News bites: White House weakened soot proposal

The Washington Post reports that the White House forced the Environmental Protection Agency to propose a slightly weaker standard for fine particulate matter, or soot, than the agency was seeking.

“The behind-the-scenes tweaking of the proposed soot standards, which affect particles measuring less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, sparked criticism that the White House was interfering with science-based decisions,” the Post reports.

The Post also has a very un-wonky interview with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. 

She loves The New York Times crossword puzzle and catches movies with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Dream job? “I’d be the chef/owner of a perpetually hip restaurant.”

Elsewhere, the Associated Press reports that Nigerian regulators want to fine Royal Dutch Shell billions of dollars for the worst offshore spill in over a decade.

Reuters reports that federal regulators are asking a court to reject JPMorgan & Chase Co.’s bid to shield emails that investigators are seeking in a probe of potential electricity market manipulation.