Energy & Environment

The failure staining our shores (Sen. George LeMieux)

The oily sludge staining Florida’s previously pristine beaches is a clear sign of failure. It is failure by the oil industry to safely manage its privilege to extract a natural resource, and it is failure by the White House and the Administration to respond with the leadership and sense of urgency this crisis demands.
The first failure belongs to BP and its partners. Drilling without the clear knowledge they could kill a well in a worst-case scenario was irresponsible and a failure of good judgment. Their missteps cost lives and now affect the environments and economies of five states. They are responsible for every loss associated with this disaster and should pay claims as quickly as possible.


Green buildings need safer chemicals policy reform

We all take risks. It’s a part of our everyday lives and a part of day-to-day business. But accurately assessing risks and identifying safer paths of action is not something that comes naturally to us. From consumer debt to the Gulf oil spill to the collapse of the auto and financial sectors, we’ve taken risks without accurately understanding the impact of our decisions. All too often optimism trumps caution.

America faces another set of similarly impactful risks, and this time it gets really personal — it affects human health. The issue is toxic chemicals in products, and the opportunity is chemicals policy reform.


Lessons from the Gulf for nuclear reactors

One crucial lesson from the BP oil spill is that measures to speed licensing, cut corners on safety and undermine regulation can lead to tragic consequences. Yet Congress appears on the verge of repeating mistakes that led to the environmental catastrophe in the Gulf.

Federal lawmakers are weighing a BP-type deregulation of new nuclear reactors — the one energy source in which damage from a major accident could dwarf harm done by a ruptured offshore oil well.


Bipartisan support building for Home Star job creation, energy savings

Almost alone amid this summer’s partisan bickering, the Home Star initiative has cooled passions and chilled Capitol Hill's over-heated climate long enough to unite lawmakers from both sides of the aisle — all of which is fitting, since Home Star will insulate hundreds of thousands of American homes from weather extremes and nasty energy bills, while at the same time shielding the environment from harmful gases.


Science says Asian carp are a serious threat to the Great Lakes (Sen. Debbie Stabenow)

On Tuesday, The Hill's Congress Blog ran a post entitled "Asian carp solution: Use science, not scare tactics," by Lisa Frede, a lobbyist for the chemical industry and an adviser to an interest group opposed to our efforts to stop the Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. Her post mirrored the comments made by her boss at the Chemical Industry Council, Mark Biel, whose June 3 post on Congress Blog ("Carp catastrophists come up empty handed") attacked the science and the federal response to the Asian carp threat.


A good neighbour lends you a cup of sugar. A great neighbour supplies you with 1.4 million barrels of oil per day.

Both Canada and the United States recently had national holidays to celebrate the founding of our two nations. These holidays serve as an important reminder of our shared values and the bonds of friendship and co-operation we enjoy. The Government of Alberta considers our friends to the south to be a strong ally and trading partner, sustaining this relationship is very important to Albertans.


Antibiotics in agriculture are essential for animal and human health

Antibiotic resistance is a significant global public-health challenge that has created an emotional public response among critics, public-health experts, and animal-health advocates. It involves debate over antibiotic use in both humans and animals, and demands improved monitoring and surveillance, more research and, ultimately, the development of a range of tools that will help reduce reliance on antibiotics. This week’s Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, “Antibiotic Resistance and the Use of Antibiotics in Animal Agriculture,” will further examine how these products are used in agriculture and their impact on human health.


Asian Carp solution: Use science, not scare tactics

During routine monitoring efforts related to the control of Asian carp in the Illinois Waterway System, member agencies of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee announced one bighead Asian carp was found in Lake Calumet, Illinois. The following week, Indiana Department of Natural Resources announced they discovered a spawning population of Asian carp in the Wabash River — miles from Lake Erie. Some used these discoveries to sound the alarm and encourage a sense of panic, it is important we approach the situation with level heads.


The Big Question: Should Obama still pursue a drilling ban?

Some of the nation's top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals offer insight into the biggest question burning up the blogosphere today.

Today's question:

Should the Obama administration keep pursuing a deepwater drilling moratorium?


Industry standards not at fault in Gulf oil spill

As Americans, we have seldom shirked our duty in the face of great obstacles. We have consistently demonstrated an ability to overcome any hurdle that seemed to stand between us and what we believe to be our destiny.

This year’s Gulf disaster poses yet another of these challenges. And true to form, Americans are now assessing not only this singular incident but also how best to continue toward our “bright future.” The results of this assessment are quite clear; we need to continue developing technologies and processes to more safely cultivate our vast national resources.