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 "Energy":

"… irm Amgen, Shell Oil, Prudential Financial, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Duke Energy, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, 3M Co. and the Securities …"

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 "Energy":

"… publican State Sen. Doug Ericksen, chair of the Washington legislature’s Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee, said the bill as proposed …"

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 "Energy":

"… grew by 60 percent, to about 9,000 officers, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute. Washington also pressed others, including France, Britain, Russ …"

"… ch. But in Japan, at least, there was resistance. Paul Dickman, a former Energy Department official and chief of staff to the chairman of the Nuclear Regu …"

"… Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told a delegation from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2008 the government worried that “if, for example, the information sh …"

"… equipment is replaced. That’s why experts say the International Atomic Energy Agency will be able to track only 99 percent of the plutonium as it moves …"

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 "Energy":

"… mistry Council — whose members include Marathon Petroleum, Northern Tier Energy and affiliates of BP, Chevron, Shell and ExxonMobil — and $30,000 from V …"

"… ffiliates of BP, Chevron, Shell and ExxonMobil — and $30,000 from Valero Energy's political action committee. Many of the contributions were tied to offs …"

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 "Energy":

"… rted contribution was the $7.2 million that it gave to support the Nuclear Energy Institute, the nuclear power industry’s main trade association and an ac …"

"… sition taken by those organizations.” He further noted that the Nuclear Energy Institute dues are “based on the size of a member’s nuclear assets.” …"

"… are organizations, the largest of which was $290,000 given to the American Energy Alliance — a 501(c)(4) nonprofit with ties to the conservative billionai …"

"… obbyist Thomas Pyle. Ahead of the 2012 presidential election, the American Energy Alliance organized a 17-state bus tour and spent more than $1 million on t …"

Dow Chemical backed anti-union nonprofit with $2 million donation

By Michael Beckel and Erin Quinn

Nonprofit opposed pro-union ballot measure in Michigan with help of $2 million from chemical giant.

Obama administration understated nuclear weapons costs

By R. Jeffrey Smith

An independent report projects a much higher bill for the administration’s weapons programs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… which also are slated for an upgrade, will cost $40 billion. Keeping the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons-related laboratories humming over this peri …"

State supreme court judges reveal scant financial information

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Despite universally poor disclosure rules, Center finds numerous conflicts among state high court judges.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… logic to defend an opinion he wrote in a 2012 case involving XTO Energy, a natural gas company. The same year Danielson wrote the court’s opini …"

Energy Department 'bet' on Fisker Automotive ends in bankruptcy

By Ronnie Greene

An Energy Department program meant to spur development of electric cars faces another setback with Fisker Chapter 11 filing.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… ild a fleet of sleek plug-ins four years ago, the Obama administration’s Energy Department promised cutting-edge cars and thousands of jobs. “We're mak …"

"… Fisker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection — a symbol of a larger Energy Department electric car program that has yet to fully take off. In Octobe …"

"… In October 2011, The Center for Public Integrity and ABC News explored the Energy Department’s risky $1 billion bet on Fisker and another California elect …"

"… loan nine years early, but Fisker’s project never gained traction. The Energy Department earmarked $529 million to Fisker and ultimately dispersed $192 …"

The mess gets worse at Hanford’s nuclear site

By Rebecca LaFlure

A scientific dispute over cleanup of one of the most polluted sites in the country threatens to ensnare the Energy Department’s leaders.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… ill will between members of the project’s senior engineering staff, the Energy Department and its lead contractors. The waste is a legacy of the Cold Wa …"

"… argest such environmental undertaking in the country — the Department of Energy (DOE) started building a factory 12 years ago to encase the nuclear leftov …"

"… as been an early — and so far dismaying — test of whether Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, previously an MIT physics professor, can turn the problem-pl …"

"… t Moniz, previously an MIT physics professor, can turn the problem-plagued Energy Department around through improved scientific rigor and better management …"

'Citizens United' ruling helped unions win state elections

By Alan Suderman and Ben Wieder

National unions, business groups focused on states in 2012 elections with unions gaining the edge, new analysis shows.

ALEC gets gift from Nuclear Energy Institute

By Michael Beckel

Controversial pro-business think tank received $10,000 from Nuclear Energy Institute last year, new documents show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… rning out industry-friendly legislation, received $10,000 from the Nuclear Energy Institute last year, according to a new tax filing obtained by the Center …"

"… a new tax filing obtained by the Center for Public Integrity. The Nuclear Energy Institute — the nuclear industry’s main trade association — disclose …"

"… in the states, is not required to publicly identify its funders. Nuclear Energy Institute spokesman Steve Kerekes said his group contributed to ALEC as a …"

"… ely respond to requests for comment. One of the main goals of the Nuclear Energy Institute is “to achieve a predictable and stable regulatory environment …"

Days after investigation, coal miners' safety net scrutinized

By Bill Buzenberg

Center's 'Breathless and Burdened' series leads U.S. senators to call for changes, major hospital to halt program and review practices.

Behind the story: 'Breathless and Burdened'

By Chris Hamby

Reporter Chris Hamby details his yearlong look at miners suffering from black lung disease, and their struggle for benefits.

Center series digs into the 'epidemic' of deadly black lung disease

By Bill Buzenberg

Three-part series finds coal industry law firm playing role in denying benefits to dying miners.

'Breathless and Burdened' will examine coal industry's efforts to defeat black lung benefits claims

By Chris Hamby

Our yearlong investigative project examining how coal companies defeat sick miners' black lung benefits claims begins tomorrow.

Lobbying dips overall, but the beat goes on for guns, drugs and agriculture

By Dave Levinthal

But third-quarter expenditures are down for many special interests.

A new use for nuclear weapons: hunting rogue asteroids

By Douglas Birch

A persistent campaign by weapons designers to develop a nuclear defense against extraterrestrial rocks slowly wins government support.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… mpaign suffered a setback last month when the Obama Administration’s new Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz, signed an agreement with the Russians that the Am …"

"… who have studied the effects of such detonations on asteroids. He used the Energy Department’s “Cielo” supercomputer — which the lab calls its “fr …"

"… kground” in this country. Nevertheless, the agreement that Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz signed last month in Vienna with Sergey Kirienko, director of …"

"… eroids.” Oddly, the actual 47-page U.S.-Russian agreement — which the Energy Department has not publicly released but which the Center for Public Integ …"

That other crippling government problem

By Bill Buzenberg

The across-the-board cuts from sequestration are taking a toll on everything from research to head start in communities across the country.

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