Posted December 28, 2015
The White House has honey bees – an estimated 70,000 of them that call a hive near the South Lawn home. Yet, nationwide bees are struggling. Researchers have warned of declining numbers of bees and other “pollinators” – to the point that last year the White House set up a task force to develop a bee strategy to help reverse the trend. From the White House blog:
Increasing the quantity and quality of habitat for pollinators is a major part of this effort—with actions ranging from the construction of pollinator gardens at Federal buildings to the restoration of millions of acres of Federally managed lands and similar actions on private lands. To support these habitat-focused efforts, USDA and the Department of Interior are today issuing a set of Pollinator-Friendly Best Management Practices for Federal Lands, providing practical guidance for planners and managers with land stewardship responsibilities.
We acknowledged the bee situation in a post nearly a year ago, noting that the large-scale conversion of grasslands to grow crops for a number of uses was crowding out bees, butterflies and others – including increasing acreage being devoted to ethanol production. Now a new, comprehensive study by University of Vermont researchers underscores the point – that U.S. wild bees are disappearing in many of the country’s most important farmlands and that increased demand for corn to use in biofuel production is a significant part of the problem.
Posted December 15, 2015
That Congress soon may act to end the United States’ 40-year-old ban on domestic crude oil exports is signaled in the number of reports and posts on exports-related themes.
The Wall Street Journal has a report that talk of lifting the export ban is narrowing the difference between U.S. and global crude prices. The Council on Foreign Relations’ Michael Levi has this post discussing the impact of an exports deal on markets, the recent climate deal and geopolitics. National Journal reports on the legislative horse-trading some think could be part of lifting the exports ban. And there’s more.
Posted October 8, 2015
These things are true:
- The U.S. gets the majority of its energy from oil and natural gas, and is projected to continue to do so for decades.
- Since 2005 U.S. production of natural gas is up 43 percent.
- Since 2008 U.S. production of crude oil is up 88 percent.
- U.S. air quality continues to improve, with concentrations of carbon monoxide down 60 percent, ozone down 18 percent, lead 87 percent, nitrogen dioxide 43 percent, particulate matter 35 percent and sulfur dioxide 62 percent since 2000.
- The federal U.S. budget deficit for FY2015 was $435 billion.
- The U.S. trade deficit rose in August as exports hit a three-year low.
- Since 2008 our working age population has grown by over 16 million, while employment is up 8.5 million, leaving the U.S. at odds with trends in other countries.
- U.S. poverty and wages are stagnant, and it is getting harder for people to move beyond a minimum-wage job.
- Americans' trust in the federal government's ability to handle domestic problems has reached a new low.
These things are true, and thus, when presented with bipartisan legislation to reduce consumer fuel costs and the trade deficit while increasing U.S. investment, domestic crude oil production, GDP and government revenues and creating good paying jobs – all via U.S. crude oil exports – the White House obviously had no choice but to … threaten to veto it.
Posted August 26, 2010