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 White House is under pressure from two democratic senators to release a list of chemicals the Environmental Protection Agency says could endanger human health or the environment. This so-called chemicals of concern list would include eight phthalates, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and bisphenol A."
"The chemical industry has attempted to block release of EPA’s proposed list over the past year.
"DETROIT -- A fire at the Marathon Petroleum Corp. refinery here late last month caused little structural damage, but its timing could not have been worse for the plant's owner. The blaze, which was quickly extinguished by the refinery's emergency personnel, occurred on the morning that U.S. EPA and advocacy groups were touring the plant's industrial neighborhood as part of a national environmental justice conference at a downtown conference center."
"President Obama gave Congress a jobs package that was boiled down to practical provisions -- and clean energy didn't make the cut. ...
He didn't mention the word "energy" once. The bipartisan topic of energy efficiency was also absent in the speech."
"The little-known federal agency charged with monitoring the system and enforcing safety measures — the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration — is chronically short of inspectors and lacks the resources needed to hire more, leaving too much of the regulatory control in the hands of pipeline operators themselves, according to federal reports, an examination of agency data and interviews with safety experts."
"SAN JOSE, Calif. — Federal agents searched Solyndra Inc.'s Fremont, Calif., headquarters Thursday, just days after the high-profile solar manufacturer filed for bankruptcy protection and a week before its top executives are expected to testify before Congress.
Solyndra, which manufactured tubular-shaped solar panels for commercial rooftops, stunned the clean-tech community when it abruptly announced last week that fierce competition from China had forced it to suspend operations and immediately lay off 1,100 employees.
"A divided Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Friday allowed the Obama administration to continue plans to close the controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Nevada."
Hundreds of anti-fracking protestors rallied outside a Marcellus Shale industry conference in Philadelphia. Aubrey McClendon, the chief executive of Chesapeake Energy Co., called people concerned about the safety of their families' drinking water "extremists," even as an industry-friendly report noted that fracking could be costly to communities.
"A pipeline bill offered by House Republicans on Wednesday would block some safety reforms and ignores other recent safety recommendations made by accident investigators in response to a deadly natural gas explosion last year near San Francisco."
"Environmental groups and their critics are trading blows over the findings of a recent Government Accountability Office report on environmental litigation costs. In the face of Republican claims that environmentalists game the legal system to win attorneys' fees, GAO experts examined lawsuits filed against U.S. EPA and found 'no discernible trend' over the last 16 years."
"The Obama administration's scrapping of a proposed new rule that would toughen ozone standards has put lawyers involved in litigation over the existing regulations on alert."
"The involvement of President Obama’s chief of staff in last week’s decision to withdraw a smog rule might signal a more muscular White House role in vetting costly regulations ahead of the 2012 election."
"The colorful, six-sided tiles with pictures of trees, rocks, and landscapes formed larger hexagons, creating islands across six tables in the second-floor gallery of the Goethe-Institut in Washington, D.C. On a recent Friday evening, more than 60 people gathered to play a game that has sold 15 million copies worldwide since 1995. The tiles were part of 'The Settlers of Catan,' a game where players trade and compete for resources while constructing cities."
"So far 2011 has been a good year f0or wind energy projects. Installations in the first six months of 2011 were almost double what they were in the comparable period in 2010 in terms of total megawatts (2,151 versus 1,250), according to the American Wind Energy Association. But a bipartisan coalition of 24 state governors, fretting that the industry could lose momentum, has already begun lobbying the Obama administration to improve business conditions for wind energy developers."
"AUSTIN, Texas -- "Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, has reissued his disaster proclamation nine times this wildfire season; it was originally issued on December 21, 2010. Perry, a Tea Party favorite who is campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination, cut short a campaign visit to South Carolina to return to Austin to deal with the fires. Well known for criticizing federal government spending, Perry has since April been seeking federal assistance to pay for wildfire relief and preparedness."