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.
"Seattle voters have turned down Referendum 1, which aimed to reduce throwaway bag use in Seattle by charging shoppers 20 cents for each disposable plastic or paper shopping bag provided by stores."
"News broke on Friday that the American Petroleum Institute is urging member companies to recruit their employees, retirees, vendors, and contractors to attend 'Energy Citizen' events across the country over the August congressional recess. Today, we have some updates to the story."
"Hard on the heels of the health care protests, another citizen movement seems to have sprung up, this one to oppose Washington's attempts to tackle climate change. But behind the scenes, an industry with much at stake -- Big Oil -- is pulling the strings."
"SEATTLE - Leaders of this famously green city last year passed the nation's first grocery-bag fee, and other cities around the nation quickly followed. But the plastics industry has been fighting back, bringing lawsuits, aggressively lobbying lawmakers, and bankrolling a referendum in Seattle that aims to overturn the 20-cent charge. The measure goes before voters Tuesday."
"Coal's well-funded lobbying group today launched a television ad campaign featuring ordinary people talking about the importance of low-cost electricity, a message analysts described as coal's effort to rebrand itself before the Senate tackles climate legislation."
"Taking a cue from angry protests against the Obama Administration’s health care restructuring, the oil industry is helping organize anti-climate bill rallies around the nation."
News Web sites that allow reader comments are experiencing "climate spam" -- generic, marginally relevant comments on climate news stories denying that human activities are causing climate change or the need to do anything about it. The same comments are posted verbatim on multiple sites. The comments repeat the talking points of PR firms paid by fossil fuel industries -- and they are anonoymous.
In Appalachia, where coal is king, the terribly destructive method of mountaintop removal mining is common. Environmentalists have been reluctant to use one of their most powerful weapons -- the Endangered Species Act -- to fight it. The reasons involve legal loopholes and politics.
The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), whose PR contractors have been caught forging letters to Congress, is launching a $1 million campaign to send an army of "volunteers" to town hall meetings on climate change legislation -- in an effort similar to the shout-downs and occasional mob violence now being deployed against health care.
"President Obama's choice to be the nation's top strip-mining regulator said Thursday he needs to learn more about mountaintop removal coal mining before he can comment on whether it needs to be more strictly policed."
"The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity claims to be shocked, shocked that forged anti-climate-bill letters were sent to members of Congress by one of its subcontractors, saying it was 'an isolated incident.' But it seems ACCCE also engaged in some fishy behavior last year during debate over a Senate climate bill."
"A total of 12 forged letters -- all appearing to come from local groups unhappy with a climate-change bill -- were sent to three congressional offices this summer by a Washington lobbying firm, according to the pro-coal group for which the firm was working."
Lobbyists for the real estate industry convinced House leaders to remove from the recently passed climate bill a provision that would have indicated how much energy older houses use.