The week that was

CALM SOURIS? The latest flood potential outlook for the Souris River basin didn’t contain much, if any, bad news for Minot and other cities along the river. At no point is runoff this spring projected to produce a serious flood threat, according to the predictions from the National Weather Service. The outlook says there is “only a remote possibility” that the Souris will rise to the high levels from recent years. The report isn’t the final outlook to be released, of course, and conditions could change during the spring months if there is heavy rain or more snow, but it’s still good news for everyone living in the Souris River basin. The prediction changes a bit for areas located downstream from Minot, but there are still no signs that the river will approach the historic levels witnessed in 2011.

WAR ON COAL Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives blocked the Obama administration’s proposal to limit carbon pollution from new power plants built in the U.S. The Environmental Protection?Agency’s proposal would set national limits on pollution from any new power plant, and is widely seen by Republicans as another tactic by the Obama administration to eliminate the coal industry. There are no coal-fired power plants under consideration in the U.S., mainly because of relatively low natural gas prices. But that could change in the future, leading to more coal-fired generation plants. Under the EPA’s proposed regulations, it would be virtually impossible to build new coal plants, opponents of the EPA plan said, who argue that the plan’s requirements to reduce emissions is based on technology that doesn’t currently exist. Opponents also say the rule affecting future power plants is a prelude to another plan in the works that would drastically curb carbon pollution from existing plants. The White House has threatened to veto the legislation passed by the House. And the fight goes on.