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 new legal environment set by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision has prompted a deluge of secret money flowing into this election cycle. In some cases, it helps fossil-fuel corporations and billionaires masquerade as grass-roots groups while they try to change environmental, energy, and climate policy.
"Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell has canceled a $125,000 contract with a consulting firm that sent a bulletin to the state's Office of Homeland Security in which it described opponents of natural gas drilling as 'environmental extremists' and suggested they were a threat to the state."
FBI agents during the Bush administration "investigated members of the environmental advocacy group Greenpeace over their protest activities 'with little or no basis,' [a Justice Department Inspector General's] report said. Agents kept the case open for more than three years, even though no charges were filed, and put the activists on a terrorist watch list, it said."
"Few Americans say their religion influences their environmental views, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press."
"U.S. regulators are likely to approve a higher blend of ethanol in U.S. gasoline shortly, an ethanol producers group and the top U.S. agriculture official each said on Friday, and the new fuel mix could be selling at the pump by next spring."
"The top federal regulator of oil and gas pipelines is facing withering criticism for her ties to industry and her agency's floundering response to recent oil-pipeline spills in the Midwest and last week's deadly gas pipeline explosion in California."
"A powerful lobbying coalition is campaigning to require more electricity to come from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal. But the effort hasn't gotten any traction in the Senate this year, despite the push by environmental groups, renewable energy providers, more than half the nation's governors and even some utilities."
Is the federal government trying to stop any research on oil spill impacts in the Gulf that does not fit preconceived conclusions supported by industry? Independent scientists have been getting that impression lately.
"WILMINGTON, Del. -- Conservative Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell shocked the state by seizing a surprise primary victory over Republican Rep. Mike Castle, a longtime moderate lawmaker who suffered withering attacks for supporting cap and trade last year."
Republicans and some coal-state Democrats have not given up on efforts to stop EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. But a divisive Senate vote is unlikely until after the November election, and any bill to block EPA couldn't be enacted in this Congress anyway, given House and White House opposition. The real question is what might happen next year.
"The Corn Refiners Association, which represents firms that make the syrup, has been trying to improve the image of the much maligned sweetener with ad campaigns promoting it as a natural ingredient made from corn. Now, the group has petitioned the United States Food and Drug Administration to start calling the ingredient 'corn sugar.'"
"According to recently leaked documents, the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security has been tracking anti-gas drilling groups and their meetings — including a public screening of the film 'Gasland,' a documentary about the environmental hazards of natural gas drilling."
A progressive blog reports that almost every Republican candidate running for a U.S. Senate seat this fall either denies consensus scientific findings of manmade climate change or opposes efforts to head it off.
"Candidates are lining up behind the issue of gas drilling as the controversial method called hydrofracking takes center stage this election season in the Finger Lakes region."