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 long-delayed government epidemiological study of possible ties between diesel exhaust and lung cancer in miners may finally be published this fall -- but only after a mining industry group, represented by the Washington lobbying powerhouse Patton Boggs, finishes a pre-publication review of the study's drafts."
"The company whose pipeline exploded into a fireball in San Bruno this month has reported leaks at a rate six times the annual average for other large pipeline operators, data analyzed by The Times show."
"The tension between drillers in Pennsylvania's gas-rich Marcellus shale and communities trying protect natural resources has reached a fevered pitch in Clinton County, where a zoning hearing board resigned rather than allow a water withdrawal station at a scenic bend of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River that draws kayakers, hang gliders, hunters and fly fishermen."
"The oil giant nears an agreement to dispense $500 million through an alliance overseen by gulf state governors. Critics fear expertise elsewhere will be overlooked."
"Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu today vowed to block the Senate's confirmation of a top White House nominee until the Obama administration takes action on its deepwater drilling moratorium."
"A bill to enact a federal mandate for renewable electricity is gathering steam in the Senate. And unlike many issues in Washington these days, the measure is gaining support on both sides of the aisle. On Thursday, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) became the latest Republican to back a renewable electricity standard (RES)."
"Several Asian countries in addition to China could soon challenge the United States in the race to build a renewable energy industry if Washington doesn't provide more incentives for its domestic business, venture capitalists and others told a Congressional hearing on Wednesday."
"The Obama administration's bid to strengthen federal pipeline oversight is raising questions from environmental groups as well as industry, suggesting that safety reforms could fail to reach a legislative fast track despite three recent high-profile ruptures along the 2.3 million miles of U.S. oil and gas lines."
In a last-gasp effort to pass some energy legislation this year, a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill requiring utilities to generate at least 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. But they do not yet have the votes, and the first chance for action would be in a lame-duck session. The House has already passed such a bill.
"WASHINGTON — Nearly seven years after a government auditor charged that an oil company had cheated the government out of millions of dollars in royalties, a federal judge has ordered the company to pay nearly $23 million in penalties — including $5.7 million to the auditor who uncovered the problem."
The gas-drilling boom that is sweeping Pennsylvania is demonstrating the power of money to overcome landowners' reluctance and influence legislators and regulators. This fall, a gusher of gas-industry political campaign donations is spewing.
"A Valdez-based citizen watchdog group told legislators Tuesday that the state's arsenal of oil-response equipment lags behind modern technology and the state division that enforces the rules for preventing and cleaning up spills has an 'ever-worsening funding shortage.'"
"U.S. EPA is considering two former Halliburton Co. executives along with one of the most outspoken critics of hydraulic fracturing to provide independent expert advice on its study of the polarizing drilling practice."
"The top federal regulator of oil and gas pipelines is facing withering criticism for her ties to industry and her agency's floundering response to recent oil-pipeline spills in the Midwest and last week's deadly gas pipeline explosion in California."