A record amount of US corn-based ethanol is being exported, despite the PR campaign touting ethanol as a domestic alternative to importing foreign oil. The reason: a Congress-passed tax credit for blending ethanol with gasoline. The credit -- a giveaway adding at least $6 billion to the federal deficit -- is scheduled to expire this year.
"As Republicans jockey over next year's open gavel at the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Michigander Fred Upton holds the upper hand of seniority, while Texan Joe Barton fights for a waiver of term limits to retain the top GOP slot. But dark-horse candidate John Shimkus of Illinois can claim an asset of his own: a lead in the campaign donation chase."
"The White House rewrote crucial sections of an Interior Department report to suggest an independent group of scientists and engineers supported a six-month ban on offshore oil drilling, the Interior inspector general says in a new report."
"The Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday unveiled what new large industrial plants will have to do to minimize their greenhouse gas emissions starting in January."
"Texas officials said Wednesday that they would refuse to implement a program that regulates the largest industrial sources of greenhouse gas emissions, despite new federal rules that give wide leeway to states to implement the program."
"Environmentalists seeking more information about a top state regulator's abrupt departure reacted skeptically Tuesday to Gov. Mark Parkinson's promise that Kansas is conducting a fair and thorough review of plans for a new coal-fired power plant. Environmental groups worry that Parkinson pushed Rod Bremby out as secretary of health and environment to ensure that the coal plant obtains a permit by year's end. The timing would allow the plant to avoid new federal rules taking effect Jan. 2 for greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming."
Florida is considering new water quality standards that would force industries and utilities to reduce the amount of pollution they dump into the state's waterways. Industry lobbyists argue against them, claiming they would cost too much. But Department of Environmental Protection officials have questioned industry-written cost estimates.
Critics of a presidential commission's preliminary findings that largely supported BP's internal probe of the Gulf oil spill questioned Monday how anyone could suggest money wasn't put ahead of safety in the days before the disaster.
"Scientists are bracing for a new wave of attacks and investigations by the incoming House majority."
"In the face of probes by a state attorney general, hints of hostile congressional hearings and assaults from critics in the blogosphere, hundreds of members of the American Geophysical Union are forming a rapid-response team aiming to challenge disinformation and misinformation deployed in the policy wars over global warming."