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Interior Department Updates Scientific Integrity Policy and Creates Handbook

The Department of the Interior came out late yesterday with the 3.0 version of its scientific integrity policy, along with a new handbook that describes how the policy will be implemented. The new materials are simplified, streamlined, and more clear, bringing the department once again to the front of the pack in the Obama administration’s quest to create strong scientific integrity standards within federal agencies and departments. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is expected to speak about the new policy in a keynote address today before the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

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New Study Shows Electric Vehicles Can Have Significant Climate and Air Quality Benefits Compared to Gasoline Cars

A new study from the University of Minnesota shows that plug-in electric vehicles have both an air quality and global warming emissions benefit when they are charged using electricity generated from natural gas or renewable sources. However, the research finds that using electricity from coal-fired power plants in an EV is likely to have worse emissions than an average gasoline vehicle. This result isn’t surprising, but it’s also important to put in context. Many regions in the US use very little coal to generate electricity and the fraction of electricity in the US produced from coal has been dropping – meaning many EVs are delivering emissions benefits today and have the potential to deliver even more in the future.

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Google and the EPA’s Clean Power Plan: Leaders and Fortune 500 Companies Unite in Support of Renewable Energy

Q: What do Google, 223 other businesses, 14 attorneys general, 11 U.S. senators, and more than 25 environmental, public health, and clean energy organizations all have in common?

A: They all told EPA that renewable energy should play a strong role in reducing emissions from existing power plants under its proposed Clean Power Plan. Read More

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Then vs Now: Progress on Nuclear Weapons since the End of the Cold War

The Cold War ended 25 years ago this month, according to many historians. On Dec. 2 and 3, 1989, Presidents Bush and Gorbachev met on a ship off the island of Malta in the Mediterranean and announced an end of hostilities between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The two presidents quickly turned to addressing the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War: the bloated nuclear arsenals in both countries. Within a few years, they cut their nuclear stockpiles in half, and have continued to cut them in the decades since. With U.S.-Russian tensions high again, it’s worth remembering what progress has been made. Read More

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FDA Head Speaks Up for Science

When President Obama asked Dr. Margaret Hamburg to head the Food and Drug Administration in 2009, he chose a seasoned scientist with a demonstrated passion for public health.  Read More

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