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.
"Three out of every four lobbyists who represent oil and gas companies previously worked in the federal government, a proportion that far exceeds the usual revolving-door standards on Capitol Hill, a Washington Post analysis shows."
The Firestone company, the second largest employer in Liberia, is so powerful in that country that the people there have little recourse when they complain that it is poisoning their water. Firestone's massive rubber plantation there was set up with help from the U.S. government in the 1920s. Firestone is now owned by the giant Bridgestone Americas, a Japanese company.
"OTTAWA - Federal politicians from the government and opposition benches have mysteriously cancelled an 18-month investigation into oilsands pollution in water and opted to destroy draft copies of their final report."
News media and activists for weeks have reported how federal and local officials have barred them from reporting the Gulf oil spill story from public beaches -- even though they have a legal right to be there. Now Mother Jones' Mac McClelland quotes the Terrebonn Parish Sheriff's office saying some 40 of the deputies enforcing BP'S illegal ban are being paid to work in uniform for BP during their off-duty hours.
"The Louisiana judge who struck down the Obama administration's six-month ban on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has reported extensive investments in the oil and gas industry, according to financial disclosure reports. He's also a new member of a secret national security court."
"The scandal-ridden federal Minerals Management Service is gone, at least in name."
"Though she has stayed behind the scenes for most of the federal response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, U.S. Geological Survey Director Marcia McNutt has emerged in the past week as a bold, forthright translator of the web of numbers and scientific estimates surrounding the spill."
"Kenneth R. Feinberg ... . named Wednesday by President Obama as the independent administrator of a $20 billion fund set up by BP to compensate victims of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, may not have the powers of a king. But he does seem to specialize in Solomon-like decisions."
"Elected officials should consider imposing ethics rules on oil and gas companies that do business with the federal government, the Interior Department's acting inspector general plans to tell the House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday."
"The disaster in the Gulf was preceded by ample warnings – yet the administration had ignored them. Instead of cracking down on MMS, as he had vowed to do even before taking office, Obama left in place many of the top officials who oversaw the agency's culture of corruption."
"Federal officials who oversaw drilling in the Gulf of Mexico accepted gifts from oil companies, viewed pornography at work and even considered themselves part of industry, the Interior Department inspector general says in a new report." The House Natural Resources will grill Interior Sec. Salazar on the report this morning at 10 am EDT.
"As BP prepares to launch its latest effort to plug the oil leak in the gulf, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the agency will be split into three arms to oversee leasing, safety and royalties."
"The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed breaking up the agency responsible for both policing the oil industry and acting as its partner in drilling activities, seeking to end a decades-old relationship between industry and government that has proved highly profitable -- and some say too cozy -- for both."
"President Obama launched the America's Great Outdoors initiative Friday, an attempt to reshape U.S. conservation policy at a time when the nation is facing new environmental threats but the government is hard-pressed to afford new spending programs."