EJToday: Top Headlines
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Despite public statements of open media access to Gulf response operation by the Coast Guard and BP, local police are still prohibiting photography. They say BP directed them to do it.
"'Expert Credibility in Climate Change,' a new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that 97-98% of climate researchers examined who are most actively publishing in the field support the IPCC conclusions, i.e., are convinced by the evidence for human-caused climate change, and that the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of researchers questioning the findings is significantly below that of convinced researchers."
"Overwhelmingly, Americans think the nation needs a fundamental overhaul of its energy policies, and most expect alternative forms to replace oil as a major source within 25 years. Yet a majority are unwilling to pay higher gasoline prices to help develop new fuel sources."
The UK's Murdoch-owned Sunday Times in January 2010 published an article that seemed to discredit science suggesting the Amazon was vulnerable to drought as a result of trends linked to climate change. The article came at a time when climate change deniers were concertedly attacking peer-reviewed science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Now the Times has published a correction and apology for that January article -- discrediting yet another smear in the deniers' widely reported attack on climate science.
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) turned a hearing with BP CEO Tony Hayward on its head Thursday by apologizing to BP for what he called a "$20 billion shakedown." Democrats made political hay. Republicans scrambled to distance themselves. Under threat from GOP leaders of losing his job as top House Energy Republican, Barton returned to the hearing to apologize for apologizing. It later emerged that Barton's "shakedown" talking point had been crafted by the Republican Study Committee, a conservative faction that includes 115 of the 178 GOP House members. Barton got more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from the oil industry during this election cycle -- and his top single corporate contributor is Anadarko, which is a 25% stakeholder in the gushing Macondo well. Hayward, while apologetic himself, dodged the panel's questions.
"Nearly 30 members of the congressional committees overseeing oil and gas companies held personal assets in the industry totaling $9 million to $14.5 million late last year. That included at least $400,000 in the three companies at the heart of the Gulf of Mexico oil-drilling disaster, according to a Washington Post analysis of financial disclosure forms released Wednesday."
"President Obama urged the nation Tuesday to rally behind legislation that would begin changing the way the country consumes and generates energy, saying the expanding oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is 'the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now.'"
WDSU, the NBC affiliate in New Orleans (Channel 6) find that BP's highly publicized statement that it is not barring news media from witnessing the cleanup, or its failure, are in fact not true. Without any legal authority, BP "security" contractors aggressively seek to intimidate and drive away reporters trying to cover the spill and response on public beaches.
"The man appointed Tuesday by President Obama to oversee offshore oil drilling has no experience with oil and gas issues, but he has a reputation for cleaning up embattled organizations."
"Federal agencies responding to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster should do a better job of targeting communities that have historically been underrepresented in disaster response, including people of color and Native Americans, members of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council said Tuesday."
"The oil spill spreading through the Gulf of Mexico has been declared the worst environmental catastrophe ever in the United States. But for American environmentalists, the distress may also bring opportunity."
"An investigation by the Murdoch-owned Sunday Times that included undercover stings documented that Japan's pro-whaling coalition at the International Whaling Commission is built in large part with a vote-buying operation aimed at small and poor nations. Japan denies the practice. The IWC meets in Morocco June 21-25 to consider a deal which would allow Japan to continue whaling."
"The first poll following Carly Fiorina's victory in the race for California's GOP Senate nomination shows three-term Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer in the lead by 48 percent to 43 percent with 5 percent preferring some other candidate and 5 percent undecided."
"A multimillionaire House Republican who owns thousands of shares of BP stock has no plans to recuse himself from a congressional investigation related to the Gulf oil spill or from votes on Capitol Hill that could affect his investments in the oil company."
"The disaster in the Gulf was preceded by ample warnings – yet the administration had ignored them. Instead of cracking down on MMS, as he had vowed to do even before taking office, Obama left in place many of the top officials who oversaw the agency's culture of corruption."