Latest Ellen Knickmeyer News

Monarch symbol of species in crisis as US protections shrink

Aug. 14, 2019 11:23 AM EDT

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — Hand-raising monarch butterflies in the midst of a global extinction crisis, Laura Moore and her neighbors gather round in her suburban Maryland yard to launch a butterfly newly emerged from its chrysalis. Eager to play his part, 3-year-old Thomas Powell flaps his arms and exclaims,...

US government weakens application of Endangered Species Act

Aug. 12, 2019 6:28 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration moved on Monday to weaken how it applies the 45-year-old Endangered Species Act, ordering changes that critics said will speed the loss of animals and plants at a time of record global extinctions . The action, which expands the administration's rewrite of U.S....

Union: Mulvaney comments confirm agency moves meant to cut

Aug. 6, 2019 6:52 PM EDT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A federal employees union charged Tuesday that recent comments by acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney confirm the Trump administration's "grand strategy" to cut the federal workforce by relocating agency offices out of Washington. Mulvaney said last week that the U.S....

AP FACT CHECK: The Democratic debates and Trump counterpunch

Aug. 3, 2019 8:13 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — In his typically boastful rally this past week, Donald Trump placed himself too high in the pantheon of presidents when it comes to getting his judicial picks on federal courts. He's been having a good run on that front but he's not where he said he is — ranking right under George...

AP FACT CHECK: Off notes from Democrats on climate, economy

Jul. 31, 2019 8:23 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic presidential contenders struck off notes on the science of global warming and the state of the economy in their Detroit debate Tuesday night. As much as scientists see the need for action on climate change, they don't lay out a looming point of no return , as Pete Buttigieg and...

Opponent of nation's public lands is picked to oversee them

Jul. 30, 2019 10:57 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — An ardent critic of the federal government who has argued for selling off almost all public lands has been named the Trump administration's top steward over nearly a quarter-billion federally controlled acres, raising new questions about the administration's intentions for vast Western...

Calif. skirts Trump, signs mileage deal with 4 automakers

Jul. 25, 2019 4:14 PM EDT

DETROIT (AP) — Four major automakers have reached a deal with California to toughen standards for gas mileage and greenhouse gas emissions, bypassing the Trump administration's push to relax mileage standards nationwide instead. Ford, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen signed the deal with the California Air...

What consumers can do as regulators weigh compounds' risks

Jul. 20, 2019 10:02 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — At first, Tomas Monarrez didn't notice the labels when he went shopping for pots and pans. 'Completely toxin free!" said a big green message on a line of nonstick frying pans in the cookware aisle at a store in the nation's capital. "No PFOA!" boasted the label on a 12-piece kitchen set....

EPA rejects challenge of pesticide linked to brain damage

Jul. 18, 2019 6:35 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency rejected a key legal challenge Thursday to a pesticide linked to brain damage in children, saying environmental groups had failed to prove that a ban was warranted. The agency's defense of continued use of the widely used bug-killer chlorpyrifos could...

Nuclear industry push for reduced oversight gaining traction

Jul. 17, 2019 7:05 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer mock commando raids to test nuclear power plants' defenses against terrorist attacks. Fewer, smaller government inspections for plant safety issues. Less notice to the public and to state governors when problems arise. They're part of the money-saving rollbacks sought by the...