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.
"As a young state attorney in the early days of environmental regulation, [Pamela Giblin] built up the laws that regulate pollution of the state's water and air. Today, age 64 and still raven-haired and self-effacing, she is the senior attorney for some of the state's largest polluters — dedicated, some would say, to finding cracks in those same laws."
"Earlier this week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the state of Ohio's ban on labels that identify milk as rBST- or rBGH-free, meaning produced without the use of artificial bovine growth hormone. Consumer and organic food groups were jubilant at the Ohio news, which may have far-reaching repercussions not only for all milk, but for genetically engineered foods."
"Backers of bipartisan Senate legislation establishing a renewable electricity standard hit a stumbling block [Thursday] as Sen. Lindsey Graham made plans to introduce an alternative energy measure that could draw Republican supporters."
If you are wondering why climate legislation was defeated during the 111th Congress and expanded offshore drilling won -- it may have something to do with over $500 million spend by fossil energy companies on lobbying, campaign contributions, and other forms of political influence.
"WASHINGTON — Nearly seven years after a government auditor charged that an oil company had cheated the government out of millions of dollars in royalties, a federal judge has ordered the company to pay nearly $23 million in penalties — including $5.7 million to the auditor who uncovered the problem."
"For the roughly 130 power plants, refineries and other facilities embroiled in the air permitting dispute between U.S. EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, a new program being finalized by EPA could allow them to get on with business as usual."
FBI agents during the Bush administration "investigated members of the environmental advocacy group Greenpeace over their protest activities 'with little or no basis,' [a Justice Department Inspector General's] report said. Agents kept the case open for more than three years, even though no charges were filed, and put the activists on a terrorist watch list, it said."
"A federal judge has ordered 99¢ Only Stores to pay $409,490 in penalties for the sale of illegal unregistered and misbranded pesticides contained in household products."
"The tragic explosion of a gas pipeline in a San Francisco suburb has shed light on a problem usually kept underground: Communities have expanded over pipes built decades earlier when no one lived there. Utilities have been under pressure for years to better inspect and replace aging gas pipes — many of them laid years before sprawling communities were erected around them — that now are at risk of leaking or erupting."
"Challenging the appropriateness of using the courts to address climate change, Indiana and 11 other states are urging the Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court decision that would allow greenhouse gas emitters to be sued for their contribution to global warming."
"U.S. Department of Agriculture experts found growing sanitary problems including bugs and overflowing trash earlier this year on the Iowa farm at the center of the national egg recall, but didn't notify health authorities, according to government documents and officials."
"Regulators who are supposed to police offshore oil and gas drilling are spread too thinly, poorly trained and hampered by outdated technology, according to a study by an Interior Department review board appointed after the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico."
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will roll out more regulations on greenhouse gases and other pollution to help fight climate change, but they will not be as strong as action by Congress, a senior administration official said."
"Another BP employee is refusing to testify in the investigation into the cause of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, invoking his Fifth Amendment right to not produce testimony that could incriminate him."
"Dozens of environmental and conservation groups were pleased Thursday as Solicitor General Elena Kagan won confirmation as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice on a Senate vote of 63-37, largely along party lines."