Energy & Environment

Antibiotics in agriculture are essential for animal and human health

Antibiotic resistance is a significant global public-health challenge that has created an emotional public response among critics, public-health experts, and animal-health advocates. It involves debate over antibiotic use in both humans and animals, and demands improved monitoring and surveillance, more research and, ultimately, the development of a range of tools that will help reduce reliance on antibiotics. This week’s Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, “Antibiotic Resistance and the Use of Antibiotics in Animal Agriculture,” will further examine how these products are used in agriculture and their impact on human health.

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Asian Carp solution: Use science, not scare tactics

During routine monitoring efforts related to the control of Asian carp in the Illinois Waterway System, member agencies of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee announced one bighead Asian carp was found in Lake Calumet, Illinois. The following week, Indiana Department of Natural Resources announced they discovered a spawning population of Asian carp in the Wabash River — miles from Lake Erie. Some used these discoveries to sound the alarm and encourage a sense of panic, it is important we approach the situation with level heads.

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The Big Question: Should Obama still pursue a drilling ban?

Some of the nation's top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals offer insight into the biggest question burning up the blogosphere today.



Today's question:

Should the Obama administration keep pursuing a deepwater drilling moratorium?


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Industry standards not at fault in Gulf oil spill

As Americans, we have seldom shirked our duty in the face of great obstacles. We have consistently demonstrated an ability to overcome any hurdle that seemed to stand between us and what we believe to be our destiny.

This year’s Gulf disaster poses yet another of these challenges. And true to form, Americans are now assessing not only this singular incident but also how best to continue toward our “bright future.” The results of this assessment are quite clear; we need to continue developing technologies and processes to more safely cultivate our vast national resources.

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Less finger pointing, more leadership needed in response to oil spill

U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) issued the following statement today regarding Governor Charlie Crist’s call for a special legislative session to constitutionally ban offshore oil drilling, something already prohibited by Florida law:

The Obama/Crist response to the oil spill has been a total failure and Florida families and businesses are suffering because of it. This special session is nothing more than a political sideshow that will do nothing to help Panhandle businesses, keep oil off our beaches, or prevent future spills. In fact, Charlie Crist seeks to ban something that is already illegal under state law.  We don’t need more photo ops and finger pointing. We need leadership.

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To BP: The meter's running — you spill it, you buy it (Rep. Chellie Pingree)

Let’s say you are filling your car at a BP gas station, the numbers on the pump steadily ticking. But when you pull out the pump you give it an extra squeeze, spilling oil on the ground. The meter on the pump just keeps rolling. In other words, you spill it, you buy it.

Unfortunately, we aren’t holding oil companies accountable to the same policy they hold their patrons. I’ve introduced legislation to change that and have set up a tool on my web site to remind oil companies that the meter’s running.

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Moratorium on deepwater oil and natural gas development is detrimental to nation's recovery

American manufacturers need a vibrant offshore oil and natural gas industry to continue supplying the nation with materials critical to health, safety, technology, productivity and energy efficiency. Policies that make domestic energy less available or more expensive will harm U.S. manufacturing, including chemical manufacturing and the many other industries we serve.

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U.S. EPA sets course for cleaner air

In Washington D.C., the recent soaring temperatures and unhealthy air have prompted trash collection crews to begin their mornings even earlier to avoid the detrimental health effects of breathing polluted air. Residents of all ages were warned to stay inside, and many avoided July 4th festivities due to the code-orange air quality alert.

Sadly, this type of pollution is afflicting residents not just in the District but all over the nation.

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Be honest about the future when it comes to energy (Sen. Dick Durbin)

The following are remarks delivered by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on the Senate floor in response to remarks by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.):

In response to the Republican leader's speech, I have three words: Drill, baby, drill. That was the chant we heard across the United States from the Republican side of the aisle during the last presidential campaign. The notion was that if we just started drilling in every direction, we could solve America's energy problems. It was an irresponsible chant, failing to address the most fundamental issue of our time: the future of America's national energy picture.

What you heard this morning from the Republican leader is a return to the subject but ignoring the past. What we know is this: We know we have become more and more dependent on foreign oil. It costs us, as a nation, $1 billion a day that we are sending overseas to other countries to buy their oil to sustain our economy. This dependence, unfortunately, leads to commitments we have to make — military commitments, political commitments, economic commitments — because of this dependence on foreign oil.

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Solve the immediate problem first: Gushing oil into the ocean (Sen. Mitch McConnell)

The following are remarks by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) on the floor of the Senate Wednesday morning:

Yesterday, President Obama invited a group of senators down to the White House to talk about the kind of energy bill he’d like Congress to pass sometime this summer.

The first thing we heard about this meeting is that the president said it was not a meeting about the oil spill. Let me say that again — the president said the purpose of this meeting was not to discuss the ongoing crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, where up to 60,000 barrels of oil are spewing into the Gulf waters each and every day, and which have been for 72 days now.

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