EJToday: Top Headlines
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Small-scale farmers who want to grow and sell meat locally have been hampered by federal regulation of slaughterhouses. Now mobile slaughterhouses are helping those farmers get back in the game.
The UK's Murdoch-owned Sunday Times in January 2010 published an article that seemed to discredit science suggesting the Amazon was vulnerable to drought as a result of trends linked to climate change. The article came at a time when climate change deniers were concertedly attacking peer-reviewed science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Now the Times has published a correction and apology for that January article -- discrediting yet another smear in the deniers' widely reported attack on climate science.
"A competition between nuclear waste dumps has pulled the Nuclear Regulatory Commission into an unusual reconsideration of its rules to allow moderately radioactive materials to be diluted into a milder category that is easier to bury."
"U.S. environmental regulators said on Tuesday the climate and energy bill in the Senate would only add slightly to average household costs, but the finding was not expected to boost chances for the legislation that would cap greenhouse gas emissions."
"Federal officials are launching efforts today in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia to enlist farmers in targeted watersheds in a concerted effort to curb pollution running off their land."
"A key piece of the state's approach to controlling water pollution from Pennsylvania's fast-expanding natural gas drilling activity cleared a major hurdle Thursday."
"Commercial fishermen can recover economic losses caused by polluters, the Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a decision that could establish precedent for future claims against BP PLC."
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) turned a hearing with BP CEO Tony Hayward on its head Thursday by apologizing to BP for what he called a "$20 billion shakedown." Democrats made political hay. Republicans scrambled to distance themselves. Under threat from GOP leaders of losing his job as top House Energy Republican, Barton returned to the hearing to apologize for apologizing. It later emerged that Barton's "shakedown" talking point had been crafted by the Republican Study Committee, a conservative faction that includes 115 of the 178 GOP House members. Barton got more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from the oil industry during this election cycle -- and his top single corporate contributor is Anadarko, which is a 25% stakeholder in the gushing Macondo well. Hayward, while apologetic himself, dodged the panel's questions.
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today suspended the use of a fast-track nationwide permit, Nationwide Permit 21, for mountaintop removal mining operations in the six states of the Appalachian region."
"Nearly 30 members of the congressional committees overseeing oil and gas companies held personal assets in the industry totaling $9 million to $14.5 million late last year. That included at least $400,000 in the three companies at the heart of the Gulf of Mexico oil-drilling disaster, according to a Washington Post analysis of financial disclosure forms released Wednesday."
"Environmental groups filed two new major lawsuits Thursday, aimed at forcing the coal industry to stop violations of water-quality limits for toxic selenium."
"Though she has stayed behind the scenes for most of the federal response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, U.S. Geological Survey Director Marcia McNutt has emerged in the past week as a bold, forthright translator of the web of numbers and scientific estimates surrounding the spill."
"Kenneth R. Feinberg ... . named Wednesday by President Obama as the independent administrator of a $20 billion fund set up by BP to compensate victims of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, may not have the powers of a king. But he does seem to specialize in Solomon-like decisions."
"Under intense pressure from President Barack Obama, BP Plc agreed on Wednesday to set up a $20 billion fund for damage claims from its huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill and suspended dividend payments to its shareholders."