What We Read Today 21 July 2014

July 21st, 2014
in econ_news, syndication

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

Follow up:

  • EU divided over severity of sanctions (Alex Barker, Hugh Carnegy, Jim Pickard and Chris Bryant, Financial Times) EU members Britain, France and Germany issued warnings over possible further sanctiosn if Russia did not "help establish a safe environment to recover bodies and investigate the MH17 crash". But if past is prelude, when the EU foreign ministers meet on Tuesday there may be as many different recipes as there are ministers for a sanction stew, and some might hardly qualify as hors d'oeurves rather than a main course entré.
"I just think we know a lot less than We think. My goal was not to produce a counter-narrative, but push to the limits of evidence and implication in each of the three topic areas; there are others. The results are as you see. Things don't add up because they don't add up. Personally, I think we should wait for them to do so before beating the war drums. If that's confusing, so be it."
"This amendment received unanimous support from Commissioners because it is a measured approach. It reduces prison costs and populations and responds to statutory and guidelines changes since the drug guidelines were initially developed, while safeguarding public safety."

Responding to a massive increase in shipments of highly explosive crude oil along the Hudson River, the Center for Biological Diversity today filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency for failing to update their oil-spill plans to ensure that spill-response activities do not harm the many endangered species dependent on the river. The lawsuit, filed under the Endangered Species Act, identifies 17 federally protected endangered species, including Atlantic sturgeon, sea turtles and piping plovers that, like the millions of people living along the river, are threatened by the increased risk of spills.

"With little public scrutiny or input, there's been a massive increase in transport of highly flammable crude oil by rail and barge, which puts communities, rivers and wildlife in danger," said Mollie Matteson, a senior scientist at the Center. "We need a spill-response plan that actually protects residents and the precious endangered wildlife of the Hudson and northeast coast - animals like the Atlantic sturgeon, red knot and loggerhead sea turtle. We have to take immediate action to make sure these rare and marvelous creatures aren't casualties of a reckless industry."

The amount of crude oil being brought by rail to the port of Albany and then barged down the Hudson to East Coast refineries has jumped from essentially nothing, two years ago, to close to 3 billion gallons a year. The recent history of fiery derailments across North America indicates the urgency of addressing this growing threat to the environment from the rapid increase in oil trains. The U.S. Coast Guard and EPA, lead agencies on the region's spill-response plan, have not completed required Endangered Species Act consultation to keep up with rapid increases of crude oil cargos from North Dakota and the potential impacts of oil-spill response measures.

"Oil trains pose an enormous danger we can't overlook," said Matteson. "Further shipments into Albany and along the Hudson River should be stopped until there's an adequate plan in place to deal with the spills that are almost certain to occur." Read more...


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