Energy & Environment

Energy & Environment

Enviro elitists keep America unemployed

This Friday will mark the release of the May unemployment report. A report that will reflect the last effects of the Obama trillion-dollar stimulus and of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE2).

The report is likely to show that job creation is mediocre at best, with unemployment insurance claims continuing well above the 400,000 weekly level, housing in a double-dip recession and the gross domestic product contracting to a paltry 1.8 percent growth rate for the second quarter of 2011.

The situation is so dire on the economic growth front that The New York Times has awoken from its slumber to opine, in a May 30 piece titled “The Numbers Are Grim,” that:

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Glenn Beck: ‘Dang dong darn it’

“Dang dang dong darn it. Dang dang darn it. Dang. Darn it. Dang dang.”
 
That’s what passes for intelligent political discourse on the Glenn Beck radio show when it comes to clean air and protecting our children from harmful air pollutants like arsenic, mercury, soot, smog and carbon.

Beck and his co-host, Pat Grey, were reacting Thursday to a new television ad from American Family Voices that hits Congress for considering legislation that would prevent the EPA from updating pollution standards on everything from arsenic to mercury to carbon pollution. The ad, rightfully so, indicates that if we don’t reduce these harmful emissions, we are essentially leaving them in our air, water and food for children to consume. Scientific research has found that existing pollution standards have prevented 160,000 early deaths annually, including nearly three hundred infants each year.

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Emerging markets and nuclear energy

In light of the recent Japanese nuclear accident caused by one of the largest earthquakes the country had experienced in more than 300 years, I reflect on the future of nuclear power and how public perception has certainly been affected. These events are devastating, there is no doubt. It might, however, be an opportune time for us to step back and look at recent events objectively. An initial knee-jerk reaction is to point to this accident as a confirmation that nuclear energy is dangerous and causes dramatic public harm. However, giving up on nuclear energy would be hasty, short-sighted and counterproductive.

Our current energy supply and consumption trends are unsustainable in the long term. We live in a word increasingly constrained by multiple objectives competing for finite resources (time, money, technology, availability, etc.). Countries are playing a balancing act between reducing greenhouse gas emissions, addressing climate change concerns, achieving energy security by ensuring an adequate, reliable and safe supply shielded from volatile prices and ensuring economic growth. While there is certainly no silver bullet, nuclear energy does indeed play a critical role in bridging these objectives.

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Al Gore blasts climate-change deniers, fundraises for House Dems

Al Gore is back, big time. First he hired Keith Olbermann for his Current TV. Then he announced a major book deal, to be released in 2012, about the powerful changes affecting the U.S. and the world.

Last week Gore sent out a major fundraiser to the Democratic base, blasting House Republicans as extremist, reminiscent of the dark days of President George W. Bush (Gore's words) and deniers of science and climate change.

I predict the Gore fundraising letter raises a huge amount of money to help Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives.

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Nuclear reactor disaster — the question nobody is asking

All weekend, I'm checking the stories of radiation leaks from the damaged reactors in Japan. The science of what constitutes a partial meltdown is complicated, and it's clear that reporters, even those who specialize in nuclear energy issues and who are interviewing experts with Ph.D.s and top-of-the-line credentials, are unsure of the extent of the damage and danger..

As I read Thomas H. Maugh’s excellent Q-and-A in this morning’s Los Angeles Times, I wondered, Why didn't anyone think to stockpile charged batteries — in multiple facilities to keep them safe and dry — to be used as a tertiary power backup, to keep the reactors cool.

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Obama’s war on energy

Rising gas prices are the elephant in the room that no one is talking about. With 87 octane gasoline now around $3 a gallon throughout the country, we can expect to start seeing increased prices for the delivery of goods and services, as UPS, FedEx, railroads and even airplanes feel the fuel cost pinch.

Unfortunately these skyrocketing prices are only the tip of the iceberg as Obama engages in an unprecedented war on American-produced energy.

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Another poll shows narrative on climate change is dead wrong

Last week a campaign spending analysis documented the unchecked and mostly undisclosed spending by shadowy front groups on energy-related advertising designed to influence the 2010 congressional midterm elections. That report found that these shadow front groups are spending big — more than $68.5 million on energy-related ads alone.

Now along comes a new poll, the latest in a string of public and private polling that demonstrates that these front groups are just dead wrong when it comes to climate and energy policy and that voters are not motivated to vote against climate and energy supporters.  

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Climate-change witchcraft

Republican Senate candidates may or may not agree on the science behind witchcraft, but they are united in disbelief in the overwhelming science that demonstrates manmade causes to global climate change. Increasingly, these candidates are doing their best to boil a witch’s stew of doubt by attacking the veracity of science and scientists.

Emerging from the campaign trail is the notion that vulnerable House Democrats are “losing” their races due mostly to their vote in favor of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES). Let’s ignore the fact that the election isn’t over yet and drill down on the false pretense that the ACES vote or support for addressing our energy security and climate change is unpopular with voters.

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House Republicans go green, recycle decades-old ideas as new

The “Pledge to America” is settling in. There has been lots of media interest — who could resist that great photo-op at the hardware store with the Republican leadership jacket- and tie-less in their starched white dress shirts as they rolled out these new ideas?

So far, the best take I’ve seen was Jon Stewart’s on the Sept. 23 “Daily Show.” If it weren’t funny, it would make me cry. Take five minutes and watch it here.

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How far will Big Oil go for profits?

Disturbing news about just how far Big Oil will go for profits:

Think Progress’s Josh Dorner released an analysis of recent lobbying disclosure documents filed by the Big Oil companies that outlines the industry’s lobbying of Congress and the administration on the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act in order to protect and pad their already record-setting profits.

Coming on the heels of recent reports about BP’s alleged role in seeking the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the convicted bomber of Pan Am flight 103, in order to score more profits through oil concessions in Libya, this news is another startling example of how far Big Oil will go for profits — even if it means putting national security, indeed global security, at risk.

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