EJToday: Top Headlines
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"Backers of bipartisan Senate legislation establishing a renewable electricity standard hit a stumbling block [Thursday] as Sen. Lindsey Graham made plans to introduce an alternative energy measure that could draw Republican supporters."
"In a sign of growing bipartisan opposition to a proposed crackdown on air pollution from industrial boilers, 18 Senate Democrats have joined a slew of Republicans in asking EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to scale back the agency's plans."
If you are wondering why climate legislation was defeated during the 111th Congress and expanded offshore drilling won -- it may have something to do with over $500 million spend by fossil energy companies on lobbying, campaign contributions, and other forms of political influence.
"Around 100 people have been arrested outside the White House while protesting against mountaintop removal mining, including NASA scientist James Hansen."
"The tension between drillers in Pennsylvania's gas-rich Marcellus shale and communities trying protect natural resources has reached a fevered pitch in Clinton County, where a zoning hearing board resigned rather than allow a water withdrawal station at a scenic bend of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River that draws kayakers, hang gliders, hunters and fly fishermen."
"The oil giant nears an agreement to dispense $500 million through an alliance overseen by gulf state governors. Critics fear expertise elsewhere will be overlooked."
"Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu today vowed to block the Senate's confirmation of a top White House nominee until the Obama administration takes action on its deepwater drilling moratorium."
"The federal loan guarantee program and other aid for new nuclear plants may not be enough to induce Constellation Energy to build a third reactor at its Calvert Cliffs site, 40 miles south of Washington, the company’s president and chief executive said on Thursday."
At a White House meeting Wednesday, several federal agencies renewed environmental justice pledges, reviving an interagency working group that had not met since the middle of the Clinton administration.
"Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) will remain the ranking Republican on the Senate energy committee despite her running as a write-in candidate for reelection against GOP leadership wishes."
The gas-drilling boom that is sweeping Pennsylvania is demonstrating the power of money to overcome landowners' reluctance and influence legislators and regulators. This fall, a gusher of gas-industry political campaign donations is spewing.
In a last-gasp effort to pass some energy legislation this year, a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill requiring utilities to generate at least 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. But they do not yet have the votes, and the first chance for action would be in a lame-duck session. The House has already passed such a bill.
"For the roughly 130 power plants, refineries and other facilities embroiled in the air permitting dispute between U.S. EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, a new program being finalized by EPA could allow them to get on with business as usual."
"U.S. EPA is considering two former Halliburton Co. executives along with one of the most outspoken critics of hydraulic fracturing to provide independent expert advice on its study of the polarizing drilling practice."
The Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday, September 22, will hold a hearing on the National Flood Insurance Program, which is teetering under some $19 billion in debt. The NFIP is set to expire Sept. 30, just as the hurricane season reaches its height. Congress has allowed the NFIP to expire four times already this year.