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Environmental brief ~ House committee to vote on opening ANWR to drilling

[JURIST] In Tuesday's environmental law news, the US House Committee on Resources [official website] has announced that it is expecting to vote on February 9 on a broad energy bill that would allow oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) [official website], speed up approval of drilling permits in areas already open to energy exploration, cut federal royalties on oil and natural gas wells, and promote the development of geothermal energy on public lands. Reuters has more.

In other news,

  • The US National Institutes of Health [official website] has issued new regulations for all NIH staff scientists. The regulations prohibit NIH scientists from accepting consulting fees, speaking fees and any other form of income from all biomedical companies, professional societies and other outside entities. The scientists also must sell or otherwise dispose of any stock, or stock options, they hold in pharmaceutical or biotechnology firms. NIH has over 5,000 scientists that will be affected by the new policy. The LA Times has the full story.

  • The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) [official website] seeks comments on a proposed rule [official text] that would list the Salt Creek tiger beetle (Cicindela nevadica lincolniana) [scientific info] as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 [text from FWS]. The beetle is believed to only live in the salt marshes along one creek in Nebraska. Comments can be made here until April 4.

  • The FWS also seeks information [official request] on the karst meshweaver (spider), Cicurina cueva, in response to a petition that the spider be listed as endangered. Cicurina cueva is an eyeless, cave-dwelling spider that is believed to only exist in 2 or 3 caves around Austin, TX. Comments and information can be submitted here until May 15.

  • The National Marine Fisheries Service [official website] seeks comments on its annual specifications [official text] for the 2005 Atlantic herring fishery. The herring fishery specs include such matters as determining the allowable catch, the optimum yield, and the limits on domestic and foreign herring processing. Comments can be made here until March 2.

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