Our Top 5: The Weekly Round-up, Environmental & Sustainability — May 11, 2011

1) EPA Stops Accelerated Testing for Radiation After Nuclear Disaster 

The Environmental Protection Agency has halted accelerated testing of precipitation, drinking water, and milk for radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the agency announced. “After a thorough data review showing declining radiation levels related to the Japanese nuclear incident, EPA has returned to the routine RadNet sampling and analysis process for precipitation, drinking water and milk,” according to the Daily Data Summary.

(Source:, 2011-05-04)

 2) Investors, Lobbyists Urge Government to Limit Green Energy Support 

Government support for renewable energy must end gradually and in tandem with cuts in fossil fuel subsidies, say investors and lobbyists who complain bitterly about unpredictable chopping of incentives. Most green energy sources still struggle to compete with fossil fuels except in favorable areas, for example for onshore wind in coastal areas of western Europe or in Texas.

(Source: Reuters, 2011-05-05)

 3) Nuclear Regulatory Commission Attracts New Criticism

Critics have long painted the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as well-intentioned but weak and compliant, and incapable of keeping close tabs on an industry to which it remains closely tied. The concerns have greater urgency because of the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan, which many experts say they believe was caused as much by lax government oversight as by a natural disaster.

(Source: The New York Times, 2011-05-07)

 4) Senators Consider Slowly Phasing Out Ethanol Tax Subsidies 

A bipartisan group of farm-state senators floated plans to slowly phase out ethanol tax subsidies, a measure that surfaced a day after a separate bipartisan coalition introduced new plans to kill the incentives almost immediately. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) — along with a half-dozen other lawmakers — introduced a plan that would extend the ethanol blenders’ credit through 2016 but cut the level.

(Source: The Hill, 2011-05-04)

 5) Farmers Worried About Increasing Limits on Use of Pesticides 

Many farmers across the nation want to make sure that federal regulators don’t make it more difficult to spread chemicals on their land. On Capitol Hill, those farmers have found allies in Republicans and some Democrats who are working to ease the regulations and strip some power from the Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees the use of pesticides to control insects, diseases and weeds.

(Source: Miami Herald 2011-05-06)

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