EJToday: Top Headlines
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"At virtually every turn lately, the White House cannot shake the appearance that it is hamstrung and a step behind. From a major crisis such as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to smaller and seemingly avoidable controversies over internal Democratic Party politics, President Obama and his team are on the defensive."
California Republican Richard Pombo, who was ousted by voters in 2007 from the Congressional seat from which he championed extraction over environment, is trying to return. A tight four-way primary this week will be key.
"Virginia's flagship university went to court Thursday to fight an effort by Virginia Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli II (R) to get documents from a former climate scientist at the school, an unusual confrontation that will test the bounds of academic freedom and result in the college facing down its own lawyer in court."
"Colorado Democrat Diana DeGette withdrew a proposed amendment today from House water legislation that would have expanded regulation of a controversial oil and gas production technique some say has contributed to groundwater pollution."
The "citizens" initiatives on California's ballot are increasingly being sponsored by corporations. Opponents of Proposition 16 say it would lock into the state constitution a perpetual monopoly for Pacific Gas & Electric.
"Four years after being voted from office, former Rep. Richard Pombo (R) of California is attempting to resurrect his political career in a new district where few voters know his record for seeking to rewrite some of the nation's premier environmental laws."
"The University of Virginia has hired a law firm to explore its options in responding to a demand by state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli that UVa turn over documents and correspondence related to a former climatology researcher."
"Businesses with significant stakes in the outcome of climate and energy legislation ramped up lobbying spending earlier this year as they worked to shape the Senate bill scheduled to be unveiled this week."
When it comes to environmental law, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's positions are largely a mystery.
"U.S. EPA's proposed regulation of coal ash as a hazardous waste was changed at the White House to give equal standing to an alternative favored by the coal industry and coal-burning electric utilities."
"Academics from across the country are rallying against a subpoena issued by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II seeking documents related to the work of a former University of Virginia climate scientist, even as the university says it is preparing to comply with Cuccinelli's request."
"The oil spill spreading across the Gulf of Mexico is sending ripples through Florida and national politics, giving Gov. Charlie Crist a reason to withdraw his support for offshore drilling." Crist Thursday announced he would bolt the Republican party and run for re-election without party affiliation.
"Senate Democratic leaders scrambled yesterday to untangle the political puzzle hindering efforts to move comprehensive energy and climate change legislation, but the impasse with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) remains."
"Prospects for the Senate climate bill grew even dimmer yesterday after the trio working on a comprehensive measure emerged from a closed-door meeting headed in separate directions -- both literally and figuratively."
"As Earth Day marks its 40th birthday, three-fifths of Americans consider themselves either active in or sympathetic to the environmental movement, a new Gallup poll shows."