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 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."
"Interior Department policies don't ensure accurate measurement of oil and gas production on federal leases that generates billions of dollars in royalty payments each year, according to a government audit released today."
Mine safety experts are questioning the appointment of Norman Page to head the MSHA investigation into the Massey mine disaster. As an MSHA inspector, Page oversaw faulty inspections that led to a mine explosion that killed 5 people in 2006.
"Designs for the first five 'America the Beautiful' quarters were unveiled today, featuring America's four oldest national parks -- Hot Springs, Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon - and Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon."
"Aides from the two House committees with jurisdiction over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are working together to draft legislation to overhaul and authorize the agency for the first time, according to House Science Chairman Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.)."
"Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) is poised to take the chairmanship of the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, as current Chairman Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) is expected to move over to the coveted Defense subpanel."
President Obama's $3.8 trillion fiscal 2011 budget proposal, released Feb. 1, funds private nuclear plants, Great Lakes and Chesapeake cleanup, and acquisition of land for conservation. It cuts Yucca Mountain, fossil subsidies, and EPA. It still hopes to get revenue from cap-and-trade ... and affects the environment in myriad other ways.