What Environmental News to Watch the Week of Jan. 30


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Here’s a list of some top stories, events and other environmental controversies to watch this week.

Cabinet nominations continue. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee considers the nominations Tuesday of Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) as secretary of the Interior Department and Rick Perry as secretary of the Energy Department. Alan Kovski is covering.   

Environmental regulations on chopping block. The House is expected to vote Wednesday to get rid of two regulations from late in the Obama administration: one that would protect streams from coal mining waste, and another that would reduce methane emissions from oil and natural gas drilling. Alan Kovski will have the story.

Energy, enviro policy takes a back seat. Congress is not likely to focus on energy and environment policy in its first 200 days beyond related administration nominations and upcoming Congressional Review Act votes.  Rachel Leven has the story.

Infrastructure plans under review. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee outlines its oversight agenda for pipeline safety, water pollution, brownfields and infrastructure at a 10 a.m. hearing  Wednesday with business and labor leaders expected to testify. Amena Saiyid is reporting.

Republicans target Utah national monument. Congressional Republicans want President Donald Trump to push back federal protections for a new Utah monument (the Bears Ears National Monument) as they watch broader limits on presidents' ability to designate new monuments. Rachel Leven has the story.

What’s ahead for Superfund under the EPA? Mathy Stanislaus, EPA's former assistant administrator for land and emergency management, says Superfund appropriations have declined over the past four or five budget cycles, creating a backlog of sites awaiting funding, and that awaits Scott Pruitt if he’s confirmed as the agency’s administrator. Sylvia Carignan has the story.  

Backing up science.  Environmental group NextGen Climate is creating a backup for the EPA’s climate change website after reports that Trump’s administration may wipe it out. David Schultz is reporting.

Climate change revised. Two Wisconsin state websites now reflect revised explanations for climate change: The Department of Natural Resources and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, have altered or dropped text blaming human activity as a chief culprit for climate change. Stephen Joyce is covering.

EPA finds discrimination. Environmental justice advocates are welcoming the EPA’s first-ever finding of discrimination in its ruling that a Michigan agency unfairly treated African Americans in Flint, Mich. Stephen Joyce has the story.

Security on the electrical grid. Cybersecurity takes the stage Wednesday at a House Energy and Commerce hearing on the electricity sector’s efforts to respond to cybersecurity threats. Rebecca Kern is covering.