The Keystone XL Oil Pipeline project is getting an endorsement from former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. He said it can be built and operated safely as long as TransCanada agrees to meet tough environmental standards and even pay for conservation programs along the pipeline route. Salazar said that the pipeline could be a "win-win" project that benefits U.S. energy security while boosting conservation efforts in Montana, South Dakota and other affected states.
Trees are at the center of a controversy in Emmetsburg, Iowa. The city is starting to build a new community center on Five Island Lake. Plans call for 21 oak trees to be cut down along the lakeside as part of the project. Candi Brotherton has launched a petition drive to save the oaks. City officials said they hope the community recognizes they aren't trying to tear down, but showcase the beautiful landscape of Emmetsburg.
Sioux City Fire Rescue personnel do some "May Day" training. The firefighters train every week for various types of emergencies, but at least once a year they do this intensive worst-case scenario staging. That includes situations where fire crews may have to rescue themselves from an emergency, such as a building collapsing on them. One purpose behind the training is to help crews stay calm in a life-threatening situation.
The Obama Administration announces the creation of seven "climate hubs," including one in Iowa. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack introduced the program at the White House on Wednesday. The USDA said the hubs will provide scientific knowledge to help farmers battle risks associated with climate change, including drought, floods, and fire.
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