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Category Archives: Government Documents

Groundwater Depletion During Drought Threatens Future Water Security of the Colorado River Basin

NOAA Earth Observatory: ” Long-term drought and aggressive seasonal wildfires have consumed property, lives, and farmland in the American West. The dry weather and blazes are battering regional economies and putting residents and agricultural businesses in several states on a path toward water restrictions. At least part of this story of water woes lies underground. The map above combines data from the satellites of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) with other satellite and ground-based measurements to model the relative amount of water stored in underground aquifers in the continental United States. The wetness, or water content, is a depiction of the amount of groundwater on July 7, 2014, compared to the average from 1948 to 2009. Areas shown in blue have more abundant groundwater for this time of year than comparable weeks over the long-term, while shades of red depict deficits compared to this time of year. The maps are an experimental product used by the U.S. Drought Monitor and supported by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The measurements are derived from observations of small changes in Earth’s mass and its gravity field—features that are affected by the movement and storage of water and ice around the planet. The extent of drought in the American Southwest are reflected well in the GRACE map. California, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Nebraska have been suffering from various degrees of long-term drought that has parched the land surface and prevented the replenishing of groundwater below.”

Census Bureau – Industry Series Report on Semiconductors and Related Device Manufacturing

“The U.S. Census Bureau today released additional figures from the 2012 Economic Census Industry Series reports for the manufacturing sector of the economy. This release includes new statistics for semiconductor and related device manufacturing (NAICS 334413). Highlights include: The semiconductor and related device manufacturing industry employed 90,244 people in 2012, down 38.3 percent from 146,152 employed inContinue Reading

State-by-State Map: Where Migrant Children Are Placed

“During the first six months of this year, 4,280 children awaiting deportation proceedings were placed with families in Texas. Just one went to Montana. The uneven distribution of children can be traced to the uneven distribution of Central American families. Children who travel to the U.S. illegally alone from countries other than Mexico and Canada are placedContinue Reading

Improvements Needed in EPA Efforts to Address Methane Emissions From Natural Gas Distribution Pipelines

EPA IG – Report No. 14-P-0324 – July 25, 2014: “We conducted this evaluation to determine what actions the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken to reduce methane emissions from leaking pipelines in the natural gas distribution sector. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 25 times that of carbon dioxide. InContinue Reading

Obama Drone Order Fails to Safeguard Privacy

EPIC – “According to reports, President Obama is set to issue an executive order on drone privacy. The order would call for the development of voluntary best practices for the commercial use of drones. Senator Markey and Representative Welch immediately responded to the reports with a letter to the President urging “strong, enforceable rules – not voluntary bestContinue Reading

Insecticides Similar to Nicotine Widespread in Midwest

“Insecticides similar to nicotine, known as neonicotinoids, were found commonly in streams throughout the Midwest, according to a new USGS study. This is the first broad-scale investigation of neonicotinoid insecticides in the Midwestern United States and one of the first conducted within the United States. Effective in killing a broad range of insect pests, use of neonicotinoidContinue Reading

Recent accident highlights how state fracking laws protect corporate trade secrets over public safety

Mariah Blake – Mother Jones: “On the morning of June 28, a fire broke out at a Halliburton fracking site in Monroe County, Ohio. As flames engulfed the area, trucks began exploding and thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals spilled into a tributary of the Ohio River, which supplies drinking water for millions of residents.Continue Reading

FCC to ISPs: Inaccurate Disclosures Violate Transparency Rule

“Providers of broadband Internet access services must disclose accurate information about their service offerings and make this information accessible to the public.  This requirement, known as the Open Internet Transparency Rule, has been in full force and effect since 2011.  The Transparency Rule ensures that consumers have access to information that helps them make informedContinue Reading

UK Independent – NSA reportedly tracking any internet users who research privacy software online

James Vincent - “Any internet users who use or even read about privacy services online will be targeted for surveillance by the NSA, according to a new report from German broadcaster ARD. According to leaked source-code of the US spy agency’s ‘XKeyscore’ software, individuals who search for information about anonymising services such as Tor have their IPContinue Reading

U.S. petroleum refineries running at record levels

“U.S. refineries have been processing record volumes of oil recently. Refinery inputs hit a record-high 16.8 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in each of the past two weeks, exceeding the previous record from summer 2005. Refineries in the Midwest and Gulf Coast in particular pushed the total U.S. input volume upward, as these refiners’ accessContinue Reading

OECD releases full version of global standard for automatic exchange of information

“Taking an important step towards greater transparency and putting an end to banking secrecy in tax matters, the OECD today released the full version of a new global standard for the exchange of information between jurisdictions. The Standard provides for annual automatic exchange between governments of financial account information, including balances, interest, dividends, and sales proceedsContinue Reading

The Economic Effects of the President’s 2015 Budget

“Each year, after the President releases his budget request, CBO analyzes the proposals in that request. Using its own economic projections and estimating procedures, CBO projects what the federal budget would look like over the next 10 years if the President’s proposals were adopted. CBO usually provides that information in two reports: The first examinesContinue Reading