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News broken this month by Politico revealed the existence of a Koch brothers fund that quietly handed out some $250 million to conservative causes during the 2012 elections. Under U.S. law, such groups are tax-exempt, can raise unlimited amounts of money, and do not have to disclose their donors.
Incoming EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy may have signaled an opening in the agency's long-troubled relations with the news media during her September 20, 2013, announcement of EPA's carbon rule at the National Press Club.Topics on the Beat:
A hearing September 10, 2013, before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform featured former EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and other Obama administration officials in a theatrical stare-down with House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA, pictured) that garnered buckets of news media coverage.Topics on the Beat:
Here's more evidence of why documents should be leaked to reporters: a Powerpoint obtained by LA Times' Neela Banerjee shows EPA's Region 3 staff argued a year ago for continuing its investigation of fracking pollution around Dimock, PA — as EPA HQ announced it was ending its study of Dimock wells. Now there's an echo in Pavillion, WY.Region:
House and Senate Republicans made a big deal over EPA "transparency" while McCarthy's nomination was being held up in the Senate, for 130 days. Then on July 9, 2013, the Senate Environment Committee's ranking minority member said he would drop his filibuster threat because EPA had agreed to some of his demands on transparency.
After a decade of neglect, the NPMS is partly back online and marginally functional. Parts of it don't even work. But if you want to get a general clue about the location of major natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines in your community, the NPMS is one place to start. And, there are other ways to get the info you need.
Exxon claims trade secrecy in its bid to hide inspection results for the pipeline that leaked 5,000 barrels of Canadian oil sands crude in Arkansas last spring, spurring debate over transparency and spill readiness. EnergyWire's Elana Schor has the story, raising questions that have still to be answered.
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An EPA initiative to protect American consumers from toxic chemicals, especially endocrine disruptors, has run into a brick wall put up by the Obama White House three years ago due to secret urging of the chemical industry — even though the law requires information and arguments on which federal regulations are based to be open and on the record.