In a deal to keep the government running, the Obama administration agreed to reduce this year’s Environmental Protection Agency budget by 16 percent. Many Tea Party Republicans celebrated the $1.6 billion cut to an agency they believe over regulates business. The Washington Post reports that most of the money is passed on to the states to help them meet federal guidelines. Many state environmental officials, already hard-pressed for funds, are finding it difficult to implement clean-water and drinking-water projects – the two programs that were cut. Bloomberg News ran a story on the same day that Dow Chemical Inc. wants to increase sales at its water unit more than 60 percent over the next five years by slashing the cost of its filtration technology. The story said, “Global demand for fresh water will exceed existing supplies by about 64 percent or 2.7 trillion tons by 2030 as populations increase and people move to cities where lifestyles use water more intensively, McKinsey & Co. estimates. Bridging that gap by upgrading pipelines and increasing water-processing capacity will require an investment of about $55 billion a year over the period, the consulting firm said.” Continue reading at The Washington Post and Bloomberg News.
Fukushima Daiichi. Photo: GlobalDigital
A feeling of desperation is sweeping over Japan as news from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power site worsens with high levels of radiation now showing up in groundwater. International Atomic Energy Agency monitors are urging a wider evacuation zone beyond the Japanese government’s evacuation perimeter.
Continue reading Japanese Prime Minister Casts Doubt On Japan’s Future Reliance on Nuclear Power
Reuters reports that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Tuesday said the department is considering forcing companies to reveal “fracking” fluids used to extract national gas on federal land. Disclosure would help federal agencies like Interior and the EPA assure the public that this extraction method does not harm the environment and the public.
Continue reading Interior might Force hydraulic fracturing fluid disclosure
The New York Assembly voted for a temporary moratorium on natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling. The Senate has already passed a similar bill. The Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York is asking Governor David Paterson to veto the bill.
Continue reading NYT: N.Y. Assembly Approves Fracking Moratorium