Anne Womack Kolton, who as former VP Dick Cheney's press aide defended the secrecy of his energy task force, has been brought in to fix BP's PR problems in the Gulf oil spill.
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Dispersant manufacturer Nalco failed to disclose the chemical identity of the ingredients to the news media or public, and ignored a US EPA order to stop using the product in the Gulf.Topics on the Beat:
US EPA withheld information, and twice during the five-day operation BP cut off the mud pumps for long periods without letting the public know, making statements that left the impression the operation was ongoing.Topics on the Beat:
The WatchDog's special Gulf oil spill issue includes stories on media access problems, withholding of information by US EPA and misleading statements by BP, mystery dispersant ingredients, BP's new ex-Cheney spokesperson, prohibiting cleanup workers talking to media, and detaining rig survivors till they sign two statements.Topics on the Beat:
One tool to help tell shady lawyers from shiny is the recently updated, free, searchable online compilation at llrx.com.
Expenditure data are not yet available for all Senators but you can search for the person you are interested in on the Center for Responsive Politics' campaign data site OpenSecrets.org.Topics on the Beat:
Find out more about potentially toxic chemicals in public commerce in the Envirofacts database, updated by EPA with previously unavailable information it collects under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has filed FOIA requests for information, alleging that the Justice Department refused to let the incarcerated super-lobbyist do on-camera interviews.Topics on the Beat:
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility obtained and disclosed a USFS memo ordering its law enforcement personnel not to talk to reporters about anything without first getting clearance from its Washington director and press office.
A federal district judge in New York ordered film-maker Joe Berlinger to turn over more than 600 hours of raw footage from his documentary "Crude," about a lawsuit by natives in Ecuador charging Chevron with polluting the Amazon rainforest there.