Without a Movie Theater"), most of them centering on its unique and vital agenda — promoting diversity and gender equality in filmmaking — and its celebrity cache (e.g. an acting workshop taught by Robert De Niro, a softball game led by Rosie O'Donnell, etc.).

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