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 U.S. Department of Energy said on Wednesday it will provide a Texas clean coal plant with $450 million in funding months after a power company shelved plans for a similar plant in West Virginia."
"GLENDIVE, Mont. — The final days of rancorous public debate over a $7 billion oil pipeline that would snake from Canada through the midsection of the United States have taken on an unexpected urgency this week, as the economic and environmental stakes of the massive project snap into focus at a time of festering anxiety about the nation's future."
The Senate voted 79-12 Monday night to approve a bipartisan stopgap spending bill that funds some disaster relief from FEMA and and abandons controversial cuts to green energy programs. Democrats said they expected the seven-week funding extension to be approved by the GOP-led House, which is in pro forma session after most members went home.
"NEW TOWN, N.D. — Across western North Dakota, hundreds of fires rise above fields of wheat and sunflowers and bales of hay. At night, they illuminate the prairie skies like giant fireflies."
"Perry fast-tracked new plants and made Texas even more polluted than it already was."
"In April 2006, a few days before Earth Day, Texas Gov. Rick Perry joined executives of TXU, the state's largest utility and biggest carbon dioxide emitter, in cheering plans to open a staggering 11 new coal-fired power plants throughout Texas. With rolling blackouts still fresh on many Texans' minds, Perry hailed TXU's rapid expansion as a path to energy security, not to mention a way to create jobs and potentially lower energy costs.
"ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Shell Oil Co. on Monday took a step closer to tapping vast petroleum reserves off Alaska's Arctic coasts when the federal Environmental Protection Agency approved an air quality permit for one of the company's drilling vessels."
"Beijing -- Authorities ordered a solar-panel manufacturing plant in eastern China to close after four days of protests by hundreds of villagers who have accused the facility of causing air and water pollution, Chinese media reported Monday.
The decision is an indication of the growing power of environmental protesters to sway government policy in China. As many as 500 villagers participated in the protests near Haining, an industrial city of 640,000 in coastal Zhejiang province.
"As an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News has shown , oil refining is one of the country’s most dangerous industries, where even seemingly small recurring events such as equipment breakdowns and fires can have fatal consequences. Yet an easily manipulated regulatory system allows companies to delay or avoid improvements. While the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration occasionally appears to take a tough stance, identifying perils and proposing fines, the fines are often small and can be appealed for long periods of time, delaying fixes."
"FORT McMURRAY, Alberta -- As U.S. companies look toward oil riches in northern Canada, they're encountering increasing competition - as well as some much-needed cash infusions - from the Far East. U.S. and Canadian companies have dominated Alberta's oil sands for decades. Now, though, Chinese firms are rushing to snap up Canadian oil sands resources and invest in ongoing projects - to the tune of $15 billion in the past 18 months in Alberta alone."
"The latest probe into last year's Gulf of Mexico blowout and oil spill -- a federal report that blames much of the disaster on poor management decisions by BP PLC -- has elicited strong but varied responses on Capitol Hill, but its chances of prompting immediate legislative action remain slim."
In Whiting, Indiana, and across the Midwest, old refineries are being expanded to process the crude oil expected from Canada's tar sands. Citizens near BP's century-old refinery in Whiting are concerned that it will harm their health.
"U.S. power plants can comply with new environmental rules without disrupting the supply of electricity if providers and local authorities have time to plan for the changes, energy regulators told congressional Republicans seeking to unwind the rules."
"It’s official — the Empire State Building has been awarded LEED Gold certification. Thanks to a massive green overhaul that took more than two years, the landmark is now the tallest building in the United States to receive LEED certification. "
"Two weeks after the bankruptcy of a solar company that got $527 million in government loans, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday to explore what went wrong."
Hundreds of anti-fracking protestors rallied outside a Marcellus Shale industry conference in Philadelphia. Aubrey McClendon, the chief executive of Chesapeake Energy Co., called people concerned about the safety of their families' drinking water "extremists," even as an industry-friendly report noted that fracking could be costly to communities.