"As the players here remake the nation’s vast regulatory system, they have been grappling with a subject that is more the province of poets and philosophers than bureaucrats: what is the value of a human life?"
Voting largely along party lines, House Republicans loaded a stopgap funding measure with amendments that would block EPA climate rules, gut landscape conservation, stymie EPA rulemaking on coal ash, prevent preservation of national monuments, stop the "Greening the Capitol" program, quash a Chesapeake Bay cleanup, de-fund a National Park in former Speaker Nancy Pelosi's district, hamstring EPA's effort to control mercury air pollution, and fire President Obama's climate negotiator and policy "czars." The House could pass the spending measure today, sending it to the Senate on a take-it-or-leave it basis, with GOP leaders threatening a government shutdown if the Senate does not comply.
"David Cameron has ordered ministers to carry out the government's biggest U-turn since the general election by abandoning plans to change the ownership of 258,000 hectares of state-owned woodland."
A Congressional watchdog agency has put the Interior Department's program for regulating -- and collecting revenue from -- offshore oil drilling on its "at risk" list. Will Congressional oversight committees keep overseeing an agency that has failed to collect billions from an industry that gives generously to their campaigns?
"The U.S. Forest Service believes proposed revisions to its forest planning rule will accelerate timber sales and provide rural jobs while protecting watersheds, wildlife and quiet spaces for recreation."
"Leaked documents indicate that the US Chamber of Commerce hired a private firm to gather information about the families and children of its progressive political opponents."
"In an unusual scenario that raises questions of conflict of interest, a company that conducts research on behalf of the pesticide industry has paid a U.S. government agency to help prove some controversial chemicals are safe."
"A top senator got a free Super Bowl trip from one Marcellus Shale firm. The state permits such gifts."
The Keystone XL pipeline, awaiting President Obama's decision on a permit, would import heavy oil from Canada's oil sands to the U.S. It could also mean big bucks for the billionaire Koch brothers, who have avowed themselves Obama's political enemies.