Saturday, February 23, 2008

Week's top environmental & political news

Some of the top environmental and political news stories for New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and beyond appearing in EnviroPolitics from February 19 - 22, 2008

New Jersey Environmental News

New Jersey polluters cut emissions Factories, power plants and other polluters cut their emissions of lead, mercury and other hazardous chemicals by 10 percent in 2006, the EPA reports. PSEG’s switch to a cleaner-burning coal at its Jersey City power plant had the greatest impact Bergen Record

Alec Baldwin to nuke critics: Don’t let Corzine off hook “Exelon makes $150 million in profit at that plant (Oyster Creek in Lacey). I don't think they'll close it down if they have to build cooling towers,” the actor tells audience at a forum Wednesday night. Exelon’s response: the towers aren’t necessary and could cause environmental problems Gannett

PSEG has big plans for Power profit Expecting to generate between $2 billion and $2.5 billion in excess cash during the next three years, the Newark-based energy company is considering investments in conservation, alternative energy, and maybe a new nuclear plant in South Jersey Star-Ledger

Feral cat colonies pose risk to endangered birds, funds The cats vs. birds struggle in the Victorian seaside resort of Cape May has come down to the carrot vs. the stick AP Press

Trenton rallies behind a bird A migratory shorebird threatened with extinction may soon get a reprieve from New Jersey Bergen Record Gannett

New Jersey Political News

Creamed in the polls, Corzine considers Plan B If there is one thing Jon Corzine learned as chief executive of Goldman Sachs, it is how to count. Yesterday he acknowledged the cold, hard numbers confronting his grand plan to fix state finances through higher tolls: There simply aren't enough lawmakers willing to vote for it Star-Ledger Bergen Record Gannett Cartoon

Running 'em out of state ... on a poll New Jerseyans are generally dissatisfied with Corzine, Lautenberg, Menendez and state legislators, too, according to new poll data Star-Ledger

Corzine's approvals plummet on tolls Gov. Jon Corzine has an upside-down approval rating of 37%-52%, down from 46%--43% in December, and 73% of voters oppose his plan to raise tolls, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll PolitickerNJ

The ax hovers over most of state budget Gov. Jon Corzine is considering making more high-income residents ineligible for tax rebates, closing some state parks, reducing hours at motor vehicle offices and slicing aid to colleges, hospitals and towns, according to administration and legislative officials familiar with his plans for a no-frills state budget Star-Ledger

Christie faces a grilling over Ashcroft role A congressional committee has called for New Jersey's U.S. attorney, Christopher Christie, to testify at a hearing next week about his appointment of former Attorney General John Ashcroft to a lucrative assignment as a corporate monitor Star-Ledger

Pennsylvania Environmental News

Rendell: Record oil costs show need for energy independence After consecutive record-setting days where oil futures closed above $100 per barrel, and with expectations that oil-cartel nations will cut production in coming weeks, the governor says Pennsylvania should be investing in homegrown alternatives Gant Daily

'Unfunded mandate': Senators focus on $1 billion price tag for upgrades It may be hard to imagine that a body of water that does not border Pennsylvania could cost the commonwealth more than $1 billion Lewistown Sentinel

‘Nobody free pass’ on Chesapeake Bay mandate There was no silver lining in comments Wednesday by state DEP Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty about the potential $1 billion impact of a federal mandate to clean up the water flowing from PA into the Chesapeake Bay Sun Gazette

Hearings set on costs of Chesapeake Bay cleanup Lawmakers in Harrisburg will try to figure out this week how to keep municipalities from being bankrupted by the cost of cleaning up the bay Lancasteronline

Army Corps nixes dam on Susquehanna River The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced this week that it's denying a permit for an inflatable dam to be built across the Susquehanna River in Wilkes-Barre Morning Call

Pennsylvania Political News

Street jury says it is deadlocked on 7 charges After two full days of deliberations, the federal jury considering fraud and tax charges against T. Milton Street Sr. announced yesterday that it was deadlocked on seven charges Inquirer

Liquor reform on the rocks? Former Gov. Dick Thornburgh has two words for the backers of the latest bill to dismantle the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board: "Keep plugging" Patriot News

Fumo back surgery spurs rumors he might quit race Daily News

21 state lawmakers plan to retire this year Ask state Sen. Gerald LaValle if his support for the legislative pay raises in 2005 is the reason he's retiring from the Legislature this year and you'll get a blunt answer Post-Gazette

New York/Region/World

The parks, he knows. The trees, don’t ask NY Times
Funds in doubt for new Tappan Zee Bridge
Bruno chases cold cash in warm weather Times Union
Utility, state settle case over coal plant Post-Standard
Condos next in Catskill factory do-over Times Union
State grows Adirondack preserve Times Union
Mayor, council may spar over E-recycling New York Sun

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