One-stop science shop has become a favorite of industry—and Texas

By Rosalind Adams and Lisa Song

The EPA's sluggishness in assessing chemicals has created opportunities for a consulting firm with ties to chemical and tobacco interests.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… to keep up with the ever-expanding array of chemicals made and used in the United States. The EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System – IRIS – has …"

Texas weakens chemical exposure guidelines, opens door for polluters

By Lisa Song and Rosalind Adams

Amid a fracking boom, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has quietly weakened air pollution guidelines for toxic chemicals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… lth-protective, than the old one. The decision by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) was a boon for oil refineries, petrochemical plants and o …"

"… ott, the state’s governor-elect, has taken legal action against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 19 times since 2010, arguing that overly restrictive r …"

"… e emissions. Ron Melnick, a former scientist at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, analyzed the TCEQ’s 139-page description of …"

"… ental community tends to rely on a single expert—Elena Craft of the Environmental Defense Fund—to weigh in on risk assessment science. Air Alliance Hous …"

Citing health risks, New York State bans fracking

By Talia Buford

"The potential risks are too great," says the state's acting health commissioner. "In fact, they are not fully known."

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ohio":

"… state, most of the formation lies beneath West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, all of which allow fracking. Dave Spigelmyer, president of the Marc …"

"… s,” Brune said. In November, voters in Denton, Texas, Athens, Ohio, and San Benito and Mendocino counties in California decided to ban fracki …"

"… and Mendocino counties in California decided to ban fracking. Youngstown, Ohio, and Santa Barbara County, California, voted against a ban. …"

Health worries pervade North Texas fracking zone

By Jamie Smith Hopkins

Some residents of the heavily fracked Barnett Shale in North Texas blame their health problems on toxic oil and gas emissions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… uth Texas, where drilling has soared the past several years. The Center for Public Integrity and InsideClimate News have been reporting on air pollution in the Eagle F …"

"… w several people who’ve left. They all got better.” Jim Morris of the Center for Public Integrity and Lisa Song and David Hasemyer of InsideClimate News contributed to this …"

Plant expansions fueled by shale gas boom to boost greenhouse gas, toxic air emissions

By Talia Buford

At least 120 planned plant expansions driven by the fracking boom collectively could release 130 million tons per year of greenhouse gases.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Louisiana":

"… dition to a plant Sasol already operates nearby.   The state of Louisiana says it will allow the facility to release up to 10.6 million tons of gree …"

"… ich were independently verified by the Center for Public Integrity.  Louisiana and Texas account for most of these projects — 34 and 50, respectively. …"

"… nventory is trending over time.” In a written statement, Sasol said its Louisiana project will yield a projected 1,200 permanent jobs and another 5,000 or s …"

"… hat exist,” said Bryan Johnston, a senior environmental scientist in the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s air permits division.  “The …"

Obama administration let opponents define the Affordable Care Act

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Obama administration let foes define Affordable Care Act.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… ch Massachusetts lawmakers enacted in 2006. During remarks he made at the Health Economists Conference at the University of Pennsylvania last year, Gruber …"

"… in: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans and Obamacare: What’s in It for M …"

Ad war winners take governors' mansions

By Ben Wieder, Reity O'Brien and Rachel Baye

Three out of four races won by top spending candidates and their allies

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michigan":

"… s Independence USA PAC, which backed political moderates, found success in Michigan, where it backed incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.  It also won …"

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 "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency":

"… stein, a faculty emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh who served as an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official during the Reagan administration. The beginning of a shift is un …"

Mega-donors give big to state candidates

By Rachel Baye, Reity O'Brien and Ben Wieder

More than two dozen donors have given at least $1 million to state-level campaigns ahead of Nov. 4.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… state records by the nonpartisan National Institute on Money in State Politics, top donors include: Illinois Republican candidate Bruce Rauner, who ha …"

"… ons, though, are not reflected in the National Institute on Money in State Politics’ data. A representative for Litwin did not respond to requests for comm …"

"… ups, having given $14 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. A representative for Eychaner declined to comment. On the other side, G …"

"… ance reports not yet processed by the National Institute on Money in State Politics and is not reflected in overall contribution totals. Liz Essley Whyte con …"

Pennsylvania congressman launches frack waste investigation

By David Hasemyer and Zahra Hirji

Congressman Matt Cartwright, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, is asking state officials to review environmental exemptions for fracking waste.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Louisiana":

"… into the third-largest state producer of natural gas behind Texas and Louisiana. In those two states and others, questions are increasingly being raised a …"

Pennsylvania super PAC gets 'dark money' infusion

By Michael Beckel

Nonprofit Green Orchard Inc. is listed as the sole donor to new Prosperity for Pennsylvania super PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Federation of Independent Business":

"… s firm touts work on behalf of clients such as the Florida chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, tax preparer H&R Block and the Miami Heat basketball team. For the N …"

"… s, tax preparer H&R Block and the Miami Heat basketball team. For the National Federation of Independent Business in Florida, Revolution Agency said it executed a campaign that “succeede …"

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 "Mike Rounds":

"… outfit Mayday PAC have deemed the race in play. Republican Mike Rounds, Democrat Rick Weiland, Democrat and independent Larry Pressler are all&nb …"

Open pits offer cheap disposal for fracking sludge, but health worries mount

By David Hasemyer and Zahra Hirji

Air emissions from oil and gas waste are among the least regulated, least monitored and least understood components of the fracking boom.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… arby residents. This gap can be traced to decisions Congress and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made decades ago, when oil and gas producers lobbied h …"

"… rney Patricia Robertson, the Environmental crimes prosecutor for the Texas Environmental Enforcement Task Force, has been frustrated for years because the federa …"

"… Robertson said. James Langhorne, chief operating officer of Inland Environmental, a disposal facility south of Houston, bristles when he hears criticism …"

"… 70 co-sponsors are Democrats, and the bill is stuck in the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy. “I don’t expect it will be an easy fight, but it’s …"

Prison bankers cash in on captive customers

By Daniel Wagner

Private company profits by helping prisons squeeze inmates' families for cash.

Excerpts from this story referencing "JPay Inc.":

"… f last year, the Virginia Department of Corrections informed her that JPay Inc., a private company in Florida, would begin handling all deposits into inma …"

Non-candidate spending increases in state elections

By Rachel Baye, Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Ben Wieder

TV ad spending in state elections since 2010 is down, but the portion ponied up by political nonprofits and state-level super PACs rises.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Tennessee":

"… y $3.1 million spent to air ads in six states. Races to retain three Tennessee justices clocked in as the most expensive with about $1.4 million in …"

"… nders whose crimes had occurred before the provisions were enacted. Three Tennessee Supreme Court justices won retention elections — in which judges ran uno …"

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 …"

Bill aims to stop coal companies from denying benefits to miners with black lung

By Chris Hamby

Two coal-state senators plan to introduce legislation to reform the federal benefits program for black lung victims.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jay Rockefeller":

"… lation, sponsored by Sens. Robert Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, and Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat from West Virginia, aims to put a stop to those strategies. "T …"

Can this 'dark money' group help the Democrats keep the Senate?

By Michael Beckel

Patriot Majority USA raises millions from unknown sources to play attack dog in the South.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic Party":

"… t trust” and criticized him for voting against the farm bill. Arkansas Democratic Party spokesman Patrick Burgwinkle welcomes Patriot Majority USA’s participati …"

"… redistricting fights. Casey Mann, executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party, understands that her party faces a dilemma over dark money. On the one h …"

"… olicies you want to see.” Mike Brown, the chairman of the Benton County Democratic Party in Arkansas, agrees. There, Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor is locked in a clos …"

How big telecom smothers city-run broadband

By Allan Holmes

Municipal broadband boosts business, but often stops at city limits thanks to lobbying muscle of telecom giants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Plus Association":

"… f seven conservative groups, including Americans for Prosperity and the 60 Plus Association, which are backed by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch; th …"

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 "Massachusetts":

"… or 2012, the most recent year available, but Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island denied requests for statistics or could not …"

Firearms used in homicides often purchased illegally

By Kelsey Jukam, Aaron Maybin and Jordan Rubio

A News21 analysis of the FBI’s national database of supplementary homicide reports found that across the country, 17,422 black men between a

Excerpts from this story referencing "General Motors":

"… nd violence stem from drugs, a lack of education, and a lack of jobs. When General Motors and other factories left, the city’s fall from grace came shortly after. …"

Growing number of biosafety labs raises public health concern

By James Arkin

Construction of new biosafety labs a waste of money, possible threat to public health, say reports and experts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory":

"… consider whether it would duplicate capacity at other places, including at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which has three BSL-3 labs. Most of the work would come from other feder …"

EPA: No comment on fracking air pollution

By Jim Morris and Lisa Song

No one at the Environmental Protection Agency has been willing to talk on the record about air pollution associated with fracking in Texas.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas Commission on Environmental Quality":

"… easonable question: If a state regulatory agency — in this case the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality — isn’t doing much to curb the industry's air pollution, why isn’t t …"

Families sick from fracking turn to scientists

By Lisa Song

A Pennsylvania nonprofit provides free health consultations to people who live near gas drilling sites and complain of health effects.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… r even decades for long-term studies to emerge, the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (SWPA-EHP) is using the best available science to help pe …"

"… igate the risks people face from drilling. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection — which oversees the oil and gas industry — has no ongoin …"

"… Pennsylvania medical society, the Pennsylvania health department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. " …"

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 "Oregon":

"… icy is $500 to Ryan Taylor’s campaign from an Eileen Brady, of Portland, Oregon, who could not be reached for this article. Fuglie, the retired Democratic …"

Medicare Advantage plans require more scrutiny

By Fred Schulte

Government inspector says private Medicare plans difficult to investigate due to lack of access to data.

Credit rating industry dodges reforms, despite role in financial meltdown

By Alison Fitzgerald

Despite playing a central role in the economic collapse, firms that gave inflated ratings to toxic bonds remain untouched by reforms.

Excerpts from this story referencing "House Financial Services":

"… -35. Then-Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., opposed the bill, however, and opposition …"

Outside money pouring into governors races

By Ben Wieder

Dem, GOP associations are spending more than double as much on governors' races in the 2014 cycle than at the same period in 2010.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… ent Barack Obama and his campaign’s early focus on attacking GOP nominee Mitt Romney.  “People looked at the Obama 2012 campaign and thought that early …"

Health insurers have their way with regulators

By Fred Schulte

Billions in Medicare Advantage overpayments likely gone for good.

Excerpts from this story referencing "diseases":

"… ngress wanted to systematically pay more for people with chronic or costly diseases, such as cancer and diabetes with complications, and less for those in rob …"

"… heir patients were­ — or failing to document that patients actually had diseases the plans were paid to treat, according to CMS. Overall, Medicare paid the …"

"… e paid fairly. Medicare tried to predict the costs of treating a range of diseases, including those likely to require expensive treatment and adjusted paymen …"

Court reopens third case after Center uncovered judicial conflicts of interest

By Chris Young

Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reopens 2007 case after Center alerts judge that his wife owned ExxonMobil stock when he ruled on case.

Excerpts from this story referencing "judge":

"… ed for comment.    …"

"… enter for Public Integrity investigation found that the wife of one of the judges owned up to $100,000 worth of stock in the oil company at the time of the …"

"… new panel hear his case because Reavley was “not impartial.” By law, judges cannot own even a single share of stock in companies that come before the …"

"… hem. Nor can their spouses or dependent children. Tilli learned about the judge’s conflict of interest after it was brought to the 5th Circuit’s atten …"

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