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.
"In the rush to develop America's biggest new source of domestic energy, one community is fighting to protect its rural way of life from the environmental strains that accompany shale gas drilling."
"The Environmental Protection Agency sent letters to nine drilling companies on Thursday requesting detailed information about the chemicals contained in fluids used to crack open underground rock formations in the hunt for oil and natural gas."
Author Bill McKibben and a group of activists have found the old solar panels that Jimmy Carter installed atop the White House, and that Ronald Reagan removed. McKibben's group 350.org has been hauling the panel on a publicity road trip to DC to urge Barack Obama to reinstall them. The symbolism has everything to do with the fossil industry's victory in quashing climate legislation, the future of a world climate treaty, and the political future of a president whom environmentalists see as AWOL on his campaign promises. McKibben has booked a meeting with Obama for today.
"A far-reaching federal program of research and analysis, funded by Congress and designed to help the nation anticipate and temper the mounting conflict between rising energy demand and diminishing supplies of fresh water, has been brought to a standstill by the Department of Energy, according to government researchers involved in the project."
"Even as lighting companies report advances in LED technology, consumers are being warned that some LED lighting products do not live up to the hype."
"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said on Friday he cannot predict whether Royal Dutch Shell, which has invested $3.5 billion in an offshore Arctic oil-development program, will be allowed to drill the five wells it plans next year in Alaska's Chukchi and Beaufort Seas."
"New oil and gas drilling is probably the most visible activity people associate with threats to groundwater in Texas. But it's not usually the source of known contamination, according to state records. Instead, old or abandoned oil and gas wells, petroleum storage facilities and even existing water wells are most frequently identified as problems."
"An oil and natural gas production platform exploded in flames Thursday morning, sending 13 workers on board plunging into the Gulf of Mexico and touching raw nerves about the safety of offshore energy operations in the wake of the BP spill. But none of the 13 workers sustained serious injury, and by the end of the day Thursday, it appeared catastrophe had been averted and that early comparisons to BP's April 20 disaster were unjustified."
"A federal judge has ordered Patriot Coal Corp. to spend millions of dollars to clean up selenium pollution at two surface coal mines in West Virginia. Environmental groups said it was the first time a court had demanded restrictions on selenium, a trace mineral commonly discharged from Appalachian surface mines, where the tops of mountains are blown away to expose coal."
"The federal government is warning residents in a small Wyoming town with extensive natural gas development not to drink their water, and to use fans and ventilation when showering or washing clothes in order to avoid the risk of an explosion."
"Duke Energy said Wednesday it might close seven coal-fired units at its Carolinas power plants within five years as environmental regulations intensify."
"The company that runs the trans-Alaska pipeline remains under federal investigation and is in the middle of major changes after an internal probe this summer raised serious concerns about how it handled a major pipeline leak and emergency shutdown in May."