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Category Archives: Energy

Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations

CRS report – Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations, Christopher M. Blanchard Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, February 5, 2016.

“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ruled by the Al Saud family since its founding in 1932, wields significant global influence through its administration of the birthplace of the Islamic faith and by virtue of its large oil reserves. Close U.S. – Saudi official relations have survived a series of challenges since the 1940s. I n recent years, shared concerns over Sunni Islamist extremist terrorism and Iranian government policies have provided a renewed logic for continued strategic cooperation. Political upheaval and conflict in the Middle East and North Africa appear to have strained bilateral ties, but the full effect  has yet to be determined. Amid regional turmoil, Obama Administration officials have referred to the Saudi government as an important regional par tner, and U.S. arms sales and related security cooperation programs have continued with congressional oversight. Since October 2010, Congress has been notified of proposed sales to Saudi Arabia of fighter aircraft, helicopters, naval vessels, missile defense systems, missiles, bombs, armored vehicles, and related equipment and services, with a potential value of more than $100 billion. Since March 2015, the U.S.-trained Saudi military has used U.S. – origin weaponry, U.S. logistical assistance, and shared int elligence to carry out strikes in Yemen. Some Members of Congress have expressed skepticism about Saudi leaders’ commitment to combating extremism and the extent to which they share U.S. policy priorities.  Nevertheless,  U.S.-Saudi counterterrorism ties reportedly remain close, and Saudi forces have participated in some coalition strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria since 2014…”

Dive Against Debris: Employing 25,600 scuba divers to collect data

Via Data Driven Journalism – “To date, Dive Against Debris surveys have been conducted in over 50 countries, with the top reporting countries being the United States, Thailand and Greece. As more divers get involved with Dive Against Debris, Project AWARE continues to bring visibility to the problem of marine debris and helps to identifyContinue Reading

Lawsuit Prompts Offshore Fracking Moratorium Off California Coast

Center for Biological Diversity, January 29, 2016 – “The federal government must stop approving offshore fracking from oil platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel under a legal settlement filed today in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The agreement resolves a Center for Biological Diversity lawsuit that challenged the U.S. Department of the Interior’s practiceContinue Reading

Linking ‘toxic outliers’ to environmental justice communities

Environ. Res. Lett. 11 (2016) 015004 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/1/015004. Linking ‘ toxic outliers ’ to environmental justice communities, Mary B Collins, Ian Munoz and Joseph JaJa “Several key studies have found that a small minority of producers, polluting at levels far exceeding group averages, generate the majority of overall exposure to industrial toxics. Frequently, such patterns goContinue Reading

Natural gas leak at CA storage site raises environmental concerns

EIA report, February 1, 2016 – “On October 23, 2015, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) detected a major leak at Aliso Canyon, an underground natural gas storage facility located 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Aliso Canyon storage facility, which has 115 wells, is the second-largest natural gas storage field in the western UnitedContinue Reading

Rolling Stone – Who Poisoned Flint, Michigan?

Stephen Rodrick – A writer returns home to find a toxic disaster, giant government failure and countless children exposed to lead “Recently, Michigan was forced to declare a state of emergency in Flint. Some of the public servants involved have resigned. Now, the feds and the state are investigating what one water expert calls oneContinue Reading

Paper – Linking ‘toxic outliers’ to environmental justice communities

Linking ‘toxic outliers’ to environmental justice communities. Mary B Collins, Ian Munoz and Joseph JaJa. Published 26 January 2016 © 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd • Environmental Research Letters, Volume 11, Number 1 “Several key studies have found that a small minority of producers, polluting at levels far exceeding group averages, generate the majority of overallContinue Reading

GAO Reports – Banking Compliance, Defense Infrastructure, Small Business Investment Companies, Water Infrastructure

Banking: Federal Agencies’ Compliance with Section 302 of the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act, GAO-16-213R: Published: Jan 27, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 27, 2016. Defense Infrastructure: Improvement Needed in Energy Reporting and Security Funding at Installations with Limited Connectivity, GAO-16-164: Published: Jan 27, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 27, 2016. Small Business Investment Companies:Continue Reading

Best Practices for Reducing Near-Road Pollution Exposure at Schools

EPA – Best Practices for Reducing Near-Road Air Pollution Exposure at Schools “Motor vehicles are a major source of air pollution in the United States. Research suggests that particulate matter (PM) from vehicles, notably heavy-duty diesel vehicles, may be especially harmful. While vehicle emissions have decreased over the past several decades due to EPA’s emissionsContinue Reading

NOAA, CIRES study: Wind, sun could eclipse fossil fuels for electric power by 2030

NOAA – “The United States could slash greenhouse gas emissions from power production by up to 78 percent below 1990 levels within 15 years while meeting increased demand, according to a new study by NOAA and University of Colorado Boulder researchers. The study used a sophisticated mathematical model to evaluate future cost, demand, generation andContinue Reading

GAO Reports – Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare and Medicaid, Offshore Oil and Gas Resources, Homeland Security

Medicaid Managed Care: Trends in Federal Spending and State Oversight of Costs and Enrollment, GAO-16-77: Published: Dec 17, 2015. Publicly Released: Jan 19, 2016. Medicare and Medicaid: Additional Oversight Needed of CMS’s Demonstration to Coordinate the Care of Dual-Eligible Beneficiaries, GAO-16-31: Published: Dec 18, 2015. Publicly Released: Jan 19, 2016. Offshore Oil and Gas Resources:Continue Reading

EPA and academic research documents on Flint Michigan drinking water

Via Patricia Kenly, Business Reference Librarian/Government Documents Coordinator – Georgia Institute of Technology Library: Flint Drinking Water Documents – EPA documents related to Flint drinking water “High Lead at Three Residences in Flint, Michigan” — Final Report (Nov. 4, 2015) [28 pages] – by Miguel Del Toral Virginia Tech researchers have a website – www.Flintwaterstudy.orgContinue Reading