MSNBC host Chris Hayes explained on his program Thursday how the Bush administration—and specifically the former vice president’s son-in-law—played a critical role in defeating regulations that would have strengthened federal oversight of chemical plants like the one that exploded and killed 15 people in West, Texas, last week.
More than half of the country’s rivers and streams are unable to support healthy populations of aquatic insects and other creatures, a survey of nearly 2,000 locations by the Environmental Protection Agency reported Tuesday.
Injection wells have proliferated over the past 60 years, in large part because they are the cheapest, most expedient way to manage hundreds of billions of gallons of industrial waste generated in the U.S. each year. Yet the dangers of injection are well known: In accidents dating to the 1960s, toxic materials have bubbled up to the surface or escaped, contaminating aquifers that store supplies of drinking water.
As unsurprising as it is utterly stupid, a Republican-dominated House subcommittee has voted to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of the power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, while a parallel bill has been introduced in the Senate.
In a largely hidden component of its attack on the federal budget, the House of Representatives has approved a key Republican campaign promise to big business: protecting it from what the new majority calls the handcuffs of environmental safeguards.
Though it was politically vague and took no immediate action, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it will put some regulatory pressure on power plants and oil refineries to limit greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2012.
The EPA will be closely examining the effects of hazardous waste recycling plants on low-income and minority communities. Poorer people disproportionately live in areas where such plants exist and suffer from health-related illnesses caused by the sites. The move reinstates a law dating back to the Clinton era that was largely ignored by the Bush administration.
President Barack Obama called for tougher regulations on auto emissions on Monday, promising not to let a sour economy stand in the way of progress. “I want to be clear from the beginning of this administration that we have made our choice: America will not be held hostage to dwindling resources, hostile regimes and a warming planet,” he said during a meeting with environmentalists in the White House’s East Room.