EJToday: Top Headlines
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"A coalition of environmental organizations sent President Obama a letter on Friday pleading for him to intervene in the stalled Senate negotiations on climate and energy legislation. The groups, which have been largely supportive of the president’s energy policies, expressed concern that time was running out for any action on climate change this year. Only the president’s personal and persistent attention can break the stalemate, they say."
"The use of roxarsone and other arsenic-based additives in poultry and swine feed is at the center of a national controversy."
When Ray Hott bought a strip of land in DeKalb, Illinois, he did not know that it had been contaminated by toxic chemicals from a gas plant a century before.
"In the 77 days since oil from the ruptured Deepwater Horizon began to gush into the Gulf of Mexico, BP has skimmed or burned about 60 percent of the amount it promised regulators it could remove in a single day."
"Climate scientists in the US say police inaction has left them defenceless in the face of a torrent of death threats and hate mail, leaving them fearing for their lives and one to contemplate arming himself with a handgun."
Proposals afloat in Congress would raise taxes on the oil industry to help pay for spill cleanup. The industry objects, claiming the burden would harm not only companies, but the country. But the oil industry already gets tens or hundreds of billions in tax breaks and outright subsidies from the federal government.
"The Obama administration has given its tentative approval to a new mountaintop removal permit, provided the Logan County operation makes changes federal regulators say are needed to protect downstream water quality."
"The Minnesota Department of Health on Thursday released a list of hundreds of chemicals that pose a potential health risk. The state's list includes 1,755 substances, among them lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium. But it also includes many other organic chemicals that include pesticides, flame retardants, dyes and other chemicals used in industry or found in consumer products."
"The Environmental Protection Agency proposed tough pollution caps for the Chesapeake Bay Thursday, requiring Maryland and other mid-Atlantic states to do more to clean up the troubled estuary than previously thought necessary."
"Pennsylvania State University has found no evidence of research misconduct on the part of Michael Mann, the prominent climatologist who is a leader in efforts to chart Earth’s past temperature patterns and has been a longstanding target of groups and individuals fighting restrictions on greenhouse gases."
"Concerns about large-scale marine pollution, fuelled by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, are set to be heightened by a new development in exploitation of the oceans: deep-sea mining." The Gulf spill has raised concern about other oil and gas operations as well.
Despite orders from the "incident commander" and denials by BP, press access to both federal and BP Gulf operations is still restricted. An HHS mobile clinic is surrounded by barbed wire, guarded by police, and declared off limits to reporters by federal "press officers" whose salaries are paid by your taxes.
Clean-looking sand is being dumped on the beaches of Grand Isle, and some of it is layered over asphalt-like oil residue, according to several reports based on photo and video documentation. But whether this is being done to fortify beaches or to hide oilspill damage is impossible to say -- because of a BP-Coast Guard media blackout threatening $40,000 fines to anyone who tries to get close enough to tell.
"The House on Thursday passed the first major bill related to the Gulf of Mexico oil rig explosion, voting to allow families of those killed and injured workers to be compensated far more generously than current law allows."