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.
"It may not come as much of a surprise that news on the environment drags far behind in popularity compared with, say, news on whether or not Lindsay Lohan wears a bra, but apparently Americans are beginning to realize there's a problem. According to results from a nationwide poll released Thursday, roughly 79 percent of Americans believe environmental news needs a drastic overhaul—both in terms of how much it's being covered and what's making up the conversation."
"With a manila envelope labeled 'TOP SECRET' propped up in front of him, state Rep. Lon Burnam, a Fort Worth Democrat, called on the Texas Attorney General to allow the public release of confidential information related to a West Texas radioactive waste dump owned by Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons."
"COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An environmental group sued the Ohio Department of Natural Resources this week because the agency has not turned over public records related to a new program that allows oil and gas drilling at state parks."
"Mining companies and other businesses will be allowed to keep environmental studies secret, even if they detail possible pollution problems, under industry-backed legislation that gained final House approval Monday."
Most Australiams read a newspaper owned by conservative tycoon Rupert Murdoch. New research by a journalism professor indicates that those readers are not getting a balanced or diverse view of climate change.
"The US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) today recommended the publication of two controversial avian flu papers."
"There is a particularly sensitive accusation reverberating through online discussion boards and social media in Japan: that Emperor Akihito's speech on the one year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami was censored on TV for his comments about the nuclear disaster at Fukushima."
"Environmentalists have mounted a legal challenge against Wyoming regulators they say are improperly approving oil and gas companies’ 'overly broad,' boilerplate requests to shield information about the chemicals they use in drilling operations."
"Under a new law, doctors in Pennsylvania can access information about chemicals used in natural gas extraction—but they won't be able to share it with their patients. A provision buried in a law passed last month is drawing scrutiny from the public health and environmental community, who argue that it will "gag" doctors who want to raise concerns related to oil and gas extraction with the people they treat and the general public."
"In the middle of Sunshine Week, when news organizations and advocacy groups promote government transparency, the Obama administration urged Congress on Tuesday to keep secret a whole new category of information even under the Freedom of Information Act."
"Gasoline companies -- driven by oil speculation and profits -- continue to charge more and more for their product every day. How is the industry spending the money it’s taking from customer’s wallets? In recent weeks, they have flooded television programs with television ads promoting the causes of the industry."
"On Friday, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed into law a bill designed to thwart activists who go undercover to report animal abuse. This makes Iowa the first state in the country to pass such a law; Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Utah are considering them. Undercover investigations, including videos and photographs, are a principal tool used by activists of all stripes to document abuse cases and have led to legislative reforms, prosecutions and even facility closures around the country."
"A U.S. judge sided with tobacco companies on Wednesday, ruling that regulations requiring large graphic health warnings on cigarette packaging and advertising violate free-speech rights under the U.S. Constitution."
"One revelation from the recent Heartland Institute document leak is that the group is crafting a K-12 curriculum to teach kids that global warming is 'controversial.' Heartland officials have confirmed this. So is climate change set to join evolution as the next big classroom controversy?"