IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: A NEW gusher in the Gulf!; Dam bursts in Iowa, floods hit Chicago, heat wave in Kansas --- other than that, everything's fine!; BP's CEO gets his life back ... PLUS: Climate legislation in the Senate is dead --- really, really dead this time, says Harry Reid ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): As energy use goes, so goes the economy; On-again, off-again federal support for renewables cripples emerging industries in the U.S.; EPA Slams State Department on Proposed Oil Pipeline; Deep Underground, Miles of Hidden Wildfires Rage ...PLUS: 1/3 of U.S. to Face Water Shortages Due to Climate Change (with maps!) ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Extreme Weather Attacks the Midwest!:
- Kansas heat wave has killed 2,000 cattle (Reuters)
- Lake’s Views and Revenue Yield to Muck and Fears in Iowa (NY Times)
- Mud, dead fish replace lake after Iowa dam break (AP)
- 6,000 acres of crop land flooded by Iowa dam break (Chicago Tribune)
- Floods Close Chicago Highways, Damage Dam (AP)
- Flood: Adding Up the Damage (Chicago Sun-Times)
- Cleanup under way in Chicago after rainstorms, flooding (AP)
- A NEW Oil Gusher in the Gulf?
- Barge crashes into oil well in Gulf of Mexico, new oil leak reported (AFP)
- Oil spews from LA oil well struck by tow boat (Miami Herald)
- The LATEST in the BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf:
- Bob ‘Dish Soap’ Dudley To Replace ‘Fantastic’ Tony Hayward At BP Helm (Wonk Room)
- Crews in Gulf reconnect to underwater equipment through relief well (CNN)
- BP Posts $17 Billion Loss, Confirms Hayward Departure (NY Times)
- Markey: No ‘golden parachute’ for BP’s Hayward until spill claims paid (The Hill)
- BP Picks Bob Dudley, The Man Who Made Himself A Fool And A Laughingstock In Russi (Business Insider)
- Incoming BP chief executive 'sure there will be changes' (CNN)
- BP Will Fulfill Commitments in the Gulf, New Chief Says (NY Times)
- BP Resumes Work to Kill Damaged Well With Cement (Business Week)
- Static kill: Q&A about the procedure planned next for the Gulf oil well (NOLA.com)
- BP Lies (Again), This Time on Drilling "Mud" (Mother Jones)
- Oil Spill Legal Mess Likely One of Costliest Ever (AP)
- Spill May Cost Gulf $22.7 Billion in Revenue Over Three Years, Group Says (Bloomberg)
- Fla. Tourism Official: Hold Media 'Accountable' (AP)
- Climate Legislation Really, REALLY Dead in the Senate:
- Climate Bill, R.I.P.: Instead of taking the fight to big polluters, President Obama has put global warming on the back burner (Rolling Stone):
But the failure to confront global warming – central not only to Obama's presidency but to the planet itself – is not the Senate's alone. Rather than press forward with a climate bill in the Senate last summer, after the House had passed landmark legislation to curb carbon pollution, the administration repeated many of the same mistakes it made in pushing for health care reform. It refused to lay out its own plan, allowing the Senate to bicker endlessly over the details. It pursued a "stealth strategy" of backroom negotiations, supporting huge new subsidies to win over big polluters. It allowed opponents to use scare phrases like "cap and tax" to hijack public debate. And most galling of all, it has failed to use the gravest environmental disaster in the nation's history to push through a climate bill – to argue that fossil-fuel polluters should pay for the damage they are doing to the atmosphere, just as BP will be forced to pay for the damage it has done to the Gulf.
- Possible Way Forward: The Big Green Buy: How the U.S. Gov't can begin the transition to clean energy and bypass Republican obstructionism (The Nation):
But the so-called "price gap" is holding back clean tech: it is too expensive, while fossil fuels are far too cheap. The simple fact is that capitalist economies will switch to clean energy on a large scale only when it is cheaper than fossil fuels. The fastest way to close the price gap is to build large clean-tech markets that allow for economies of scale. So, what is the fastest way to build those markets? More research grants? More tax credits? More clumsy pilot programs?
The fastest, simplest way to do it is to reorient government procurement away from fossil fuel energy, toward clean energy and technology—to use the government's vast spending power to create a market for green energy. After all, the government didn't just fund the invention of the microprocessor; it was also the first major consumer of the device.
Call it the Big Green Buy.
- Why did the climate bill fail?: I don't think messaging, policy design, or base mobilization are irrelevant --- I've written plenty about all of them --- but their effects were marginal relative to other structural factors. Were I doing an autopsy on the death of the bill, here are the causal factors I'd single out (Grist)
- The Death of Comprehensive Climate Legislation (Think Progress)
- Hey, look, a jobs bill
Can the renewable electricity standard be saved?: Perhaps if Reid put together a six-week effort he could get an RES through, but there are only six weeks left and there's lots of other business to do. The Republicans are on the verge of successfully (if cravenly and maliciously) running out the clock. (Grist)
- Climate change plan collapses in Senate: How did it happen, especially when the huge gulf oil spill became a poster-child for environmental destruction? The causes are many. (SF Gate)
- A Renewable Energy Hail Mary? (Mother Jones):
The sad thing is, an RES really shouldn't be a tough measure to pass. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia already have one in place. Most importantly, both the House and the Senate have passed an RES multiple times in the past decade, though it still has not made it into law.
The Senate actually passed a renewable energy standard calling for 10 percent of power to come from renewables by 2020 for the first time back in 2002, and passed it again in both the 108th and 109th Congresses. Then the House got its act together and, during the prolonged debate over the 2007 energy bill, the twice passed versions of the bill that included an RES. But then the Senate couldn't muster enough votes and it didn't make it into the conference bill, either, after the Bush White House pledged to veto the measure.
- Senate gives up on moving climate bill before August break (The Hill)
- In Sweltering DC, Political ‘Reality’ Trumps Actual Reality Again (Wonk Room)
- Senate Energy Package: Wait, It Gets Worse!: In a nutshell, this is going to be a very tiny package, with little in the way of energy measures. (Mother Jones)
- Scaled-back version of the oil spill package may still hit rough waters (The Hill)
- Did Obama Kill the Climate Bill? (Mother Jones)
- Kerry's lonely push on climate change (Washington Post)
- House Dems unveil oil spill plan ahead of Friday debate: House Democrats on Monday unveiled their strategy to respond to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a package headed for the floor late this week that would shore up offshore rig safety standards and block BP from obtaining new offshore drilling leases. (The Hill)
- Analysis & Opinion on the Demise of Climate Legislation:
- Who Cooked the Planet? (Paul Krugman, NYT):
The answer is, the usual suspects: greed and cowardice.
If you want to understand opposition to climate action, follow the money. The economy as a whole wouldn’t be significantly hurt if we put a price on carbon, but certain industries — above all, the coal and oil industries — would. And those industries have mounted a huge disinformation campaign to protect their bottom lines.
By itself, however, greed wouldn’t have triumphed. It needed the aid of cowardice — above all, the cowardice of politicians who know how big a threat global warming poses, who supported action in the past, but who deserted their posts at the crucial moment.
- Ball dropped: We would ask one more: When are Republicans in Congress, particularly in the Senate, going to accept responsibility for failing to deal with climate change and its potentially devastating effects, a looming catastrophe caused primarily by the United States’ gluttony for fossil fuels? (Salt Lake Tribune)
- Check out the comments: The Right and the Climate (Ross Douthat, NY Times)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- As energy use goes, so goes the economy (Grist)
- Clean Energy and the US Handicap: One Man's Story: On-again, off-again federal support cripples emerging industries in the United States, America’s pre-eminent wind energy pioneer believes. (Miller McCune)
- EPA Slams State Department on Proposed Oil Pipeline: White House could intervene as environmental security takes equal place next to energy security as concern of national interest (Solve Climate)
- Deep Underground, Miles of Hidden Wildfires Rage (Time)
- 1/3 of Counties Face Water Shortage Due to Climate Change (Mother Jones)