The Hill- Top senators from both parties sounded increasingly confident on Thursday that they could negotiate a long-term highway bill, just a day after the House passed the latest in a series of short-term patches. Senators were even still talking up the idea that they could finish off a $275 billion, six-year deal before the looming July 31 deadline, even as most acknowledged that any final product would likely be quite a bit shorter. Meanwhile, both supporters and opponents of the Export-Import Bank acknowledged that the bank's foes — like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) — would likely not be able to keep a reauthorization of the lender's charter out of any Senate highway deal, no matter how long of an extension.
The Hill- The House moved Thursday to provide relief to the most parched areas of drought-plagued California with a bill to increase water flows through federal infrastructure. The House voted to approve the bill 245-176, mostly along party lines, despite a White House threat to veto the measure. The legislation is the Republican Party’s signature measure to confront California’s four-year-long drought and an attempt to fight back at Democratic policies that the GOP says prioritize fish over humans.
The Hill- Last year was the warmest on record and the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases continues to climb, according to a new report released Thursday. The American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) annual climate report concluded that average surface and ocean temperatures were at their highest levels on record in 2014.The warm temperatures were especially pronounced in the North Pacific Ocean and the Arctic, the report said, and many regions of the Earth experienced record warmth in 2014. The Eastern half of North America, including the Eastern seaboard of the United States, was the only major region to experience below-average temperatures.
NYTimes- Three years ago, on the last ferry out before Hurricane Sandy hit, Mr. Micallef wondered whether he would ever again see the house, which was built in 1975. In the end, the storm — which destroyed dozens of houses across the 32-mile barrier island and flooded many of the 4,500 homes — largely left his home uninjured, though monstrous waves did wash away his outdoor shower and exterior stairs. But what Hurricane Sandy spared, the federal government now plans to take. To restore the protective dunes that ran the length of the island and were flattened by the storm, the Army Corps of Engineers is set to build a new dune on Fire Island, at a cost of $207 million.
The Carbon Brief- From greenhouse gas levels to ocean heat content, 2014 was a record-breaking year for the Earth system in many different ways. That's the finding of the latest State of the Climate report from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) published today. Now in its 25th year, the report provides a checkup of global climate using data collected from land, sea, ice and space. We take a look at seven of the records that tumbled last year.
Daily Comet- A project to restore a barrier island that helps protect Terrebonne Parish from Gulf storm surges has received a key federal approval.The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management last week authorized the state to take up to 13.4 million cubic yards of sand from Ship Shoal, a formation just south of the island, to use in the project. One cubic yard of sand weighs about 1 1/2 tons.
Savannah Now-The marsh buffer rules drawn up by state regulators run 11 pages long. But Jac Capp, head of the Environmental Protection Division’s Water Branch, summed them up in a single sentence at a meeting Tuesday at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center.“You can’t mess up that buffer unless you have authorization to do so,” he said.
WGBH- As glaciers melt and seas rise, the oceans are claiming land that humans thought they dominated. In Massachusetts, defiant coastal homeowners rebuild homes again and again. But in other places, people are taking action: The Kennedy Space Center in Florida is considering abandoning launch sites on Cape Canaveral because coastlines have eroded so much. And in California, the process of “managed retreat” is painfully underway.