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 "Energy":

"… a new route to political disclosure." Railroad giant CSX Corp. and Noble Energy Inc. — each with 68 points — led about three-dozen companies that …"

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 "Energy":

"… reviously donated $250,000 to an Alaska-based super PAC known as "Alaska's Energy/America's Values,” which supports their son. That super PAC has raised …"

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.

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

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 "Energy":

"… d natural gas and the Interior Department and authored the daily Afternoon Energy newsletter. Previously, Buford spent five years with The Providence …"

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 "Iraq":

"… building nuclear weapons keeps one’s enemies at bay, noting that Egypt, Iraq, and Syria have attacked Israel at various times, Argentina attacked Brita …"

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 "Energy":

"… sed 2015 budget chose to cut nuclear nonproliferation programs in the Energy Department by $399 million while increasing spending on nuclear weapons by …"

"… the globe, the White House at about the same time rejected a confidential Energy Department-sponsored plan to accelerate those efforts by 2016, the ye …"

"… he National Nuclear Security Administration, a semi-independent arm of the Energy Department. The NNSA also oversees the production of nuclear warheads, so …"

"… a bruising debate within the administration over a bid by newly-appointed Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to get an extra billion dollars from the Office of …"

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 "Energy":

"… , including Southern Co., Exxon Mobil, Koch Industries, Exelon Corp., Duke Energy and BP. A surprise lobbying spender of 2013 — the upstart National Asso …"

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.

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.

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 "Energy":

"… has been done on the deep borehole idea to estimate the costs. …"

"… iams, a Boston lawyer and equity investor appointed to advise Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, was inspired by a large increase in the estimated cost of bu …"

"… , was $4.8 billion. But the 201-page report, released April 29 on the Energy department’s website, forecast that completing and running the plant wou …"

"… sp;would bring the bottom-line cost to over $16 billion, the report said. Energy officials weren’t immediately available for comment. But downblending wa …"

Federal judges plead guilty

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Judges acknowledge conflicts of interest Center found in 26 cases.

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 "American Chemistry Council":

"… ore on lobbying thanks to its “successful 2013 earnings results.” The American Chemistry Council’s lobbying spending jumped from $1.9 million during the first quarter of …"

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.

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 "American Chemistry Council":

"… ts to revamp TSCA — from the industry’s $100 million lobbying arm, the American Chemistry Council, to the Environmental Defense Fund, an advocacy group, to the EPA itself. …"

"… ral Resources. As the Center for Public Integrity reported last year, the American Chemistry Council and other industry groups fight nearly every state measure, contending tha …"

"… y had in previous sessions, the Association of Washington Business and the American Chemistry Council pushed back against the flame retardants bill, officially filing oppositio …"

"… of the Department of Environmental Protection is a former lobbyist for the American Chemistry Council. A spokeswoman for the Maine DEP’s director, Patricia Aho, sai …"

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 "Energy":

"… f them — Anadarko Petroleum Corp., DCP Midstream, Encana Corp. and Noble Energy, Inc. — fully support the new regulations. Anadarko and DCP Midstream a …"

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 "Iraq":

"… neer Tomonori Iwamoto, who worked as a United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq and serves as director of Rokkasho’s Nuclear Security and Safeguards Div …"

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 "Energy":

"… articularly in the very early period, you were excited,” he said. Atomic Energy Commission engineers figured they were “designing the Ferrari of the nuc …"

"… er John McPhee published a book about Taylor — The Curve of Binding Energy — in which the physicist detailed how shockingly easy it would be f …"

"… technical and financial case against plutonium, and argued that the Atomic Energy Commission had underestimated the long-term costs of developing, building …"

"… said Everett Redmond II, director of nonproliferation at the Nuclear Energy Institute, a Washington-based trade group. “The French do it. The Britis …"

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 "Energy":

"… s, making the Eagle Ford one of the most active drilling sites in America. Energy companies, cheered on by state officials, envision thousands more wells sc …"

"… an assistant professor of political science at Texas Tech University. “Energy wins practically every time,” Forbis said. “It seems cynical to say th …"

"… agle Ford or Barnett shales.” Omar Garcia, president of the South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable — STEER — the communications arm of the 11 b …"

"… Sullivan, a research associate with the University of Texas’ Center for Energy and Environmental Resources. San Antonio’s ozone levels have violated f …"

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 "Energy":

"… ributions from the industry they regulate. But with support from the House Energy Resources Committee, of which Tom Craddick is a member, it has beaten back …"

"… d have regulated or taxed the industry in some way. Most died in the House Energy Resources Committee, where six of the 11 members, including Craddick, own …"

"… e inherited mineral rights from her parents worth as much as $10,000. The Energy Resources Committee is led by Republican Rep. Jim Keffer, whose investment …"

"… cturing of the Railroad Commission. But the core reforms died in the House Energy Resources Committee, where Keffer, the nine-term Republican with hefty ene …"

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 …"

Democrats easily outpace Republicans in super PAC fundraising race

By Michael Beckel

Democrats are fully embracing the independent political money groups they once derided in an effort to retain the Senate this year.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… p ($50,000), coal executive Joe Craft ($100,000) and Florida-based NextEra Energy, a Fortune 200 utilities company ($100,000). Graham’s supporters, likew …"

Pro-Vitter super PAC fueled by energy interests

By Julie Patel and Erin Quinn

A super PAC backing Sen. David Vitter's run for governor got most of its money last year from energy interests, new documents show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Chemistry Council":

"… n, La., gave $25,000. The political group also received $100,000 from the American Chemistry Council — whose members include Marathon Petroleum, Northern Tier Energy and aff …"

Corporate cash helps politicians party on

By Michael Beckel

Inauguration, convention-related groups boosted by corporate contributions.

Top U.S. corporations funneled $173 million to political nonprofits

By Michael Beckel

Analysis of company disclosures reveals steady flow of cash from corporations to social welfare organizations, trade associations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Legislative Exchange Council":

"… National Conference of State Legislators, the Heritage Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council. The analysis found that roughly one-third of the Fortune 300 co …"

"… om its name and welcome moderate Democrats to join its ranks in 2014. The American Legislative Exchange Council, a controversial think tank that allows state lawmakers, most of them Repu …"

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