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Energy & Climate Archive

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Waxman Pushes Congress to Address 'Modern American Tragedy' of Contaminated Navajo Land

Much of the uranium for Cold War weapons and the nation’s once-burgeoning nuclear power industry was mined on or near Navajo land in Arizona and New Mexico, and it left behind contamination.

Decades Later, Contamination Still Pervades Navajo Land

On July 16, 1979, the earthen dam at the southern holding pond, or cell, of the United Nuclear Corporation’s uranium mill in New Mexico failed, sending tons of contaminated mine tailings and millions of gallons of acidic liquid into an adjoining arroyo and down the Puerco River.

The Critical Infrastructure Protection Act | Commentary

On Thursday, May 8 at 2 p.m., in Cannon 311, my expert colleagues and I testified in an open hearing on the threat of electromagnetic pulse to critical infrastructures. The hearing will prepare members of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies to consider a vitally important bill, arguably the most important bill before this Congress — the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (HR 3410) — that would prepare the nation for a natural or nuclear EMP catastrophe.

The Women Shaping Our Energy Future | Commentary

As Congress considers important energy issues this spring, female legislators are at the forefront of the debate. For the first time in the nation’s history, women serve in the top two leadership positions on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., is chairwoman, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is ranking member, and they are steering legislation that sets the nation’s energy policies to promote sustainability, security and growth.

Focus on Biofuels Is Key to Renewable Energy Success | Commentary

I’ve always known where President Barack Obama stood on the issue of renewable fuels. He has consistently voiced his strong support going back to his days in the Senate, and he has continued that support in the White House. In a speech at an advanced biofuel refinery in Missouri on April 28, 2010, he summed up his position like this:

EPA Wetlands Rule Makes Fiscal Sense | Commentary

The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently announced a proposed rule to clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act as it relates to wetlands and other important watershed features.

The Magnuson Act: It's a Keeper | Commentary

Healthy oceans and well-managed fisheries improve coastal economies, enhance recreational fishing opportunities and provide fresh, local seafood to consumers. And while many fisheries around the world are in serious decline, the United States benefits from one of the most sustainable and profitable fisheries management systems in the world. It is a system that is built on sound science and incorporates strong local input from fishermen and others. Under current law, our management practices are rebuilding many depleted stocks of fish and ensuring a sustainable fishing future for fishing communities long struggling with a variety of economic and environmental challenges.

LNG Exports: An Opportunity for America | Commentary

Last week, in a welcome display of bipartisan achievement, the House Energy & Commerce Committee reported HR 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, to the House floor. The bill, as amended by the Committee, demonstrated significant compromise, and the Committee’s bipartisan action sends a message to the rest of the world of growing Congressional support for the United States re-emergence as a global energy leader. In light of the mounting support for accelerated liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, the House and Senate must now take action on this bill to accelerate the permitting of LNG export applications.

Chemical Bill Has Potential for Bipartisan Success | Commentary

Politics on Capitol Hill can often be as fickle as a Washington, D.C., weather forecast. However, once every blood-red moon, we see members of Congress work carefully and deliberately to introduce true bipartisan legislation — which is precisely what U.S. Representative John Shimkus, R-Ill., is doing with the draft Chemicals in Commerce Act, proposed legislation to reform the decades-old Toxic Substances Control Act.

Let the Diplomats do the Driving with Iran | Commentary

As the United States and Iran begin a new round of expert-level talks in New York next week, Congress must resist the urge to back-seat drive the diplomatic process. While our diplomats are working to drive us toward a deal guarding against a war and a nuclear-armed Iran, some members of Congress have tried to take the wheel and steer us in a different direction.

Water Infrastructure: In Need of Work And a Renewed Commitment | Commentary

Ours is a nation with a strong maritime heritage, and it is our ports and waterways that have linked communities with one another and to the world.

Increased Arctic Presence Would Put Pressure on Coast Guard Budget, Ice Breaker Fleet

The U.S. Coast Guard will need to expand its presence in the Arctic year-round as oil and gas exploration and general maritime activity increase in the region, researchers say, but paying for such a presence is likely to be difficult as Congress wrestles with austere budgets.

Environmental, Cost Concerns Drive Arctic Oil Exploration Reticence

The United States has become a global leader in developing previously inaccessible oil and gas reserves by revolutionizing drilling technology, but one area has remained just out of reach — the Arctic Ocean.

Flood Insurance Vote Underscores Need for National Mitigation Strategy | Commentary

After abandoning the reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program it proposed in 2012, the need for Congress to develop a national mitigation strategy has taken on renewed urgency.

We Can Fix Our Broken Climate Debate | Commentary

The news a person watches often says a lot about his or her politics. But what does it say about how they view science?

New Rules for Chemicals Needed to Protect Health | Commentary

Congress has utterly failed to effectively regulate the chemical industry, and thus shares responsibility for widespread toxic chemical contamination of people and the environment. In our daily lives we are exposed to hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of chemicals from a wide range of sources, including personal care and cleaning products, food packaging, plastics, children’s toys, furniture, air, water, our workplaces and our neighborhoods. While most Americans believe chemicals are tested for safety, the unfortunate reality is federal law does not require the chemical industry to prove chemicals safe before they can be used in products we come in contact with every day.

WGDB: Good Friday News Dump Riles Keystone Supporters on the Hill

Landrieu has been, perhaps, the biggest Democratic advocate of the pipeline. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Nevada Is Not a Wasteland: What Doesn't Happen Here Shouldn't Stay Here | Commentary

In 2010, when the Department of Energy correctly made the decision to put an end to the misguided Yucca Mountain project, it did so after decades of debate and extensive study with little to show for it except $15 billion wasted and a big hole in the side of a mountain. According to the Government Accountability Office, had the project been completed, it would have cost more than $80 billion just for initial construction.

Wind Power Is a Win for Americans and the Environment

Wind power is a win-win for consumers and the environment.

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