In the latest drought monitor released by USDA on Thursday for South Carolina, the area of abnormally dry conditions in the upstate has increased from 1.19% last week to just shy of 12% this week. This area is concentrated in a band from Cherokee and Spartanburg Counties to the north, sweeping down and to the west to McCormick and Abbeville Counties to the southwest. The remainder of the state is drought free.
Pockets of Abnormally Dry Conditions Appear on this week’s Drought Monitor
Pockets of abnormally dry conditions have popped up in North Carolina as reported in the latest drought monitor released by USDA. The counties along the Tennessee border continue with abnormally dry conditions, but now they are joined by Cleveland, and Rutherford Counties, Randolph, Montgomery Moore and Southeastern Chatham Counties in the Piedmont, and Stokes and Rockingham Counties on the Virginia border, equating to just over 6 ¼% of the state. The remainder of the Tar Heel State is drought free.
U.S. Could be Exporting Crude Oil by August
It could be an energy game-changer. The Commerce Department has given two Texas-based companies the OK to sell ultra-light oil from the Lone Star State overseas. Energy Economist Ed Moore says the U.S. is already allowed to send crude to Canada and Mexico.
It would be the first export of unrefined U.S. oil since the Arab oil embargo of the 1970’s. Limited exports could start in August and grow to 700,000 barrels a day.
Legislation to Stop EPA’s ‘Secret Science’ Moves Forward
The House Science, Space and Technology Committee voted earlier this week to advance a bill intended to stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of what Republicans call secret science to write regulations – according to The Hill. Texas Representative Lamar Smith says EPA’s regulatory process is both hidden and flawed and maintains that EPA hides the data and then handpicks scientists to review it. He explains that the legislation would require EPA’s science to be available for validation and replication because Americans impacted by EPA regulations have a right to see the data and determine for themselves if the agency’s actions are based on sound science or a partisan agenda. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the agency’s scientific process is sound.