Economy & Business

Interior Coal Lease Data Not Available Online

You — as an owner (one of 314 million) of the coal reserves on federal land — might want to know whether the Bureau of Land Management is getting a fair return for your property when it is sold to a coal company. Good luck with that. Certainly, there is a database of federal coal lease activity. It's just that you would have a really hard time getting to it.

"Yale Fund Takes Aim at Climate Change"

"As pressure grows from students who want to see their schools use financial clout to address environmental issues, Yale University’s investment office wrote to its money managers asking them to assess how investments could affect climate change and suggesting they avoid companies that do not take sensible “steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”"

Source: NY Times, 09/09/2014

Report: Koch Founded Anti-Enviro Group To Protect Oil Industry Handouts

Faceless on Facebook, a shadowy but aggressive anti-environmental propaganda group called the Institute for Energy Research turns out, documents reveal, to be founded and funded by oil billionaire Charles Koch. It's mission: preserve tax breaks for big oil.

Source: Salon, 09/09/2014

"As BP Pays For Oil Spill Impact, Some People Aren't Seeing The Cash"

"BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico disrupted business all along the coastline. Through the end of July, the oil giant paid more than $13 billion to compensate people, businesses and communities affected. The company is disputing some of those claims in court battles that could drag on for years."

Source: NPR, 09/05/2014

"America’s Coal Heartland Is in Economic Freefall"

"LOGAN, W.Va. — For 51 years he’d lived in the same hollow and for two decades he’d performed the same job, mining coal from the underground seams of southern West Virginia. Then, on June 30, Michael Estep was jobless. His mine shut down, and its operator said “market conditions” made coal production unviable.

Source: Wash Post, 08/28/2014

Congress Doesn't Want You To Read These Reports

More evidence of Congress' ineffectiveness comes in its ongoing failure to keep its secrets actually secret. Its official policy is to keep the Congressional Research Service from publicly releasing the handy explainers it produces at taxpayer expense. Thanks again to the Federation of American Scientists' Government Secrecy Project for unauthorized publication of these reports.

Shouldn't "Trade Secrets" Face a Sunset in Interests of Public Health?

One of the oldest tricks U.S. industry has used to hide the potential harm to public health done by chemicals it puts into the environment is to claim that their identities are trade secrets via a loophole established under the antiquated Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976. On August 21st, a coalition of groups petitioned EPA for toxic trade secrets to have an expiration date.

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