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 Obama White House announced that newly appointed Keystone XL opponent John Podesta would recuse himself from any decisions about the controversial pipeline. But documents have shown that ERM, the company that produced a favorable report on the pipeline for the State Department, had serious conflicts of interest, which were hidden by both ERM and the State Department.
"Two former BP Plc supervisors won the dismissal on Tuesday of some of the manslaughter charges facing them over the Gulf of Mexico drilling rig explosion that killed 11 people in 2010."
"WASHINGTON -- U.S. Supreme Court justices offered President Barack Obama's administration some encouragement on Tuesday as they weighed the lawfulness of a federal regulation limiting air pollution that crosses state lines, mostly emissions from coal-fired power plants."
"Saying it wants to focus on the biggest polluters, the EPA proposes to cut federal inspections by one-third and reduce civil enforcement cases 23%. Environmental groups are alarmed."
"The Obama administration's efforts to clean up air pollution go on trial [Tuesday], as the Supreme Court and a federal appeals court review two landmark rules from President Obama's first term." [Note: Most federal offices are closed December 10 because of snow, but the Supreme Court will be hearing arguments nonetheless.]
"A case involving the disposal of industrial wastewater pits two interests that are dear to many Texans against each other: oil and gas resources versus private property rights."
"Environmental and industry advocates say a proposed air emissions reporting permit issued last week for BHP Billiton Ltd.'s San Juan Coal Mine in northwestern New Mexico is the first -- or among the first -- ever proposed for a coal mine."
"After being caught on video allowing oily water to flow into a creek while it was testing its 6B pipeline, Enbridge seen agreeing to deal with officials."
"Swing state voters in Virginia and Ohio last fall were bombarded with television advertisements encouraging them to 'stand with coal' and 'vote no on Obama's failing energy policy.' But the sponsor of these ads — a pro-business nonprofit advocacy group called the American Energy Alliance — says the messages weren’t designed to aid Republican Mitt Romney in his bid to unseat President Barack Obama."
"The U.S. government's authority to regulate air pollution nationwide, often against the wishes of Republican-leaning states, could face new curbs when the U.S. Supreme Court takes on two high-stakes cases in coming months."
"Billy Talen to stand trial for preaching on bank's environmental record accompanied by choir members wearing toad hats"
"The growing fracking industry is 'yielding gushers' of campaign donations for congressional candidates—particularly Republicans from districts with fracking activity—according to a new report from the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington."
"WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Energy Department must stop collecting fees of about $750 million a year that are paid by consumers and intended to fund a program for the disposal of nuclear waste. The reason, the court said, is that there is no such program."
"More than four years after Maryland first moved to regulate its largest poultry and livestock farms, nearly 30 percent, or 169 operations, still do not have required state permits mandating measures to control polluted runoff from their chicken houses or feedlots."
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has ordered its staff to get back to work finalizing a review of a controversial nuclear waste dump in Nevada."