Saturday, December 20, 2014

Richmond Official Blasts Chevron For Calling Huge Flare At Plant ‘Routine’

Goia said when emergencies happen, Chevron generally deals with the situation before issuing a statement, but communication was particularly slow on Thursday night. The flaring incident was reported at approximately 6:35 p.m. It took well over an hour for Chevron to respond.

EPA won't regulate coal ash as hazardous waste

The first federal rules on coal ash from power plants, released Friday, set the bar generally lower than North Carolina did in responding to Duke Energy’s February spill into the Dan River.

The Environmental Protection Agency said it will regulate coal ash as solid waste, such as municipal garbage, instead of as a hazardous waste. Ash contains elements that can be toxic in water.

That decision leaves it to utilities to comply with the new federal rule, without federal enforcement. States can adopt similar standards if they choose, but enforcement is otherwise left to citizens by filing lawsuits.

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Ruble Advances as Cash Crunch From Higher Rates Supports Demand

The cash crunch that Russian central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina engineered to bolster the ruble is starting to work.

The currency has rallied about 35 percent versus the dollar since plunging to a record low on Dec. 16 in the worst day of Russia’s nine-month financial crisis. Nabiullina jacked up borrowing costs by the most in 16 years that day to 17 percent, sacrificing economic growth to prevent a freefall in the ruble.

The result: Russian banks already blocked from borrowing abroad by sanctions over Ukraine are getting squeezed at home. The rate they charge each other for overnight cash doubled this month to 27 percent yesterday, the most in at least eight years. This stabilization, at a ruble rate with half the buying power it had two years ago, will aggravate an economic contraction and may not last if the price of oil drops further.

Bank Bailouts Approach a Final Reckoning

Treasury Sells Remaining Stake in Ally, Last Major Holding in Financial-Crisis Bailout Program

The Simple Analytics of Monetary Impotence (Wonkish)

Robert Reich: Insider traders are hosing us all

The former secretary of labor examines how deregulation under Reagan and Bush has spawned savage inequalities

There Is Now an Official ‘I Can’t Breathe’ Super PAC

“It’s about capturing that social inertia and giving it a political voice, not just a voice in the street, but a voice in the airwaves come election time,” Mohamed told the Center for Public Integrity.

Mohamed said the super PAC will support candidates who favor criminal justice reform, including requiring special prosecutors for police brutality cases.

In Paul-Rubio feud over Cuba, a preview of GOP’s 2016 foreign policy debate