Hoping to allay industry and public concerns, the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday named an independent panel of 31 outside experts to review its highly-anticipated study on the health and environmental safety of hydraulic fracturing.
The study, due in 2014, is expected to address whether the fracking process that has unleashed America's natural gas boom impacts public health, the environment and the quality of drinking water, and officials said the outside panel's monitoring role will ensure the most reliable science is used.
SPRING LAKE, N.J. (AP) — The average New Jersey beach is 30 to 40 feet narrower after Superstorm Sandy, according to a survey that is sure to intensify a long-running debate on whether federal dollars should be used to replenish stretches of sand that only a fraction of U.S. taxpayers use.
Some of New Jersey's famous beaches lost half their sand when Sandy slammed ashore in late October.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A Puerto Rican frog about the size of a peanut received federal protection Wednesday, ending a long battle to list it as an endangered species.
The habitat of the coqui llanero, which is the island's smallest tree frog, also received federal protection, covering 615 acres (249 hectares) of freshwater wetland in northern Puerto Rico.
The nonprofit, Florida-based Center for Biological Diversity sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2010 so it would respond to a 2007 petition seeking to have the frog classified as an endangered species.
Scores of Obama administration programs that committed $3.9 billion in taxpayer money to advance solar power and battery storage technology featured overlapping goals and potential recipients, but none were duplicative, the Government Accountability Office says.
House Science Chairman Ralph Hall, R-Texas, earlier this year called on GAO to find duplicate projects and spending after it reported that the administration funded nearly 700 renewable energy initiatives from 23 federal agencies in fiscal 2010. Hall wanted to know if taxpayers got the best bang for their bucks.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.
The Environmental Protection Agency is unable to tell if all of the nation's gas and coal power plants are complying with federal pollution laws because it does not maintain a centralized database of permits, the Government Accountability Office has found.
On Thursday, world leaders were exploring a rare, coordinated release of strategic oil reserves to jolt oil prices back into submission before they wreck the economic recovery. President Barack Obama was arguing in the Rose Garden that hard budget times necessitated ending American oil companies' century-old tax breaks. And the Senate was debating the burden of rising gasoline prices on every day Americans.
So where were Obama's top two Cabinet-level energy advisers on the eve of such a momentous day?