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 federal budget sequester took effect on March 1 with a number of likely environmental impacts. With $1.2 trillion in cuts over the next decade and $85 billion through the end of the fiscal year in September, layoffs and difficulties in enforcing the nation's environmental regulations are expected."
"The acting head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warned staff on Tuesday that it may place an unspecified number of jobs on temporary furlough if across-the-board federal budget cuts take effect at the end of this week."
"WASHINGTON -- A top environmental official is warning lawmakers that automatic spending cuts due next month would jeopardize EPA's ability to protect against oil spills, air pollution, and hazardous waste."
"A new report from the Government Accountability Office elevates the problem of looming gaps in satellite weather data to a 'high risk' concern for the federal government."
"SIMI VALLEY, Calif. -- NASA has agreed to an 'excessive and unnecessarily costly cleanup' of a former rocket test facility near Los Angeles that was the site of a partial nuclear meltdown in 1959, the space agency's watchdog said Thursday."
"This year, the Commerce Department will investigate the feasibility of a bicycle share program. The Agriculture Department's Risk Management Agency will redraw planting zone maps for the purposes of insuring nursery-grown plants. And the Department of Defense will scale down its fleet of gas-guzzling Humvees. These are all examples of steps federal agencies will take in 2013 in an effort to deal with the risks of future climate change. The Obama administration released its first climate change adaptation plans Thursday, as part of the annual sustainability reports."
"The United States will struggle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to promised levels by 2020, a report from a prominent think tank warned this week, but the federal government, states and industry already have the means at their disposal to achieve such goals."
"The National Weather Service moved to fire one of its top managers Friday, four days after he was quoted in an article in The Washington Post lamenting that budget cuts and the threat of further reductions in March were forcing him to pare back a public safety service."
"The Railroad Commission of Texas regulates one of the most advanced industries in the world — oil and gas drilling. Yet the commission's software systems, many of its rules and even its name are from another era."
Resilience means survival as a growing number of budget-strapped states states face environmental disasters -- often climate-related -- with inadequate help from the federal government.
President Obama's vow to address climate change in his second Inaugural Address January 21 could actually prove more than bold words. Despite the failure of the 111th and 112th Congresses to pass a cap-and-trade bill or any other major climate change legislation, Obama clearly has the power to limit greenhouse gas emissions himself, using his Supreme Court-tested executive authority under the Clean Air Act and other powers. Key Congressional Democrats are urging him on.
"So far this year, U.S. EPA has frozen hiring, delayed contracts and sharply curtailed travel, all to deal with the uncertainty of its future budget."
"NOAA’s leader, Jane Lubchenco, announced [Wednesday] morning she is leaving the agency at the end of February (2013)."
"An un-redacted version of a recently released Nuclear Regulatory Commission report highlights the threat that flooding poses to nuclear power plants located near large dams -- and suggests that the NRC has misled the public for years about the severity of the threat, according to engineers and nuclear safety advocates."
"PARIS, Texas -- The developer of the disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline, planned to carry oil from Canadian tar sands to Texas Gulf Coast refineries, may condemn land across a northeast Texas farm for the pipeline's right of way, a judge ruled Wednesday."