Steep Costs in Pilot Could Mean Some Riskier Corps Levees

"Four years after redrawing its levee-design assumptions to ensure that the failures of Hurricane Katrina were never repeated, the Army Corps of Engineers  has embarked on a study that threatens to relax the new, more stringent standards in ways that would reduce costs — and result in less protection in some areas."

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 10/18/2010

Obama Push To Cut Backlog of Mine-Safety Citations Is Backfiring

"A high-priority Obama administration push to unclog a backlog of contested mine safety citations is backfiring. After a West Virginia coal mine explosion in April exposed a weak link in a system designed to identify safety violations, the government has spent $23 million to reform the system. ... Instead, the list of unresolved safety appeals has grown to 18,100 cases, from 16,600 at the time of the disaster at the Upper Big Branch mine."

Source: Wash Post, 10/13/2010

"BP Lavishes Free Sports, Entertainment Tickets on CA Govt Workers"

"Petroleum giant BP's corporate sponsorship of Arco Arena has been lucrative for the Sacramento Kings during a long run that's set to end next year. It's also been a sweet deal for state Capitol workers. Since 2000, Arco's parent company has lavished more than $430,000 in the form of free tickets to basketball games, concerts and other arena events on lawmakers, their staff members and relatives, according to a Bee review of lobbyist disclosures by BP."

Source: Sacramento Bee, 10/12/2010


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