IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: Bush Administration smacked down (again); Critics of mountaintop removal coal mining shouted down; GOP complaints shut down a hearing on forged letters ... PLUS: One airline's novel idea for "lightening the load" to save fuel ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': How CBO budget scoring devalues efficiency ... WITH PUPPIES!; What the hell is a 'Smart Grid' and why should you care?; Surprisingly, banks are a roadblock to walkable development; Scientist says Arctic Ocean to be ice-free in summer; Aspen trees die across the West; Gut Check: Warmer planet, fewer crops?; Austin sees huge potential for solar power, thanks to satellites ... PLUS: Project Censored 2010: U.S. consumers exposed to toxic chemicals banned in Europe ....
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...
- BUSH ADMINISTRATION WITHHELD KEY EPA 'ENDANGERMENT' REPORT:
- EPA Releases Bush-Era Endangerment Document (Greenwire) [emphasis added]:
But congressional investigators last year determined that Bush ultimately backed down after hearing counterarguments from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, the Office of Management and Budget, the Transportation Department, Exxon Mobil Corp. and others in the oil industry (E&E Daily, July 18, 2008).
- Bush Administration covered up global warming finding, then deliberately kept from Democrats (Raw Story)
- READ THE REPORT: The Bush Administration EPA endangerment finding [pdf]
- Bush-era EPA document on climate change released: The 2007 draft suppressed until now calls for regulation of greenhouse gases, citing global warming as a serious risk to the U.S. A finding by the Obama administration is nearly identical. (LA Times)
- INTERIOR DEPT. BLOCKS BUSH-ERA OIL & GAS LEASES NEAR NATIONAL PARKS:
- U.S. Blocks Oil Drilling at 60 Sites in Utah (NY Times)
- Few Bush-era energy leases are valid, report finds (LA Times): Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says his agency will prevent further development on the problematic parcels on Utah's public land.
- STUDENT ON TRIAL FOR DISRUPTING OIL & GAS LEASE AUCTION:
- Legal Cost for Throwing a Monkey Wrench (NY Tiems)
- OP-ED : 8 worth saving --- Salazar right to cancel drilling leases (Salt Lake City Tribune) [emphasis added]:
The sale was the subject of a lawsuit brought by environmental groups when it was disrupted by a protester, Tim DeChristopher, who offered bogus bids in order to save these lands from the degradation of energy development. He's facing felony charges. Later, a federal judge halted the lease sale on 77 parcels, which included the eight near the protected public lands, saying the sale had violated federal law requiring thorough environmental analysis.
- OP-ED: Oil lays waste to the West --- The greed, speed and scale of development in wild lands is an open wound on America (LA Times Op-Ed, Dec. 7, 2008)
- Monkey Wrencher's defense gets dented (Bidder 70):
Why is DeChristopher, a soft-spoken economics student at the University of Utah, in this mess? Because, in the waning days of the Bush Administration, he waltzed into an oil and gas lease auction and bought up $1.7 million worth of drilling rights. His sabotage delayed the auction long enough for Obama to get into office and revoke most of the parcels DeChristopher bought. Which, in the minds of DeChristopher’s supporters, saved the land and reduced Global Warming (a little tiny itty bitty bit), and so his misdeed was justified, they contend – like busting out of a burning prison, or shattering a window to rescue a baby locked in a car on a sunny day.
- DONATE: The Tim DeChristopher Legal Defense Fund
- ANTI-MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL SPEAKERS SHOUTED DOWN AT HEARING:
- Mining protesters shouted down (West Virginia Gazette)
- WATCH THE VIDEO: Corps: Mountaintop Removal hearing ‘conducted in an orderly fashion’ (Coal Tattoo)
- Corps gets earful from coal supporters on mine permitting: Partisan crowd jeers comments by coalition of environmentalists (Charleston Daily Mail)
- Raucous pro-coal crowds pack mining hearings (AP)
- U.S. Army Corps meeting turns into pro-coal rally mining supporters (West Virginia Public Broadcasting) [emphasis added]:
When Joe Stanley, a retired coal miner, tried to speak he was drowned out too. He asked the panel of Corps officials to give him his full three minutes to talk.
“Before I start, I would just like to say that it’s not fair to interrupt these people whether you agree or disagree,” he said. “And if I’m interrupted, I expect my time to be corrected.”
The panel of Army Corps officials repeatedly asked the audience to be respectful, but were ignored. And despite his plea, Stanley was cut off by the buzzer after three minutes.
- Should the Department of Justice investigate Big Coal bedlam? (Grist)
- GOP COMPLAINTS POSTPONE HEARING ON FORGED COAL LETTERS:
- Bonner Hearing Postponed After GOP Complaints (Talking Points Memo)
- FLUSH BEFORE YOU FLY TO SAVE FUEL?:
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': More green news not covered in today's audio report...
- How CBO budget scoring devalues efficiency ... WITH PUPPIES! (Grist)
- Wiser wires: Information technology can make electricity grids less wasteful and much greener. Businesses have lots of ideas and governments are keen, but obstacles remain (The Economist)
- Are banks a roadblock to walkable development?: Old-fashioned parking standards stall financing for transit-oriented projects (Salt Lake Tribune)
- Scientist: Arctic Ocean to Be Ice-Free in Summer (Fox News.com)
- Aspen Trees Die Across the West: Mysterious Ailment, in Wake of Pine-Beetle Invasion, Diminishes Fall Foliage (Wall St. Journal)
- Gut Check: Warmer Planet, Fewer Crops? (Washington Post)
- Solar City: Austin Sees Huge Potential for Solar Power, Thanks to Satellites: If you covered a city’s roofs with solar panels—or solar shingles–just how much solar power could a city provide? (Environmental Capital)
- Project Censored 2010: Europe Blocks US Toxic Product [emphasis added]:
US deregulation of toxic substances, such as lead in lipsticks, mercury in electronics, and phthalates (endocrine disruptors) in baby toys, may not only pose disastrous consequences to our health, but also to our economic and political status in the world. International markets are moving toward a European model of insisting on environmental and consumer safety. A European-led revolution in chemical regulation that requires that thousands of chemicals finally be assessed for their potentially toxic effects on human beings and the environment signals the end of American industry’s ability to withhold critical data from the public.