Enviro News Roundup: Should Gulf Coast Strip Clubs Get a Cut of the $20 Billion?

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Today in BP oil disaster news:

BP is now reinstalling the containment cap after a robotic vehicle hit it yesterday and forced crews to remove the cap.

Speaking of BP, if you’ve seen their work in the Gulf, wait until you hear what the company has planned for the Arctic.

The country’s third largest pension fund, the $132.6 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, is suing BP for losses incurred following the Gulf disaster. “BP misled investors about its safety procedures and its ability to respond to events like the ongoing oil spill, and we’re going to hold it accountable,” said New York State comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

Among the many tough decisions ahead for oil spill fund czar Kenneth Feinberg? Whether a strip club that caters to oil-rig workers should get a piece of the $20 billion fund oil spill victims.

The House passed a bill to grant the power of subpoena to the presidential oil spill commission on Wednesday evening.

Emergency workers in Pensacola Beach, Fla. found an oil-covered dolphin stranded on the beach yesterday.

In climate news:

Yesterday’s White House meeting on climate and energy policy was delayed due to the unscheduled spanking of Gen. Stanley McChrystal. No update yet on a new date and time for the meeting.

Environmental groups are circulating a memo of the highlights of Sen. Lindsey Graham’s flip-flopping on climate change, as Climatewire reports. It seems like just yesterday the South Carolina Republican was our best hope for bipartisanship on an energy package, doesn’t it?

A measure to suspend California’s landmark climate law will be on the ballot in November. Now, state environmental groups are fighting to protect AB32.

Ninety seven percent of climate researchers agree with the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: the planet is warming, and humans are causing it. The new study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The IPCC also released the names of the 813 scientists who have been selected to contribute to its fifth assessment report on climate change, which is due out in 2014.

Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) worries that if Congress takes action to curb global warming pollution, old people in the south are going to die. Yes, that’s if we take action, because he worries about whether they can afford air conditioning, not about warming up the planet. He knows this because he’s a doctor, of course. “They’re gonna get dehydration and people are gonna have a lot of problems and it’s gonna have a greater impact on our health care system and people are gonna die because of that,” says Broun. “And it’s gonna kill jobs too.”

And in other environmental news:

Democrats in the House are trying to broker a deal with natural gas companies to get them to disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, a process to extract natural gas from the ground. Some companies are using toxic substances, but they are currently exempted from disclosing them under the Clean Water Act.

The New York Times Magazine contemplates the end of tuna.

After three years of discussion about how to reduce whaling, the meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Agadir, Morocco, fell apart yesterday. “Fundamental positions remained very much apart,” according to the IWC chairman Anthony Liverpool.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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