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The Senate approved a $109-billion transportation bill today by a margin of 74-22. The bipartisan bill highlights the political pressure felt in both parties to bolster job creation, modernize an outdated transportation system and implement measures to reduce the nation's oil addiction.
With the federal highway trust fund set to expire March 31, House Republicans will likely abandon their version of the bill that reads like a wish list for Big Oil by tying provisions to fast-track the Keystone XL pipeline and recklessly expand offshore drilling to transportation policy and infrastructure. Even Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), an early advocate of the House bill, has come to his senses and adjusted his position.
“With the number of amendments that came up to open up lands and waters to oil drilling or force the Keystone XL pipeline to be built, the Senate showed it is committed to keeping the transportation bill free of new favors to Big Oil,” said David Moulton, senior legislative director for The Wilderness Society. “Senators also showed their support for proven conservation by passing a 2-year funding guarantee for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.”
“The Senate transportation bill is a laudable bipartisan milestone at a time when Congress seems otherwise paralyzed and deadlocked," said Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. "The bill will help rebuild America and create thousands of new jobs in the process including in transit, bike paths and programs to help get kids to and from school safely. Most notably the bill includes two of the most important conservation investment measures in decades—the RESTORE Act, which would dedicate BP fines and penalties to Gulf restoration, and a long-term reauthorization and new funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund."
“Although there is room for improvement, this bill takes important steps forward in repairing our existing infrastructure and investing in clean, convenient transportation options such as transit, biking and walking," said Michael Brune, executive director of Sierra Club.
Unfortunately, the Senate missed a chance yesterday to extend renewable energy and energy efficiency incentives by rejecting Sen. Debbie Stabenow's (D-MI) transportation bill amendment.
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Native Americans are disproportionately without access to clean water, according to a new report, "Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan," to be released this afternoon, which shows that more than two million Americans do not have access to access to running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater services.
By Nanticha Ocharoenchai
In the Czech Republic, horses have become the knights in shining armor. A study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation suggests that returning feral horses to grasslands in Podyjí National Park could help boost the numbers of several threatened butterfly species.
By Bailey Hopp
If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.
By Whitney E. Akers
- "The Game Changers" is a new documentary on Netflix that posits a vegan diet can improve athletic performance in professional athletes.
- Limited studies available show that the type of diet — plant-based or omnivorous — doesn't give you an athletic advantage.
- We talked to experts about what diet is the best for athletic performance.
Packed with record-setting athletes displaying cut physiques and explosive power, "The Game Changers," a new documentary on Netflix, has a clear message: Vegan is best.