Last week, as Scott Pruitt tried to defend the proposed decapitation of the EPA in front of the House Appropriations Committee, both Democrats and Republicans made it clear that the elimination of 50% of the EPA’s programs and 31% of its budget wasn’t going to fly. Lawmakers on both sides cited the damage to their home districts that would be done by removing federal support for environmental protections and programs. Projects countering chemical contamination, water pollution, and ecological degradation are popular, like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a multi-state program which was slated for elimination earlier this spring. A bipartisan group of representatives from districts around the Great Lakes signed a letter calling for the GLRI’s continued funding, but missing from the list of signatures was Tom Reed of my district, NY 23rd. Reed, a well-entrenched and vocal supporter of 45, has a long history of opposing environmental protections in favor of industry (more at the New NY 23), and of opposing his constituents’ best interests in favor of his own. In light of this, it seems like an appropriate moment to take stock of what the EPA has done in this district.
The map above shows the grants disbursed in the NY 23rd since 2007. In the last ten years, grants from the EPA to cities, towns, school districts, tribal nations, and universities in our district have totaled almost $40 million. Continue reading “What has the EPA done for NY23?”
This week, in the middle of the shoving contest between headlines and/or world leaders, there were a number of important science news items that came out. Even with the international antics and new developments in the Russia collusion story, one of the biggest stories all around was the new budget released on Tuesday, which proposes deep cuts to Medicaid, SNAP, and Social Security disability benefits. The president’s wishlist for chopping domestic programs also includes severe cuts to science and health research funding. NIH, NSF, USGS, EPA, FDA, the CDC, and practically everything else in the science-agency alphabet soup face budget cuts, while other programs would be eliminated entirely, like ARPA-E, the Dept. of Energy’s energy research group; NOAA’s grant and education program; and NASA’s Office of Education. The proposed cuts even reach as far as California’s earthquake early-warning system, which would lose its federal funding, killing the project. Continue reading “Excavating the News 5/27: Jupiter Rising”
Reading the torrent of news this week feels like fishing in a firehose. It’s difficult to pick out any but the biggest stories from the stream when every hour brings a new exposé from the NYT or WaPo, but as Sen. Schatz of Hawaii puts it:
I want to do a better job keeping track of the science and environmental
attacks “issues” going on around us, so I’m going to start putting together a roundup of the main science-related news stories from the week, focusing on the ones having to do with the current political situation, and posting summaries here. I won’t pretend to be comprehensive, but I will put funny stories from the NY DEC newsletter at the end in case the rest of the stories are too depressing. Continue reading “Excavating the News”
(Practicing my map making skills. This is the distribution of 1st quarter contributions to Rep. Tom Reed of the NY23rd; only 36 are from our district and the majority of the rest come from DC or Rochester. All data from the FEC.)
[originally appeared on The Earth Story]
In any map of North America, the Great Lakes draw the eye to their irregular shape, stamped on the continent like an aquatic Rorschach test. Formed after the last glacial period, the five lakes straddle the border between the US and Canada and contain centuries of history in their shipwreck-studded depths. Erie, Ontario, Huron and Michigan, and the largest of them all, Superior, together make up the largest system of fresh surface water in the world, providing drinking water for 40 million people around their shores and generating billions of dollars in revenue from tourism and recreational or commercial boating and fishing.
Continue reading “Lake Effect: Restoration Efforts in the Great Lakes”