Policy

Witness testifies ex-Massey CEO couldn't 'afford a disaster'

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A key government witness testified Wednesday that he warned his former coal company's top executive who questioned the cost of hiring more workers to address safety problems that the company couldn't "afford to have a disaster."

Former Massey Energy safety official William Ross testified for a second day in the federal trial of ex-CEO Don Blankenship, who is charged with conspiring to break safety laws at the Upper Big Branch mine in southern West Virginia and lying to financial regulators and investors about safety.

US probes dolphin death after Navy uses sonar

HONOLULU (AP) — The National Marine Fisheries Service on Wednesday said it was investigating the death of two dolphins found washed ashore in California shortly after Navy ships were using sonar in nearby waters.

Necropsies have been conducted, and the animals are being analyzed to try to determine what caused them to get stranded, agency spokesman Jim Milbury said.

Scientists tinker with evolution to save Hawaii coral reefs

COCONUT ISLAND, Hawaii (AP) — Scientists at a research center on Hawaii's Coconut Island have embarked on an experiment to grow "super coral" that they hope can withstand the hotter and more acidic oceans that are expected with global warming.

The quest to grow the hearty coral comes at a time when researchers are warning about the dire health of the world's reefs, which create habitats for marine life, protect shorelines and drive tourist economies.

Details of controversial Pacific trade deal are released

WASHINGTON (AP) — Details of a sweeping Pacific Rim trade deal released Thursday set the stage for a raucous debate in the U.S. Congress but also may provide reassurances to those who worried the agreement could gut protections for the environment, public health and labor.

The text of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement between the U.S. and 11 other countries including Japan and Mexico runs to 30 chapters and hundreds of pages. It is mind-boggling in its detail, laying out plans for the handling of trade in everything from zinc dust to railway sleepers and live eels.

Brown had state workers research oil on ranch

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown last year directed state oil and gas regulators to research, map and report back on any mining and oil drilling potential and history at the Brown family's private land in Northern California.

After a phone call from the governor and follow-up requests from his aides, senior staffers in the state's oil and gas regulatory agency over at least two days produced a 51-page historical report and geological assessment, plus a personalized satellite-imaged geological and oil and gas drilling map for the area around Brown's family ranchland near the town of Williams.

Senate Agriculture hearing on wildfire budget impacts

Washington, November 5, 2015, 10:00 am

The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee to hold a hearing on the budget risks of wildfires and threats to state, federal and private resources.

Senate Homeland Security panel hearing on regulations

Washington, November 5, 2015, 9:30 am

The House Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management to hold a hearing on regulatory reviews. Interior Associate Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Klein and Environmental Protection Agency Office of Regulatory Policy and Management Acting Director William Nickerson.

House Energy and Commerce security roundtable

Washington, November 5, 2015, 10:00 am

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power to host European Parliament Chairman Jerzy Buzek and other parliament members for a roundtable on energy security issues.

White House Tribal Nations Conference

Washington, November 5, 2015, 8:30 am

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and other department officials to speak at the annual White House Tribal Nations Conference.

House Science hearing on Pebble Mine decision

Washington, November 5, 2015, 10:00 am

The House Science Space and Technology Committee to hold a full committee hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency's handling of the proposed Pebble Mine. Pebble Limited Partnership Tom Collier, Cohen Group Chairman William Cohen, DLA Piper Senior Counsel Charles Scheeler and former Alaska Senate President Rick Halford to testify.

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