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.
"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.
"The federal agency's internal investigation will run concurrently with a state and local inquiry into health and environmental issues facing Kettleman City, Calif."
"Jared Blumenfeld, the newly appointed director of the U.S. EPA's Pacific Southwest region, Region 9, is pledging to make life difficult for polluters, especially those who despoil the environment in underserved and vulnerable communities."
"Climate change and clean energy programs, which the Obama administration has championed, are expected to remain priorities at U.S. EPA and the Energy Department in the president's fiscal 2011 budget request despite a request to freeze non-military discretionary spending for the next three years."
"Somewhere just after 12:30 p.m. on a cold Wednesday this month, the image of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar as a Western pragmatist and wily political deal-maker evaporated in a cloud of heated rhetoric."
"President Obama has appointed the most progressive EPA chief in history — and she's moving swiftly to clean up the mess left by Bush."