U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is working to limit industry influence in federal safety studies of the country’s onshore pipeline network. LaHood’s decision is directed against a 2002 Bush-era rule requiring the federal agency to receive at least half of its funding for safety research from outside sources. The Hearst investigation found that, since the ruling, the PHMSA’s research is largely managed according to industry interests.
The investigation revealed that out of 174 safety studies conducted in the last decade by the federal PHMSA, two-thirds were funded by pipeline operators or other industry-controlled groups. Of the total studies, 89 were funded by a combination of 5 industry organizations that provide research and 3 that provide lobbying expertise.
Wayne Moore, a physician’s assistant working at the South Pole, sends an update about Todd via the guestbook on this site: “To all his very concerned friends & family, he has made a rapid recovery from the trip and has become a local hero at the station.” Thanks very much for the word Wayne! Besides being an astronaut, I can’t think of anything cooler than working in Antarctica. Cheers to you and everyone else down there.
Now that you’re a hero Todd, you can get back to work helping us!
But seriously, we met Todd about a year ago when he asked if he could write on DeSmogBlog to help promote solutions to reducing greenhouse gas. After a cursory glance at his credentials we quickly obliged. In fact, we even made Todd his own section on the site.
Todd is one of those amazing people you read about that dream big and make the best of everything that life has to offer. The whole DeSmogBlog team is proud to be associated with Todd and really, really hope that he doesn’t come back from his trek too famous to write for us once in a while.
So over this holiday season when you pop a champagne cork, make sure one is dedicated to Todd.
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.