These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

  • Stop the Keystone XL pipeline rally outside the State Department hearing at the Ronald Reagan building on October 7th, 2011. Credit: chesapeakeclimate. Used under CC BY-SA 2.0.

    The Keystone XL Pipeline, which was blocked during the Obama Administration, could possibly move forward following directives signed by President Donald Trump to expedite both the Keystone and the Dakota Access Pipelines.

  • Homeowners viewed the value of their properties 1.33 percent higher than the appraised values. It was the first time the difference in values has increased since June, according to the National Home Price Perception Index.
  • The average property tax rate in the United States is 1.20 percent. New Jersey has the highest rate at 2.11 percent, and Hawaii’s rate is the lowest at just 0.28 percent.
  • University of Colorado Boulder researchers plan to study methane leaks from natural gas storage facilities. The team will use a ground-based laser system to monitor the facilities.
  • Legislators in Florida are considering a complete ban on all hydraulic fracturing operations in the state. A similar bill brought forward in previous legislative sessions was killed in the Senate.
  • Indiana could be the next state to raise the minimum wage. Lawmakers submitted two separate bills that would raise the minimum wage in the state to as much as $15 an hour.
  • A Chinese court ruled that owners of three chemical plants will not lose any money over a lawsuit filed after hundreds of schoolchildren became sick at a school located near soil contaminated by the plants.
  • The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program might soon require a higher investment. The Department of Homeland Security proposed raising the minimum investment to $1.35 million, up from $500,000.