Hurricane IreneAmericans on the East Coast of the United States were preparing for the worst as Hurricane Irene finally made landfall in North Carolina. The projected path and strength of the hurricane have already prompted a number of states to declare states of emergency and declare mandatory evacuations, even before a drop of rain has fallen in some of those regions.

On Tuesday, a remarkable and unexpected event took place in some areas on the East Coast: a 5.8-magnitude earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, Virginia, which caused a stir in cities that do not often encounter such phenomena, including New York and Washington.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is sketching out a regulatory blueprint designed to control pollution levels from coal-fired power plants, and lying under the torrent of new regulations will be mercury, smog, water intake, coal ash, and greenhouse gases.

For all its posturing about cutting spending, the Obama administration seems to have little difficulty finding cash to reward its friends in the environmental movement. Solar energy, despite its limited usefulness, has been subsidized with hundreds of millions of dollars of federal grants and loans, including some to companies in India. Similarly, reports CNSNews.com, the administration has handed out $112 million over the past two years to protect the Sage Grouse, yet the bird itself exists in such numbers that the Department of the Interior has refused to list it as either threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

There is no resolution yet on a proposed $7 billion Canadian-U.S. oil pipeline, as President Obama has continued to delay his decision on whether to approve it. Before the construction and operation of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline expansion can progress, the President, through the U.S. State Department’s permitting process, must grant final approval — an approval which has been in political limbo for the past three years.

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