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.
"The campaign group formed to support Barack Obama's political agenda has launched an initiative to shame members of Congress who deny the science behind climate change."
The 2013 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting went to InsideClimate News, a 5-year-old web-only nonprofit, for its book-length feature series on the 2010 Enbridge tar-sands oil spill that fouled miles of Michigan's Kalamazoo River. InsideClimate has been one of the most aggressive media outlets covering the current spill in Mayflower, Arkansas. ExxonMobil recently threatened one of InsideClimate's reporters with arrest for trying to find a federal government press office handling the spill.
"WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency declined on Thursday to answer questions about a controversial new guide that suggests public health standards could be relaxed dramatically in the event of a nuclear attack or accident."
The livestock industry, which has been successfully urging state legislatures to pass bills hamstringing exposes of animal cruelty, has a new tactic that hobbles long-term undercover investigations of feedlots and slaughterhouses.
"Decades ago, when a U.S. EPA administrator was on the brink of retirement, employees wheeled a giant cardboard box into his office. Inside: an employee known for his tendency to disparage the agency's decisions in the press."
"On one covert video, farm workers illegally burn the ankles of Tennessee walking horses with chemicals. Another captures workers in Wyoming punching and kicking pigs and flinging piglets into the air. And at one of the country’s largest egg suppliers, a video shows hens caged alongside rotting bird corpses, while workers burn and snap off the beaks of young chicks."
"InsideClimate News reporter Lisa Song was threatened with arrest on Wednesday after she entered the command center for the cleanup operation in Mayflower, Ark., where a major oil pipeline spill occurred on Friday."
Rumors that the conservative billionaire Koch brothers could be poised to buy the Tribune Company raise questions about how that might affect Tribune news outlets' coverage of environment and energy issues, in which the Kochs have a substantial stake.
"Rumors of Scripps begone -- geophysicist Marcia McNutt, who stepped down as head of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in February, is returning to Washington, D.C., as the new editor-in-chief of Science. McNutt will take over the editorship on 1 June from Bruce Alberts, who announced his retirement last year."
"Wide-ranging investigation, which will look into six different federal departments, is to review incidents in which the media was thwarted when trying to speak to Canadian government scientists about their work."
"Most city governments on the mainland withheld vital information on pollution from the public last year, with many scaling back their disclosure to protect polluters as economic growth slowed, two major environmental organisations said in a study released in Beijing yesterday."
The story of hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen, in drinking water is not over, even though Erin Brockovich's legal victory was vaunted in a film 13 years ago. Groundwater near Hinkley, Calif., is still polluted. The story of how industry clout has kept EPA delaying regulation of chromium in drinking water is a tale of the chemical industry's ability to manipulate regulation by sowing doubt. But recent highly dramatized stories on chrome-6 in drinking water may not have helped much, to the extent that they downplayed natural background levels, the importance of dose, and the statistical problems in identifying cancer clusters. The whole saga raises key issues about public relations, lobbying, regulatory politics, the legal system, environmental journalism, and the protection of public health.
"CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- A judge in Casper has sided with the state of Wyoming and ruled against environmentalists who sought to obtain lists of the ingredients that go into hydraulic fracturing fluids."
"A Washington County judge [Wednesday] morning ordered unsealed a court-approved settlement between Marcellus Shale development companies and a family that claimed the drilling operations damaged their health."
"SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- An undercover video that showed California cows struggling to stand as they were prodded to slaughter by forklifts led to the largest meat recall in U.S. history. In Vermont, a video of veal calves skinned alive and tossed like sacks of potatoes ended with the plant's closure and criminal convictions."
"Now in a pushback led by the meat and poultry industries, state legislators across the country are introducing laws making it harder for animal welfare advocates to investigate cruelty and food safety cases.