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Union of Concerned Scientists

Memo to Congress: Protect Public Health, Not Toxic Chemicals

Elliott Negin | Posted 04.04.2014 | Politics
Elliott Negin

Here in the United States our toxic chemical policy is best described as caveat emptor -- let the buyer beware -- and it's making us sick.

It's Time to Hold Accountable Advocates Who, in Pursuit of Their Values, Put Us at Risk

David Ropeik | Posted 03.20.2014 | Politics
David Ropeik

Golden rice is still not in use anywhere, because of opposition to GM (genetic modification) technology. Now two German economists have quantified the price of that opposition, in human health, and the numbers are truly frightening.

Congress Deep-Sixes Flood Insurance Reform

Elliott Negin | Posted 03.18.2014 | Green
Elliott Negin

Last Monday night, 30 members of the new Senate Climate Caucus held an all-night talkathon on the Senate floor to highlight the urgency of global warming. Two days later, all but one voted to roll back a law that actually does something about it.

Fukushima: What Have We Learned?

Bob Burnett | Posted 03.14.2014 | Green
Bob Burnett

On March 11, 2011, Japan experienced a 9.0 earthquake. The six nuclear plants at Fukushima Daiichi survived the quake but were swamped by a 45-foot wave that overwhelmed the 19-foot seawalls. In the ensuing three years, we learned four grim truths.

Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster Warns It Could Happen Here

Elliott Negin | Posted 02.28.2014 | Green
Elliott Negin

Fukushima is far more than a disaster diary. It also provides a clear-eyed look at the Japanese regulatory regime that helped make the disaster all but inevitable, and makes a strong case that U.S. oversight is plagued by the same complacent attitude and undue industry influence.

Why Are Latinos Way Ahead of the Climate Change Curve? 3 Latino Climatologists Respond

Javier Sierra | Posted 02.21.2014 | Green
Javier Sierra

In the battle against climate change, Latinos are in the line of fire. And our musketeers are our scientists.

Coal Baron Digs a Deeper Hole

Elliott Negin | Posted 04.04.2014 | Green
Elliott Negin

Murray Energy Corp. -- the largest producer of underground coal in the country -- alleges that the EPA has illegally ignored the impact of Clean Air Act enforcement on jobs in the coal industry. Rhetoric aside, does Murray Energy have a legitimate beef with the EPA?

How the SEC Can Fight Climate Change

Sean McElwee | Posted 03.18.2014 | Green
Sean McElwee

At this point, denying climate change is like denying the harmful effects of smoking -- only someone with a commercial interest would even question the data.

A New Year's Resolution That Saves Money, Improves Health, and Reduces Global Warming Pollution

Elliott Negin | Posted 03.18.2014 | Green
Elliott Negin

The top five for 2014 include losing weight, saving money, and staying fit and healthy. There's a way to accomplish all those things and protect the planet, too: Eat less beef.

Strike Threat Looms at Indian Point Nuke Plant

Roger Witherspoon | Posted 03.17.2014 | Green
Roger Witherspoon

Representatives of Entergy Nuclear and the union representing control room operators and other technical workers are preparing for around the clock bargaining sessions to avoid a strike at the two Indian Point nuclear plants.

Who's to Blame for Climate Change?

Elliott Negin | Posted 02.19.2014 | Green
Elliott Negin

A new study documenting that just 90 companies are responsible for two-thirds of manmade carbon emissions since the Industrial Revolution triggered some pushback in the blogosphere. Blame the likes of BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell for global warming? Not fair!

Kate Sheppard

Science Provision Buried In House Farm Bill Could Gum Up Regulatory Work, Critics Say

HuffingtonPost.com | Kate Sheppard | Posted 12.19.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Some senators and environmental and public health groups are concerned that a little-noticed provision in the House's version of the far...

How Bill McKibben Ruined My Life

Annie Spiegelman | Posted 02.11.2014 | Green
Annie Spiegelman

If I am going to be informed about our dismal future living on a carbon-crammed planet I want you to be miserable right alongside me. We will sink or swim together. Literally. Bottoms up!

The Koch Brothers Are Still Trying to Break Wind

Elliott Negin | Posted 02.04.2014 | Green
Elliott Negin

The Koch brothers have turned loose their network of advocacy groups, think tanks and Capitol Hill friends to kill a key federal tax break for the wind industry, despite the fact that the oil and gas industry has been getting four times more in tax breaks and subsidies annually since 1918.

Wind Energy Threat to Birds Is Overblown

Elliott Negin | Posted 04.10.2014 | Green
Elliott Negin

There's no getting around the fact that we have to wean the world off fossil fuels as soon as possible, and one of the answers, my friend, is blowing in the wind.

Got Science? Scientists in Nebraska Say 'No' to Political Interference

Seth Shulman | Posted 01.23.2014 | Science
Seth Shulman

To get through the present political logjam, Wilhite and some other Nebraska climate scientists are working to broker a compromise in which the University of Nebraska agrees to underwrite a full climate impacts study for the state. But it remains unclear how the issue will be resolved.

Don't Take Federal Science for Granted

Elliott Negin | Posted 01.23.2014 | Science
Elliott Negin

If not for government-funded research and innovation, many corporations -- and individuals -- would not be as successful as they are, and a number of them wouldn't be in business at all.

Obama's Upside-Down Nuclear Weapons Policy

Elliott Negin | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Elliott Negin

At the same time President Obama has been pressing for further reductions in U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, the National Nuclear Security Administration is planning to spend $60 billion over the next 25 years to replace existing nuclear weapons with a suite of new warheads.

Small Reactors, Big Hype

Elliott Negin | Posted 11.26.2013 | Green
Elliott Negin

Nuclear power proponents pinning their hopes on small modular nuclear reactors to resurrect the industry's fortunes likely will be disappointed, according to a report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

The Oil & Gas Industry's Fractured Fairy Tales

Elliott Negin | Posted 11.23.2013 | Green
Elliott Negin

A number of industries have been trying to exploit the jobless economic recovery by claiming they could create millions of jobs if the government would just get out of the way. The oil and gas industry is one of the worst offenders.

Dr. Barrasso Goes to Washington ... to Kill Federal Health Protections?

Elliott Negin | Posted 10.22.2013 | Politics
Elliott Negin

What happened to U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, the orthopedic surgeon who years ago pledged to respect "hard-won scientific gains" and "prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure"?

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies, Protect Your Heart, and Save Billions of Dollars in Health Care Costs

Elliott Negin | Posted 10.07.2013 | Healthy Living
Elliott Negin

Does nine servings a day sound like a heavy lift? Well, consider this: If we ate just one more serving a day -- one banana or a large carrot -- we would save $5 billion annually in health care expenditures and prevent more than 30,000 heart-related deaths.

Attorneys General Fight for Public Access in Nuclear Issues

Roger Witherspoon | Posted 10.02.2013 | Green
Roger Witherspoon

The Attorneys General of New York and Vermont have joined the fight against California's San Onofre nuclear power plant in an effort to stop federal regulators from erasing all record of a judicial ruling that the public has a right to intervene before major amendments are granted to an operating license.

Koch-Funded Climate Contrarians Make Mischief on Capitol Hill

Elliott Negin | Posted 09.18.2013 | Politics
Elliott Negin

With Congress about to head out of town for its summer recess, a Washington-based think tank is ramping up a campaign to foil any attempts to institute a tax on carbon emissions.

Dim and Dimmer: House Nixes Funding for Light Bulb Efficiency Enforcement (Again)

Elliott Negin | Posted 09.11.2013 | Politics
Elliott Negin

Burgess's amendment is more theater than anything else, given that U.S. lighting manufacturers are complying with the standards, enforcement funding or not.