"An Idaho House committee supported Wednesday a move to seal off more data related to confined-animal feeding operations from the public eye, making it harder for the public to tell if state regulations are enforced."
Journalism & Media
"The chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was invited to the White House briefing today to assure Americans that they had nothing to fear from the nuclear radiation coming out of Japan's damaged reactors and that the nuclear reactors in the United States were safe. When he was finished taking questions there was very little reassurance on either front." In Japan, residents are beginning to wonder whether they can trust government reassurances that radiation levels present little threat to human health.
"U.S. EPA's plan to give businesses another three years to show how they calculate their greenhouse gas emissions will weaken the agency's new reporting requirements and could be illegal, environmental groups said before yesterday's deadline to comment on the proposal."
"Behind the feud between Greenpeace and Facebook over renewable energy."
The U.S. Supreme Court Monday issued the second ruling in recent days narrowing exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act -- and thus increasing public access to government information. In the case of Milner v. Department of the Navy, the court rejected an expansive interpretation of the FOIA exemption on personnel matters. The Society of Environmental Journalists had joined other journalism groups in a friend of the court brief urging a narrower exemption.
The Wall Street Journal has declined to correct a factually false claim made in one of its editorials -- which is being used as a talking point by GOP lawmakers trying to keep EPA from enforcing environmental laws. EPA announced last year that it was not going to regulate spilt milk, though the conservative newspaper claimed the opposite.
"The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Tuesday that AT&T and other corporations do not have personal privacy rights under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)."
"Two environmental groups have sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for access to 350,000 pages of documents about coal-fired power plants blamed for making Texas' pollution problems worse."
"U.S. officials on Thursday cleared scientists of charges that they manipulated data about climate change in e-mails that were stolen from a British university in 2009, triggering a climate scandal."
Hydrofluoric acid is a deadly chemical used in many petroleum refinery operations. When it escapes, it becomes a gas that can race long distances and kill people who inhale it. Safer alternatives are available to refineries. At the urging of petrochemical companies, Congress and the executive branch have kept the dangers largely secret from the at-risk public, so there has been little pressure for refineries to make their operations safer. In a joint investigation the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News found that worst-case scenarios filed by just 50 refineries showed some 16 million Americans at risk from accidental or intentional hydrofluoric acid releases.