Disasters

Storms Kills 45 as GOP, White House, Cut Weather Service Funds

"At least 45 people have been confirmed dead after a furious storm that has reportedly spawned over 100 tornadoes during the past week tore through the Midwest and moved on to southern states...." Meanwhile, budget cuts in the stopgap 2011 spending bill will diminish the National Weather Service's ability to predict weather that may harm people, property, or businesses.

Source: ABC News, 04/18/2011

"What's Under Elmer's Island?"

The Louisiana sand spit called Elmer's island belongs to the state of Louisiana, and is supposed to be open to the public. But guards hired by BP denied a CNN reporter access when he tried to see how the post-spill cleanup was going. BP and its contractor say the secrecy is to protect equipment, but the only equipment is rakes. BP says the area is accessible to the public even though it isn't. The U.S. Coast would not return CNN's calls.

Source: CNN, 04/18/2011

"Weather Satellites on the Chopping Block"

The fiscal year 2011 budget deal just passed by Congress slashes funds for weather satellites. That may hurt the bottom lines of small and large businesses from farming to shipping and insurance that depend on accurate weather forecasts. It is also wasteful of taxpayer funds, since the temporary budget cut is just show, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and laid-off workers in the program will need to be hired back at greater cost. It may also mean that people will die in weather disasters.

Source: Green (NYT), 04/15/2011

"U.S. Nuclear Regulator Lets Industry Write Rules"

"The Davis Besse incident has resurfaced in the wake of the ongoing nuclear crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant. Stories recounting close ties between Japanese nuclear regulators and utilities there have reinvigorated critics who say the NRC has not been an aggressive enough U.S. watchdog."

Source: ProPublica, 04/14/2011

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