Government Corruption Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Government Corruption Media Articles in Major Media
Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
The new movie Consumed tackles the controversial world of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in unprecedented fashion, offering insight into their risks. Its message could not be more timely in the wake of the recent news that the Food and Drug Administration has approved the first genetically engineered salmon for human consumption. The fish, like all genetically engineered ingredients in this country, will not be labeled, leaving American consumers in the dark. Like many food and environmental safety activists around the world, I’m outraged. The biotech industry and the FDA have hijacked not only our basic rights as consumers, but also our fundamental human rights in the face of corporate monopolization of our food supply. They are jeopardizing our health and the environment more than ever before. In detailed comments submitted to the FDA, Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Union, argues the FDA review process was based on “sloppy science” and the genetically engineered salmon could pose many risks. “Because FDA’s assessment is inadequate, we are particularly concerned that this salmon may pose an increased risk of severe, even life-threatening allergic reactions,” he writes. The majority of Americans ... believe they have a fundamental right to know what is in their food. A 2013 New York Times poll found that 93% of Americans want GMOs to be labeled. More than 60 countries label GMOs, and in some cases even ban them, but the U.S. still does not.
Note: Read an excellent mercola.com article titled "GMO cookie is crumbling." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
In approving genetically engineered salmon as safe to eat and safe for the environment, the Food and Drug Administration rejected petitions from environmental and food safety groups asking that companies selling this salmon be required to label it as genetically engineered. Congress should overturn that decision. The salmon, made by AquaBounty Technologies of Maynard, Mass., has genes inserted that allow it to grow to market size twice as fast as wild salmon. At least one consumer group has announced plans to sue the F.D.A. to overturn its approval of the engineered salmon. Some leading grocery chains, responding to consumer concerns, have said they won’t sell the genetically engineered salmon. The F.D.A. said there is no reason to mandate labeling because there is no material difference between engineered and natural fish. But the value of that information should be left to consumers to decide. Vermont enacted a law last year that will require labeling of genetically engineered foods starting next July unless a suit filed in June 2014 by four industry trade groups derails it. Other states with strong consumer movements may try to follow. The House passed a bill on July 23, 2015, that would pre-empt states from requiring such labeling, and industry groups are pressing the Senate to attach similar language as a rider to an omnibus spending bill. The Senate should rebuff that tactic and allow states to adopt mandatory labeling laws if they wish.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has used a secretive authority to compel Internet and telecommunications firms to hand over customer data including an individual’s complete web browsing history and records of all online purchases, a court filing released Monday shows. The documents are believed to be the first time the government has provided details of its so-called national security letters, which are used by the FBI to conduct electronic surveillance without the need for court approval. National security letters have been available as a law enforcement tool since the 1970s, but their frequency and breadth expanded dramatically under the USA Patriot Act, which was passed shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. They are almost always accompanied by an open-ended gag order barring companies from disclosing the contents of the demand for customer data. The secretive orders have long drawn the ire of tech companies and privacy advocates, who argue NSLs allow the government to snoop on user content without appropriate judicial oversight. Last year, the Obama administration announced it would permit Internet companies to disclose more about the number of NSLs they receive. But they can still only provide a range such as between 0 and 999 requests. Twitter has sued in federal court seeking the ability to publish more details in its semi-annual transparency reports. Several thousand NSLs are now issued by the FBI every year. At one point that number eclipsed 50,000 letters annually.
Note: Read more about the FBI's use of these controversial secret letters. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable major media sources.
Nearly 7,000 Peace Corps currently serve in about 65 countries. Roughly one in five of them is sexually assaulted during that service, according to the results of a recent anonymous Peace Corps safety questionnaire, obtained exclusively by CBS News. The report also shows that nearly half don't report the assaults. More than 500 volunteers have reported experiencing a sexual assault in a little over two years. CBS News spoke with nearly a dozen who questioned how their recent cases were handled. They told us they ... were threatened they would be fired. Five years ago, the Peace Corps - a government agency - faced intense scrutiny over its response to sexual assaults. The agency's director at the time vowed change. "I hired a nationally recognized leader in victims' rights to be our first agency's victim advocate," former Peace Corps director Aaron Williams said during a congressional hearing in 2011. That leader was Kellie Green. "I pushed the agency to really do what they have the capability of doing," Green said. Earlier this month, the Peace Corps suspended her without pay for allegedly creating a hostile work environment. But Green says she was punished for standing up for the victims she was hired to protect. Inspector General reports show multiple cases of Peace Corps personnel - accused in sexual assaults - resigning ahead of administrative action, then being allowed to re-apply to the agency. Green is pursuing whistleblower protection. The Peace Corps disputes ... that it retaliated against her.
Note: In 2011, BBC began asking if the U.S. government was "at war with whistleblowers". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.
Justice Department watchdogs ran into an unexpected roadblock last year when they began examining the role of federal drug agents in the fatal shootings of unarmed civilians during raids in Honduras. The continuing Honduran inquiry is one of at least 20 investigations across the government that have been slowed, stymied or sometimes closed because of a long-simmering dispute between the Obama administration and its own watchdogs over the shrinking access of inspectors general to confidential records. The impasse has hampered investigations into an array of programs and abuse reports - from allegations of sexual assaults in the Peace Corps to the F.B.I.’s terrorism powers. “The bottom line is that we’re no longer independent,” Michael E. Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general, said. The new restrictions grew out of a five-year-old dispute within the Justice Department. After a series of scathing reports by Glenn Fine, then the Justice Department inspector general, on F.B.I. abuses in counterterrorism programs, F.B.I. lawyers began asserting in 2010 that he could no longer have access to certain confidential records. Tensions are common between the watchdogs and the officials they investigate. But ... the restrictions imposed by the Obama administration reflect a new level of acrimony. “This is by far the most aggressive assault on the inspector general concept since the beginning,” said Paul Light, a New York University professor.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Terrorism and mass migration are bitter results of outside meddling in the Middle East. They will intensify. Interventions multiply our enemies. Every village raid, every drone strike, and every shot fired in anger on foreign soil produces anti-Western passion. Some are shocked when that passion leads to violent reaction. They should not be. The instinct to protect one’s own, and to strike back against attackers, is as old as humanity itself. Horrific terror assaults cannot be justified as any kind of self-defense. Their savagery is inexcusable by all legal, political, and moral standards. But they do not emerge from nowhere. It was never realistic for the West - the invading world - to imagine that it is an impregnable fortress, or an island, or a planet apart from the regions its armies invade. This is especially true of Europe, which is literally just a long walk from the conflict zone. Now that Russia has joined the list of intervening powers, it too is vulnerable. So is the United States. Countries, nations, and peoples must shape their own fates. Often they do so by reacting to oppression. Religion kept Europe in the Dark Ages for a thousand years. Russians and Chinese accepted brutal Communist rule for generations. Violent extremism in the Middle East will end only when people who live there end it. That cannot begin to happen until outsiders leave the region to its own people. The Middle East will not stabilize until its people are allowed to act for themselves, rather than being acted upon by others.
Note: A carefully researched report on the covert origins of ISIS suggests the creation of terrorists is useful for Washington's elite. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing terrorism news articles from reliable major media sources.
CNN yesterday suspended its global affairs correspondent, Elise Labott, for two weeks for the crime of posting a tweet critical of the House vote to ban Syrian refugees. Whether by compulsion or choice, she then groveled in apology. Labott’s crime wasn’t that she expressed an opinion. It’s that she expressed the wrong opinion: After Paris, defending Muslims, even refugees, is strictly forbidden. I’ve spoken with friends who work at every cable network and they say the post-Paris climate is indescribably repressive in terms of what they can say and who they can put on air. When it comes to the Paris attacks, CNN has basically become state TV. Labott’s punishment comes just five days after two CNN anchors spent six straight minutes lecturing French Muslim civil rights activist Yasser Louati that he and all other French Muslims bear “responsibility” for the attack. In the wake of Paris, an already ugly and quite dangerous anti-Muslim climate has exploded. The leading GOP presidential candidate is speaking openly of forcing Muslims to register in databases, closing mosques, and requiring Muslims to carry special ID cards. Others are advocating exclusion of Muslim refugees (Cruz) and religious tests to allow in only “proven Christians” (Bush). That, by any measure, is a crisis of authoritarianism. And journalists have historically not only been permitted, but required, to raise their voice against such dangers.
Note: The New York Times recently reported that a Syrian passport found at a Paris bombing site was planted as part of a false evidence trail "to turn public opinion against Syrian refugees." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media manipulation news articles from reliable sources.
Every hour spent auditing a taxpayer with more than $5 million in income nets the government $4,545, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found in a report released Friday. Auditing taxpayers in the $200,000 to $399,999 income bracket was less fruitful, generating just $605 in revenue per audit-hour. And yet the IRS spent more than four times as many hours examining taxpayers in the $200,000 to $399,999 income bracket than the $5 million-plus. That's especially important as congressional budget cuts have forced the IRS to pare back its taxpayer audits. The percentage of individual taxpayers audited each year has reached the lowest point in a decade, and is now just 0.84%. The highest-income taxpayers have seen the biggest decline in audit rates. In 2011, 30% of tax returns from taxpayers making more than $10 million got a second look by the IRS. In 2014, it was just 16%. The IRS already gives special attention to tax returns with an income above $200,000. But the inspector general recommends that the IRS increase that threshold. The agency will consider changing those thresholds, said Douglas O'Donnell, the commissioner of the IRS's Large Business and International Division. But he also said the IRS does not target groups of taxpayers based just on how much revenue an audit will generate.
Note: In the US in recent years, the super-rich have been taxed less and less while companies like General Electric sometimes pay no taxes at all. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality and government corruption news articles.
In 2009, not long after his historic election and seven years after the first U.S. drone strike, President Barack Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, however, deadly U.S. drone strikes have increased sharply, as have doubts about the program’s reliability and effectiveness. The latest criticism comes from Drone, a new documentary about the CIA’s covert drone war. To help promote the film and inveigh against the agency’s drone program ... four former operators - Stephen Lewis, Michael Haas, Cian Westmoreland and Brandon Bryant - appeared at a press conference. Speaking out can lead to veiled threats and prosecution. Which is why for years Bryant was the only drone veteran who openly rebuked the drone war. But his persistence and his appearance in the film, the other three say, inspired them to come forward. On multiple occasions, the men say they complained to their superiors about their concerns to no avail. Drone strikes kill far more civilians than the government admits. These deaths, they argue, wind up helping militant groups recruit new members and hurt the U.S.’s long-term security. By distancing soldiers from the battlefield, the operators suggest the people carrying out strikes may become even more desensitized to killing than their counterparts on the front lines. On some occasions, Haas says operators referred to children as “fun-sized terrorists” or “TITS,” terrorists in training.
Note: A human rights attorney has stated the four former Air Force drone operators-turned-whistleblowers mentioned above have had their credit cards and bank accounts frozen. How many more have not spoken out against these abuses for fear of retaliation like this? Read more about the major failings of US drone attacks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
The tools European security agencies now have at their disposal ... would make any American or Canadian intelligence officer drool. Britain has literally created a surveillance state. The British Security Industry Authority estimated three years ago the government has installed about six million closed-circuit TV cameras in the public square; one for every 10 citizens. The French, too, have vastly expanded public video surveillance in recent years. And it's all been done with overwhelming support from the general public, which feels safer for the presence of the surveillance, never mind the lack of objective proof that they are more protected against outrages, which keep on occurring. Both England and France are former colonial powers that ... long ago subordinated individual rights to collective security. Canada and America more dearly cherish individual rights. Still, a surveillance state is growing here, too. David Lyon, a professor of surveillance studies at Queen's University, has identified several public surveillance trends, all of which he says are "increasing at an accelerating rate." Canada is not about to become Western Europe, he says, but "it is incumbent upon us as a society to think about the ethical consequences" of mass surveillance. [Some] would argue that the cameras are desperately needed tools, and that anyone who isn't doing anything wrong has nothing to worry about. That of course is the police state justification. They hate us because we are free, we are told. The fact that we've responded by giving up ever more freedom doesn't seem to matter.
Note: Many of the politicians publicly defending the surveillance state receive huge sums of money from private security companies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the disappearance of privacy.
There is evidence the RCMP broke the law while conducting a high-profile terrorism sting and must hand over confidential legal documents, says a B.C. Supreme Court judge. Justice Catherine Bruce has not yet ruled whether the RCMP entrapped John Nuttall and Amanda Korody into plotting to blow up the B.C. legislature in 2013, but she said in a ruling released Wednesday that the Mounties may be guilty of knowingly facilitating a terrorist act. Undercover officers posing as jihadi warriors gave Nuttall and Korody groceries, cigarettes, bus passes, cell phones, phone cards, clothing, cash and a portable hard drive. They also provided the pair with a place to work on their terrorist scheme and a location to build the explosives, chauffeured them to various stores to purchase bomb-making equipment and transported them ... over the course of the four-month sting operation. Lawyers had advised the RCMP on numerous occasions, including recommending officers "drive target but don't shop" when purchasing materials to build the explosives. Bruce's ruling ordered the police to disclose confidential legal advice they received about running the undercover affair.
Note: Read this New York Times article which shows how the FBI also aids and abets terrorism on a regular basis to keep us in fear. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and throughout intelligence agencies.
On Sept. 6, I locked myself out of my apartment in Santa Monica, Calif. A few hours and a visit from a locksmith later, I was inside my apartment and slipping off my shoes when I heard a man’s voice ... near my front window. I imagined a loiterer and opened the door to move him along. “What’s going on?” I asked. Two police officers had guns trained on me. They shouted: “Who’s in there with you? How many of you are there?” I had no idea what was happening, but I saw [that] something about me - a 5-foot-7, 125-pound black woman - frightened this man with a gun. I sat down, trying to look even less threatening. I again asked what was going on. I told the officers I didn’t want them in my apartment. They entered anyway. One pulled me, hands behind my back, out to the street. The neighbors were watching. Only then did I notice the ocean of officers. I counted 16. They still hadn’t told me why they’d come. Later, I learned that the Santa Monica Police Department had dispatched 19 officers after one of my neighbors reported a burglary at my apartment. It didn’t matter that I told the cops I’d lived there for seven months, told them about the locksmith, offered to show a receipt for his services and my ID. To many, the militarization of the police is primarily abstract or painted as occasional. That thinking allows each high-profile incident of aggressive police interaction with people of color - Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray - to be written off as an outlier. What happened to them did not happen to me, but it easily could have.
Americans may not agree on much. But according to polls, more than 90 percent support genetically engineered (GE) food labeling. Despite the industrial food complex spending hundreds of millions on lobbying against labeling, three states have responded to the call from their voters and passed labeling laws. Vermont's laws will require that companies start labeling by July, 2016. This deadline has the agribusiness community scrambling for a way out. The biotech industry, along with its top enabler at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Secretary Tom Vilsack, is trying to sell the idea that the long derided and poorly utilized QR code is the answer to consumer concerns about GE foods. A QR code ... is similar to a bar code. To use it, a person must have a smartphone device, an internet connection, and a QR code reader downloaded onto his or her phone. Vilsack and now even Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton are promoting QR code information on GE foods as sufficient to rescind the mandatory on package clear and accessible labeling required by the state laws. Substituting clear and accessible on-package labeling with QR codes would be a form of discrimination against the poor, the rural, the elderly and many other groups. We do not want this discriminatory, burdensome and privacy invasive technology to become the norm.
Note: Read more about why the overwhelming majority of Americans believe GMO foods should require labels. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and seven other former and current government officials are at risk of arrest if they set foot in Spain, after a Spanish judge effectively issued an arrest warrant for the group. Spanish national court judge Jose de la Mata ordered the police and civil guard to notify him if Mr Netanyahu and the six other individuals enter the country, as their actions could see a case against them regarding the Freedom Flotilla attack of 2010 reopened. The other men named in the issue are former defence minister Ehud Barak, former foreign minister Avigdor Leiberman, former minister of strategic affairs Moshe Yaalon, former interior minister Eli Yishai, minister without portfolio Benny Begin and vice admiral Maron Eliezer, who was in charge of the operation. The case – which was put on hold by Judge de la Mata last year – was brought against the men following an attack by Israeli security forces against the Freedom Flotilla aid ships in 2010, which was trying to reach Gaza. It concerns the Mavi Marmara ship, the main civilian vessel in a fleet of six that were attempting to break an Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. The six ships were carrying around 500 passengers, humanitarian aid and construction materials. The Israeli Defence Force stormed the ship in a raid that left nine human rights activists dead.
Note: A spokesperson for the Israeli foreign ministry commented, "We consider it to be a provocation." Autopsies of the activists killed were reported by The Guardian to contradict Israeli reports of the incident.
It’s a wretched yet predictable ritual after each new terrorist attack: Certain politicians and government officials waste no time exploiting the tragedy for their own ends. The remarks on Monday by John Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, took that to a new and disgraceful low ... after coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris killed 129. Mr. Brennan complained about ... the sustained national outrage following the 2013 revelations by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, that the agency was using provisions of the Patriot Act to secretly collect information on millions of Americans’ phone records. It is hard to believe anything Mr. Brennan says. Last year, he bluntly denied that the C.I.A. had illegally hacked into the computers of Senate staff members conducting an investigation into the agency’s detention and torture programs when, in fact, it did. In 2011 ... he claimed that American drone strikes had not killed any civilians, despite clear evidence that they had. And his boss, James Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, has admitted lying to the Senate on the N.S.A.’s bulk collection of data. Even putting this lack of credibility aside, it’s not clear what extra powers Mr. Brennan is seeking. Most of the men who carried out the Paris attacks were already on the radar of intelligence officials in France and Belgium, where several of the attackers lived. The problem in this case was not a lack of data. In fact, indiscriminate bulk data sweeps have not been useful.
Note: The above is an excellent article by the New York Times editorial board. Yet the role of the largely subservient media, which strongly supported Bush's campaign to go to war in Iraq is ignored. Read this analysis to go even deeper. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the disappearance of privacy.
The above video [see video at link above], reportedly recorded outside of Aleppo, Syria and posted online Tuesday, features rebels from the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army firing a U.S.-supplied anti-tank guided missile at what it is clearly a U.S.-made Humvee. Rarely do the weapons and equipment of a conflict come together in a single video to highlight how America now fights its wars, but there it is. According to the caption on the video, the strike killed one occupant. The now-destroyed Humvee was mounted with a 14.5mm anti-aircraft gun. It is unclear if the U.S. Humvee is one that the Islamic State might have captured from Iraqi security forces during its blitz across parts of northern Iraq last year, or if it’s from U.S.-supplied Iraqi militias who have since entered Syria to prop up President Bashar al-Assad’s fledging forces. One thing is for certain: that truck was built in the U.S.A. As the war enter its fifth year ... the number of deaths crest well over 250,000.
Note: Isn't it interesting that many of the weapons used by both sides in the Syrian conflict come from the US. Watch this video which shows how the US and its allies stoke war in order to pad the pockets of mega-corporations which profit greatly from arms sales. Then read this New York Times article which shows how the FBI aids and abets terrorism on a regular basis to keep us in fear. The evidence is overwhelming that the war on terror is a manipulated fraud to keep the public in fear and keep certain factions of the power elite in power and control.
Iceland ... has just sentenced five senior bankers and one prominent investor to prison for crimes relating to the economic meltdown in 2008. The nation that gambled so heavily on the markets and lost so disastrously in the consequent crash has [now] sent 26 financiers to jail for combined sentences of 74 years. The authorities pursued bank bosses, chief executives, civil servants and corporate raiders for crimes ranging from insider trading to fraud, money laundering, misleading markets, breach of duties and lying to the authorities. Meanwhile the economy that collapsed so spectacularly has rebounded after letting banks go bust, imposing capital controls and protecting its own citizens over all other losers. This determination to hold people to account for actions that caused intense financial misery contrasts strongly with Britain, most of the rest of Europe and the United States. Britain never bothered holding a proper inquiry into the financial meltdown that still heavily impacts on public finances. In New York, a couple of minor British bankers have just been convicted of manipulating inter-bank lending rates. In London, the massive HSBC is playing political games ... to stave off regulatory pressures. This is the bank, remember, fined Ł1.2bn after a US investigation found it was laundering money for gangsters and rogue nations, then discovered to be helping wealthy clients evade tax in dozens of countries. Its former boss became a government minister and then chairman of the British Museum.
Note: So the one nation that jailed its big bankers and let banks go bust is doing very well. Why are so exceedingly few bankers in other countries being jailed for crimes involving trillions of dollars and bankrupting millions of citizens? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the financial industry.
Civil asset forfeiture ... lets police seize and keep cash and property from people who are never convicted - and in many cases, even charged - with wrongdoing. The past decade has seen a "meteoric, exponential increase" in the use of the practice. In 2008, there were less than $1.5 billion in the combined asset forfeiture funds of the Justice Department and the U.S. Treasury. But by 2014, that number had tripled, to roughly $4.5 billion. Critics ... say that the increase in forfeiture activity is due largely to the profit motive created by laws which allow police to keep some or all of the assets they seize. In one case represented by the Institute [for Justice], a drug task force seized $11,000 from a college student at an airport. They lacked evidence to charge him with any crime, but they kept the money and planned to divvy it up between 13 different law enforcement agencies. Asset forfeiture's defenders say that the practice is instrumental in dismantling large-scale criminal enterprises. But evidence suggests that forfeiture proceedings are often initiated against small time criminals or people who aren't criminals at all. An [ACLU] report earlier this year found that the median amount seized in forfeiture actions in Philadelphia amounted to $192. These forfeiture actions were concentrated in the city's poorest neighborhoods. In most states the typical forfeiture amount is very small. The median forfeiture case in Illinois is worth $530. In Minnesota, $451. Those are hardly kingpin-level hauls.
Note: Some police decide what property to seize based on departmental "wish lists". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.
There’s no longer any doubt that thousands of West Coasters witnessed an unarmed missile streaking across the sky Saturday night. What remains open to interpretation: Why? Why test-fire a missile within sight of the nation’s second-largest city? Did officials underestimate social media’s ability to turn a routine event into front-page fodder? Or was that the plan all along, using the inevitable influence of social media to flex America’s military might for observers in Beijing and Moscow? The answer: It’s complicated. Loren Thompson, a military analyst who used to teach nuclear strategy at Georgetown University, told The Washington Post that “We have entered an era when anybody can reach a large audience using social media and the blogosphere, so the military needs to look closely at the implications of testing close to population centers. Obviously, with something as large as a Trident II missile, whether you launch during the daytime or at night, it will be visible,” he said. “That’s just the nature of it.” Even so, the extra attention might not have mattered to military officials, Thompson said. If you ignore the frenzy on social media, there is a benefit to visibility: The U.S. Navy, Thompson writes in Forbes, views nuclear deterrence as its most important mission, and the Trident is the backbone of that deterrence. “You could have demonstrated same point to the Russians or the Chinese without getting people really concerned in L.A.,” Thompson told The Post.
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 articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.