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 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."
"Last night, Michael Bromwich, the new director of the Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (formerly known as the Minerals Management Service), circulated an email to staffers outlining new ethics policies for employees who deal with offshore drilling, an attempt to reform his run amuck division's rep for being too cozy with oil and gas interests."
"Despite vigorous opposition from industry, it appears [Wyoming] state regulators and the general public will have broad access to documents detailing chemicals used in oil and gas drilling, hydraulic fracturing and other drilling operations."
"Edmonton -- A study set to be published on Monday has found elevated levels of mercury, lead and eleven other toxic elements in the oil sands' main fresh water source, the Athabasca River, refuting long-standing government and industry claims that water quality there hasn't been affected by oil sands development."
"In a remote reach of the Gulf of Mexico, nearly 200 miles from shore, a floating oil platform thrusts its tentacles deep into the ocean like a giant steel octopus. ... Even as regulators investigate the causes of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the broader dangers posed by the industry’s push into deeper waters have gone largely unscrutinized."
"A study released on Thursday finds that 39 sites in 21 states where coal-fired power plants dump their coal ash are contaminating water with toxic metals such as arsenic and other pollutants, and that the problem is more extensive than previously estimated."
"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."