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The Bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill Brings Some Consequences, Cautious Optimism for Conservation

, senior scientist

Last week, 11 weeks since the 2014 farm bill expired, Congress passed the latest version, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which President Trump is expected to sign into law. Although there are many things to celebrate in the new farm bill, there were also disappointments. This was the case for conservation, which was a bit of a mixed bag—and worth a closer look. Read more >

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Climate Change Is Strengthening Typhoons, Hurricanes and Cyclones. The US Isn’t Paying Attention.

Alyssa Frederick, Ph.D. candidate; Steven Mana`oakamai Johnson, Ph.D. student , UCS

On October 25th, one of the worst storms to strike US land hit the islands of Saipan and Tinian, killing two people and destroying thousands of homes. Because of Super Typhoon Yutu, the islands remain without power, and likely will for the months to come. Fresh water is scarce, and recovery efforts are hindered by lack of access and resources. (Read more about this here.)

Typhoons and hurricanes, or more generally, tropical cyclones, are all spinning storms of high winds (sustained winds of 73 miles per hour or greater) and intense weather like thunderstorms. The only nominal difference is the ocean basin where they originate. The most alarming factor they all share is that intensity and frequency of these cyclonic super storms is increasing with climate change. Read more >

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Photo: Derrick Jackson

Record-Smashing Auction Sets America on Course for Offshore Wind

There can be no more doubt on the promise of American offshore wind energy after Friday’s record-smashing federal auction of 390,000 acres of water far south of Martha’s Vineyard. A forlorn area that attracted no bids in 2015 from investors frustrated over the collapse of Cape Wind is now the Cinderella of energy, going in three parcels for a combined $405.1 million.

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Photo: Derrick Jackson
Photo: Derrick Jackson
Photo: Derrick Jackson
Photo: Derrick Jackson
Photo: Derrick Jackson
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Photo: Oregon Convention Center/Flickr

Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Hangs in the Balance

, senior policy and legal analyst, Clean Vehicles

Today, I’m reporting on the legislative tug-of-war over the $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles. Fossil fuel interests on one end, literally everyone else on the other. This fight arose when the suits over at Exxon, Shell, and Koch Industries became worried about the potential of electric vehicles (EVs) to mess with their 90 percent share of transportation fuel in the U.S. And you know what? They should be worried. The EV market is small but growing fast, and there have been tons of production milestones and new model releases over the past quarter. Read more >

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