Weekly News Roundup – January 4, 2013

from Wildlife Promise

Want to know what National Wildlife Federation was up to this week? Here is a recap of the week’s NWF news:

Transocean Pleads Guilty to Violating CWA and Will Pay $1.4 Billion

January 3 - The Department of Justice announced today that Transocean will plead guilty to violating the Clean Water Act and other statutes and pay $1 billion in civil penalties and $400 million in criminal penalties for its role in the 2010 Gulf oil disaster.

“This is an important step to get money flowing into the Gulf of Mexico,” said John Kostyack, vice president for wildlife conservation at the National Wildlife Federation. “Environmental restoration is critical to the well-being of the communities and ecosystems of the Gulf. In passing the bipartisan RESTORE Act, Congress recognized that a healthy ecosystem supports a healthy economy, both regionally and nationally. These are the first funds that will be directed under that historic statute, potentially beginning the largest ecosystem restoration project in U.S. history.”

Farm Bill Extension Falls Short

January 2 - After failing to pass a five year Farm Bill this past year, Congress has extended the 2008 Farm Bill for nine months as part of the fiscal crisis deal. In addition to preventing new farmers from enrolling in the Conservation Stewardship Program, the extension lacks funding for critical renewable energy programs and delays the implementation of sodsaver, a policy that would reduce federal subsidies for farmers who convert native grassland into cropland.

“It is disappointing that Congress was unable to pass a five year Farm Bill in time,” said Julie Sibbing, Director of Agriculture and Forestry Programs for the National Wildlife Federation. “Passing a nine month extension delays much needed reforms and cuts a key incentive program for farmers wanting to implement conservation measures on their land. America’s farmers, taxpayers and wildlife deserve more than this Band-Aid fix.”

TIME OUT: A New Year’s Resolution for the Whole Family

December 31 - One of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions is to “spend more time with my family”. National Wildlife Federation says one of the best ways to keep that resolution all year long is to head outdoors where families can enjoy time together while improving the physical and mental health of their children.

In 2013 resolve to Be Out There and spend more time in the company of Mother Nature. By doing this, families can recapture an essential part of childhood that is being lost; the part that makes outdoors the favorite play space. It’s easier than you think to work into a family routine and National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There program will be there throughout the year with activities, ideas and inspirations to get more green time into kid’s lives.

And here are highlights from NWF in the News:

For more, visit www.nwf.org/news