IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: OILpocalypse Now: After 'top kill' fails, BP begins next new plan in the Gulf, as Obama calls for accountability ......And what about just bombing it?... PLUS: Crackdown on coal mines, sinkholes in Guatemala, and sneaky corporate anti-clean energy propositions in California ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Processed food manufacturers use deceptive tactics to fight salt control; Gray wolves rebound in West, to residents' unease; The hidden health costs of transportation; Trafigura trial begins in Ivory Coast toxic waste dumping case; Virus ravages major food source in Africa; How utilities plan to continue evading toxic air pollution controls ...PLUS: Special Report: The world water supply looks unmanageable. But it needn’t be ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VOTER BEWARE: Sneaky Propositions on State Ballot in California:
- Prop 16 'Power Play': A Private Utility's Assault on Publicly-Owned Electricity Providers: Corporate greed masquerading as the 'Taxpayer's Right to Vote,' and another example of the corporate perversion of the 'citizens initiative' process in California (The Brad Blog)
- Marin Voice: Prop. 16 is PG&E's power play (Marin Independent Journal)
- PG&E's Prop 16 Ads Hits the Trifecta: Lies, Half-Truths and Deception (Calitics)
- What PG&E Won't Tell You : In a conference call a while back, PG&E CEO Peter Darbee accidentally let slip the truth about his "taxpayer's right to vote" act. Hardy-har. Basically, this initiative isn't intended to really give anybody the vote, instead, it is intended to stop counties from even trying this sort of thing. (Calitics)
- Fight over Prop. 16 a David-vs.-Goliath battle (San Jose Mercury News)
- PG&E defends backing Proposition 16: The utility based in San Francisco says requiring a two-thirds vote to approve a municipal power service is fair. It would also make it easier for the company to defeat such public competition. (LA Times)
- PG&E Ballot Initiative Factsheet: Never Underestimate the Voter's Sense of Smell
- 'Very Active' Atlantic Hurricane Season Predicted, While Pacific Hurricane Season Begins with a Bang:
- Rescuers search for survivors as Agatha toll tops 150 (BBC)
- Rescuers dig out from massive Guatemala storm (Reuters)
- Hundreds flee Guatemala volcano (BBC)
- Coal Mining Crackdown:
- LATEST on the BP OIL DISASTER:
- BP alters 'top hat' plan for next attempt to contain oil from Gulf spill (Times-Picayune)
- Frustration grows as BP warns of long effort to cap spill (AFP)
- Gulf oil spill: 'Everybody's lost hope': Anger and frustration surged across the Gulf Coast on Monday as residents learned that the latest attempt to cap a renegade underwater well had failed and that oil may keep gushing into the Gulf of Mexico until at least August, when relief wells are scheduled to be finished. (USA Today)
- Gulf oil spill threat widens (Reuters)
- Gulf Oil Spill: "This Disaster Just Got Enormously Worse": If the growing oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico isn't contained soon--and the latest efforts suggest that's unlikely--then the damage to the fragile region will intensify over the coming summer months as changing currents and the potential for hurricanes complicate the containment and cleanup efforts. (McClatchy DC)
- Gulf oil leak sets off 'unbelievable array' of legal issues (USA Today)
- Fisherman files restraining order against BP: (CNN)
- BP lays out new, riskier move to cut oil flow: After abandoning its latest bid to plug its blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico, BP Plc on will start a new and risky attempt on Tuesday to place a cap over the leak to funnel oil to the surface. (Reuters)
- BP's shares fall 13% after plan to stop oil leak fails: Oil giant BP's share price has closed down 13% after falling at one stage to its lowest level in 15 months. (BBC)
- BP shares plunge amid new plan to control spill (Reuters)
- OP-ED: Our Epic Foolishness (NY Times):
If a bank is too big to fail, it’s way too big to exist. If an oil well is too far beneath the sea to be plugged when something goes wrong, it’s too deep to be drilled in the first place.When are we going to stop behaving so stupidly?
However and whenever the well gets capped, what we really need is leadership that calls on the American public to begin coping in a serious and sustained way with an energy crisis that we’ve been warned about for decades. If the worst environmental disaster in the country’s history is not enough to bring about a reversal of our epic foolishness on the energy front, then nothing will.
Instead of staring mesmerized at the tragedy in the gulf, like spectators at a train wreck, we should be trying to regain that innovative can-do spirit that made America the greatest of nations. All around us is the wreckage of our failure to master the challenges confronting us.
- Are BP's Last, Best Hope Relief Wells Sure Things? (NPR)
- FOR THE LATEST Comprehensive Coverage: New Orleans Times-Picayune: 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Special Coverage Page
- AG Holder Launches Criminal Probe, While President Obama Launches Blue Ribbon Commission to Investigate BP Oil Spill:
- Government to launch criminal probe into BP spill: Holder: The government has launched a criminal probe into BP Plc's (BP.L) massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday. (Reuters)
- Obama vows justice if laws broken in oil spill: President Barack Obama vowed on Tuesday that if laws were broken in the devastating Gulf of Mexico oil spill, those responsible will be brought to justice. (Reuters)
- Obama Pledges Tough Inquiry Into Oil Spill (NY Times)
- It’s Splitsville … Kinda: Fed investigation fuels White House/BP breakup (Grist)
- Holder to visit Gulf oil spill area (The Hill)
- Louisiana Dem suggests criminal charges warranted in oil spill (The Hill)
- Five reasons Obama should put BP under receivership:
Reason No. 1: Temporary receivership is the only way to ensure BP tells the truth about the Gulf spill. (Robert Reich, Christian Science Monitor)
- Anne Womack-Kolton, Cheney's Former Press Secretary, Hired By BP
- BP Oil Disaster: BP and Federal Regulatory FAIL:
- Documents Show Early Worries About Safety of Rig (NY Times):
Internal documents from BP show that there were serious problems and safety concerns with the Deepwater Horizon rig far earlier than those the company described to Congress last week. The problems involved the well casing and the blowout preventer, which are considered critical pieces in the chain of events that led to the disaster on the rig.
- BP Decisions Set Stage for Disaster: BP Decisions Made Well More Vulnerable (Wall St. Journal)
- 'Well control' problems reported in March, BP e-mails show: BP reported problems controlling the undersea well at the heart of the largest oil spill in U.S. history and won a delay in testing a critical piece of equipment in March, according to documents released Sunday. (CNN)
- BP Ready for Spill 10 Times Gulf Disaster, Plan Says: BP Plc said in permit applications for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico that it was prepared to handle an oil spill more than ten times larger than the one now spewing crude into the waters off the southern United States.
- The 7 dumbest things in BP’s spill response plan: Dear BP: We do not live in the Gulf of Mexico. Sincerely, walruses (Grist)
- READ IT: BP Gulf of Mexico Regional Oil Spill Response Plan (Public Intelligence)
- INFLUENCE GAME: Govt regulators hired by companies (AP)
- New BP Lobbying Aims to Avoid Fresh Restrictions on Drilling (Wall St. Journal)
- Legal Issues Mount in BP Oil Disaster:
- Ex-EPA Officials: Why Isn't BP Under Criminal Investigation? (Jason Leopold, Truthout):
The senators' letter cited a February 2009 document BP sent to federal regulators that said, "in the event of an unanticipated blowout resulting in an oil spill, it is unlikely to have an impact based on the industry wide standards for using proven equipment and technology for such responses, implementation of BP's Regional Oil Spill Response Plan which address available equipment and personnel, techniques for containment and recovery and removal of the oil spill."
But on May 10, BP released a statement that said the "techniques being attempted or evaluated to contain the flow of oil on the seabed involve significant uncertainties because they have not been tested in these conditions before."
- Clean Water Act lawsuit against BP announced as legal scrutiny mounts (The Hill)
- The Tort Lawyer and the BP Oil Disaster: Louisiana's Daniel Becnel has sued drugmakers, carmakers, and Big Tobacco. The oil spill, on his home turf, may be his biggest payday yet. (Business Week)
- BP Oil Disaster: Why Don't They Just Bomb It?
- Why don't we just drop a nuclear bomb on the Gulf oil spill: The Russians have used nuclear bombs at least five times to try to seal off gas well fires, and it usually worked. (Christian Science Monitor)
- Nuking The Oil Slick? (The Oil Drum)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- The Hard Sell on Salt: Pushed to Lower Salt Use, Processed Food Manufacturers Fight Back (NY Times):
[T]he industry is working overtly and behind the scenes to fend off these attacks, using a shifting set of tactics that have defeated similar efforts for 30 years, records and interviews show. Industry insiders call the strategy “delay and divert” and say companies have a powerful incentive to fight back: they crave salt as a low-cost way to create tastes and textures. Doing without it risks losing customers, and replacing it with more expensive ingredients risks losing profits.
- The fight over salt: Big Food vs. Us (Grist)
- Gray Wolves Rebound, To Neighbors' Unease: Close Encounters, Animal Killings Worry Wisconsin Town; Federal Government Pushes to Allow Hunting, Trapping (Wall St. Journal)
- How utilities plan to continue evading toxic air pollution controls (Grist)
- Virus Ravages Cassava Plants in Africa (NY Times)
- Trial Begins: Trafigura accused over Ivory Coast toxic waste: Dutch prosecutors have accused multi-national oil trading firm Trafigura of illegally exporting hazardous waste to Ivory Coast in 2006. (BBC)
- The Hidden health costs of transportation (Grist)
- For want of a drink: Finite, vital, much wanted, little understood, water looks unmanageable. But it needn’t be (The Economist)