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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink --- in Boston and Nashville; MORE deadly storms kill 29 across the South ... PLUS: Slow-motion ecological and economic disaster in the Gulf goes from bad to worse, and where are the calls for clean energy legislation?! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': Clorox says it owns the 'Daisy'; VA Attorney General targets climate scientist; Massey Energy CEO got $2 mil. bonus for 'safety' even as mines amassed record violations; PG&E tactics called 'deceptive' in Prop 16 battle; Senator will filibuster climate bill over drilling; Ireland's airspace closed due to Iceland's still-erupting volcano ... PLUS: Corporate Media's Role in Environmental Denialism ...
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...
- Death Toll Rises to 29 After Severe Storms and Flooding in Southeastern U.S.:
- Floods Prompt Evacuations in Downtown Nashville (NY Times)
- At least 27 dead as storms pound Southeast (CNN)
- AP: Calling deadly Tennessee superstorm an “unprecedented rain event” did “not capture the magnitude” (Climate Progress)
- Flooding from record rains kills 18 in Tennessee; oil spill update (Weather Underground):
[N]ow hardly seems to be the time to be skimping on monitoring river flow levels by taking 17 of Tennessee's 94 streamflow gages out of service. These gages are critical for proper issuance of flood warnings to people in harm's way.
Furthermore, Tennessee and most of the northern 2/3 of the U.S. can expect a much higher incidence of record flooding in coming decades. This will be driven by two factors: increased urban development causing faster run-off, and an increase in very heavy precipitation events due to global warming. Both factors have already contributed to significant increases in flooding events in recent decades over much of the U.S.
According the landmark 2009 U.S. Climate Impact Report from the U.S. Global Change Research Program, "the amount of rain falling in the heaviest downpours has increased approximately 20 percent on average in the past century, and this trend is very likely to continue, with the largest increases in the wettest places."
- Boston Area Water Again Safe to Drink --- 'Boil Water' Order Lifted After Major Water Main Break Repaired:
- Gov. Schwarzenegger Reverses Off-shore Drilling Plans:
- Haunted by gulf oil spill, Schwarzenegger drops plan to fund parks with new drilling (San Jose Mercury News):
"It will not happen here in California," Schwarzenegger said at a news conference. "If I have a choice between the $100 million and what I see in the Gulf of Mexico, I'd rather just figure out how to make up for that $100 million."
Schwarzenegger had pushed the oil drilling proposal, known as the Tranquillon Ridge project, since last year as a way to bring money to the state's bleeding general fund. The project — which would have been the state's first new oil lease in 40 years, would have drilled new wells in state waters off Santa Barbara County from a platform currently sitting in federal waters. Also, after 14 years, the platform would be dismantled.
- BP OIL SPILL: Economic and Ecological Disaster Unfolding in Slow Motion:
- BP Says Crews Make Progress Stemming Oil Leaks (NY Times):
“Every American affected by this spill should know this: Your government will do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes to stop this crisis,” Mr. Obama said after his briefing by federal and state officials. He said the spill endangered the “heartbeat of the region’s economic life.”
“It’s going to be extremely tricky” to reimburse fishermen and others if economic damages tally above $75 million, said Stuart Smith, a New Orleans-based lawyer who is pushing for Congressional action to amend the law. “They may not be obligated to pay more than that unless they agree to do it.”
- Gulf Oil Spill Is Bad, but How Bad? (NY Times)
- Spill effects may last decades (CNN)
- Gulf Coast residents brace for slow-motion oil disaster (CNN)
- Consequences of spills can last for decades (CNN)
- BP Struggles to Cap 'Volcano' of Oil':
- On Defensive, BP Readies Dome to Contain Spill (NY Times)
- Just what are we dumping into the Gulf to ‘fix’ the oil spill? (Grist)
- Relief Well Was Used to Halt Australian Spill (NY Times)
- Safety Fears Halt Fishing in Areas Affected by Spill (NY Times):
Fishermen, desperate for income, have been signing up to work for the cleanup effort, becoming temporary employees of BP, the company responsible for the accident that has put them, for now, largely out of business. This has led to its own tensions.
Lawyers representing hundreds of Louisiana fishermen who are being hired by BP went to federal court on Sunday with a complaint about the agreements that BP was having them sign. The 17-page agreements, among other things, waived liability for BP for injuries sustained in the cleanup and enforced a confidentiality clause.
- Napolitano Says BP Liability Waivers Unacceptable: BP CEO Called Waivers an 'Early Misstep' (ABC)
- BP Oil Spill: How Did We Get Here?:
- Drilling Down: A Troubled Legacy in Oil: The spill in the Gulf of Mexico is the latest disaster for BP, which has been haunted by a history of cost-cutting (Wall St. Journal)
- Oil Pollution Act Overview (EPA)
- BP Fought Safety Measures at Deepwater Oil Rigs (ABC):
"There was a big debate under the Bush administration whether or not to require additional oil drilling safeguards but [federal regulators] decided not to require any additional mandatory safeguards, believing the industry would be motivated to do it themselves," Carl Pope, Chairman of the Sierra Club told ABC News.
- Leaking Oil Well Lacked Safeguard Device (Wall St. Journal)
- Halliburton Provides Cementing Facts Regarding Rig Incident (MarketWatch)
- Drilling Process of 'Cementing' Attracts Scrutiny in Rig Explosion: A 2007 study by three U.S. Minerals Management Service officials found that cementing was a factor in 18 of 39 well blowouts in the Gulf of Mexico over a 14-year period. That was the single largest factor, ahead of equipment failure and pipe failure. (Wall St. Journal)
- Why Didn't BP Have a Plan in the Event of a Massive Spill? (Mother Jones)
- BP Oil Spill: Long Term Consequences, Both Ecological and Economic:
- Gulf of Mexico oil spill 2010: The worst-case scenario (Mobile Press-Register)
- Thinking ahead on the oil spill (Washington Post):
And keep in mind that this is a very small disaster in comparison to the devastation that could follow a 5 degree jump in global temperatures, and yet it's things like offshore drilling --- that is to say, increased access to and consumption of fossil fuels --- that's hastening radical climate change. The dangers of offshore drilling didn't seem real until they became real, and now we're talking moratorium. But if we wait for climate change to really get going before we do something about it, it'll be far beyond the point when we can stop it just by pricing carbon. It's like one of those horror movie taglines: If you can see him, it's already too late.
- Schwarzenegger pulls plug on offshore oil project (Sacramento Bee)
- The Worst-Case Economic Scenario for the Oil Spill (Washington Independent)
- Back to Petroleum (Mother Jones)
- Limbaugh FAIL: Rush Limbaugh says Alaska's Prince William Sound is now pristine (Politifact)
- OP-ED: Drilling, Disaster, Denial: Obama needs to take on the “Drill, baby, drill” crowd, telling America that courting irreversible environmental disaster for the sake of a few barrels of oil, an amount that will hardly affect our dependence on imports, is a terrible bargain. (NY Times)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': More green news not covered in today's audio report...
- Clorox Says it Owns the Daisy, Sends Cease and Desist Letter to Method (Treehugger)
- Oh, Mann: VA Attorney General Cuccinelli targets climate scientists' papers in Climategate salvo (The Hook)
- Massey Energy Awarded Coal Boss $2 Million Bonus for Safety Numbers in 2009, Even as Mines Amassed Record Violations: Investors Cite Bonus, Detail Charges of Self Dealing in Bid to Oust Board Members (ABC)
- PG&E's campaign tactics are illegal, California regulators warn (LA Times):
California utility regulators Monday warned Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to stop using telephone and direct-mail tactics that could derail competition from the state's first nonprofit group to offer electric service.
The warning letter from the California Public Utilities Commission came in the midst of PG&E's $35-million campaign to pass Proposition 16, a statewide initiative on the June 8 ballot aimed at making it harder for local governments and citizens to form nonprofits to provide electricity.
- Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds (NY Times)
- Sen. Nelson Pledges to Filibuster Climate Bill With Drilling (Mother Jones)
- Volcanic Ash Prompts Ireland to Close Its Airports (NY Times)
- BRAD BLOG Exclusive: Corporate Media's Role in Environmental Denialism:
An effective media would not wait for disaster to strike before addressing environmental issues. The ideal time to again run footage of the Exxon Valdez and Santa Barbara oil spills would have been the moment the Obama administration announced lifting the moratorium on off-shore drilling --- an action which has now been "shelved" in light of the latest disaster.