Government Corruption News StoriesExcerpts of Key Government Corruption News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of government corruption news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
The Senate approved a bill Tuesday to allow victims and families of the 9/11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged involvement in the terrorist strikes. The bill, which the White House opposes ... had stalled for months. It now heads to the House. In the end, the bill's authors - John Cornyn of Texas, the second ranking Senate Republican, and Chuck Schumer of New York, the third-ranking Senate Democrat - were able to pass the bill on a voice vote, a rare feat in the divided chamber. White House press secretary Josh Earnest renewed the threat that President Barack Obama will veto the bill. The White House and State Department say the bill could have dramatic ramifications. "This legislation would change long standing international law regarding sovereign immunity. The President ... continues to harbor serious concerns that this legislation would make the United States vulnerable in other court systems around the world," Earnest said. The bill would prevent Saudi Arabia and other countries alleged to have terrorist ties from invoking their sovereign immunity in federal court. Saudi Arabia has long denied any role in the 9/11 attacks, but victims' families have repeatedly sought to bring the matter to court, only to be rebuffed after the country has invoked legal immunity allowed under current law. In March, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir warned lawmakers that it would sell $750 billion in U.S. assets ... should the bill become law.
Note: Saudi Arabia's influential charm offensive and its $750 billion threat have not stopped this legislation from moving forward. Read more on the Saudi role in Sept. 11 and the hidden 9/11 report pages. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
John Lehman, a member of the 9/11 commission, told CNN Thursday that the classified 28 pages of a congressional investigatory report into the attacks contains evidence that as many as six Saudi officials supported al Qaeda in the run-up to the attacks. Those individuals, he said, worked for the Saudi Embassy in the U.S., Saudi charities and [a] Saudi government-funded ... mosque. Lehman charged that evidence of Saudi involvement was never sufficiently investigated. The individuals had hard ties to the government and hard ties to the hijackers, with one driving the hijackers from San Diego to Phoenix when they failed out of their first flight school. Other commission members, including former federal prosecutor Richard Ben-Veniste, are echoing Lehman's call. Lehman urged the declassification of the 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission Report, part of a congressional panel investigating intelligence failures related to the 9/11 attacks. His statements that as many as six officials were implicated appear to contrast with comments made by other members of the commission. The commission's chair and vice chairs, former Republican New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean and former Democratic Rep. Lee Hamilton of Indiana, released a statement in April saying that "only one employee of the Saudi government was implicated in the plot investigation."
Note: Read more on the Saudi role in Sept. 11 and the hidden 9/11 report pages. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
Saudi government employees were part of a support network for the 9/11 hijackers. The Obama administration should move quickly to declassify a long-secret congressional report on Saudi ties to the 2001 terrorist attack, [said former 9/11 commission member John Lehman]. The comments ... signal the first serious public split among the 10 commissioners since they issued a 2004 final report that was largely read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia, which was home to 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11. The former chairman and vice-chairman of the commission [have] urged the Obama administration to be cautious about releasing the full congressional report on the Saudis and 9/11 – “the 28 pages”, as they are widely known in Washington. In fact, there were repeated showdowns, especially over the Saudis, between the staff and the commission’s hard-charging executive director ... Philip Zelikow. Zelikow fired a staffer, who had repeatedly protested over limitations on the Saudi investigation, after she obtained a copy of the 28 pages outside of official channels. Other staffers described an angry scene late one night, near the end of the investigation, when two investigators who focused on the Saudi allegations were forced to rush back to the commission’s offices after midnight after learning to their astonishment that some of the most compelling evidence about a Saudi tie to 9/11 was being edited out of the report.
Note: Zelikow's close ties to the Bush White House are among many problems with the official 9/11 Commission Report. Read more on the Saudi role in Sept. 11 and the hidden 9/11 report pages. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
A CIA tip off to South Africa's apartheid regime which led to Nelson Mandela's arrest and 27-year imprisonment was condemned as a "betrayal of our nation" by the grandson and heir of the former president. Mandla Mandela called on US President Barack Obama to apologise and make a "full disclosure" of the events leading up to his grandfather's arrest in 1962 ... after a former CIA agent confirmed that he told the apartheid police how to find [Nelson] Mandela. "The USA put its imperial interests above the struggle for liberation of millions of people," said Mr Mandela, the former statesman's eldest grandson who is also an ANC MP. Donald Rickard said he and his handlers believed Mr Mandela was "the world's most dangerous communist outside of the Soviet Union" and he had no qualms about tipping the authorities off about his whereabouts in 1962, the height of the Cold War. The CIA's involvement in his detention after 17 years on the run has long been suspected but has never been confirmed until now. Mr Rickard ... broke his silence about his involvement in netting the "Black Pimpernel" as Mandela was known in an interview in March with researchers for a new film by British director John Irvin. Mr Rickard, who retired from the CIA in 1978 and spent the rest of his life in a remote spot in Colorado, died two weeks after the interview. Zizi Kodwa, a spokesman for the ANC, echoed claims by the ANC's secretary-general that the CIA was still interfering in South African politics.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Hidden microphones that are part of a clandestine government surveillance program that has been operating around the Bay Area has been exposed. Imagine standing at a bus stop, talking to your friend and having your conversation recorded without you knowing. It happens all the time, and the FBI doesn’t even need a warrant to do it. Jeff Harp, a ... security analyst and former FBI special agent said, “They put microphones under rocks, they put microphones in trees, they plant microphones in equipment. I mean, there’s microphones that are planted in places that people don’t think about, because that’s the intent!” FBI agents hid microphones inside light fixtures and at a bus stop outside the Oakland Courthouse without a warrant to record conversations, between March 2010 and January 2011. Federal authorities are trying to prove real estate investors in San Mateo and Alameda counties are guilty of bid rigging and fraud and used these recordings as evidence. The lawyer for one of the accused real estate investors who will ask the judge to throw out the recordings, told KPIX 5 News that, “Speaking in a public place does not mean that the individual has no reasonable expectation of privacy … private communication in a public place qualifies as a protected ‘oral communication.'”
The scariest part of Emily Vorland’s relatively uneventful 2009 deployment to Iraq was that the enemy wore Army green. When a higher-ranking male officer sexually harassed her, her commander told Vorland to file a formal complaint. So she did. The investigation ... concluded she had “acted inappropriately,” engaged in consensual sex and was lying about it. A lesbian, she was concerned that her best defense was one that would end her military career. The Army [discharged her] for “unacceptable conduct.” Even as the military scrambles under congressional pressure to prevent future cases of sexual abuse, past victims are suffering for having stood up for themselves. Thousands of victims have been pushed out of the service with less-than-honorable discharges, which can leave them with no or reduced benefits, poor job prospects and a lifetime of stigma. Worse, when they try to rectify their situation, as Vorland did, fewer than 10% of them succeed, the advocacy group Human Rights Watch estimates. “Military personnel who report a sexual assault frequently find that their military career is the biggest casualty,” the group says in a new report. 163 veterans [were] ousted from the military between 1966 and 2015 after complaining about sexual abuse, ranging from harassment to rape. “Our interviews suggest that all too often superior officers choose to expeditiously discharge sexual-assault victims rather than support their recovery and help them keep their position,” the study says.
Note: A 2015 Associated Press article states that: "the true scope of sex-related violence in the military communities is vastly underreported." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
When Jimmy Kimmel asked Hillary Clinton in a late-night TV interview about UFOs, she quickly corrected his terminology. “You know, there’s a new name,” Clinton said. “It’s unexplained aerial phenomenon,” she said. “UAP. That’s the latest nomenclature.” Her unusual knowledge about extraterrestrials ... has struck a small but committed cohort of voters. Clinton has vowed that barring any threats to national security, she would open up government files on the subject, a shift from President Barack Obama, who typically dismisses the topic as a joke. Her position has elated UFO enthusiasts, who have declared Clinton the first “E.T. candidate.” Stephen Bassett, who lobbies the government on extraterrestrial issues, views a Clinton presidency as a chance to finally get the United States to disclose all it knows about life beyond Earth. Bassett’s organization has sent roughly 2.5 million Twitter messages to presidential candidates, elected officials and the media urging a serious discussion of the issue. The movement viewed Clinton’s decision to correct Kimmel’s use of the term UFO ... as a breakthrough because it “suggested she’d been briefed by someone,” Buchman said. In fact, Clinton had been briefed. Her campaign chairman, John D. Podesta ... is not only a well-respected Washington hand, having served as a top adviser to Obama and President Bill Clinton, but is also a crusader for disclosure of government information on unexplained phenomena that could prove the existence of intelligent life outside Earth.
Note: Check out strong evidence in declassified FBI files that UFOs are quite real. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO cover-up and disclosure news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.
About six months ago, [the] board at UFODATA was privileged to welcome Christopher Mellon as the newest member of our team. Chris spent nearly 20 years in the federal government serving in various national security positions, [and] has agreed to speak publicly about his experiences ... as they relate to UFOs. It is unusual for a man of Chris’s stature to speak openly about UFOs. At DoD, Chris served on a small committee that provided oversight of all DoD special access programs, The oversight included visits to Area 51 and other sensitive facilities. He also spent over a decade on the Senate Intelligence Committee, involved in oversight of NRO, CIA, NSA and other intelligence organizations. He became the first Congressional official to review all of the NSA’s compartmented programs. Q: Do you recall any incidents involving UFOs while you were in government? A: Yes, there were a handful of incidents. Knowing of my interest in UFOs, a breathless naval aviator called me one day to report that he was present minutes earlier when a Navy jet landed after being circled by a UFO in broad daylight. The Navy did not pursue the issue as far as I could tell. I also recall the Maui Optical Tracking Facility, which tracks satellites, recording a flight of four or five fiery UFOs traversing the night sky. Nobody knew what to make of it. But no government official expressed the slightest interest even after the tape was featured on ABC’s Nightline. I found the utter lack of scientific curiosity due to political correctness highly frustrating.
Note: Leslie Kean, author of UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record, conducted the interview with Christopher Mellon summarized above. For more along these lines, read about the new science being pioneered by UFODATA. Then see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO cover-up and disclosure news articles from reliable major media sources.
For the first time, a federal judge is letting a civil lawsuit proceed against two CIA contract psychologists who designed and supervised brutal interrogation tactics that critics called torture. The ruling allows two former CIA detainees and the family of another who died in agency custody to try to win damages in federal court for the abuse they suffered at then-secret CIA prisons in the early 2000s. According to the lawsuit and a Senate Intelligence Committee report, the mistreatment included waterboarding, sleep deprivation, confinement in small boxes, rectal feeding and beatings. As the lawsuit progresses, it may shed more light on the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques that the CIA used in an effort to collect intelligence ... after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. “It’s unprecedented,” [said] Dror Ladin, the American Civil Liberties Union attorney who argued the plaintiffs' case in court. “No CIA torture victim has ever taken this step toward accountability. Every previous lawsuit has been shut down before this stage. “It gives our clients a chance to ... finally get some justice,” he said. The Department of Justice had blocked previous lawsuits aimed at the CIA's now-barred detention and interrogation program on grounds that any case could reveal secrets and compromise national security. That changed after the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report in December 2014 that exposed details about the program, including the role played by [psychologists Bruce] Jessen and [James E.] Mitchell.
Note: Read more in this ACLU article. For more along these lines, read about how the torture program fits in with a long history of human experimentation by corrupt intelligence agencies working alongside unethical scientists. For more, see this list of programs that treated humans as guinea pigs.
A Michigan environmental official suggested a technician collecting samples for a suburban Detroit private water system “bump ... out” a test result that found very high levels of lead by testing more homes, according to a 2008 email. Doing so could avert a “lead public notice”, the email reasoned, which would alert residents of dangerously high levels in their water. “I’ve never heard (it) more black and white,” said Marc Edwards, a ... lead expert who helped uncover the Flint water crisis. “It just shows that this culture of corruption and unethical, uncaring behavior predated Flint by at least six years.” In early September 2008, a water laboratory technician collected samples from five of the nearly 45 homes in the [private water system]. The technician submitted the samples to the Michigan department of environmental quality. Of the five samples, one home registered a lead level of 115 parts per billion (ppb), nearly 10 times higher than the federal action level of 15ppb. Adam Rosenthal, an MDEQ environmental quality analyst, sent an email to the technician. He copied Mike Prysby, the state employee who was criminally charged last week for his role in the city of Flint’s two-year lead contamination crisis, along with state employee Stephen Busch. “I just saw the results – 115 ppb for lead is a bit high,” Rosenthal wrote in the email. “There is still time to collect more samples and possibly bump this one out.” Experts said the email shows MDEQ’s Rosenthal was explicitly attempting to “subvert” the lead and copper rule.
Note: Another recent Guardian article further describes how US authorities systematically distort water quality tests. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health.
The Federal Reserve's monetary policies "probably" fueled wealth inequality in the U.S. during the aftermath of the Great Recession, according to a former regional Fed bank president. Narayana Kocherlakota, who until this year headed the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis ... wrote in a candid op-ed Wednesday that "it's not surprising that poorer American families got the impression that the Fed did more to help banks during the financial crisis and associated recession than it did to help them. The wealth of the typical family in the bottom three-quarters of the distribution declined by a lot more than that of the typical family in the top 10th [between 2007 and 2010]," Kocherlakota wrote. "This was partly the result of leverage: The poorer families tended to have more debt for each dollar in assets, so any decline in assets translated into a much larger percentage decrease in net worth." So as housing prices collapsed in the late 2000s, poorer families were left with large pools of debt and significantly diminished assets, while more wealthy families suffered less drastic blows even though they largely had greater exposure to high-value assets. The Fed's policies, then, appeared to more dramatically affect the fortunes of lower-income Americans than the nation's richest households. Kocherlakota thinks the Fed could have done more. Suggesting that the Fed's moves inherently contributed to rising income inequality in the U.S., though, is a surprising stance for a former regional bank president to take.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.
We live in a time when people are less optimistic, more cynical and have lower expectations, in part because they see government and other institutions as ineffective and unresponsive. Of course the challenges we face today are as solvable as any problems we have confronted in the past. We as individuals still can make a difference. How? Well, one way is through our investments. We don’t have to wait for governments to take action. We can actually increase our influence over world events, and potentially have a greater impact (and feel a little less powerless) not just through civic participation, or voting, or supporting non-profits - all of which remain vitally important - but through our role as investors. Rather than investing in fossil fuel companies, you can invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy; clean water and pollution control; sustainable food and agriculture. The bottom line: As investors, we have more power than we realize. We can prod and pressure and cajole companies into doing the right thing. Unfortunately, too many of us fail to leverage this power. Investors are not powerless. We can move the needle. And ... it is both a moral imperative and an economic imperative that the needle be moved.
President Obama has proposed granting Israel the largest package of military aid ever provided by the United States to another nation, but he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remain deeply at odds over a figure for the assistance despite months of negotiations. American officials have balked as their Israeli counterparts insisted on more generous terms for a new 10-year military aid package that could top $40 billion. The divide, which could have broad national security implications for both the United States and Israel, is exacerbated by the pent-up animosity between Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu, which has been stoked by their radically divergent views of the nuclear deal with Iran. Israel has been the largest cumulative recipient of American foreign aid since World War II. Discussions about the agreement are being conducted in strict secrecy. Neither side would detail specific funding levels. But the disputes over money are grounded in more profound rifts over policy, politics and national security strategy. While the president views the Iran agreement as having bolstered Israel’s security ... by restraining Tehran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon, the Israelis believe that the lifting of sanctions on Iran has only emboldened a government that directly threatens them. “The administration doesn’t want to lose the Iran battle after they’ve already won it by rewarding Israel with an over-the-top increase in aid,” said Aaron David Miller, vice president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Note: With a population of about 8.5 million, US yearly aid to Israel is almost $500 to every man, woman, and child in the country. The vast majority of aid to Israel is dedicated to purchasing US military hardware. Watch this video which shows how governments promote war in order to pad the pockets of mega-corporations which profit greatly from arms sales. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Some of the largest food producers in the US have successfully petitioned Congress to propose a change to the Freedom of Information Act that would shield their communications with boards overseen by the US Department of Agriculture from the scrutiny of the public. The move follows a series of stories that showed the government-backed egg promoter, the American Egg Board, had attempted to stifle competition from ... food startup Hampton Creek, in direct conflict with its mandate. Several agricultural lobbyists including United Egg Producers, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Pork Producers Council have now sent a letter to the congressional subcommittee overseeing appropriations for the Department of Agriculture (USDA) asking to be exempted from Foia requests. The bill has not yet been passed. The government-backed food marketing groups are called “checkoff” programs. Their most recognizable presence is in the form of marketing slogans such as “The incredible, edible egg” or “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner”. The administrators of checkoff programs are appointed by the USDA. Contributing to the programs is mandatory [for food producers]. Small producers have long argued that checkoffs exclusively serve the interests of the their largest competitors. Activists say checkoffs often obscure the cruelties of industrial farming.
Note: Read an article showing how the USDA is often bought out by corporations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.
American Indians are more likely than any other racial group to be killed by the police, according to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, which studied police killings from 1999 to 2011. But apart from media outlets like Indian Country Today, almost no attention is paid to this pattern of violence against already devastated peoples. When it comes to American Indians, mainstream America suffers from willful blindness. Economic and health statistics, as well as police-violence statistics, shed light on the pressures on American Indian communities and individuals: Indian youths have the highest suicide rate of any United States ethnic group. Adolescent women have suicide rates four times the rate of white women in the same age group. Indians suffer from an infant mortality rate 60 percent higher than that of Caucasians. At the root of much of this is economic inequality: Indians are the poorest people in the United States. Today’s avoidable tragedies of oppressed Indian lives and troubled deaths remain far too often in the shadows. At this moment, when black Americans are speaking up against systemic police violence, and their message is finally being carried by virtually every major news source, it’s time we also pay attention to a less visible but similarly targeted minority: the people who lived here for many thousands of years before this country was founded, and who also have an unalienable right to respect and justice.
"There's really only two types of companies or two types of people which are those who have been hacked and realize it and those who have been hacked and haven't." That's what mobile security expert John Hering tells 60 Minutes correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi about the danger of cellphone hacking. To prove his point, Hering assembled a group of ace hackers. Jon Oberheide showed 60 Minutes an app he created that looks legitimate but allows him to take control of a phone and suck out ... information [such as] contacts, recent purchases and text messages. Another hacker, Adam Laurie, uses radio frequency identification to hack phones. "He didn't need my phone number," Alfonsi explains. "All he had to do was physically touch my phone." He demonstrated by brushing by her in the lobby of her hotel. When he did ... her phone [automatically] dialed Laurie, allowing him to listen in on anything discussed in the room with Alfonsi's phone. A so-called "CryptoPhone" ... alerts the user when someone is trying to attack or hack into his or her phone. "Certain government facilities will try to get into your phone if you get too close to them," Alfonsi explains. To demonstrate, Les Goldsmith, CEO of ESD America, a company that specializes in countersurveillance technologies, took Alfonsi for a ride ... near a secure government facility. As they were driving past, a red line appeared on the CryptoPhone, indicating that ... if she were using a regular phone, the government agency could hear her call and read her text messages.
From 2013 to 2015, the NSA and CIA doubled the number of warrantless searches they conducted for Americans’ data in a massive NSA database ostensibly collected for foreign intelligence purposes, according to a new intelligence community transparency report. The estimated number of search terms “concerning a known U.S. person” to get contents of communications within what is known as the 702 database was 4,672 - more than double the 2013 figure. And that doesn’t even include the number of FBI searches on that database. A recently released ... court ruling confirmed that the FBI is allowed to run any number of searches it wants on that database, not only for national security probes but also to hunt for evidence of traditional crimes. No estimates have ever been released of how often that happens. The missing data from the FBI is of great concern to privacy advocates. The USA Freedom Act, passed in June 2015, “conspicuously exempts the FBI” from disclosing how often it searches the 702 database, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) wrote in a letter to the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, in October 2015. “There is every reason to believe the number of FBI queries far exceeds those of the CIA and NSA,” POGO wrote. “It is essential that you work with the attorney general to release statistics on the FBI’s use of U.S. person queries.” The new report also leaves unanswered how many Americans’ communications are collected in the first place.
Pete Seeger, composer of classic American folk tunes including "If I Had a Hammer" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?", was spied on by FBI agents for more than two decades because he wrote a protest letter as a young man concerned about plans to deport tens of thousands of Japanese American citizens at the end of the second world war. A vast file on Seeger was released ... in response to a request under the freedom of information act. The bureau’s spies first took an interest in the singer in 1943, [and continued] into the early 1970s. The suspicion was that Seeger, who died in early 2014, was a security risk with close connections to the Communist party. The FBI file on him has nearly 1,800 pages – 90 of them are still withheld for security reasons. Throughout the 1950s, when Seeger was part of the Weavers folk group, the bureau commissioned hundreds of reports on him. As the Weavers scored chart hits, Seeger was blacklisted for his suspected Communist party links. In 1955 he was called before the House Committee on un-American Activities and asked if he was a communist. “I am not going to answer any questions as to my associations, my philosophical or religious beliefs or my political beliefs or how I voted in any election or any of these private affairs,” Seeger replied. Two years later he was cited for contempt of Congress and then, four years later, found guilty and sentenced to a year in prison. Let free on bail, Seeger’s conviction was overturned a year later.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The Hanford Nuclear Reservation sits on the plains of eastern Washington. The site is nearly 600 square miles in area and has been largely closed to the public for the past 70 years. Late last year, though, it became part of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. A total of nine reactors operated at Hanford, and though they are now decommissioned, the reactors have left behind 56 million gallons of radioactive waste. Recent reports [indicate] new breaches in the tanks holding the nuclear waste. Workers on the site have been sickened too, suggesting that the rush to designate Hanford as a park may have been premature. The government has hired private contractors to build a plant that will solidify the waste and prepare it for permanent safe storage. The project will cost an astonishing $110 billion ... making it what many believe to be the most expensive, and extensive, environmental remediation project in the world. Completion is about five decades away. In 2013, construction of the Waste Treatment Plant - which will pump nuclear sludge out of the tanks and turn them into a hardened, glasslike substance - was slow. Whistleblowers, meanwhile, were alleging that private contractors had neglected safety and engineering concerns. Observers likened the place to a nuclear tinderbox. “America’s Fukushima?” asked the resulting Newsweek cover story. [One containment tank] was already known to be leaking toxic sludge into the soil. Now a second double-shelled tank ... is believed to be leaking as well.
Note: We are still 50 years and $110 billion away from safely containing the waste from just this one nuclear site, which was decommissioned 70 years ago. Why are we still using nuclear power? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing nuclear power news articles from reliable major media sources.
The fossil fuel industry had already managed to shape a bill moving rapidly through Congress last summer, gaining provisions to ease its ability to export natural gas. But one key objective remained elusive: a measure limiting the authority of local communities to slow the construction of pipelines because of environmental concerns. Then, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton ... who chaired the House Energy Committee, gave the industry an opportunity to amplify its influence. Joining forces with Sen. Lisa Murkowski ... who chaired the Senate Energy Committee, he launched a so-called joint fundraising committee, a campaign war chest that would accept donations from a range of contributors, with the proceeds divided between the two lawmakers. Executives at one of the nation’s largest natural gas pipeline companies soon deposited more than $80,750 into the joint fund’s coffers. The very next day, Upton delivered on the industry’s aspirations: He rushed a bill through his legislative panel that would not only streamline the approval process for new pipelines but also empower federal officials to impose tight deadlines ... to review their potential environmental impacts. While joint fundraising committees have been a part of politics for decades ... the Murkowski-Upton committee stands out as a uniquely explicit means of influencing legislation, say campaign finance experts, because it ... gives the oil and gas industry an opportunity to write one check knowing the proceeds are reaching the leaders of the two panels that write the rules regulating their business.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.