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Apr 10, 2014

Democratic senators press Obama for Keystone decision by May 31

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Eleven U.S. Democratic senators urged President Barack Obama on Thursday to make a final decision on whether to approve TransCanada Corp’s Keystone XL crude oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast no later than May 31.

“We need a definitive timeline laid out, a timeline that reduces the comment period for federal agencies, officials and other entities,” the senators wrote to Obama. “We cannot miss another construction season.”

Apr 3, 2014

cig rule coming ‘very soon,’ U.S. FDA chief says

WASHINGTON, April 3 (Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration is “pushing very hard” to release a proposed rule
that would establish its authority over e-cigarettes, the head
of the agency said on Thursday amid concerns the products pose a
risk to children.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg told senators at a
Congressional budget hearing that it has taken too long to move
the rule forward and that she expects the proposal to be ready
for release “very soon.”

Mar 29, 2014

U.S. groups accuse Mexico of dumping sugar as sweetener tensions build

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, March 28 (Reuters) – U.S. sugar
industry groups on Friday accused Mexican exporters of dumping
cheap, subsidized supplies on the U.S. market, firing the
opening shot in a potential trade war after months of growing
tension in the sweetener industry.

In a petition to the U.S. International Trade Commission,
which experts have called the first of its kind, the sugar cane
and sugar beet groups said that “dumped and subsidized” imports
would cost U.S. producers nearly $1 billion in net income in
2013-14.

Mar 28, 2014

U.S. groups accuse Mexico of dumping subsidized sugar

WASHINGTON, March 28 (Reuters) – U.S. sugar cane and sugar
beet groups on Friday asked federal authorities to investigate
what they called “dumped and subsidized” imports of sugar from
Mexico, according to a filing with the U.S. International Trade
Commission.

“It is our intention to file countervailing duty and
antidumping petitions against the Mexican sugar industry,” said
Phillip Hayes, a spokesman for the American Sugar Alliance,
which represents U.S. producers.

Mar 27, 2014

U.S. lists lesser prairie chicken as threatened, energy groups wary

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Thursday listed the lesser prairie chicken, a small grassland bird native to parts of the country’s oil and gas belt, as “threatened,” a move that could draw the ire of some Western lawmakers and energy producers.

“The lesser prairie chicken is in dire straits,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director Dan Ashe, citing a “rapid and severe decline” in the species’ population.

Mar 26, 2014

Landing at wrong airport can be ‘catastrophic’: regulator

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board issued a safety alert on Wednesday on how airplane pilots can avoid landing at the wrong airport, after recent incidents when planes landed on much shorter runways than their intended destinations.

“All of us have experienced a loss of situational awareness at some time, but the consequences for pilots mistaking a nearby airport for the intended one, or landing on the wrong runway or a taxiway, can have catastrophic consequences,” said NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman.

Mar 26, 2014

Landing at wrong airport can be “catastrophic” – U.S. regulator

WASHINGTON, March 26 (Reuters) – The U.S. National
Transportation Safety Board issued a safety alert on Wednesday
on how airplane pilots can avoid landing at the wrong airport,
after recent incidents when planes landed on much shorter
runways than their intended destinations.

“All of us have experienced a loss of situational awareness
at some time, but the consequences for pilots mistaking a nearby
airport for the intended one, or landing on the wrong runway or
a taxiway, can have catastrophic consequences,” said NTSB
chairman Deborah Hersman.

Mar 25, 2014

Pricier beef ‘here to stay’ as food costs seen higher: USDA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. food prices are expected to rise more rapidly this year after a very tame 2013, led by gains in beef, poultry and egg prices, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday.

The food price inflation outlook assumes normal weather, the USDA said, adding that the California drought poses a risk of bigger increases in many food categories, and that high supermarket prices for beef are “here to stay.”

Mar 13, 2014

U.S. senators urge help for producers hit by deadly pig virus

WASHINGTON, March 13 (Reuters) – Two U.S. senators urged the
U.S. Department of Agriculture to approve disaster assistance
for small pork producers affected by a deadly virus that has
killed more than four million pigs across the United States in
the past year.

Democrats Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, chair of the Senate
Agriculture Committee, and Kay Hagan of North Carolina, also
urged increased research to find a vaccine for Porcine Endemic
Diarrhea Virus (PEDv), for which no treatment currently exists.

Mar 5, 2014

Miner Alpha settles with U.S. over coal pollution violations

WASHINGTON, March 5 (Reuters) – Alpha Natural Resources Inc.
, one of the largest U.S. coal producers, has reached a
consent decree to settle a complaint about pollution discharged
by coal mines into Appalachian rivers and streams, federal
authorities said on Wednesday.

The U.S. Department of Justice and Environmental Protection
Agency said Alpha will spend about $200 million to install and
operate wastewater treatment systems and to implement
comprehensive upgrades to reduce the level of pollution from
mines in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West
Virginia.

    • About Ros

      "Ros Krasny is Boston Bureau Chief, leading coverage of the New England scene. She was previously a regional Federal Reserve correspondent based in Chicago, and spent many years writing about agricultural commodity markets with Bridge News and Knight-Ridder Financial news."
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