July 16, 2018

Pence Family’s Gas Stations Left Costly Environmental Legacy

The gas station chain that was owned by Mike Pence's family has left more than $20 million worth of environmental remediation costs for Indiana taxpayers. When it went bankrupt, Kiel Bros. Oil Co. left behind 85 contaminated sites, including underground tanks that leaked toxic chemicals into soil and streams, AP reports.

July 13, 2018

EPA Watchdog Will Continue Scott Pruitt Investigations

The EPA's Office of the Inspector General will continue five investigations into former Administrator Scott Pruitt, who resigned last week. This appears to include all of the internal watchdog's ongoing audits related to Pruitt's conduct, including those dealing with his lavish travel spending, raises given to staff and failure to properly preserve records.

California May Be in for Another Disastrous Wildfire Season

More than 85 percent of California's natural landscape is unusually dry, and 44 percent of the state is experiencing drought, factors that mean this is likely going to be another destructive wildfire season. State lawmakers are looking at legislation to improve disaster planning, and utilities are working to trim trees to reduce the chances of contact with power lines that could spark fires. 

July 12, 2018

Black Lung Indictments Allege Coal Mine Managers Lied About Health Safety

Eight former supervisors and safety officials at two Kentucky coal mines have been charged by a federal grand jury with conspiracy to defraud federal mine safety officials by covering up the daily levels of breathable dust, potentially putting miners at greater risk of black lung disease. "It was all about production, getting a ton out, more money to make," says one former miner.

Heat Waves May Be Making Climate Change Real for Americans

Warm temperatures and extreme weather may be having an effect on U.S. attitudes about global warming. A long-running survey finds that 73% of Americans said this spring they think there is solid evidence of global warming and 60% that warming is due to human actions. Both are highs for the survey.

July 11, 2018

Nobel-Winning Economist to Testify in Children’s Climate Lawsuit

Economist Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel recipient, has written a court brief that forcefully supports the children who are suing the federal government for inaction on climate change. He argues that the costs of maintaining an economy based on fossil fuels are "incalculable" and rapidly transitioning to cleaner energy will benefit the economy.

EPA Takes Next Step Toward Replacing Clean Power Plan

The EPA says it has sent its proposed rule to replace the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration's signature effort to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review. The EPA hasn't revealed the contents of the proposal. 

After Pruitt Resigned, Several of His Top Aides Also Called It Quits at EPA

Several top aides and close allies of former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt are leaving the agency, less than a week after Pruitt resigned his post amid a series of ethics inquiries into his spending and management practices. The departures include his combative spokesman, a longtime aide who was nearly always by his side during his travels, and the deputy White House liaison.

GOP Senators in No Hurry for Permanent EPA Head

Andrew Wheeler may have a long stay as acting administrator of the EPA. Nearly a dozen GOP senators said this week that they are fine with Wheeler serving indefinitely as interim administrator, a role he took after Scott Pruit resigned amid ethics scandals.

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