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.
EPA officials in New York had to postpone a planned hearing on the impact of the natural gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing. The reason: the large number of passionate people planning to attend or demonstrate.
"The opponents of Pebble, the giant copper and gold prospect in Southwest Alaska, have asked the federal Environmental Protection Agency to invoke its potent and rarely used power to block the potential mine. But U.S. Rep. Don Young late last month filed legislation seeking to strip the EPA of that authority."
The Minerals Management Service -- now reorganized into three separate agencies -- began in 1997 nearly giving away public resources to oil companies as favors in a party that lasted until the BP gulf oil spill.
A lot of politicians have bet their futures on what they think the voters want regarding climate change, energy policy, and oil spills. Or what the politicians can make the voters think they want. The election season now underway is already providing data about who was right. President Obama may have reversed initial criticism of his Gulf spill performance and is now campaigning against the GOP as a spill villain. Media portrayed Republicans who voted for the House climate bill in 2009 as vulnerable to conservative vengeance -- but this has not proven true in primaries. One pundit says the public's disapproval for Congress' failure to act on climate, energy, and spills may turn out to fall on both parties alike.
"The front-runner for the Republican nomination in the Colorado governor’s race is causing a stir with claims that his likely Democratic opponent, Mayor John Hickenlooper of Denver, is bringing the city under United Nations control by promoting bike riding and other sustainability measures."
"Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, along with two of his former gubernatorial campaign managers, signed a $900,000 contract on July 30 to go to bat for the heavily polluting Marcellus Shale gas drilling industry. Ridge’s contract follows on the heels of an exodus from the Rendell administration to the cash-rich industry. Three top Rendell staff members have jumped ship to work in governmental relations jobs for the industry over the past year."
An oil-industry-funded PR 'War Room' stands ready to kill or counter any public discourse unfavorable to the oil industry. The conservative non-profit group running it has been accused of shaking down BP. They are working hard to elect Republiicans to the Senate.
"Democrats on Tuesday gave up trying to pass even a scaled-back energy bill this summer that would have removed liability ceilings on oil companies, a reaction to the BP oil spill."
"The House of Representatives on Friday approved the toughest reforms ever to offshore energy drilling practices, as Democrats narrowly pushed through an election-year response to BP's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico."
"A new split over climate policy is brewing within the ranks of the US Chamber of Commerce as a breakaway group of local chambers is getting ready to publicly split with the business lobby's hardline stance against climate legislation."
"Partisan disagreements in the Senate will delay passage of legislation responding to the Gulf oil spill until at least September, when Congress returns from its summer recess."
Bloomberg News is gamely standing by a story in which critics say it inaccurately interprets its own polling data -- to imply that most Americans oppose President Obama's temporary deepwater drilling ban.
"The failure of climate legislation in the Senate last week is a blunt reminder of a basic truth, experts say: The nation's energy policies are historically driven by state and regional interests that will trump national agendas in all but the most compelling circumstances.
"Appalachian coal-mining interests have donated more than $60,000 to the US Senate campaign of Republican Carly Fiorina, the former HP chief executive who's said she's 'not sure' that climate change is occurring. First reported by California Watch, the donations are the latest indication that California is a key battleground in the political war over climate change."
"When Barack Obama took over the White House from George W. Bush, environmental activists breathed a collective sigh of relief. ... But recently, Obama and his administration have been taking flak from the left on the environment."