EPA Releases New Fuel Standards

Oil industry says costs to consumers will be higher than administration claims
Oil pumps in California / AP

The Environmental Protection Agency issued stricter rules for sulfur emissions in cars Monday, a move supported by the auto industry and environmentalists but opposed by oil refiners.

EPA Officials Obstructed Fraud Investigation

Blocked probe of senior official who cost taxpayers nearly $900,000
Former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy / AP

Several Environmental Protection Agency employees obstructed an investigation into the mismanagement that allowed a senior EPA official to bilk taxpayers for nearly $900,000, the EPA Inspector General said in a letter to Sen. David Vitter (R., La.) released Wednesday.

The Lawless South

Feature: What happens when governments go broke? Look at Josephine County
Highway Oregon

GRANTS PASS, Ore.—On the evening of Oct. 30, 2013, a car traveling down a highway south of Cave Junction struck and killed Jarred Houston, 21, and Robert Calvin, 41. Four months later, their case remains unsolved.

DHS Building National License Plate Reader Database

Cameras can identify, track vehicles on watch lists
AP

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seeking to build a national license plate reader database, according to a recent job posting for government contractors.

Lawmakers Call for GAO Audit of Cover Oregon Failure

Oregon rep and committee chairs call for review of taxpayer-funded healthcare exchange
A roomful of people work to process applications for Cover Oregon (AP)

Republicans called for a federal audit of the beleaguered Cover Oregon website Wednesday after allegations of criminal fraud surfaced recently.

Rep. Greg Walden (R., Ore.), joined by GOP members of the Energy and Commerce Committee and House Oversight Committee, sent a letter Wednesday to the Government Accountability Office requesting it review the taxpayer dollars used on the project.

Cover Oregon Scandal Deepens

State officials reportedly lied about progress of site
Cover Oregon employees resort to paper applications due to faulty site / AP

OREGON—The story behind the massive failure of the Oregon health exchange website continues to unravel as allegations of fraud and gross mismanagement mount.

America’s Greatest Newspaper Crime Blotter

Feature: ‘Creeps,’ ‘lunatics,’ and ‘pit bulls’ comprise Cave Junction’s criminal class
Cave Junction, Ore.

Sitting in the Junction Inn restaurant and lounge, this reporter picked up a copy of the Illinois Valley News to go with his cheeseburger and discovered what is quite possibly the best crime blotter in American journalism.

Weaponizing Waste

Sen. Tom Coburn leaves behind a lasting legacy of highlighting wasteful government spending
Sen. Tom Coburn (R.,Okla.) / AP

Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R., Okla.) long crusade against government spending is coming to an end.

White House Tries to Neuter Spending Transparency Bill

OMB attempts to water down bill to create uniform standards for fed spending data
AP

The White House Office of Management and Budget is trying to water down a bill to consolidate and improve transparency in federal spending, leaked documents show.

White House Accepted Bulk of NSA Reforms

Review board member said admin agrees to ‘70 percent’ of reforms
AP

The White House is moving forward with more than two thirds of the surveillance reforms recommended by a review group formed by President Barack Obama, a member of the group said Wednesday.