EJToday: Top Headlines
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"A majority, (62%) of House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton's constituents surveyed in a public opinion poll last week oppose his bill that would remove the U.S. EPA's power to regulate climate-warming greenhouse gases."
"Scientific research, environmental protection and other priorities of the Obama administration would face steep cuts under a congressional Republican spending plan released Wednesday."
"Tea party favorites on and off Capitol Hill have taken different approaches to EPA's future in recent weeks."
The Keystone XL pipeline, awaiting President Obama's decision on a permit, would import heavy oil from Canada's oil sands to the U.S. It could also mean big bucks for the billionaire Koch brothers, who have avowed themselves Obama's political enemies.
Republicans launched their assault against EPA and the Supreme Court Wednesday, arguing that regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act would hurt jobs. EPA chief Lisa Jackson said EPA was protecting people's health. Rep. Henry Waxman produced a document that seemed to say the Bush EPA agreed with Jackson. Divisions are so close that Congress may actually do little on the issue.
Which has a stronger influence on human thinking -- power, money, ideology, or science? House Energy Chairman Fred Upton's recent denial that humans are causing climate change casts science as the weakling in the ring. His switch comes even as new documents reveal that the Bush White House overruled EPA science findings on climate -- even though former EPA head Stephen Johnson testified under oath to the contrary.
"Virginia is about to limit state regulators' ability to protect public health and the environment from toxic discharges entering state waters from surface coal mines."
"When he releases his new budget ..., President Obama will propose doing away with roughly $4 billion a year in subsidies and tax breaks for oil companies, in his third effort to eliminate federal support for an industry that remains hugely profitable."
"On Monday, House oversight committee chair Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) released more than 100 letters he has received from corporations, trade groups, and associations outlining the regulations they'd like to see changed. The letters make clear that the Environmental Protection Agency is corporate America's top target."
"The billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch no longer sit outside Washington's political establishment, isolated by their uncompromising conservatism. Instead, they are now at the center of Republican power, a change most evident in the new makeup of the House Energy and Commerce Committee."
"The Environmental Protection Agency, which enforces rules that affect the U.S. economy from factories to farms, is the No. 1 target of complaints from business groups collected by House Republican leaders." The rules also protect public health.
"Environment Canada enforcement officers launched hundreds of investigations, typed up thousands of warnings and carried out tens of thousands of inspections over a recent seven-year stretch. But over that period they nailed down only 32 convictions – putting the annual average at less than five."
"U.S. agricultural regulators on Friday said despite a court ban, they would allow commercial planting of genetically modified sugar beets under closely controlled conditions while they complete a full environmental impact statement."
"A coalition of public health organizations in the coming weeks plans to step up efforts to oppose legislation that would block or delay Environmental Protection Agency climate rules." Budget-cutting Republicans on Capitol Hill will be encouraged to reduce the healthcare costs borne by taxpayers and ratepayers as a result of air pollution.
"The Obama administration will spare a stalled power plant project in California from the newest federal limits on greenhouse gases and conventional air pollution, U.S. EPA says in a new court filing that marks a policy shift in the face of industry groups and Republicans accusing the agency of holding up construction of large industrial facilities."