Archive | Policy, Law, & Government

DOE Won't Stop Utah Bound Uranium Train

SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 16 (UPI) — The train has left the station and a shipment of depleted uranium headed for Utah cannot be stopped, the U.S. Department of Energy said Wednesday.

Gov. Gary Herbert has asked the department to stop the train bringing the uranium from the Savannah River in South Carolina, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

“We are planning a briefing with the governor and his staff tomorrow,” Jen Stutsman, a department spokeswoman, said Wednesday. “But this shipment is continuing as planned.”

EnergySolutions Inc. had agreed to take the depleted uranium for disposal in Utah. The company has already buried 5,000 barrels of waste from the Savannah River in a landfill in Toole County and has disposed of a total of 49,000 tons at the site.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently said new rules are needed for disposal of depleted uranium in shallow burial sites. Herbert had asked the Department of Energy to delay any shipments until the Utah Radiation Control Board has had an opportunity to draft interim regulations.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Energy, Energy & Fuels, Liability, Law, & Government, Nuclear, Policy, Law, & Government, Radiation, Regional, U.S. Federal Government Agencies, U.S. State & Local0 Comments

Protests Inside, Outside Climate Summit

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Dec. 16 (UPI) — Police fired tear gas and arrested at least 200 people Wednesday as activists tried to storm the climate change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, officials said.

Groups of protesters tried to break through security lines outside of Bella Center as world leaders gathered for the final days of the two-week, U.N.-sponsored conference, The Times of London reported.

Witnesses reported police rushed the demonstrators, using pepper spray on the protesters. Police were waiting for Wednesday’s protests with dogs on leashes and a helicopter flying overhead. Law enforcement officials also reportedly worked undercover, infiltrating protest groups and making arrests, The Times said.

Inside the summit venue, about 100 non-government organization representatives staged a sit-in to protest accreditation delays and a decision by Danish officials to void credentials for Friends of the Earth delegates, the London newspaper said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Global Warming & Climate Change, International Relations & Treaties, Policy, Law, & Government0 Comments

Senator Barbara Boxer Wants Climate E-mail Hacking Probed

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (UPI) — The leaking of e-mails purporting to undermine climate change theories should be criminally investigated, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said Wednesday.

The e-mails, written by British scientists at the University of East Anglia, were obtained by hackers and show the director of the university’s Climate Research Unit talking about ways to strengthen the proofs for global warming, The Hill newspaper reported.

Critics of climate change point to the e-mails as evidence of deceit in global warming theories.

“You call it ‘Climategate’; I call it ‘E-mail-theft-gate,’” Boxer, the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said during a committee meeting. “The main issue is, ‘Are we facing global warming or are we not?’ I’m looking at these e-mails, that even though they were stolen, are now out in the public.”

The committee’s top Republican, Sen. James Inhofe, has asked that the e-mails be the subject of a committee hearing. The Hill reported Boxer may grant his request, but said that criminal investigations would be part of any hearings.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Policy, Law, & Government2 Comments

Jon Voight Greets Protesters of the Democrats Health Care Reform Bill

Protestors Rally Against Democrats' Health Care Reform Bill in Washington

Actor Jon Voight greets Taylor Garman, 9, of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, during a rally against the Democrats’ health care reform bill on Capitol Hill in Washington on November 5, 2009. Thousands of protestors turned out to rally against the nearly 2000 page bill. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg

Date Taken: November 5, 2009

Posted in Policy, Law, & Government0 Comments

U.S. President Obama Meets with President Khama of Botswana in Washington

U.S. President Obama Meets with President Khama of Botswana in Washington

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with President Ian Khama of Botswana in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on November 5, 2009. UPI/Ron Sachs/Pool

Date Taken: November 5, 2009

Posted in Office, Policy, Law, & Government0 Comments

Protestors Rally Against Democrats' Health Care Reform Bill in Washington

Protestors Rally Against Democrats' Health Care Reform Bill in Washington

Protestors hold signs during a rally against the Democrats’ health care reform bill on Capitol Hill in Washington on November 5, 2009. Thousands turned out to protest the nearly 2000 page bill. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg

Date Taken: November 5, 2009

Posted in Policy, Law, & Government0 Comments

Jon Voight Greets Protesters of the Democrats Health Care Reform Bill

Protestors Rally Against Democrats' Health Care Reform Bill in Washington

Actor Jon Voight greets demonstrators during a rally against the Democrats’ health care reform bill on Capitol Hill in Washington on November 5, 2009. Thousands of protestors turned out to rally against the nearly 2000 page bill. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg

Date Taken: November 5, 2009

Posted in Policy, Law, & Government0 Comments

U.S. Senate Environment Committee Approves Climate Change Bill and Overpowers Republicans Boycott

WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 (UPI) — The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved a climate bill Thursday even as Republican committee members boycotted the meeting.

Democrats voted 11-1 to pass the bill, with Sen. Max Baucus of Montana the lone “no” vote, The Hill reported.

Republicans had been boycotting the committee meetings to protest the measure’s markup, saying they wanted the Environmental Protection Agency to perform a second cost analysis of the bill.

The Senate bill, co-sponsored by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif, the environment committee chairwoman, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. Another provision would require companies to have permits to cover their emissions.

Boxer defended the decision to vote on the measure without Republican participation.

“The committee and Senate rules that have been in place during Republican and Democratic majorities are there to be used when the majority feels it is in the best interest of their states and of the nation to act,” she said in a statement. “A majority of the committee believes that S. 1733, and the efforts that will be built upon it, will move us away from foreign oil imports that cost Americans one billion dollars a day, it will protect our children from pollution, create millions of clean-energy jobs, and stimulate billions of dollars of private investment.”

David McIntosh, associate administrator for EPA’s office of congressional and intergovernmental relations, told the panel Tuesday a study such as the Republicans want would cost $135,000 and take 1,600 man-hours to finish, the Post reported. McIntosh said the analysis would not yield significantly different results from the one the agency already completed.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Energy, Office, Policy, Law, & Government0 Comments

Maine Voters Approve Medical Marijuana Law Expansion

AUGUSTA, Maine, Nov. 4 (UPI) — A referendum to expand Maine’s medical marijuana law won handily on Election Day.

With 86 percent of the precincts reporting, the measure was ahead 58 percent to 41 percent, the Bangor Daily News reported Wednesday.

The measure eases access to marijuana for individuals with certain medical conditions by expanding the list of qualifying conditions, creates a state-regulated registry of qualified users and allows for a statewide system of storefront distribution centers.

“This confirms what our polling has told us all along,” said Jonathan Leavitt, campaign manager of Maine Citizens for Patient Rights. “The credibility of this issue is so strong, we didn’t need to convince anyone that this was the right thing to do.”

Kennebec County District Attorney Evert Fowle, also president of the state’s prosecutors association, said the measure would be difficult to enforce.

“It’s a very poor law,” Fowle said. “This was written by self-proclaimed marijuana activists. … The ultimate goal of the people behind this law is to legalize marijuana.”

However, he said, “We’ll do our best to make this law work and respect the will of the voters.”

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Policy, Law, & Government0 Comments

Republicans Read Health Care Reform Bill on Capitol Hill

Republicans Read Health Care Reform Bill on Capitol Hill

Rep. Mike Pence, R-IN, looks over the Democrats’ health care reform bill in a room set up for the Republicans to read the bill on Capitol Hill in Washington on November 3, 2009. The bill is expected to come up for a vote later this week. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg

Date Taken: November 3, 2009

Posted in Policy, Law, & Government0 Comments

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