For those not well versed in science jargon, CRISPR-Cas is a genome-editing technology that allows the user to precisely cut out sections of DNA. Not surprisingly, scientific technology is moving faster than the gears of the political process can turn. The FDA and the USDA have realized that CRISPR is coming whether they are ready or not. But the agencies are going different directions on whether to regulate the organisms that undergo CRISPR alterations.
In the Sylvania Wilderness of the upper peninsula of Michigan, a few property owners have been squaring off with the United States Forest Service for a quarter century. This contest lead to Herr v. United States Forest Service, the latest in a storied tradition of litigation over Crooked Lake, where the 6th Circuit ruled in favor of the private land owners because the United States Forest Service had over stepped its regulatory authority by restricting motorboat usage.
Nuclear power plants, especially small, single reactor plants in competitive electricity markets, have struggled financially for years. This financial struggle has many contributing factors, including fear of nuclear meltdown, the exorbitant start-up cost of a nuclear power plant, and most importantly, environmental sanctions put in place by state and Federal governments. However, nuclear power plants generate nearly twenty percent of America’s electricity and are critical reliability components that contribute to both the stability and integrity of the system.
Two years ago, the deeply conservative state of Kansas repealed a law requiring twenty percent of the state’s electric power to come from renewable sources by 2020, seemingly delivering a blow to the state’s environmentalists. Kansas zipped past that twenty percent goal in 2014 and actually produced more than thirty percent of its energy from wind by 2016. This underscores the reality that some of the fastest growth in renewable energy is occurring in states led by Republican governors and legislators.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently closed the G20 summit citing the “unfortunate” position the United States was in compared to the other nineteen members of the G20 who remain committed to the Paris climate accord. The Chancellor’s statements were seemingly borne from the intention of ringing the proverbial bell, however, President Trump’s position on climate change, somewhat uncharacteristically, has stood firm since he learned “[t]he concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”