These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.
- Officials in the United Kingdom are working to fight global warming while still heating homes. One option is to use hydrogen, which burns cleaner than natural gas and doesn’t give off carbon dioxide.
- Voters in New Orleans voted down a property tax increase, which would have been used to fund police and fire departments. With 95% of the precincts reporting, voters rejected the tax by some 1,700 votes, 53% to 47%.
- While the Flint, Michigan, water contamination has made headlines across the country, other states are facing similar concerns about lead pipes contaminating their water supplies. Several water systems in Arizona have tested above the federal limit for lead in the past 3 years.
- In Rome, Georgia, two coal ash ponds will be sealed within the next 2 years as part of Georgia Power’s plan to cap many of the utility’s coal ash ponds. Closing all 29 of the utility’s coal ash ponds throughout the state is expected to cost more than $1 billion.
- The Keystone Pipeline is ready for restart after repairs following an oil spill earlier this month in South Dakota. The spill was estimated at 16,800 gallons.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing Wednesday to debate the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, which is authorized through September 2016. Supporters note that the program has created 30,000 jobs a year, but opponents are concerned about the reports of fraud and too much of the invested funds being used in wealthy areas.
- Virginia’s Economic Development Partnership was once against the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, but state officials now appear to take a more neutral stance toward the program, which could bring money and jobs to the state.
- A 2015 oil spill in California poured 140,000 gallons of crude oil along the north side of Santa Barbara’s Refugio State Beach. Plains All American Pipeline could end up spending as much as $250 million in cleanup costs, fines, and legal settlements.
- Researchers wanted to get a better idea of the number of methane leaks across the country, so they flew overhead suspect areas with leak-detecting equipment. Hundreds of methane leaks were discovered at fracking well pads throughout the United States.
- In Illinois, workers are cleaning up more than 200 leaking underground storage tanks. However, a battle over the state’s budget is causing headaches for contractors who are counting on financing from the government.