What Environmental News to Watch the Week of March 13


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Busy week ahead. The White House releases its budget proposal to Congress, and we’re waiting on two executive orders involving the environment. Here’s a list including those and other top stories, events and environmental controversies to watch this week.

Federal budget proposal en route. The White House releases its proposed spending plan for fiscal year 2018 on Thursday. Brian Dabbs is digging in.

Clean Power Plan on the line. President Donald Trump is expected to issue an executive order telling the EPA to start the process to rescind the 2015 Clean Power Plan, which aims to slash carbon pollution from power plants. Andrew Childers is reporting.

Waiting on this executive order too. Trump is expected to sign an executive order that ends an Obama-era freeze on new coal leases on public lands. Stephen Lee is watching.

Fuel economy for cars. The EPA is expected to join with the Department of Transportation to announce they’ll revisit an Obama-era decision to keep fuel efficiency standards for cars unchanged. David Schultz is covering.

Bias and conflict of interest in research? As public funding for scientific research decreases, researchers seek funds from industry, foundations and nonprofit organizations. Does funding and discussions about the study itself affect final results? Individuals from academia, government and industry examine on Monday at the Society of Toxicology’s annual meeting in Baltimore. Pat Rizzuto is on it.

Lining up for federal funding. Congressional committees are preparing for a possible infrastructure bill boosting highways, airports, water systems and energy, and next in line is the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee with a hearing Tuesday on electricity infrastructure. Alan Kovski is covering.

And the next day… In light of infrastructure conversations, the House Energy and Commerce Committee has a hearing Wednesday about expanding hydropower generation. Rebecca Kern is watching.

Top EPA adviser on climate named. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee aide Mandy Gunasekara is named the top climate, clean air adviser to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Dean Scott has the story.

Monkeys are dying. A deadly yellow fever outbreak in Brazil is not only killing people but large numbers of monkeys, and mosquitos flourishing in high temperatures during the country’s rainy season are to blame, researchers say. Michael Kepp has the story.

Oil & gas vote before California agency. The California Air Resources Board is poised to vote this month on rules to cut methane releases at crude oil and natural gas facilities up to 45 percent. Carolyn Whetzel is reporting.