BP (and Others) Exempted from Environmental Laws

Wednesday, December 01, 2010
(graphic: despair.com)
As part of its economic stimulus plan, the Obama administration awarded federal contracts to known polluters and exempted them from environmental laws, says The Center for Public Integrity.
The watchdog organization uncovered nearly 180,000 instances in which federal officials granted “categorical exclusions” to stimulus projects, removing them from the purview of the National Environmental Policy Act.
This decision allowed oil giant BP to be involved in a carbon capture and sequestration experiment funded by stimulus money, even though the company has a poor safety record and was operating the Deepwater Horizon oil platform when it exploded and sunk earlier this year. Also, the experiment is being conducted at BP’s refinery in Texas City, Texas, site of a deadly 2005 explosion that killed 15 workers.
Other recipients of stimulus funds with environmental waivers include coal-burning utilities Westar Energy and Duke Energy, chemical manufacturer DuPont and ethanol maker Didion Milling. Westar, the nation’s largest coal-burning utility, received its stimulus contract on the same day that it settled a federal air pollution complaint by spending $500 million to upgrade a plant in Kansas.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Big Polluters Freed from Environmental Oversight by Stimulus (by Kristen Lombardi and John Solomon, Center for Public Integrity)


Dr. Smith 12 years ago
Categorical exclusions are NOT exemptions from environmental law. A "categorical exclusion" is a determination defined by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508) and is made by agencies given the proposed activity's parameters, location and other design merits, in terms of environmental impacts. There ARE environmental impact considerations given to all "federal actions" under NEPA. So-called "exemptions" from environmental law do not exist unless they are done so in a statute. NEPA contains NO statutory exemptions. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE educate yourself before putting inaccurate "infomration" out and confusing the public and issue. Learn the language and process related to environmental laws and review process, rather than reporting gossip and misunderstanding. Shame on YOU. GET IT RIGHT.

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