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 Lone Star state is several years ahead of Pennsylvania when it comes to deep natural gas drilling." So the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette went to Texas to see what might be in store, especially as densely settled suburban areas are drilled. For some, such as homeowners, it has meant economic loss; but for drillers, it has meant fortunes.
The Wall Street Journal has declined to correct a factually false claim made in one of its editorials -- which is being used as a talking point by GOP lawmakers trying to keep EPA from enforcing environmental laws. EPA announced last year that it was not going to regulate spilt milk, though the conservative newspaper claimed the opposite.
"The plan to cut $60 billion from the federal budget targets environmental programs so widely it appears to be as much an ideological gambit as a budgetary one. 'The sheer scope of it is overwhelming,' a UCLA environmental law expert says."
Republicans and some coal-state Democrats are trying to stop EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions, saying it will hurt jobs. But several economists point to evidence from past history and other nations which suggests that the exact opposite is the case.
Past efforts to regulate toxic and polluting waste from oil and gas drilling operations were thwarted when back-room industry pressure subverted the law and science that justified it. Today, history may be about to repeat itself.
"Environmental activist Tim DeChristopher knew what he was doing when he made $1.8 million in false oil and gas drilling bids at a federal auction. He knew he couldn't possibly pay for them. And he knew he could end up behind bars. But he did it for the cause. On Thursday, a federal jury convicted him on two felony counts of interfering with and making false representations at a government auction."
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ability to protect citizens from premature death and other health problems would be gutted if Congress slashes funding as threatened by Republican lawmakers, its chief said on Wednesday."
"First as ranking minority member and now as chairman of one of the most powerful committees in Congress, San Diego Republican Darrell Issa has built a team that includes staff members with close connections to industries that could benefit from his investigations."
"Arnold Schwarzenegger told you he’d be back. Just months removed from a raucous seven years as California governor, the global warming gladiator is about to hopscotch around the planet in his new role as a green technology cheerleader."
"Erin Brockovich, the environmental activist whose crusade against a toxic chemical in California drinking water inspired a blockbuster 2000 movie, is heading to Capitol Hill this week to continue her fight."
"As the House and Senate begin a political dance this week that includes the threat of shutting down the government over steep budget cuts passed by the House, many federal employees already know the steps."
"Hundreds of activists marched to the federal courthouse Monday to support a man who became an environmental folk hero by faking the purchase of $1.7 million of federal oil-and-gas drilling leases in an act of civil disobedience."
"Polystyrene makes comeback in US Congress building after Republicans reverse green initiatives brought in by Democrats."
"Farm groups and members of Congress are jumping the gun in their efforts to stop U.S. EPA from making its air pollution rules tougher on dusty rural areas, the agency's second-in-command said yesterday."
"With no say in their chamber's agenda but an ambitious goal of reclaiming the majority, House Democrats are turning to energy and environmental issues in their latest bid to promote an alternative to the GOP economic agenda ahead of the 2012 election."