Energy & Environment

Energy & Environment

Waxman Questions GOPers' Patriotism — Will Mainstream Media Go After Waxman Like They Did Limbaugh?

It was wrong, we were told, when Rush Limbaugh said he wanted President Obama to fail at raising our taxes, taking over sectors of our economy (be they specific companies or entire industries) and further entangling the government in the lives — and wallets — of everyday Americans.

Why, it was so wrong — dangerous, even — that news coverage on Limbaugh's comments dominated the airwaves. Limbaugh was news topic No. 1. For weeks, Republicans found themselves on the defensive, being asked incessantly, "Do you want President Obama to fail? Do you agree with this entertainer and want America to fail?"


As the national media fixates on the death of Michael Jackson, the House of Representatives is working on its own “Thriller.” (I stole that line from Antonia Ferrier of the minority leader’s office.) They are trying desperately to pass the so-called cap-and-trade climate change bill that is encountering fierce resistance from centrist Democrats and most Republicans.

The cap-and-trade bill will dramatically increase the rates the average family pays for their energy use, and will hurt our competitive position vis-à-vis the Chinese in the world of manufacturing. Since the Chinese are already kicking our butts when it comes to the manufacturing sector, you might wonder why we are going down this road to ruin.

Congressional Poker: The Energy Bill Hits the House Floor

High drama on the House floor this afternoon.

In just a few hours we will know if Nancy Pelosi has the votes to pass the controversial so-called cap-and-trade energy bill.

Loads of questions at this hour. Are the votes there? Why is Pelosi putting some of her centrists in harm’s way with a vote like this when the Senate may not take the bill up until the fall? How many of her liberals have fallen off because they think the bill has been tweaked too much to appease the moderates? On and on.

Pain at the Pump

Gas prices this summer continue to hover at abnormal highs, even as experts state the current election crisis in Tehran is having little impact.

What is the problem, then? Granted, we’re still a long ways from the $4 per gallon prices of this time last year, but Americans are still feeling pain at the pump, and the calls for alternative sources of energy renew once again.

End of Oil Crisis Tsunami

America has dangerously increased its oil vulnerability because of oil’s precipitous drop to about $35 per barrel. Canada, supplying about 10 percent of our 20 million barrel daily use, requires $70 per barrel of oil to produce.

At $35, much of Canada’s fast expansion has been shut down. America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve carries only two months’ worth of unrefined oil. A protracted interruption of our oil supply would throw us into a “Mad Max” scenario.

Obama Buys Environmentalist Love Without Spending Capital

The great thing about dating a girl who just ended a long relationship with a shitty boyfriend is even the smallest gesture registers. When a girl is used to insults and poor treatment, merely opening a door or not demeaning her in public makes you the greatest guy in the world. In the same way, the caring President Obama's environmental policy initiatives represent small changes sure to go a long way with environmentalists used to George Bush in his role of the emotionally abusive boyfriend.

According to The New York Times, President Obama will announce a series of environmental policy decisions this week.

Not on My Watch

Today, the president basically said that GM wasn’t going to go bankrupt on his watch.

Congressional Republicans, predictably, are livid. But I don’t really know what choice the president had.

Republicans lost the last election. They lost especially in the Upper Midwest, Northeast, and in the West. The remaining Southern senators and representatives seem intent on making this a fight between labor and Republicans, and dragging GM down as a point of personal privilege.

There's Something in the Air ...

Not being trained in economics, political science or anthropology, I can speak only as an amateur observer. Still, it's clear that a lot of people are sensing the same thing: There are monumental changes taking place around us.

One hardly knows where to begin, but certainly the radical restructuring of the global finance system is one place. Beyond that, the quasi-nationalization of U.S. and European banks and insurance companies, and perhaps even of the American auto industry, all mean that the economic landscape will appear very different a year from now, or even three months from now. Or sooner.

New Orleans: The New Atlantis

Stop Trying to Rebuild a City That is Being Reclaimed by the Sea

ST. PAUL — While many people have dismissed Al Gore and his ilk as tree-hugging liberals bent on curbing our way of life, there is one thing he is dead right about. Something strange is happening to the earth’s climate. Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav, and the tsunamis in the Asian Pacific may be just the tip of the iceberg in terms of imminent climatic threats to the world, and should give us pause to consider whether or not rebuilding New Orleans is really such a good idea.

While Gustav’s bark proved to be much worse than its bite, the fact that the collective consciousness viewed it as a serious enough threat to halt a political convention over a thousand miles away speaks volumes. People are genuinely concerned about whether New Orleans can survive as a city. With each successive season, and despite Herculean feats of engineering, the sea takes a little more of the city back into its bosom.

Beijing's Design: Smart, Chic and Green

China called upon the world community of gifted talent to build and design the most magnificent, green, tech-savvy buildings that you've ever seen, all done with Chinese thoughtfulness. There's no way that London will be able to have so many new sports stadiums built by so many renowned architects.

The three main tennis courts in the Olympic Forest Park are dodecagons, with each of the 12 sides serving as a stand. The stands, in turn, look like petals of a lotus flower. Taking into account the size of the tennis ball and its high speed, the architects designed steep stands that give fans the best line of sight, according to Zheng Fang, chief architect of the Shenzhen Design Consultant Corporation.