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.
"When the energy industry publishes a coloring book, there is no crayon needed to see the shades of gray."
"This month the Environmental Protection Agency made public the names of 150 chemicals that were investigated in health and safety studies but whose identities were withheld as confidential business information."
"The plastic bag industry, increasingly on the defensive as municipal bag bans proliferate, has gone on the attack against ChicoBag, a competitor that bills itself as an eco-friendly alternative. A federal lawsuit in South Carolina accuses ChicoBag of illegal trash-talking about plastic bag waste."
"An explosion of online news sources in recent years has not produced a corresponding increase in reporting, particularly quality local reporting, a federal study of the media has found."
"Cable news audiences are getting a steady stream of attacks on U.S. EPA's climate program but hearing relatively few arguments for the greenhouse gas regulations, according to a report released this morning by the liberal watchdog group Media Matters."
"Greenpeace accuses Mattel of using paper from Indonesian rain forests to package Barbie dolls. Activists hang a large banner on Mattel's headquarters in El Segundo. Police arrest 10 protesters."
Former energy lobbyist and GOP presidential non-candidate Gov. Haley Barbour (MS) at a House hearing Thursday blamed the devastation of the Gulf oil spill not on BP, but on the news media for showing a "chocolate pelican."
"An oil and gas trade group has taken the rare step of challenging a U.S. EPA information request, saying the agency is seeking too much data as it revisits a George W. Bush-era analysis of refineries' cancer-causing emissions."
"The U.S. Forest Service is weighing tighter restrictions on aerial fire retardant drops as part of a long-running legal battle over the environmental effects of pouring millions of gallons of the chemical mixture on Western wildlands every year.
Retardant use has soared in recent decades as wildfires have grown larger and more houses have been built on the wildland edge. Nationally, federal and state agencies apply an average of more than 28 million gallons a year, the vast majority of it in the West and much of that in California.
Nearly a third of the retardant used by the Forest Service in the last decade has been in California, where urban development abuts fire-prone wildlands and weather and terrain regularly produce monster blazes.
The proposed limits, outlined in a recently released environmental document, are not expected to cut overall usage. Rather, they are intended to reduce drops on and near waterways, where they can kill fish, and to slightly expand the acreage that is off limits to retardant releases for ecological reasons."
"The federal government has acknowledged it deliberately excluded data indicating a 20 per cent increase in annual pollution from Canada’s oilsands industry in 2009 from a recent 567-page report on climate change that it was required to submit to the United Nations."
Conservative claims that endangered species protections for the 2-inch-long desert pupfish are endangering the lives of U.S. Border Patrol agents flunk the fact-check test, according to a federal official in Arizona.
UK -- "Freedom of information laws are being misused to harass scientists and should be re-examined by the government, according to the president of the Royal Society."
Fox "news" figures like commentator Glenn Beck have led the charge against the environmental movement. "The circus Roger Ailes created at Fox News made his network $900 million last year. But it may have lost him something more important: the next election."
Gas-drilling companies have long argued that proof did not exist that their 'hydrofracking' technique did not contaminate wellwater. Now it turns out that drilling companies have the data that would settle the question, but are keeping it secret.
"The Texas House on Wednesday approved what would be the nation's first law to require drilling companies to publicly disclose the contents of fluids used in hydraulic fracturing."