Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act is signed into law

November 27, 2019 by  
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In a bipartisan win, the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act has been signed into law, making serious harm to “living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles or amphibians” a federal crime. The law also includes a ban on the creation, sale and distribution of any electronic image or digital recording that depicts acts of animal cruelty . The measure was jointly introduced by Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL). The Humane Society of the United States has expressed support for how this anti-cruelty bill has “sailed through the House of Representatives and the Senate with almost unanimous support.” The bill was supported by 302 House cosponsors and 41 from the Senate. It was then signed by President Trump on November 25, marking a defining moment that establishes federal protections for animals . Related: The PACT Act hopes to ban animal cruelty at the federal level “PACT makes a statement about American values. Animals are deserving of protection at the highest level,” said Kitty Block, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. “The approval of this measure by the Congress and the President marks a new era in the codification of kindness to animals within federal law. For decades, a national anti-cruelty law was a dream for animal protectionists. Today, it is a reality.” Prior to this federal law, only state laws existed against animal cruelty. But the previous lack of federal legislation on the matter made it difficult to prosecute cases of animal cruelty that spanned different jurisdictions and across several states. Meanwhile, the text of this new federal legislation does itemize some exceptions, such as “(A) a customary and normal veterinary, agricultural husbandry or other animal management practice; (B) the slaughter of animals for food; (C) hunting , trapping, fishing , a sporting activity not otherwise prohibited by federal law, predator control or pest control; (D) medical or scientific research, (E) necessary to protect the life or property of a person; or (F) performed as part of euthanizing an animal.” The Animal Wellness Action, one of the groups involved in the bill’s passage, issued a statement praising lawmakers after the law was signed. “We’re thrilled to see the first anti-cruelty statute in American history signed into law and applaud the President and Congress for providing the voiceless with a level of protection never seen before,” said Marty Irby, the group’s executive director. “The PACT Act will allow federal authorities to crack down on the most egregious of animal abusers and help keep American pets safe from harm.” + PACT Act Via NPR and Humane Society of the United States Image via Pixabay

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Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act is signed into law

Senate Republicans could save methane rules from Trump

April 14, 2017 by  
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President Donald Trump is facing opposition to his rolling back of environmental regulations. Of course climate activists and Democrats are fighting back against the administration’s attempts to undermine Obama-era rules on everything from fuel efficiency standards to preventing coal ash from being dumped in rivers. On at least one Trump action however, it is Republicans in the Senate who are pushing back — a bill to overturn a methane regulation for public lands has stalled in the Senate (it passed the GOP-controlled House in February) because, according to reporting from Mother Jones , “a number of moderate and Western state Republican senators have worried about the implications of permanently restricting the Interior Department’s ability to regulate methane emissions.” Methane is a powerful, although short-lived, greenhouse gas with at least 86 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide over a time span of 20 years in the atmosphere and 34 times the strength of CO2 over a 100-year time scale. The Interior Department’s methane and natural gas rule limits the release of methane from oil and gas operations on public lands. The natural gas is wasted through leaks, intentional venting, or burning off the gas — a process known as flaring. Related: House Republicans move to make methane pollution great again Some Senate Republicans are hedging on repealing the methane rules because of the permanency of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) that allows for Congress to overturn federal rulemaking with a simple majority vote. In other words, the CRA blocks federal agencies from putting forward similar rules at any point in the future, meaning the Bureau of Land Management might not ever be able to regulate methane pollution on public lands no matter who sits in the White House or what party controls Congress. A recent survey by Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions found strong support for current federal methane regulations aimed at reducing natural gas emissions. “The idea that conservatives would be attacking a waste reduction measure is kind of bizarre,” the Wilderness Society’s deputy director of energy and climate, Josh Mantell, told Mother Jones. Via Mother Jones Images via Flickr 1 , 2

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Senate Republicans could save methane rules from Trump

Lead pipes in Flint, Michigan are finally being replaced

December 12, 2016 by  
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Months after the Flint , Michigan water crisis emerged, residents still can’t obtain clean drinking water straight from their taps. That may be set to change as the Senate just passed a bill providing $170 million to replace lead -contaminated pipes in the beleaguered city. But the victory could come at the cost of environmental harm in California . Policymakers inserted a rider, or addition, to the bill allowing more Bay-Delta estuary water to irrigate farms, which some environmentalists fear could harm estuary wildlife . Many Flint residents have been waiting for safe, clean water since 2014. With federal government money, the city is expected to replace 29,000 service lines. Although 96 percent of samples from high-risk Flint houses met federal standards for lead, according to state officials speaking this month, the crisis has not yet been fully resolved. Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said people will only be confident in the water when old lead infrastructure is replaced. The new government money could enable the city to at last put any fears to rest. Related: 6 Michigan state workers charged with misconduct over the Flint Water Crisis But not everyone is pleased with the Senate legislation. The bill providing relief to Flint includes an addition allowing more Bay-Delta water to irrigate drought-afflicted farms. According to The Guardian, the bill could make way for new desalination projects and dams. As she spoke against the bill, California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer said, “You’re destroying the Endangered Species Act,” but California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who wrote the bill with California Republican congressman Kevin McCarthy, said the legislation was the best they could do after working for three years. The organization Defenders of Wildlife issued a statement saying the rider hurt wildlife like Delta smelt and salmon. Scott Slesinger, Natural Resources Defense Council legislative director, also condemned the bill. He said in a statement , “Federal funding to help begin fixing the pipes at the heart of the Flint water crisis is shamefully overdue. This is a start, but far more is needed to fix Flint and ensure safe drinking water to communities across America. We should not have to trade delinquent Congressional action in Michigan for the erosion of endangered species protection and a threat to fishing jobs in California, but that is the result of the partisan games at play in this bill.” Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia Commons and Mitch Barrie on Flickr

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Lead pipes in Flint, Michigan are finally being replaced

Congress approves $305 billion bill to fund infrastructure and transit programs

December 3, 2015 by  
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The US Highway Trust Fund has been dwindling for the last 10 years, but Congress recently approved a new plan to give it a much-needed boost. Both the House and the Senate have proposed differing legislation to address transportation programs, and this Tuesday compromised on a $305 billion plan that would manage infrastructure care until 2020. Both chambers of Congress are expected to seal the deal by the end of 2015. Read the rest of Congress approves $305 billion bill to fund infrastructure and transit programs

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Congress approves $305 billion bill to fund infrastructure and transit programs

17 green gifts for the home

December 3, 2015 by  
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A house becomes a home when it’s filled with the energy of those who live there, and the houseware items  we’ve put together for this year’s gift guide can help make a home as luminous and eco-friendly as possible. A backyard beehive, sustainable bamboo bowls, and the cutest little hedgehog dryer buddies ever are just a few of the gems  we’ve found that can help make this holiday the greenest yet. GREEN ECO-GIFTS FOR THE HOME >

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17 green gifts for the home

New underwater hotel in Florida to use profits to protect coral reefs

December 3, 2015 by  
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If being neighbors with Sponge Bob and The Little Mermaid sounds fun, then a new underwater hotel is a dream getaway. The Planet Ocean Underwater Hotel, which is under construction in Key West, Florida , will offer luxury suites for guests who want to sleep with the fishes. Though it may sound like an ecological disaster in the making, the hotel’s mission is “to help fund and implement a worldwide proven coral reef restoration.” Read the rest of New underwater hotel in Florida to use profits to protect coral reefs

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New underwater hotel in Florida to use profits to protect coral reefs

Senate fails to override Obama’s Keystone XL veto

March 6, 2015 by  
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The Senate put one more nail in the Keystone XL Pipeline’s coffin yesterday when it failed to override President Obama’s veto of the project last week . With a two-thirds majority needed for the override to succeed, the Senate only managed to get 62 votes in favor of an override, with 37 votes going toward sustaining the veto. Read the rest of Senate fails to override Obama’s Keystone XL veto Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: congress votes on keystone xl , keystone , Keystone XL Pipeline , obama , override , presidential veto , senate , Veto , Vote

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Senate fails to override Obama’s Keystone XL veto

Tropical Swiss Thai House wraps a reclaimed wood deck around an azure pool

March 6, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Tropical Swiss Thai House wraps a reclaimed wood deck around an azure pool Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: architectkidd , homes made from reclaimed wood , reclaimed building materials , reclaimed wood , thai architecture , Thailand , Thailand architecture

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Tropical Swiss Thai House wraps a reclaimed wood deck around an azure pool

Bipartisan Deal Could End Government Shutdown Tonight, Prevent U.S. Default

October 16, 2013 by  
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US Capitol  photo from Shutterstock More than two weeks after disagreements over the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) forced a partial shutdown of the federal government , it appears that relief may finally be in sight. Multiple outlets report that the Senate has agreed on a bipartisan proposal to extend the nation’s debt limit. If Congress approves the package, which is expected, it would extend the debt ceiling, averting a devastating default, and allowing thousands of furloughed government workers to return to their jobs. As Inhabitat has reported over the past 16 days, the government shutdown infringed on Americans’ quality of life in many disturbing ways, from blocking access to publicly funded National Parks , to possibly facilitating a major salmonella outbreak . For all these reasons and more, we can only hope that reason prevails, and a consensus is reached before midnight Wednesday. Keep reading for more details about the proposed deal. Read the rest of Bipartisan Deal Could End Government Shutdown Tonight, Prevent U.S. Default Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carbon emissions , congress , Environment , federal employees , food safety , government , government shutdown , house , national parks , politics , salmonella , senate        

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Bipartisan Deal Could End Government Shutdown Tonight, Prevent U.S. Default

Biolite Infographic Shows the 3 Ps of Preparedness for Emergency Situations

October 16, 2013 by  
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BioLite knows a thing or two about emergency preparedness. The Brooklyn-based company was on the front lines during Hurricane Sandy , and its USB-charging CampStoves made national news for their role in helping residents keep communication lines open during the power outage. With the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaching, BioLite just unveiled its emergency preparedness infographic & giveaway . The BioLite 3 P’s of Preparedness infographic makes what can seem like an overwhelming task easy with its simple steps to plan, pack & power – check it out after the jump! The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Read the rest of Biolite Infographic Shows the 3 Ps of Preparedness for Emergency Situations Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3 ps of preparedness , BioLite , camping , disaster kit , Disaster Relief , Disaster-proof design , green design , green gadgets , infographic , natural disaster , outdoors , preparedness , renewable energy , sustainable design , USB-charging CampStoves        

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Biolite Infographic Shows the 3 Ps of Preparedness for Emergency Situations

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