EJToday: Top Headlines
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Quite a few mayors are praising the Energy Department efficiency and conservation block grants authorized under the economic stimulus -- and are seeking to make it permanent.
"The Obama administration yesterday rejected a proposal to raise grazing fees on public lands, a decision that suggests ranchers will continue to be charged below-market prices to graze cattle on federal rangelands."
President Obama's new executive order requiring executive agencies to test regulations for balance between costs to industry and benefits to Americans drew mixed reactions. Environmentalists called it a cave-in and business lobbyists said it did not go far enough. In fact, it did not much change existing executive orders already on the books to do the same thing. Stakeholders and analysts saw it as a maneuver in a complex game of appearances and a feint that may blunt a GOP plan to do things far more radical.
Georgia "collected more than $30 million in fees from Georgians last year for programs designed to clean up landfills, tire dumps and hazardous sites and to improve 911 services. The governor and state lawmakers put less than $2 million of the fee revenue toward those programs."
Darrell Issa, the incoming GOP chair of the House Oversight Committee, has vowed to investigate Democratic wrongdoing. First, though, he may have to put to rest questions about his own past.
Cash-strapped communities across the country find themselves being courted by private companies -- including Goldman Sachs -- who want to buy their water utilities. They should heed the unhappy experiences of communities who have already privatized.
"President Barack Obama said on Tuesday he would order a government-wide review of regulations with the goal of eliminating those that hurt job creation and make the U.S. economy less competitive."
Members of Congress inclined not to regulate hydraulic fracturing for natural gas are getting about 19 times as much money from the gas industry as those who want to disclose the toxic chemicals in the fracturing fluid companies are pumping into the ground near people's drinking water supplies.
"Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the new chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has asked a slew of companies and industry groups for feedback on the regulations they think need to be changed. Two major lobbies, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the American Petroleum Institute (API), wasted no time in sending over their wish lists."
"Oil and gas companies drilled fewer new wells on public lands in 2010 than in any other year over the past decade, leaving nearly two-thirds of their drilling permits unused, according to federal records obtained by Greenwire."
"Republicans in Congress are introducing legislation to curtail the role of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act and to prevent and roll back regulations intended to reduce air pollution such as mercury emissions from cement plants. These efforts amount to attacks on the nation's health, the advocacy coalition Health Care Without Harm said [Tuesday]."
"The presidential panel investigating the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico recommended on Tuesday that Congress approve substantial new spending and sweeping new regulations for offshore oil operations at a time when the appetite for both is low."
Is Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's call on constituents to get "armed and dangerous" over the climate bill something to be concerned about?
The American Farm Bureau is suing EPA for requiring farmers to clean up agricultural pollution going into Chesapeake Bay.
"Former House majority leader Tom DeLay, the brash Texan who helped build and tightly control a Republican majority in his chamber until resigning in 2005, was sentenced by a state judge on Monday to three years in prison for illegally plotting to funnel corporate contributions to Texas legislative candidates."