Communities in Region 5 that received funding under the State Revolving Fund — American Federation of Government Employees Local 704

These 2 documents identify the communities in Region 5 that received funding in 2016 under the Clean Water Act State Revolving Fund and the Safe Drinking Water Act State Revolving Fund. The documents were received from EPA under a FOIA. These are communities impacted by EPA work.

via Communities in Region 5 that received funding under the State Revolving Fund — American Federation of Government Employees Local 704

Gaetz: The EPA cannot be saved

Gaetz: The EPA cannot be saved

“What is a watershed assessment?” That’s what Edwin Henry wondered after the EPA suddenly and unexpectedly appeared on his farm in Blackman, Tennessee. His “environmental impact” was simply widening his cows’ drinking pond on his own property. No animals were harmed in the making of that pond — but Mr. Henry sure was. The damage: hundreds of thousands of dollars in compliance costs that didn’t help a single species or restore an acre of habitat. What a waste!

This happens every day across America. According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, EPA compliance costs total more than $300 billion dollars annually. More and more money is being spent in order to address smaller and smaller risks. The Office of Management and Budget rated the 30 least cost-effective regulations — the EPA created 17 of them.

Unlike our environment, the EPA cannot be saved. One deputy stole nearly a million dollars. Others were busted for misusing funds to hire public relations consultants. The non-partisan Government Accountability Office found that the EPA was showing favoritism in awarding grants, not managing the performance of grants, and misappropriating funds intended for environmental restoration. Stanford fellow Dr. Henry Miller referred to the EPA as “relentlessly ideological, politicized, corrupt and incompetent.”

Continue reading “Gaetz: The EPA cannot be saved”

Dubai’s bid to cash in on climate change


Dubai’s bid to cash in on climate change

During the 5th World Government Summit in Dubai, the government set out a bold vision for how adapting to climate change could form the basis of an industry worth billions to the country.

Vereinigte Arabische Emirate Reimagining Climate Change, Dubai Future Foundation, Madinat Jumeira (M. Papadopoulos

Flanked by palm trees lining a vast network of artificial waterways, the giant white cube of the Dubai Future Foundation at the sprawling Madinat Jumeira seafront resort, offers a vision of the future.

On the one hand it is sobering. By 2050, climate change has put the world and its inhabitants under incredible stress. Rising sea levels have inundated many coastal cities, including Dubai; water and food scarcity have created hundreds of millions of climate refugees. These outcomes are not presented as a threat, but a certainty.

At the same time, the exhibition Reimagining Climate Change bristles with optimism. It’s part of the Museum of the Future series of temporary exhibits that coincide with Dubai’s annual World Government Summit each year. A permanent Museum of the Future is due to open in the city in 2019.

According to Reimagining Climate Change, by 2050 a solution has found for almost every problem. Vertical indoor farms now not only provide high quality food using a fraction of the water and energy of today’s methods, but do so locally and according to the needs of every consumer, thanks to sophisticated predictive algorithms.

Sci-fi fantasies or workable solutions?

Continue reading “Dubai’s bid to cash in on climate change”

Thousands of spills at US oil and gas fracking sites


Thousands of spills at US oil and gas fracking sites

fracking rigImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe study found that thousands of spills were reported at oil and gas fracking sites in four states

Up to 16% of hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells spill liquids every year, according to new research from US scientists.

They found that there had been 6,600 releases from these fracked wells over a ten-year period in four states.

The biggest problems were reported in oil-rich North Dakota where 67% of the spills were recorded.

The largest spill recorded involved 100,000 litres of fluid with most related to storing and moving liquids.

Higher numbers

Continue reading “Thousands of spills at US oil and gas fracking sites”

An Eroding Mission at EPA

An Eroding Mission at EPA

The Bush administration has weakened the agency charged with safeguarding health and the environment.

Updated: DECEMBER 7, 2008 — 3:01 AM EST

WASHINGTON - On Dec. 5, 2007, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson prepared to send the White House an extraordinary document. It declared that climate change imperiled the public welfare - a decision that would trigger the nation’s first mandatory global-warming regulations.

Johnson, a career scientist, knew that his draft would meet with resistance from antiregulatory ideologues at the White House, but he believed the science was solid.

According to confidential records reviewed by The Inquirer, Johnson cited strong evidence: rises in sea level, extreme hot and cold days, ecosystem changes, melting glaciers, and more. Minor doubts about long-term effects, he wrote, were not enough to alter his conclusion.

Two sentences in Johnson’s draft stood out. In sum: The U.S. emits more greenhouse gases from cars than most countries do from all pollution sources. This fact is so compelling that it alone supports The Administrator’s finding.

At 2:10 p.m., Associate Deputy Administrator Jason Burnett e-mailed the climate-change draft to the White House as an attachment.

Continue reading “An Eroding Mission at EPA”

Reagan and Environment: To Many, a Stalemate

Reagan and Environment: To Many, a Stalemate

WASHINGTON, Jan. 1— When President Reagan took office, environmentalists feared the worst from the man who once said trees cause pollution. They expected him to dismantle environmental regulation and give away public lands and resources.

For their part, industry and its conservative allies hoped for a new era of environmental deregulation and easier access to oil, coal and timber on Federal lands.

Eight years later, people on both sides of the argument say the environmental legacy of the Reagan era is a stalemate: that the Administration left many serious problems unaddressed and neither revolutionized environmental regulation nor transferred large amounts of public resources to private industry.

With his 1981 appointments of two aggressive champions of industry, James G. Watt as Secretary of the Interior and Anne M. Burford as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Reagan seemed to have selected the nation’s environmental policies as a prime target of his social revolution. In its early years, the Administration moved rapidly to slash budgets, reduce environmental enforcement and open public lands for mining, drilling, grazing and other private uses.


Continue reading “Reagan and Environment: To Many, a Stalemate”

Elections give Keystone a filibuster-proof majority

Elections give Keystone a filibuster-proof majority

Pipeline is pictured. | AP Photo

The Keystone debate has dragged on for six years. | AP Photo

Republicans will command a filibuster-proof Senate majority in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline after Tuesday’s election victories — and they could be within striking distance of assembling a veto-proof bloc for the project, increasing their leverage over President Barack Obama.

“I think first order of business is to pass it out of House, Senate, and then finally force the president to make a decision on it,” a GOP aide said Tuesday night, adding that “the contrast will be crystal clear” if Obama rejects a pipeline that counts support from more than 6 in 10 Americans in public polls.

“Only then do I think we would rework strategy to secure veto-proof,” the Republican aide said.

Here’s how the math would work: Before Tuesday’s elections, pipeline advocates could count on a solid 57 votes in the Senate, including a dozen Democrats who have previously co-sponsored or expressed support for binding pro-Keystone legislation. Tuesday’s victories by Republican Senate candidates Cory Gardner in Colorado, Shelley Moore Capito in West Virginia, Mike Rounds in South Dakota and Joni Ernst in Iowa bring that total to 61.

And if Republicans are feeling ambitious, they could try to pull in four Democrats who previously supported a nonbinding resolution on Keystone during the 2013 budget debate: Chris Coons and Tom Carper of Delaware, Bill Nelson of Florida and Michael Bennet of Colorado. That gets them to 65.

Going beyond that, in hopes of getting a veto-proof 67, would depend on how willing Republican leaders are to add sweeteners to a pipeline bill — and avoid divisive riders on issues like offshore drilling.

But the GOP is banking on not needing to worry about a veto. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus predicted Tuesday that a GOP-controlled Senate will send a Keystone bill to President Barack Obama as its second order of business, “and I actually think the president will sign the bill.”

Under the Democratic-led Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has kept almost all pro-Keystone legislation off the floor, including a bill that embattled Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-La.) had championed this summer while scrambling to hold onto her oil-state seat.

Now the dynamic will be different.

The Keystone debate has dragged on for six years since developer TransCanada first sought a U.S. permit, with the administration finding ways to postpone its decision past the 2012 and then the 2014 elections. The project is now expected to cost the company $8 billion, up from an original estimate of $5.4 billion.

Environmentalists are already planning a new effort to emphasize the fierce opposition that the pipeline inspires among Obama’s liberal base, which would view approval of Keystone as a betrayal of the president’s promises to confront climate change. The Republican takeover on Capitol Hill could prove a boon to their cause by re-firing enthusiasm among the green grassroots.

“President Obama can’t approve the most massive oil infrastructure project in modern history, while claiming to be a climate champion,” May Boeve, executive director of the green group, said in a statement Tuesday night. “We know the Republicans are going to make Keystone a priority, but this isn’t their call.”

Environmentalists also took solace in incomplete election returns showing one of Keystone’s biggest supporters in the House, Nebraska Republican Rep. Lee Terry, trailing his Democratic challenger early Wednesday.

The White House earlier this year delayed its call on Keystone, which would ship 700,000-plus barrels of heavy Canadian crude to Gulf Coast refineries, until the Nebraska Supreme Court rules on a challenge to the constitutionality of a state law that gave its GOP governor power to approve a new route for the pipeline. That court decision is expected late this year or early next year.

Bruce Braley: Running Clean in the Heartland

Posted: 10/06/2014 11:15 am EDT Updated: 10/06/2014 12:59 pm EDT

“Shut down the federal EPA.” If you are an Iowan who likes dirty air, dirty water and unlimited quantities of harmful pollution, you are in luck. There is a Senate candidate in your home state who you are going to love: Joni Ernst.

Besides proposing to shut down the EPA, Ernst is Dirty Denier$ who has claimed that “global temperature shifts are a result of long-term cyclical patterns rather than the result of man-made activities.” She believes the Clean Water Act is a “business-damaging” law, though Iowans know it is essential for protecting rivers and streams — you know the exact waterbodies that water Iowa’s crops and feed many in our nation. If Ernst had her way, factory farms would be able to release unlimited quantities of nitrates, which can cause cancer and miscarriages, into Iowa’s water supply.

Luckily for Iowa voters, there is another candidate who is Running Clean. Congressman Bruce Braley has been a strong supporter of clean energy, clean water and action on climate change. Braley understands that “climate disruption is real” and that “Reducing our carbon output is not only necessary for the health of the planet, it’s an opportunity to continue to improve the health of the Iowa economy.” Braley has been especially focused on Iowa’s strong wind energy and biofuel industries. He has sponsored legislation to improve worker training in clean energy jobs, to extend wind energy tax credits and to end Big Oil tax breaks in favor of clean energy investment. Braley also understands how important clean water is to our families and Iowa’s agricultural community.

It’s no surprise who the oil billionaire Koch Brothers are supporting in this contest. Americans for Prosperity, which receives substantial funding from the Kochs, spent $688,805 on pro-Ernst television ads between June and mid-September. Ernst credits the Koch brothers, not Iowans with her career in politics. Don’t believe us? Listen here.

Iowa voters need to know the truth about Joni Ernst. She is an extremist when it comes to environmental protection. Mainstream Iowa voters value the land and water that are essential to their way of life. If they want to see those resources protected, they will remember that Bruce Braley is the only candidate who is Running Clean.

BP Found Guilty of ‘Gross Negligence’ and ‘Willful Misconduct’ in 2010 Gulf Oil Disaster

BP Found Guilty of ‘Gross Negligence’ and ‘Willful Misconduct’ in 2010 Gulf Oil Disaster

Anastasia Pantsios | September 4, 2014 2:37 pm

Today a federal judge in New Orleans found BP guilty of “gross negligence” and “willful misconduct” in the April 20, 2010 explosion of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill that resulted from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig was the largest in U.S. history, spewing oil for more than three months. It killed 11 people and continues to have environmental impacts to this day on beaches, wetlands, wildlife, fisheries and a host of businesses in five states.
A sign on the home of a front lawn in Grand Isle, Louisiana on the Gulf Coast. Photo credit: ShutterstockA sign on the home of a front lawn in Grand Isle, Louisiana on the Gulf Coast. Photo credit: Shutterstock

According to Bloomberg, BP could face a fine as high as $18 billion. Plaintiffs included the federal government, the five Gulf of Mexico states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, banks, restaurants and fishermen, among others.

This comes on the heels of the news Tuesday that Halliburton, contracted by BP to cement the oil well, had reached a $1.1 settlement with the businesses, citizens and governments impacted by the spill. But Halliburton was a bit player in BP’s disaster scenario. Continue reading “BP Found Guilty of ‘Gross Negligence’ and ‘Willful Misconduct’ in 2010 Gulf Oil Disaster”