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 BP oil spill was a massive 'failure' in government oversight and administrations should be forced to consult with experts in the field before making expansive drilling policy, top officials of the White House's oil spill commission said on Wednesday."
"California's long-awaited boom in solar power plant construction took a major step forward Wednesday when state regulators approved the first in a string of projects that will soon blanket thousands of acres of desert with mirrors harnessing the energy of the sun."
"The United States on Tuesday offered to help major economies such as China and India develop shale gas, a rapidly growing sector in North America which US officials bill as a clean alternative." The motives may be as much geopolitical as environmental.
"While it is too early to gauge the long-term environmental or economic effects of the release of 4.9 million barrels of oil into the gulf, it now appears that the direst predictions about the moratorium will not be borne out."
"Two weeks after BP's Macondo well blew out in the Gulf of Mexico, the federal government's Minerals Management Service finalized a regulation intended to control the undersea pressures that threaten deepwater drilling operations. MMS did not write the rule. As it had dozens of times before, the agency adopted language provided by the oil industry's trade group, the American Petroleum Institute, and incorporated it into the Federal Register."
Campo Kumeyaay Nation, a small tribe in the desert mountains east of San Diego, benefitted from the casino that opened in 2001. Now it wants to build a 25-turbine wind farm called Kumeyaay 1, the only large-scale renewable energy plant on Indian land in the country. But a big problem is the tribe's tax status: as a sovereign nation it can not receive the federal tax credits that make such projects feasible.
"Above the Arctic Circle in Canada near Greenland, five Inuit villages have won a court order that blocks a German icebreaker from conducting seismic tests of an underwater region that abounds with marine life -- and possibly with oil, gas and minerals."
"The Obama administration has decided to spend $1 billion in Recovery Act funds to build FutureGen 2.0, a clean coal repowering program and carbon dioxide storage network, in Illinois."
Residents of West Virginia's Raleigh County hope to save Coal River Mountain from being destroyed by mountaintop removal mining by building a wind energy project there.
"Recently retired Environmental Protection Agency environmental engineer Weston Wilson is best known for criticizing his employer’s 2004 finding that hydraulic fracturing poses little or no risk to domestic groundwater. Now, the Denver EPA whistleblower is encouraged by the agency’s interest in studying the natural gas development procedure’s potential impacts on air quality as well."
"Delving into the gritty details of how offshore drilling is regulated, a National Academy of Engineering inquiry into the Deepwater Horizon well blowout found a big hole in oversight during a hearing on Thursday."
"BP has agreed to pay a record $50.6 million fine to the federal government for safety violations found by regulators last year at its troubled refinery in Texas City, Tex., where 15 workers died in a 2005 explosion."
"Southern California is poised to become the world's solar power capital as the Obama administration continues to stamp its approval on large-scale renewable energy projects across the Mojave and Colorado deserts."