Washington (CNN) – Contractors at an Environmental Protection Agency warehouse were careless with inventories, and used government furniture and appliances to create hidden "man caves" complete with couches and TVs, an agency watchdog alleges.
Out of sight of the security cameras, and often hidden behind screens or boxes, employees created rec-rooms with furniture and appliances from government storage, according to an audit, feathering their nests with televisions, DVDs, refrigerators, microwaves, and couches.FULL STORY
(CNN) - Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, who last week boycotted a committee vote on Gina McCarthy to be President Obama's administrator of the EPA, will attend another vote scheduled Thursday after getting assurances from the agency that it will answer several questions posed by Republicans, a GOP committee aide told CNN.
EPA "committed to make some effort to follow up on the EPW Republicans five transparency requests," said Luke Bolar, an aide to Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, the top Republican on the committee.
Washington (CNN) - The top Democrat on the committee considering President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency indicated late Friday she may attempt to break an impasse over the nomination this week.
Republicans prevented a Thursday vote on the nomination of Gina McCarthy, the assistant administrator of the agency, by boycotting a meeting of the Environment and Public Works committee. GOP members said their questions for McCarthy and the EPA have gone unanswered, a contention the White House disputed.
(CNN) – Tapping two candidates with a strong mix of business and governmental experience for Cabinet posts, President Barack Obama is naming women to two of the potentially toughest jobs in Washington - director of the Office of Management and Budget, and administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. He also named an MIT scientist with government experience as his nominee to be energy secretary.
Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who was nominated Monday for the OMB position, is the head of the Walmart Foundation, the retail chain's charitable organization. If confirmed by the Senate, she would assume a Cabinet-rank position as head of the White House agency that has the herculean task of advising the president on budget matters.FULL STORY
(CNN) - Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson will step down after the president's January State of the Union speech, the agency said Thursday.
Jackson thanked President Obama for having placed her in the post four years ago and said she leaves the EPA "confident the ship is sailing in the right direction."FULL STORY
New York (CNNMoney) – After weeks of Republican attacks over tightening environmental regulations, President Obama said Friday he would halt a planned increase in clean air standards.
In a statement released just hours after the U.S. Labor Department said the economy created no new jobs in August, Obama said he told Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson to withdraw the draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards.FULL STORY
(CNN)-The League of Women Voters launched an ad attack without party boundaries Friday as they singled out Republican Sen. Scott Brown and Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, whom they accuse of supporting "polluters," not people. In scathing ads released for television in Boston, St. Louis, and Jefferson City as well as online, the nonpartisan advocacy group calls out both senators for voting to block air pollution standards.
"Senator McCaskill voted to block EPA's implementation of the Clean Air Act and allow big companies to continue pumping unlimited amounts of carbon dioxide pollution into the air for at least another two years," states one, while the other declares, "Sen. Brown voted for legislation that would stop the EPA from making badly-needed updates to clean air safeguards to protect public health from carbon pollution."
(CNN) - The U.S. Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency have issued a directive to BP on how the company should manage recovered oil, contaminated materials and waste recovered in cleanup operations from the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Among other requirements, the directive requires the oil giant to give the EPA and state agencies access to any waste storage site and to provide specific plans, waste reports and tracking systems for liquid and solid waste.
"While the states of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida are overseeing BP's waste management activities and conducting inspections, this action today is meant to compliment their activities by providing further oversight and imposing more specific requirements," the Coast Guard said on Thursday. "Under the directive, EPA, in addition to sampling already being done by BP, will begin sampling the waste to help verify that the waste is being properly managed."
Waste sampling to date has been done in compliance with EPA and state regulatory requirements, the Coast Guard said.
Washington (CNN) - The U.S. Senate engaged in a heated debate Thursday on an issue at the heart of the fight over energy reform: whether the Environmental Protection Agency should have the authority to impose clear limits on the emission of greenhouse gases.
The chamber is expected to vote on a proposed "resolution of disapproval" drafted by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, that would prevent the EPA from further regulation of air pollution from vehicles and industrial facilities. Murkowski has argued that new rules should only be created by Congress, not an executive agency.
"It would amount to an unprecedented power grab, ceding Congress' responsibilities to unelected bureaucrats and move a very, very important debate, a critical debate, from our open halls to behind an agency's closed doors," Murkowski argued on the Senate floor.
Murkowski's measure is vehemently opposed by environmentalists who say the EPA's decision to regulate greenhouse gases is based on scientific research.
"I believe it's ridiculous for politicians - elected senators - to make this scientific decision. It is not our expertise," replied Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "We've got to stop this attack on science and health."
Washington (CNN) - The Senate on Thursday is expected vote on a "resolution of disapproval" by an Alaskan senator that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from further regulating air pollution from vehicles and industrial facilities.
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the author of the resolution, vowed Tuesday to strip the EPA of its authority to impose new limits on the emission of greenhouse gases.
Murkowski has the bipartisan support of 40 other senators, who may disagree with each other on the scientific impact of greenhouse gases, but who all agree that such regulations should be authorized by Congress, not an executive agency.
"The EPA intends to take control of climate policy, take it away from the Congress," Murkowski said at a press conference with 11 of her fellow Republican senators. "And I think those that are looking at this from the perspective of separate but equal branches of government look at this and say that this is absolutely unacceptable."
It is unclear whether there is enough support in the Senate to approve the measure, but its prospects in the House are slim.