EJToday: Top Headlines
EJToday is SEJ's selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat. SEJ members are subscribed automatically, but may opt out here. Non-members may subscribe here. EJToday is also available via RSS feed. Please see Editorial Guidelines for EJToday content.
A record amount of US corn-based ethanol is being exported, despite the PR campaign touting ethanol as a domestic alternative to importing foreign oil. The reason: a Congress-passed tax credit for blending ethanol with gasoline. The credit -- a giveaway adding at least $6 billion to the federal deficit -- is scheduled to expire this year.
"Solyndra, a Silicon Valley solar-panel maker that won half a billion dollars in federal aid to build a state-of-the-art robotic factory, plans to announce on Wednesday that it will shut down an older plant and lay off workers."
"The financial risks posed by the loss of species and ecosystems have risen sharply and are becoming a greater concern for businesses than international terrorism, according to a United Nations report released [Wednesday]."
"A federal investigation into contaminated Chinese-made drywall has been a long, hard tug-of-war for U.S. investigators trying to pry information from Chinese government officials and manufacturers. When a team of investigators traveled to China last year, the tug-of-war became physical, with a Chinese official trying to wrest a piece of drywall from an American’s hands."
"In the months after the BP oil spill, the company announced that its gaffe-prone CEO, Tony Hayward, would be replaced by Bob Dudley, an American who served as the point person in the US on the spill. Since taking over on October 1, Dudley has been too busy to talk to members of Congress about the disaster the company unleashed on the Gulf. But he wasn't too busy today to accuse the media and other oil companies of making too much of a big deal about that 4.9 million barrels of oil they dumped."
"Prosecutors in Naples are investigating whether members of the local mafia are involved in protests against a new rubbish dump near Italy's third biggest city, a judicial source said on Monday."
Will the undervaluing of environmental risks and resources lead to another financial meltdown like the sub-prime mortgage disaster? A new report says credit rating agencies are ignoring water scarcity risks when rating municipal utility bonds. Investors stand to lose hundreds of billions.
"BEIJING-- A dispute between China and the United States over Beijing’s subsidies to clean energy industries escalated on Sunday when a senior Chinese economic official warned that Washington 'cannot win this trade fight.'"
A New York Times article on research implicating a fungus-virus combination as a cause of bee colony collapse failed to mention that the lead author received funding from a company making a pesticide that is also a leading suspect.
"Google is backing a plan to lay undersea cables to connect offshore windmills off the mid-Atlantic coast, a step the Internet giant hopes will boost wind power as an energy source."
"Alaska native corporations would lose their special contracting privileges under legislation that Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) intends to introduce next month, a move that will stir debate about the billions of dollars' worth of federal set-aside contracts that the companies receive."
"California voters are remaining true to one stereotype -- their commitment to the environment. A measure to suspend the state's vanguard climate change law is heading for failure, by a margin of 49 percent to 37 percent, because voters see the law doing more economic good than harm, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday showed."
"Manufacturers of products that claim to be environmentally friendly will face tighter rules on how they are advertised to consumers under changes proposed Wednesday by the Federal Trade Commission."
"As recently as late December, Monsanto was named 'company of the year' by Forbes magazine. Last week, the company earned a different accolade from Jim Cramer, the television stock market commentator. 'This may be the worst stock of 2010,' he proclaimed."
"Oil industry and government officials could get caught flat-footed again by another deep-water blowout in the coming months because they have yet to incorporate many of the lessons learned during the BP disaster, experts inside and outside the business tell The Associated Press."