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.
The fracking industry loves to argue that there's no proof its gas-extraction methods cause pollution. One reason they succeed because they settle lawsuits claiming pollution damages by obligating the plaintiffs to remain silent.
To hear Canada's oil industry tell it, the U.S. State Department's draft environmental impact statement (EIS) on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is exactly wrong. The EIS said Canada's tar sands oil would be shipped regardless of whether the pipeline is built. But the oil industry says it will double their output.
"In what at least one expert is calling a 'very unusual' move, TransCanada Corp. is reportedly digging up and rebuilding dozens of sections of the already-completed part of the Keystone XL pipeline."
"The Environmental Protection Agency plans to announce targets for U.S. ethanol use in 2013 and 2014 this summer, an EPA official told lawmakers on Wednesday, even as critics of the program warned of a brewing fuel crisis."
"America's first offshore wind lease sale will take place in July, the Interior Department announced Tuesday. It's good news for the US wind industry, which is hoping to expand beyond land-based production."
"On Tuesday the Interior Department unveiled plans for the nation's first auction of offshore wind leases. It's more good news for the US wind industry, which installed a record amount of capacity in 2012, and received a one-year extension on the federal tax credits driving much of the industry's growth.
A series of oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, damaged during a September 2004 hurricane, are still leaking in a "chronic" oil spill. SkyTruth brought the pollution to light using satellite imagery, aerial photography, and publicly available government data. The slicks are bigger than the company responsible is reporting.
For the first time, hydraulic fracturing is specifically addressed in state oil and gas regulations set to take effect June 18. Environmental groups say that is a good first step, but the regulations don’t go far enough to protect Tennessee’s natural resources and keep the public informed about drilling operations.
"BEAUMONT, Texas -- The sound was deafening as workers sandblasted a section of the Gulf Coast Project, the southern installment of TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL Pipeline project."
"OTTAWA -- A pipeline for exporting oil sands bitumen to Asia-bound tankers was dealt a severe blow on Friday when the province of British Columbia urged a federal review panel to reject the $6 billion plan."
"ATLANTA -- The Southern Co. makes billion-dollar decisions that affect millions of people in Georgia, yet it has attracted little political scrutiny — until now. Leaders of the Atlanta Tea Party are challenging Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power over the monopoly's reluctance to increase its use of solar power, the ballooning costs of building a new nuclear power plant and even its legal right to monopoly status."
"ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. -- Kim Sandum is driving on a one-lane gravel road inside the George Washington National Forest, the largest federally protected forest on the East Coast. She points to a trout stream gurgling over rocks and shallows not 20 feet from her rolling minivan."
"As shale hydrocarbons development surges, redrawing the U.S. energy map, so has construction of pipelines and processing infrastructure. Most of the cash that is financing the enormous capital projects comes from tax-favored investments called master limited partnerships."
"Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, who oversaw a broad expansion of the regulator’s oversight of the electric grid and several probes into improper trading tactics by Wall Street banks, will depart his post."
"A liberal watchdog group says the State Department’s inspector general (IG) is probing possible conflicts of interest in the federal environmental review of the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline."