As ominous as a floating hearse, twin barges creep up the Mississippi River carrying a payload of explosives bound for southeast Missouri and a levee facing the prospect of being sacrificed to spare a flood-threatened Illinois town just upriver."
"The federal agency overseeing offshore drilling in Alaska says the worst-case scenario for a blowout in the Chukchi Sea lease could result in a spill of more than 58 million gallons of oil into Arctic waters."
"The death toll from severe storms that punished five Southern U.S. states jumped to a staggering 178 after Alabama canvassed its hard-hit counties for a new tally of lives lost." Latest updates put the toll at 247.
"Wildfires have burned about 1.5 million acres in Texas since January, egged on by a drought that federal forecasters say is the worst to hit the state in 45 years."
A House Homeland Security subcommittee April 14 approved a bill (HR 901) that effectively extends chemical plant security rules put in place by the Bush administration. Chemical industry groups applauded, while Greenpeace said it puts public safety at risk. Various trade publications reported the action, although most mainstream media did not.
"Most Americans fear that the United States someday could face the kind of nuclear emergency that's plagued Japan in recent weeks, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll."
"Tokyo Electric Power Co. started the unprecedented and potentially risky measure of allowing water to flood the containment vessels of three troubled reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, company sources said."
"The latest phase in the legal fight over offshore drilling permits that was kick-started by last year's Deepwater Horizon disaster begins this week with two back-to-back arguments in a federal appeals court in New Orleans."
As the 25th anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in the Ukraine arrives, its lessons may remain unlearned.
"The 83-year-old man spoke with tears in his eyes. 'It's all over. It is better to just die.' He had just learned his small farm would be sealed off at midnight April 21 inside the government's no-entry zone around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant."