Worker Safety Before Profits

During one of his early morning shifts, Jose Melena stepped into a 35-foot-long oven and began loading pallets of canned tuna at a Bumble Bee Foods plant. Not realizing Melena was inside, fellow employees shut the machine door behind him and turned on the oven. With temperatures reaching about 270 degrees, he was cooked to death.

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Maryland County Protects Residents from Unnecessary Lawn Pesticides

On Oct. 6, Montgomery County, Maryland, located just outside Washington, DC, became the largest county in America to ban the unnecessary use of pesticides on lawns. Passed by a vote of 6-3, the new ordinance (Bill 52-14) prohibits pesticide use for purely cosmetic purposes. The policy firmly establishes the county government's role in protecting its residents from toxic lawn chemicals, including those that may cause cancer, neurological damage, or other health problems.

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ABC-TV's 'Blood & Oil' Hits a Dry Well

ABC is the newest company trying to cash in on the North Dakota oil boom. Recently, the network premiered "Blood & Oil," a drama set in a fictional town in the heart of the boom.

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It’s Time to Hold Major Corporate Executives Personally Accountable for Criminal Behavior

General Motors (GM) withheld information on defective ignition switches, Takata knowingly produced defective airbags, Toyota concealed information regarding unexpected vehicle acceleration, and Volkswagen (VW) deliberately violated clean air laws by undermining their vehicle pollution emission controls.  

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Creating a Monster? Proposed Monsanto Merger with Swiss Chemical Giant Raises Troubling Questions

Farmers and scientists intimidated. Groundwater contamination. Human health risks. The decimation of one of America's most iconic wildlife species. These are just some of the problems we've seen thanks to Monsanto, the world's dominant producer of genetically modified crops, and Syngenta, a Swiss chemical company that manufactures controversial agricultural poisons. As an NPR story noted on Aug. 17, Monsanto wants to merge the two companies, a proposal that raises troubling questions about industry influence and impacts on our health and natural resources.

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Will Wind Energy Emerge as the Unsung Hero in Fighting Climate Change?

While solar energy typically receives the most attention as the “bright future” of renewable energy, there is strong evidence that wind energy will emerge as the “unsung hero” of the renewable clean energy movement.

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Methane Causes Climate Change. Here's How the President Plans to Cut Emissions by 40-45 Percent.

UPDATE (Aug. 20, 2015): Earlier this week, the Obama administration announced its proposed rule to cut future methane emissions from oil and gas production. Methane contributes 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities that are warming the earth, so the rule is a step towards meeting our climate change targets.

However, disappointingly, the rule does not apply to existing wells, pipelines, refineries, and other infrastructure, which together contribute 90 percent of current total methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. The oil and gas industry produces almost a third of all methane emissions, so exempting existing facilities is problematic.

The rule also targets the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that pollute the air and contribute to smog formation, but as with methane, it only cuts them at new and modified oil and gas sources, and a limited number of existing sources.

Last week the, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to reduce methane emissions from landfills, which contribute nearly one-fifth of all U.S. methane emissions.

To date, however, there are only voluntary guidelines for limiting methane from the agriculture industry. Agriculture produces 36 percent of total methane emissions and is the single largest source of methane in the U.S. 


On Jan. 14, the Obama administration announced its strategy to reduce oil and gas industry methane emissions by 40-45 percent over the next decade. This is a key element of the administration's Climate Action Plan for reducing greenhouse gases and curbing climate change.

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Recent Industrial Accidents in China and United States Underscore the Need for Urgent Action on Chemical Facility Safety

On Aug. 12, an industrial accident in Tianjin, China killed at least 114 people – including 21 firefighters – and injured roughly 700 more residents. Another 70 people, including 64 firefighters and six policemen, are still listed as “missing.” It is just the most recent example of the catastrophes that can occur when countries don't have adequate safety requirements for industrial facilities.

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Senate Bill Would Make It Harder to Protect Lakes and Rivers from Pesticides -- Without Any Hearings

Before leaving for Congress' traditional August recess, Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee rammed through a bill that would make it harder to protect our lakes, rivers, and streams from pesticide pollution. The committee passed the bill without holding a single public hearing on the issue.

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Debunking the Texas Miracle

In a Forbes opinion piece last week Christi Craddick, one of Texas’ three elected members of the Railroad Commission, the public entity responsible for regulating the oil and gas industries, asked that presidential candidates spell out their national energy plan – and suggested that Texas would serve as a good model.

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