'Banking Caucus' member aims for Senate

By Alison Fitzgerald

Republican candidate for Senate U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito defends little banks but big banks benefit too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "political analyst":

"… Duffy, whose district “leans Republican” according to the non-partisan political analyst. Voters will go to the polls Nov. 4. That means their financial benefacto …"

Five-state study finds high levels of airborne chemicals near oil and gas sites

By Jamie Smith Hopkins

A study of air emissions near oil and gas wells found strikingly high levels of benzene and other dangerous chemicals in some locations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Formaldehyde":

"… r stations, which pressurize natural gas so it can flow through pipelines. Formaldehyde can be a byproduct of the facilities' engines.  Breathe Easy Susqueh …"

Bloomberg helps Democratic governors' group close gap on Republicans

By Ben Wieder

The Republican Governors Association is outpacing its Democratic counterpart but Democrats are catching up.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Governors Association":

"… h the Internal Revenue Service show that the gap is narrowing. Though the Republican Governors Association raised about $68 million through the end of September, the Democratic Gove …"

"… Bhargava each contributed $2.5 million through the end of September to the Republican Governors Association. Private equity head Mike Shannon and his wife, Mary Sue, along with hedg …"

Ads in U.S. Senate contests turn nasty

By Dave Levinthal

More than seven in 10 U.S. Senate-focused television ads last week attacked or criticized a political candidate.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kentucky":

"… n 3,500 U.S. Senate-focused attack ads splashed across Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana and North Carolina. The National Republican Senatorial Committe …"

Secret politics pervade popular companies

By Dave Levinthal

Some well-known brands keep their political spending secret while others are more forthcoming, new survey shows.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… received significant attention since 2010, when the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision granted them powerful spending freedoms. Corporations may n …"

Oops: Republican super PAC misidentifies source of massive donation

By Michael Beckel

Super PAC acknowledges a $300,000 gift came from parents of GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan, not a wealth management firm.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… 's corporate headquarters in Philadelphia but that of a beachside condo in Florida. Thomas Sullivan is the owner of the $3 million, 2,850-square-foot condo, …"

Why Republican control of Congress hinges on nine big-money Senate races

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Nine big-money Senate races will determine whether Republicans control both chambers of Congress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Scott Brown":

"… Freshman Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen will likely face former GOP Sen. Scott Brown, who briefly represented Massachusetts and has now gone north to the Grani …"

Firearms more likely to be used in suicides than in homicides

By Carmen Forman and Jacob Byk

At least 50 people died per day from firearm suicide; 26 died from firearm homicides.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Nevada":

"… id. Legislation isn’t necessary to promote gun safety, said Don Turner, Nevada Firearms Coalition president. “As a responsible gun owner, we have the …"

"… d. State prevention measures Prevention specialists in New Hampshire and Nevada are looking at firearm suicides and working with gun stores and ranges to …"

"… rearm suicides and working with gun stores and ranges to decrease deaths. Nevada had a high rate of suicide by firearm, 9.83 per 100,000 residents, or 268 …"

"… than three times as many firearm suicides as firearm homicides happened in Nevada in 2012, data shows. The Nevada Office of Suicide Prevention has coordina …"

Women become increasingly involved in gun groups

By Lauren Loftus and Natalie Krebs

Thanks in part to targeted marketing, more women are buying guns for protection and sport

Excerpts from this story referencing "Louisiana":

"… so a woman, Tara Mica-Reilly, the NRA state liaison for Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana and Mississippi. “I believe that women bring patience and logic and abi …"

Center for Public Integrity adds two new reporters to environment and labor team

The Center for Public Integrity’s Pulitzer Prize-winning environment and labor team is pleased to announce the hiring of two reporters.

Excerpts from this story referencing "journalist":

"… d Burdened,” “Toxic Clout” and “Hard Labor.” Founded in 1989 by journalist Charles Lewis, the Center for Public Integrity is one of the cou …"

Nuclear weapons lab employee fired after publishing scathing critique of the arms race

By Douglas Birch

Los Alamos lets a 17-year employee go after retroactively classifying his published article.

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokesman":

"… interview with an official who could discuss the case. Derrick Robinson, a spokesman for the Energy department’s National Nuclear Security Administration, wh …"

"… not come from the Democratic side of the House committee. Claude Chafin, a spokesman for the Republican staff, said “we have a constant back and forth with t …"

"… tment has no jurisdiction over atomic energy secrets.) A State Department spokesman did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the case. But Gibbs, i …"

Obama curbs nuclear security goals as bomb-building budget grows

By Douglas Birch

The White House rejected a confidential proposal to accelerate work on nuclear security problems despite a missed 2013 deadline.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Security Council":

"… cial said, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, nonproliferation coordinator on the National Security Council, agreed with Sylvia Burwell, director of the Office of Management and Budg …"

Lobbying activity declines among top special interests

By Dave Levinthal

Three-fifths of nation's top 100 lobbying entities spent less on influence in the second quarter compared to a year ago.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… gston, R-Ga. and Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. Back on Capitol Hill, the Chamber continues to lobby heavily on “criti …"

Energy influence in North Dakota is expanding — so what?

By Nicholas Kusnetz and Jared Bennett

A Q & A with reporter Nicholas Kusnetz about the oil and gas industries growing influence in North Dakota.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… ome national Environmental organizations are starting to get involved, the Environmental Defense Fund hired a local lobbyist who I actually interviewed because h …"

How oil and gas firms gained influence and transformed North Dakota

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Industry has transformed the state, but at what cost?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… s hard to find a place or person that hasn’t been touched by the boom. Energy companies have drilled more than 8,000 wells into western North Dakota’s …"

Montana state senators raise big bucks with secretive nonprofit

By Michael Beckel

Secretive group connected to GOP state Sens. Jason Priest and Ed Walker raised $900,000 in 2012, new documents show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… ly suing Montana to force the state to abide by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, which allowed corporations, unions and special interest groups to …"

Energy Dept. confirms it's been on the wrong path since 2007

By Douglas Birch

A newly-released DOE study concludes the department can save billions by shelving a costly South Carolina nuclear fuel factory.

Excerpts from this story referencing "MOX fuel":

"… as filed a lawsuit seeking to force the federal government to complete the MOX fuel plant, where about 1,600 workers are currently employed. South Carolina’ …"

Federal judges plead guilty

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Judges acknowledge conflicts of interest Center found in 26 cases.

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… ds’? To save his home, Mountaga Bah needed to win a legal battle with a banking giant. Faced with the threat of foreclosure, Bah and his wife sued Wel …"

"… ah and his wife sued Wells Fargo bank beginning in 2008, claiming that the bank engaged in predatory lending when it added a second mortgage to the Bowie, …"

"… be able to afford the monthly mortgage payments. The complaint alleged the bank’s lax underwriting meant it lacked “clean hands.” In 2010, a three- …"

"… 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Barbara Keenan owned stock in the bank.  “I couldn’t believe it,” Bah told the Center after he learne …"

Chemical industry among big spenders on lobbying this quarter

By Dave Levinthal

New numbers indicate it's still good to be a lobbyist in America.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Securities Industry":

"… Duke Energy, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, 3M Co. and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. Overall, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce r …"

Report offers grim predictions for South Texas air quality amid Eagle Ford oil boom

By Jim Morris, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer

State-funded study projects dramatic increase in emissions from oil and gas development by 2018.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… ly beholden to the industry.” Omar Garcia, president of the South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable, said Friday morning that he did not have the ti …"

GAO report again finds black lung proposal supported by science

By Chris Hamby

A new government study supports reducing the dust limit workers encounter in mines; the industry is pushing back against stronger rules.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kentucky":

"… scientifically well-grounded. Nine months later, U.S. Reps. Hal Rogers of Kentucky and Jack Kingston of Georgia, both Republicans, asked the GAO to conduct t …"

States target toxic chemicals as Washington fails to act

By Ronnie Greene

In state capitols from Maine to Oregon, environmental advocates are filing bills to identify and ban noxious chemicals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Maine":

"… on and politicians’ cries of state overreaching. In state capitols from Maine to Oregon, environmental advocates are filing bills to identify and ban no …"

"… ls of high concern,” following the lead of states such as Washington and Maine. The bill would require manufacturers of products using such chemicals to …"

"… prohibited in another state.” More state battles: Oregon, Connecticut, Maine Legislators in other states have also filed bills this session to identif …"

"… es like Connecticut need their own laws to target hazardous chemicals. In Maine, advocates are pushing legislation in a state where the Republican governo …"

Tough new fracking rules in Colorado drawing keen attention in Texas, where boom rages on

By Zahra Hirji, Lisa Song and Jim Morris

Air pollution rules adopted last month in Colorado may have an impact on oil and gas drilling in Texas.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jim Morris":

"… Weather Channel. Zahra Hirji and Lisa Song are with InsideClimate News and Jim Morris is with the Center for Public Integrity. …"

Plutonium fever blossoms in Japan

Cronyism, influence-buying and a stifling of dissenting voices have kept the Japanese nuclear industry going strong after Fukushima.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… ed nuclear fuels around the globe, under a program known as Global Nuclear Energy Partnership that envisioned a large role for the Rokkasho plant. Kono was …"

"… erested in the nuclear power industry.” It noted that four of the Atomic Energy Commission’s five members had a professional or financial stake in the i …"

"… r top-level bureaucrats from METI’s own Agency for Natural Resources and Energy became vice presidents at other electric utilities. The practice is known …"

"… ll of Japan’s existing plutonium stockpile is under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, while its uranium — a linchpin of any effort to resta …"

Japan could be building an irresistible terrorist target, experts say

Japan has balked at U.S. security advice for its nuclear plants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Harvard University":

"… outh Korea and elsewhere. Matt Bunn, a former White House official now at Harvard University, said it’s unrealistic to believe that a terror attack in Japan is impro …"

A world awash in a nuclear explosive?

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

Japan is leading a global move towards dangerous reactors fueled by a nuclear explosive, Thomas Cochran and other experts say.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Egypt":

"… Washington, as part of a bilateral nuclear trade agreement. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, and Indonesia, could also follow Japan’s example, Sokolski sai …"

"… ow Japan’s example, Sokolski said. Others worry about Turkey, Vietnam or Egypt. The list goes on and on. “It’s very hard,” says James Acton, …"

Nuclear Waste: Auditors find continuing mismanagement at nuclear fuel plant

By Douglas Birch

The GAO complains anew about DOE's unwillingness to investigate cost increases at the MOX plant, and learn from its mistakes there

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… fuel. The NNSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. …"

"… llions more than first estimated, due to what the GAO last year called the Energy agency’s “record of inadequate management and oversight.” The GAO r …"

"… of inadequate management and oversight.” The GAO report found that the Energy department’s April 2013 draft estimate of the total cost of the plutoniu …"

"… ignored key steps in calculating the figure.   A recently-completed Energy Department study of the plutonium plant and alternatives, not yet released …"

As drilling ravages Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale, residents 'living in a Petri dish’

By Jim Morris, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer

In partnership with InsideClimate News and The Weather Channel, Center examines oil industry exploitation of Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alex Cohen":

"… is no end in sight,” Everley said. Contributors to this report include Alex Cohen, Chris Zubak-Skees, Zahra Hirji, Sabrina Shankman and Marcus Stern. Corre …"

Saturated with oil money, Texas legislature saved industry from pollution rule

By David Hasemyer, Ben Wieder and Alan Suderman

An effort to impose stricter rules on Texas oil and gas operators in 2011 fizzled after the state legislature got involved.

Excerpts from this story referencing "state legislature":

"… pted rules to reduce harmful emissions. The industry rebelled. So did the state legislature. A few months later, the legislature overwhelmingly approved SB1134, a bi …"

"… . Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt, a Republican who represents Karnes County in the state legislature, is no stranger to that industry. He has leased some of his own land to oi …"

"… use that is going against the interest of business.” The TCEQ, like the state legislature, is intertwined with the industry. The agency’s three commissioners are …"

Nuclear Waste: Cost of South Carolina fuel plant goes up by billions of dollars — again

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Douglas Birch

The MOX plant may cost another $30 billion to complete and operate, and federal officials are newly wary.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… article was co-published with Foreign Policy. …"

"… als and industry sources briefed on its results. The study, conducted for Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, also found that finishing and then operating the f …"

"… n for the contractor building the plant referred questions about it to the Energy Department. Keri Fulton, a spokeswoman for the National Nuclear Security A …"

"… esponsible for the MOX project, said the agency would not comment. Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Poneman declined to comment on the projected costs Friday. B …"