Conservation, Energy & Environment


60 Members of Congress and 17 Non-Profit Groups Urge EPA to Limit Neonicotinoid Pesticides

October 1, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is getting pressure from environmental and sustainable agriculture organizations and members of Congress to investigate and restrict the use of neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides linked to declining pollinator populations. Neonicotinoids are being cited as one of several factors contributing to Colony Collapse Disorder in bees, leading to sharp […]

Congress Extends 2014 Funding Levels through December 11

September 19, 2014

On Thursday, September 18, the Senate passed a short-term funding extension, known as a “continuing resolution” (CR), to fund the federal government through December 11.  The CR extends fiscal year (FY) 2014 funding levels as well as policy provisions known as appropriations “riders.”  The House passed this temporary funding measure earlier this week, and the […]

House Agriculture Committee Holds Hearing on Soil Health

September 19, 2014

On Thursday, September 18, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing entitled, “The Benefits of Promoting Soil Health in Agriculture and Rural America,” to examine the steps that farmers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), state and local  government agencies, and non-governmental organizations are taking to improve soil health on farms and ranches.  The hearing […]

$68 million in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects Announced

September 19, 2014

On Thursday, September 18, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a $68 million investment in 540 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects across the country through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The majority of the money, over $56 million, was distributed as loans.  Another $12 million was awarded as grants.  Of the 540 projects […]

New GE Corn and Soybean Varieties Approved

September 18, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) approved three new genetically engineered (GE) crops for commercial sale in a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) Record of Decision (ROD) published on the agency’s website on Tuesday, September 16. APHIS approved three petitions from Dow AgroSciences to grant nonregulated status to a […]

Conservation Innovation Grant Recipients Announced

September 16, 2014

On Monday, September 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced 47 new Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) awards, totaling $15.7 million.  Recipients include universities, soil and water conservation districts, tribal organizations, resource conservation and development councils, and non-profit organizations.  Roughly half of this year’s CIG awards focus on soil health. The CIG program is administered […]

Pesticides in U.S. Waters Remain High for Both Agriculture and Urban Use

September 15, 2014

A recently published study by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) sheds light on how pesticide applications on land are impacting aquatic life in the nation’s rivers and streams.  The study compares pesticide concentrations across two decades to note trends in the temporal and geographic distribution. The study, published in Environmental Science & Technology […]

House Votes to Halt Clean Water Act Rulemaking Process

September 10, 2014

On its second day back in session after a five-week August recess, the House of Representatives voted 262-152 on Tuesday, September 9 to pass H.R. 5078, a bill that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) from finalizing and implementing the proposed Waters of the United States (WOTUS) […]

$328 Million for Agricultural Conservation Easements Awarded

September 9, 2014

On Monday, September 8, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $328 million in funding for 380 conservation easement projects as part of the Natural Resource Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).  The projects will protect and restore 129,000 acres of farmland, grasslands, and wetlands across all 50 states. The 2014 […]

4 Important Policy Decisions that Will Impact Farmers, Food, and the Environment in 2015

September 5, 2014

Taking a look at Congress’ work over the next few months, here are four appropriations decisions that will have a major impact on farmers, food, and the environment.

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