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Food
U.S. Department of Agriculture / CC BY SA 2.0

Across the United States, Local Food Investments Link Harvest to Health

By Sarah Reinhardt

Earlier this month, we took a deep, data-driven dive into the state of food and farming across the U.S. with the release of our 50-State Food System Scorecard. Although the country as a whole isn't exactly the poster child for healthy and sustainable food systems (far from it), there's a lot of variability in what's happening at farms, grocery stores and dinner tables from one state to the next—and we're here to learn from it.

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Politics
The U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC. Mario Antonio Pena Zapatería / CC BY-SA 2.0

Trump’s Supreme Court Pick: What’s at Stake for Science and the Environment?

By Ken Kimmell

Battle lines over President Trump's nominee for a new U.S. Supreme Court justice are now being drawn, as they should be, over crucial issues such as a woman's right to choose, health care, immigration, civil rights and criminal justice. In past nomination fights, little attention has been paid to the court's role in shaping environmental law and science-based regulation. But it would be a major mistake to overlook these issues now. The Supreme Court has an enormous impact on how U.S. environmental laws are interpreted and enforced, and a new justice could tip the balance against science-based rules on climate change, clean air and clean water.

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Oceans
Aquaculture pens off the coast of Maine. NOAA National Ocean Service

Ocean Conservation Still at Risk Despite Backtrack on NOAA Mission Change

By Andrew Rosenberg

Following recent press attention to a presentation by the acting administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) on new directions for the agency, Adm. Tim Gallaudet quickly backtracked and stated that the mission would not fundamentally change.

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Climate
U.S. Army / Michael J. Nevins

Judge Should Not Have Deferred to Congress, Executive Branch in Fossil-Fuel Climate Case

By Elliott Negin

On Monday, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by San Francisco and Oakland against the five biggest privately owned oil companies for climate change-related damages. Why? He believes the problem is too big to be decided by the federal courts and that Congress and the administration should take care of it.

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Health

Dangerous Air Alert: New Analysis Shows How the Trump Administration Could Hide the Health Risks of Bad Air Days

By Andrew Rosenberg

We all check the weather forecast for sun, rain, UV, allergies and other information that might affect us as we spend more time outside in the summer. That includes alerts on bad air days, when air pollution levels are high enough to be potentially dangerous, especially for children, those with respiratory concerns like asthma and the elderly.

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Food
Preston Keres / USDA

We Ranked All 50 States from Farm to Fork. Why We Bothered—and a Taste of Our Takeaways

By Marcia Delonge

Recently, some fellow data geeks and I spent (quite a lot of) time ranking all 50 states on the health and sustainability of their food systems, from soil to spoon.

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Business

Our Latest Automaker Rankings: What the Industry Needs to do to Keep Moving Forward

By Dave Cooke

Every few years, the Union of Concerned Scientists takes a look at the auto industry's emission reduction progress as part of our Automaker Rankings series of reports.

This year's analysis, based on model year (MY) 2017 vehicles, shows that the industry has once again reached the lowest levels yet in both smog-forming and global warming emissions from new vehicles, despite the fact that many off-the-shelf technologies are deployed in less than one-third of all new vehicles. Unfortunately, this record-setting trend in progress also shows some indications of slowing down, with Ford and Hyundai-Kia showing no progress towards reducing global warming emissions, and Toyota actually moving backwards.

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Animals
Coho spawning on the Salmon River. Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington / CC BY 2.0

New Farm Bill Contains Sneak Attack on the Environment With Toxic Pesticides

By Derrick Z. Jackson

If fish could wail, they would scream over the lethal powers granted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in part of the draft farm bill recently rolled out by the House Agriculture Committee. The bill, passed out of committee by Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) on a party-line vote last month, desperately fails farmers and low-income families. It also contains a number of sneak attacks on the environment. One such provision would allow the EPA to approve new pesticides with no assessment of their potential impact on fish and wildlife covered under the Endangered Species Act.

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Politics

EPA Chief Pruitt Even Violates His Own Principles

By Elliott Negin

With U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt's job now hanging in the balance, it is a good time to recall that, just after his Senate confirmation, he gave a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that emphasized the three principles he said would stand at "the heart of how we do business at the EPA": process, rule of law, and federalism.

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