A case in point is Klamath Falls, Oregon, where residents have been exchanging angry words for over a century. The argument centers on whether salmon or farmers should have use of the water in the Klamath River Basin. This week, farmers, environmentalists and the state of Oregon reached an agreement in the dispute.
But, battles over the environment continue and other thorny issues -- like global climate -- are now competing for the limelight. A recent Environmental Protection Agency "endangerment" ruling on greenhouse gasses, like carbon dioxide, drew fire from several groups. This week, the state of Texas joined the ranks of those disagreeing with EPA.
Last December, the EPA reported greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, pose a threat to human health and welfare, setting the stage for possible regulation of CO2 under the Clean Air Act.
Governor Rick Perry and other top Texas officials claim the EPA's ruling is based on flawed science. They are calling for a federal appeals court to review the issue and for the EPA to reconsider its claims.
The announcement was met with criticism from environmental activists who say Perry's decisions are based on his ties to heavy industry groups. Texas has more oil refineries, chemical plants and coal-fired power plants than any other state.
Also filing petitions this week challenging the EPA were the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Petroleum Institute and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association.