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Rebecca Leber's Posts


ExxonMobil deserves a pat on the back for Arkansas spill response, says congressmember

oil spill

ExxonMobil’s recent oil spill dumped some 200,000 gallons into Mayflower, Ark., killed wildlife, and caused 22 homes to be evacuated. As the Natural Resources committee takes up another bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) argued at a hearing that the spill is more evidence the Keystone XL pipeline is a safe bet for Americans.

Comparing the safety of a pipeline to other transportation methods, Mullin said there is no reason to make a “big deal” about the spill:

Would we really rather ship oil across the oceans? You’re talking about a catastrophe, we’re buying the oil. The percentages of barrels that are shipped daily from rail, from road, and from water the accidents versus the pipeline accidents, it’s a fraction.Your group is making a big deal about this ExxonMobil spill? I think Exxon should be patted on the back for the way they handled this. Yes this was horrible, yes we don’t like to see it, but they handled it. They did a great job handling it. I think they showed an example of what could be done when a catastrophe happens.

Watch it:


Seven unlikely supporters of Obama’s EPA nominee

Gina McCarthy
Gina McCarthy.

On Monday, President Obama nominated Gina McCarthy to replace outgoing Environmental Protection Agency Chief Lisa Jackson.

Widely known as Obama’s “green quarterback,” McCarthy has helped shape landmark mercury and air toxics standards, along with greenhouse gas regulations, as the current head of the Office of Air and Radiation. In addition to serving at the EPA, she also worked under two Republican governors, including Mitt Romney. McCarthy helped implement strict standards slashing carbon and mercury pollution from the state’s “filthy five” coal-fired power plants when she served in Massachusetts.

Over her two-decade career, McCarthy has drawn unusual praise from Republican and energy-industry admirers -- a tough feat at an agency that is often the polluters and their allies’ favorite target.


Coal industry pays fake activists $50 to wear pro-coal shirts at public hearing

The pro-coal T-shirts at the Chicago hearing. (Photo by Lauren Kastner/Beyond Coal.)

A version of this post originally appeared on Climate Progress.

Apparently unable to find real activists, the coal industry paid astroturfers $50 to wear pro-coal T-shirts at an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing yesterday.

The EPA hearings, held in Chicago and Washington, D.C., were focused on the agency’s first-ever carbon standards for new power plants. The industry has adamantly opposed these standards, as well as standards on mercury -- a pollutant that even Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) admits is harmful.

This year, coal is throwing around its weight by spending tens of millions of dollars on media advertising and political contributions.

Read more: Coal


How Obama and Romney compare on green issues

Cross-posted from Climate Progress.

Mitt Romney’s campaign has benefited from Big Oil and Big Coal’s backing, which have poured more than $16 million into ads attacking President Barack Obama’s energy policies. As a favor, Romney says he plans to open public lands and water to drilling while undoing safety and environmental protections.

Below, we take a side-by-side look at Obama's and Romney’s policies and their divisions on fossil fuels, clean energy, public health, and pollution. Beneath the chart is a more detailed comparison of the candidates’ energy proposals and rhetoric.