With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 2/21/2012, 2:44pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Gas prices hit record high on Iran-Israel tension; Shell one step closer to Arctic drilling; Update on 'DenialGate' - the fallout continues for the rightwing Heartland Institute; PLUS: Rick Santorum goes biblical on climate science ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Settlement talks pick up ahead of BP Oil Spill trial; WI: New mining bill proven to mislead the public; Record flooding in Chile dislodges landmines; EPA: Low doses of Dioxin risky but most people safe; Dow agrees to clean dioxin-tainted properties; Chromium-6 in CA wells more than 1,000x above goal; Land-based pathogens discovered in marine mammals; Fracking industry buys Congress ... PLUS: Climate Forecast: 70% of U.S. Could face risk of water shortages by 2050 ... and much, MUCH more! ...

STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

  • Settlement Talks Pick Up Ahead of BP Oil Spill Trial (NY Times):
    Nearly two years after the oil rig explosion that killed 11 people and spilled millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the myriad plaintiffs suing BP and other companies over the disaster are about to get their day in court. Or not.
    ...
    “We are ready to settle, if we can do so on fair and reasonable terms,” Robert Dudley, BP’s chief executive, said this month during a conference call about the company’s earnings. “But we are preparing vigorously for trial.”
  • WI: Facade of “Responsible Mining” Crumbles; New Mining Bill Proven to Mislead the Public (WI Citizens Media Cooperative) [emphasis added]:
    After months of being told that GTAC’s plans to dig a four-mile open pit iron ore mine in the Penokee Mountains can be done responsibly, two local scientists shatter that myth at a public hearing for Wisconsin’s new “ferrous mining bill.
  • Flood dislodges land mines, closing Chile highway (Sacramento Bee)
  • Dioxins Report: EPA Says Low Doses Risky But Most People Safe: (Environmental Health News):
    After 21 years of wrangling over health threats, uncertain science and industry pressure, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday released its assessment of dioxins defining how toxic they are. Lauded by environmental activists and criticized by industry, the report concluded that there are potentially serious effects at ultra-low levels of exposure.
  • DOW Agrees to Clean Dioxin-Tainted Properties: (AP):
    Michigan environmental regulators said Thursday that they reached a long-sought deal with Dow Chemical Co. to clean up to 1,400 residential properties in Midland, home of its corporate headquarters and a plant that polluted the area with dioxin for much of the past century.
  • Chromium-6 in CA Wells More than 1k Times Above State Goal: (Palm Springs Desert Sun):
    Hexavalent chromium, a potentially cancer-causing heavy metal made famous by activist Erin Brockovich, is found in drinking water supplies throughout most of the Coachella Valley at 150 to more than
    1,000 times above California's public health goal, a Desert Sun review of local water agencies' well-testing results found.
  • Scientists Find New Dangers in Tiny, Pervasive Air Pollution (NY Times):
    Fine atmospheric particles - smaller than one-thirtieth of the diameter of a human hair - were identified more than 20 years ago as the most lethal of the widely dispersed air pollutants in the United States. Linked to both heart and lung disease, they kill an estimated
    50,000 Americans each year. But more recently, scientists have been puzzled to learn that a subset of these particles, called secondary organic aerosols, has a greater total mass, and is thus more dangerous, than previously understood.
  • Land-based Pathogens Discovered in Marine Mammals: (Vancouver Sun):
    A slew of pathogens typically found in livestock and domestic animals is increasingly being found in marine mammals, including in the Strait of Georgia off Vancouver.
  • US Won't Allow More Fungicide in Orange Juice: FDA (Reuters):
    The U.S. health regulator on Thursday declined a request by orange juice producers to allow a higher tolerance of a banned fungicide in juice imports, a decision that will force Brazil to stop exporting concentrated orange juice to the United States.
  • Fracking Industry Buys Congress: (Environment News Service):
    The damage that the natural gas production method known as hydrofracturing ("fracking") can do to water wells and streams is hard to document because of a federal law prohibiting disclosure of chemicals drilling companies inject underground. There are almost no federal regulations protecting the public from fracking pollution.

    "Why? The answer is money. The oil and gas industry has reaped billions in profits from fracking. And since 1990, they've pumped $238.7 million into gubernatorial and Congressional election campaigns to persuade lawmakers that fracking is safe, which has effectively blocked federal regulation.

  • Attacks Paid For By Big Business Are 'Driving Science Into a Dark Era': (The Observer):
    Most scientists, on achieving high office, keep their public remarks to the bland and reassuring. Last week Nina Fedoroff, the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), broke ranks in a spectacular manner. She confessed that she was now 'scared to death' by the anti-science movement that was spreading, uncontrolled, across the US and the rest of the western world.
  • Texas: Drought Toll on Urban Forest: Up to 5.6 million trees: (TX Climate News):
    About 5.6 million trees in cities and towns across Texas were killed by last year's record-setting drought, the Texas Forest Service has estimated after studying before-and-after satellite imagery.
  • Climate Forecast: 70% of U.S. Counties Could Face Some Risk of Water Shortages by 2050 (OnEarth Magazine, via Climate Progress):
    According to a new study, more than a third of U.S. counties may be at “extreme” or “high” risk of water shortages by 2050.
  • Essential Climate Science Findings: