IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: Good news for the U.S. auto industry? Obama says 'YES'!; Good news for opponents of mountaintop removal? EPA says 'YES'! Good news for fans of clean water? The New York Times says 'NO'! Can't win 'em all... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': Geothermal-rich Iceland Fast-Tracks Electric Car Charging; Nuclear plant monitoring finds small amounts of radioactive isotope in water; Hawaii Tries Green Tools in Remaking Power Grids; Panasonic introduces new LED bulbs that shine for 19 years ... PLUS: Concept City of the Future: A Desert Oasis for a Drought-Stricken Future...
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...
- Obama Team Announces First Rules on Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Washington Independent):
The new rules unify the Environmental Protection Agency’s goals to reduce the emissions from automobiles and the Department of Transportation’s rules on fuel economy. The proposed program will cover model years 2012 through 2016, increasing fleet-wide fuel economy by 5 percent per year. This means by 2016, the fleet-wide average would hit 35.5 miles per gallon, and would need to meet a new limit on emissions per gallon.
The real question is whether the administration will follow through with its threat to move onto setting limits for stationary sources of carbon dioxide emissions, like power plants, refineries, and manufacturers.
- WATCH: Pres. Obama Remarks on Economy at Ohio GM Plant (C-SPAN)
- Obama tells autoworkers U.S. economy on the mend
- TRASNCRIPT: Obama's Remarks to Workers at GM Plant (FoxNews) [emphasis added]:
Sometimes, that involves making tough decisions that have been put off for too long. Now, as I've said before, I didn't run for President to manage auto companies. It wasn't something on my to-do list. It wasn't even something on my want-to-do list. I wasn't going to put any more tax dollars on the line if it meant perpetuating the bad business decisions that led to this point. But in the midst of a deep recession and financial crisis, the collapse of the auto industry would have caused enormous damage to our economy. So we intervened for one simple and compelling reason: your survival and the success of our economy depended on it.
- Obama says survival of General Motors essential to U.S. economy (Detroit News)
- Stricter vehicle emissions rules are targeted: A lawsuit challenges President Obama's efforts to further limit greenhouse gas emissions by seeking to block the waiver the EPA gave California under the Clean Air Act (Los Angeles Times)
- Car dealers appeal ruling on California emissions
- FLASHBACK: EPA affirms California’s right to set tougher automobile emissions standards (Grist, June 2009)
- EPA says pending mountaintop-removal permits would likely violate Clean Water Act (Grist)
- Toxic Waters: Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering (NY Times)
- NY Times nails Clean Water Act crimes and (lack of) punishment (Grist)
- Big Food’s ‘Smart Choices’ label raises eyebrows at the FDA (Grist)
- For Your Health, Froot Loops: Industry-backed Label Calls Sugary Cereal A 'Smart Choice' (NY Times):
The green checkmark label that is starting to show up on store shelves will appear on hundreds of packages, including — to the surprise of many nutritionists — sugar-laden cereals like Cocoa Krispies and Froot Loops.
“The checkmark means the food item is a ‘better for you’ product, as opposed to having an x on it saying ‘Don’t eat this,’ ” Dr. [Eileen T. Kennedy, president of the Smart Choices board and the dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University] said. “Consumers are smart enough to deduce that if it doesn’t have the checkmark, by implication it’s not a ‘better for you’ product. They want to have a choice. They don’t want to be told ‘You must do this.’ ”
- FDA to research food labels (Food Politics)
- OP-ED: Big Food vs. Big Insurance (Michael Pollan, NYT) [emphasis added]:
Cheap food is going to be popular as long as the social and environmental costs of that food are charged to the future. There’s lots of money to be made selling fast food and then treating the diseases that fast food causes. One of the leading products of the American food industry has become patients for the American health care industry.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': More green news not covered in today's audio report... See below!
- Iceland Fast-Tracks Electric Car Charging
- Monitor finds small amounts of isotope at Monticello nuclear plant
- Hawaii Tries Green Tools in Remaking Power Grids (NY Times)
- Panasonic: New LED bulbs shine for 19 years (CNET)
- Sietch Nevada: Desert Oasis for a Drought-Stricken Future (Inhabitat):
Sietch Nevada is a futuristic concept city that envisions a dystopian water-hoarding society where drought is a constant state and wars are fought over water. Designed by Matsys Designs, the underground city is situated within a network of tunnels and caverns that offer protection and water storage, creating an oasis in the desert. The dense underground community includes a network of waterways and canals enclosed by residential and commercial cavern structures that forms an underground Venice so to speak.