"U.S. EPA's long-awaited study of formaldehyde's toxicity got panned today by a National Academy of Sciences' panel that sharply disagreed with the agency's conclusions and declared the effort in need of 'substantial revision.'"
It looks like political pressure from the coal industry and Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) has caused the Obama White House Office of Management and Budget to intervene to stop the Obama EPA's efforts to limit environmental damage from mountaintop removal mining.
"The Maine House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly endorsed banning the chemical bisphenol-A from children's products such as sippy cups and baby bottles."
"The House of Representatives passed legislation on Thursday that would stop the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating emissions of gases blamed for warming the planet, a day after the Senate rejected similar legislation."
"A shutdown would cut short a key NASA field campaign to survey Arctic land and sea ice, and a larger project it is part of. The measure now funding federal operations expires on April 8."
"A long-term Republican budget plan released this week by Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin calls for drastic cuts in federal spending on energy research and development and for the outright elimination of subsidies and tax breaks for wind, solar power and other alternative energy technologies."
On a 50-50 vote, the Senate Wednesday night rejected an effort to strip EPA of its legal authority to regulate greenhouse gases, as well as several weaker alternatives. The efforts were supported by Republicans and some coal-state Democrats. The House may act on similar legislation today.
If stalemated budget talks lead to a federal government shutdown, one of the most visible impacts would be the closing of National Parks.
"In case there was any doubt, the White House on Tuesday issued a formal statement opposing a bill now before the House that would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases for the purpose of combating climate change." The House could pass it as soon as Wednesday, April 6.
Five top executives at Transocean, the company that owned the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico, gave up some $250,000 of the $898,282 in bonuses they received this month. The firm had been criticized for claiming a "best year" in safety of operations after 11 people died on the rig. One quarter of the bonus amount was explicitly tied to safety.