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 "Texas":

"… is neutral." No state has taken advantage of TERA’s services more than Texas, where a rush of oil and gas production has created air pollution problems …"

"… friend of Michael Honeycutt, who heads the toxicology division at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the primary enforcer of the Cl …"

"… mary enforcer of the Clean Air Act and other federal environmental laws in Texas. His department has evaluated the toxicity of 45 chemicals since 2007 thro …"

"… -year, $600,000 contract to help review the agency's chemical evaluations. Texas has hosted three conferences put on by the Alliance for Risk Assessment …"

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 "National Academy of Sciences":

"… tighter chemical regulations. Its first effort was to address a 2009 National Academy of Sciences risk assessment report authored by Finkel, the Penn professor, and 14 …"

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 "West Virginia":

"… ds into the southern part of the state, most of the formation lies beneath West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, all of which allow fracking. Dave Spigelmyer, pre …"

Advisory panel tells Congress the nuclear weapons complex is too big and too old

By Douglas Birch

A congressional advisory panel says the nuclear weapons complex can be scaled down and modernized with less regulation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Tennessee":

"… ons — and works with the Bechtel Corporation to manage the Y-12 plant in Tennessee and the Pantex plant in Texas, where key nuclear weapons components are ma …"

Jeb Bush explores White House bid — unconventionally

By Carrie Levine

Instead of traditional presidential exploratory committee, potential GOP candidate GOP to create a leadership PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… n limits,” said Kenneth Gross, a former associate general counsel of the Federal Election Commission who leads the political law practice at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & …"

"… uch leadership PACs can raise before Bush is officially a candidate, while Federal Election Commission regulations prohibit exploratory committees from raising “funds in exces …"

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 "Health":

"… , an internal medicine specialist who sits on the Lubbock, Texas, Board of Health, reviewed the research herself and saw it as a call to action. “I think …"

"… ef-exposure guideline is even higher, at 180 parts per billion. The World Health Organization’s guidelines say “no safe level of exposure can …"

"… o effects. In 2012 the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences called for more low-dose testing to fill the void. The …"

"… logist working for the nonprofit Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, said his group’s measurements show emissions from wells and com …"

Smoke, odors and drifting foam in Fort Worth suburb stir frustration over fracking

By Jamie Smith Hopkins

Some residents of the Fort Worth suburb of Mansfield are arguing for stricter local regulation of hydraulically fractured wells.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… facto ban. Chris Faulkner, chief executive of Dallas-based Breitling Energy and an outspoken advocate of fracking, summed up his thoughts on what …"

"… ow what it was. The station looks like a couple of barns. Then EagleRidge Energy drilled and fracked more wells on both pads last year, bringing the comple …"

"… and a mixture of compounds are vented. The TCEQ directed then-owner Texas Energy Midstream to produce the records operators are required to keep. What Irw …"

"… t the fact that they can’t produce a record … is ridiculous.” Texas Energy Midstream, which sold the compressor station this fall, did not respond to …"

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 "American Chemistry Council":

"… itizens of the area that did not exist prior to the projects.” The American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry’s main trade group, said the “new factories and …"

"… ants will get more and more efficient,” she said. In its statement, the American Chemistry Council said, “The new U.S. chemical industry production will be advanced, state …"

Fired: Texas regulators say they tried to enforce rules, lost jobs

By David Hasemyer

Two former inspectors with the Texas Railroad Commission say they were fired for being too strict with the oil and gas industry.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… reporters David Heath and Ben Wieder contributed to this report. …"

"… PEARSALL, Texas — During their careers as oil and gas inspectors for the Texas Railroad Commission, Fred Wright and Morris Kocurek earned merit raises, p …"

"… nt. The incidents Kocurek and Wright describe offer an inside look at how Texas regulates the oil and gas industry, a subject InsideClimate News and the C …"

"… tigation has found that the Railroad Commission and its sister agency, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, focus more on protecting the industry …"

Benzene and worker cancers: 'An American tragedy'

By Kristen Lombardi

Previously secret documents illuminate a 10-year effort by petrochemical titans to counteract damning science on the carcinogen benzene.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… life building infrastructure for the petrochemical industry in his native Texas — synthetic rubber plants in Port Neches, chemical facilities in Orange. …"

"… court. There is the case, for example, of a contract worker for southeast Texas refineries and chemical plants who washed his tools in benzene and later d …"

"… this.” ‘He never complained’ To family and friends in Deweyville, Texas, a pine-shaded  town along the Louisiana border, John Thompson was …"

"… one subtype of AML, it likely causes all of them. Keith Hyde, a Beaumont, Texas, lawyer who represents plaintiffs in toxic-tort cases, including the Thomp …"

Internal documents reveal industry 'pattern of behavior' on toxic chemicals

By David Heath and Jim Morris

A new archive created by the Center and two universities will feature a trove of previously secret industry documents on toxic chemicals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Louisiana":

"… year we reached out to William Baggett Jr., a lawyer in Lake Charles, Louisiana, who had acquired more than 400,000 pages of documents from a decade-long …"

Governors and oil industry work hand in hand in offshore drilling group

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Lobbying firm, advocacy organization did much of the work.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… ing process that focused on the Atlantic. Officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources told journalists and Environmental groups that …"

Nursing homes serving minorities offering less care than those housing whites

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Nursing homes serving blacks, Latinos provide less daily registered nurse care than those housing whites.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michigan":

"… t were particularly high in several Midwestern states, including Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.  Among metropolitan areas with at least five facilitie …"

Analysis shows widespread discrepancies in staffing levels reported by nursing homes

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Analysis shows staffing levels lower than what's reported on public website.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… air, she'd wheel over to try to help other residents in the Chenal Heights Health and Rehabilitation Center in Little Rock. Irvin had been placed there by …"

"… ior vice president of quality and regulatory affairs for the American Health Care Association, the nursing home industry’s largest professional organ …"

"… after Sanders moved her from the Chenal Heights facility to the Sandalwood Healthcare nursing home in Little Rock in July 2012. Ultimately, Sanders filed s …"

"… ned the facility for its lack of staffing. Sean Mathis, a lawyer for Hope Healthcare, the firm that owns Sandalwood, said Sandalwood will “vigorously def …"

Running a five-star nursing home

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Top-rated homes had more nurses, less turnover

Excerpts from this story referencing "Nursing home":

"… inspections in order to earn a higher rating from the federal government. Nursing home administrators and a leading industry group deny those charges. Woodview …"

Juvenile facilities strive to foster ‘family engagement’

States adopt programs to involve families in rehabilitation of young offenders.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… it, while they’re in custody.” Marcy Mistrett, CEO of the nonprofit, Washington-based Campaign for Youth Justice, expressed similar sentiments about …"

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 "Virginia":

"… rs’ races,” said Kyle Kondik, a political analyst at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. Two independent groups backed by billionaires had …"

'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 "Jay Rockefeller":

"… s running for West Virginia’s U.S. Senate seat that’s being vacated by Jay Rockefeller after 30 years. She counts Citigroup and Goldman Sachs among her most gen …"

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 "Environment":

"… monitored for the peer-reviewed study, published today in the journal Environmental Health — is “potentially dangerous compounds and chemical mixtu …"

"… and director of the University at Albany’s Institute for Health and the Environment. In 40 percent of the air samples, laboratory tests found benzene, formal …"

"… terim chair of West Virginia University’s Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences and author of the study for that state. “Part of the …"

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

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

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

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 "Environment":

"… etter to Dana Aunkst, the acting secretary of Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). "The Subcommittee minority is conducting this oversig …"

"… his lack of understanding can be traced to decisions Congress and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made decades ago, when oil and gas producers successfu …"

"… l, president and CEO of the Environmental advocacy group Pennsylvania Environmental Council, this is a "signal that the DEP will step up and enforce" its ex …"

Another whistleblower suit alleges Medicare Advantage fraud

By Fred Schulte

California litigation alleges 'house calls" yielded false claims

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… nd eye” to the practices. The Health plans named in the suit are: Molina Healthcare of California; WellPoint, Inc., which operates  Anthem Blue Cross …"

"… ; WellPoint, Inc., which operates  Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield; Health Net of California, Inc. and Alameda Alliance for Health.  None would …"

"… s and Blue Shield; Health Net of California, Inc. and Alameda Alliance for Health.  None would comment. MedXM chief executive officer Sy Zahedi called …"

Super PACs exploit disclosure loophole

By Dave Levinthal

Several political committees that materialized in recent days aren't required to reveal donors until after Election Day.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… eir donors during the final weeks of a major election, when the control of Congress is at stake, is "damaging" and undermines the core of our campaign laws an …"

"… ompliance at campaign consulting firm Aristotle, disagrees. He argues that Congress would need to pass a law requiring late-filing super PACs to disclosue don …"

A life-and-death struggle for asylum in America

By Susan Ferriss and Amy Isackson

Teens' tortured road to asylum in America.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… 14. Editors' note: This story was reported in collaboration with The California Report, a production of KQED Public Radio. LOS ANGELES — While other ki …"

"… director of the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. “How does a child begin to understand what …"

"… ay have been an initiation rite. The girl’s mother, who lived in Fresno, California, is now deceased. The young woman came north to join relatives, was detain …"

"… 009, Damion Robinson was just two years out of the University of California at Los Angeles’ law school and a young L.A. business attorney when his f …"

New air monitor planned for heavily fracked South Texas county

By Lisa Song and David Hasemyer

After a Center and InsideClimate News investigation, Texas regulators say they'll put an air monitor in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… air monitor in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will install the monitor in Karnes County, the epice …"

"… ired air monitoring expert with more than 30 years' experience at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said the new monitor is "a very general thing that's …"

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 "Pollution":

"… ity. They formed a grassroots opposition group called Concerned About Pollution, or CAP, and held their first meeting under the gazebo in Nordheim’s Jub …"

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 "California":

"… aforementioned NextGen Climate Action Committee ($2.3 million), created by California hedge fund manager and environmentalist Tom Steyer. The increase in spendi …"

"… he same point in 2010, for example, the open gubernatorial contest in California alone had accounted for more than $100 million in estimated advertisi …"

Children's rights groups urge Defense program to stop giving school cops military hardware

By Susan Ferriss

Groups trying to curb use of police in school discipline urge federal officials not give military weapons to campus police departments.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… ave been handed over to school districts large and small, from California, Texas, Nevada and Utah to Florida, Georgia, Kansas and Michigan.   In Cali …"

"… NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund and public-interest law groups Texas Appleseed of Austin, Texas, and Public Counsel, which is based in Los Ange …"

"… d Education Fund and public-interest law groups Texas Appleseed of Austin, Texas, and Public Counsel, which is based in Los Angeles. Controversy over so-c …"

"… pline, as the Center for Public Integrity has reported.    Both Texas Appleseed and Public Counsel have been active in pushing for states and di …"

Taking insurance companies out of health care

By Wendell Potter

If Boeing experiment flies, health care system could be transformed.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… lth system,” Dr. Elliott Fisher, director of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, was quoted as telling The Seattle Times. “ …"

"… Health insurers are quickly diversifying. Just two weeks ago, Modern Healthcare noted that because Health insurers are now required to spend at l …"

"… expect to realize higher returns. The magazine cited as an example UnitedHealth Group’s Optum division, which works in technology and population Health …"

"… th in operating earnings. Meanwhile, in its core insurance business, UnitedHealth saw its 2013 operating margin decline to 6.4 percent, down from 7.6 percen …"

In New Hampshire, quixotic super PAC shaking up Republican primary

By Dave Levinthal

Big-spending Mayday PAC giving Jim Rubens an unexpected boost — and Scott Brown a headache — ahead of GOP primary.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… to a little-known challenger.  Scott Brown, the former senator from Massachusetts who lost his seat in 2012, is expected to win the New Hampshire's GOP prim …"

"… n wildly different. It’s massive departure from 2012 re-election bid in Massachusetts, as then, Brown cast himself as a novel kind of campaign finance reformer. …"

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