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Sue Sturgis' Posts

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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a very dirty deal?

Corruption scandal casts shadow over Georgia coal plant projects

Dwight Brown's mug shot. The leader of a metro Atlanta electric co-op was indicted last week on 31 counts of criminal wrongdoing, heightening concerns about planned coal-fired power plants that he's played a key role in promoting. Dwight Brown, president and CEO of Cobb Electric Membership Corp., faces 16 counts of theft, three counts of racketeering, 10 counts of making false statements, and one count each of conspiracy to defraud the Cobb County government and the Cobb County school district, according to the Marietta Daily Journal. Brown's attorney says his client is innocent. The indictment charges Brown with using Cobb …

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nuclear's dirty secret leaks

Uranium contamination found downstream of Tennessee nuclear fuel plant

A river downstream of a privately-owned nuclear fuel processing plant in East Tennessee is contaminated with enriched uranium, according to an interim report [PDF] by a university scientist that was released last week. The contamination was found in the Nolichucky River and Davy Crockett Lake near Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS) plant in Erwin, Tenn. The plant, which produces nuclear fuel for the U.S. Navy and also processes weapons-grade uranium into fuel for nuclear power plants, has a history of serious safety problems. The Nolichucky drains the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee and provides drinking water …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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The Pope-mobile runs on dirty fossil fuels

Art Pope's millions fund climate change denial

Art Pope.There's broad agreement among scientists nowadays that global warming is real and caused in large part by human activities like burning fossil fuels and cutting down forests. For example, a survey [PDF] by university researchers published last year in Eos, the journal of the American Geophysical Union, found that 90 percent of earth scientists agree that mean global temperatures have generally risen since the 1800s, and 82 percent think human activity contributes significantly. As respondents' level of specialization in climate science increased, so did their confidence in human-caused global warming, with climatologists who actively work on climate change agreeing …

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the tip of a criminal iceberg?

Coal companies charged with massive violations of water pollution laws in Kentucky

Appalachia Rising protesting Clean Water Act violations.Photo: Rana XavierA coalition of environmental advocates took the first step today toward bringing a lawsuit against three mining operations in Kentucky for a staggering number of alleged violations of the Clean Water Act -- more than 20,000 in all. The companies targeted are ICG Hazard and ICG Knott, subsidiaries of West Virginia-based International Coal Group, and Frasure Creek Mining, a subsidiary of West Virginia-based Trinity Coal, which was recently purchased by India's Essar Group. These are the largest producers of coal from mountaintop removal mining in Kentucky. The companies have been sent intent-to-sue …

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