Sue Sturgis

Sue Sturgis is the editorial director of Facing South, the online magazine of the nonprofit Institute for Southern Studies in Durham, N.C.

Green Jobs

By the numbers: The myth of ‘job-killing’ regulations

This post originally appeared at Facing South. 3 — Number of weeks straight last month that Republicans used their weekly radio address to attack government regulations for killing jobs 0.3 — Percent of people who lost their jobs in 2010 because of government regulation 25 — Percent who lost their jobs because of a drop in business demand More than 1,000 — Number of temporary workers hired by energy giant AEP to build a pollution scrubber for one of its coal-fired power plants in order to meet Clean Air Act regulations 40 — Number of full-time employees the plant then …

Climate Skeptics

Find out who’s behind the ‘information attacks’ on climate scientists

This post originally appeared at Facing South. This week, in a courtroom in Prince William County, Va., a hearing will take place that could have implications for the privacy rights of scientists at colleges and universities across the country. It’s part of a lawsuit brought by the American Tradition Institute, a free-market think tank that wants the public to believe human-caused global warming is a scientific fraud. Filed against the University of Virginia (U.Va.), the suit seeks emails and other documents related to former professor Michael Mann, an award-winning climate scientist who has become a focus of the climate-denial movement …

Industry-funded climate crank becomes a media darling

A new study examining TV news coverage of federal proposals to regulate global warming pollution has turned up evidence of journalistic malpractice when it comes to accurately informing viewers about one of the most critical issues of our time. It also shows how the mainstream media turned a relatively obscure climatologist into a star — despite the fact that he’s often wrong on the science. This week Media Matters for America released its analysis of television news guests who have discussed the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. It studied guests who appeared on Fox News, Fox …

EPA puts off long-promised coal ash protections

(This post originally appeared at Facing South.) Communities imperiled by poorly managed coal ash won’t be getting help from the federal government any time soon. The Obama administration announced last week that it would not issue long-awaited federal regulations this year after all. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson shared the news in a March 3 hearing of a House Appropriations subcommittee. Jackson blamed the delay on the large number of public comments — over 450,000 — that the agency received on the issue. “It will take quite a bit of time to sort through,” Jackson said, according to a …

xoxoxo

On Valentine’s Day, activists show love for mountains with sit-in and march

Activists in the Kentucky governor’s office.Photo: Chad Berry This post originally appeared at Facing South. This Valentine’s Day marks the fourth day of a historic sit-in at the Kentucky governor’s office calling for an end to mountaintop removal. Meanwhile, thousands of Kentuckians are gathering outside in the state capital of Frankfort for the “I Love Mountains” march calling for an end to the environmentally destructive coal mining practice. Among those who have been taking part in the Kentucky Rising sit-in at the office of Gov. Steve Beshear (D) since Friday are the acclaimed writer and environmental activist Wendell Berry (second …

Hexavalent chromium pollution linked to coal ash disposal

The landmark $333 million court settlement that propelled legal researcher Erin Brockovich to environmental stardom involved the contamination of a California town’s groundwater with hexavalent chromium, a toxic compound known to cause cancer. Now the same dangerous heavy metal, usually associated with steel manufacturing and metal plating, has been discovered seeping from coal ash disposal sites nationwide — and at levels that far surpass what Brockovich encountered. “Communities near coal ash sites must add hexavalent chromium to the list of toxic chemicals that threaten their health and families,” says Lisa Evans, an attorney with the public interest law firm Earthjustice. …