"The Obama administration has restored U.S. land managers' powers to curb development on vast tracts of America's back country, undoing what conservation groups called a 'no more wilderness' policy put in place under President George W. Bush."
"The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta would become a "national heritage area" and receive federal funding and planning oversight under a controversial provision slipped into a massive spending bill that died a sudden death Thursday night."
"The Department of Interior has identified some two dozen potential sites for large-scale solar power installations on public lands in six Western states as part of an effort to encourage development of renewable energy on public lands and waters."
"The United States is too reliant on China for minerals crucial to new clean energy technologies, making the American economy vulnerable to shortages of materials needed for a range of green products — from compact fluorescent light bulbs to electric cars to giant wind turbines."
A US Geological Survey report offers a perspective on the global situation and an assessment of known US deposits. There may be about 13 million metric tons available in 14 states — with the sites generally posing the usual environmental challenges associated with mining and refining.
"In the fight over proposed mining projects in northern Minnesota, a new player with a surprising amount of clout has emerged -- wild rice."
Despite promises of transparency, the US Environmental Protection Agency has denied a Freedom-of-Information request by Charleston Gazette reporter Ken Ward Jr. for the contractor study, which apparently outlines less harmful options for this West Virginia mountaintop-removal project.
"Congress may lose its best chance to pass a suite of public lands proposals that would protect more than 2 million acres of federal lands as wilderness if it fails to move an omnibus measure in the lame-duck session, conservation groups say."
"Approximately 13 million metric tons of rare earth elements (REE) exist within known deposits in the United States, according to the first-ever nationwide estimate of these elements by the U.S. Geological Survey."