With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 7/29/2010, 1:00pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Another oil spill, this time in MI; Record heat and smog in Moscow; Fires in CA; Competition sparks the U.S. electric car market ... PLUS: Where has all the oil gone, long time leaking? ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Sec. Chu: Forcing people to save is a cost that I am willing to bear; Wind Drives Growing Use of Batteries; Fix the Farm, Not the Salmon; U.S. energy policy a "serious threat" to economic, national security; Pollution makes quarter of China water unusable: ministry; B.C.'s carbon tax is looking like a winner two years later; Cap-and-Trade is a Republican market solution; State Dept. Delays Decision on Trans-Canada Pipeline; New NOAA Annual Climate Report Shows We Live in a Warming World ...PLUS: Plankton decline 40% across oceans as waters warm ...

STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

  • Energy Sec. Chu: "Forcing people to save is a cost that I am willing to bear" (Daily Kos):
    Chu: Many people think that the best thing that government can do is get out of the way and let business do their thing. I disagree with that ... there are market failures. International fishing is a market failure. 97% of the fish that we like to eat, like tuna, are gone. That is a market failure. Energy and climate are a market failure ...
    ...
    Demand for a certain commodity, oil, drives oil companies to go into more risky environments in a way that I didn't understand just a little while ago. As our demand for oil drives them into these areas, the margin for error decreases for a number of reasons. Why? Well, for example, these are ever more remote and difficult areas, you can't go out and touch the hole you're drilling. The ability to control and monitor fracturing decreases ... We've been doing this without thinking. If we don't stop and think about what we're doing, we could end up in deep water ... literally.
  • Wind Drives Growing Use of Batteries (NYT Green):
    Across the country, it is proving hard to predict the cost and the value of power storage to consumers. The electricity stored in off-peak hours could be quite low in cost, and prices at peak hours could be quite high. If the reliance on renewable energy reduces the need to burn coal and natural gas, that would yield an additional advantage.
  • Fix the Farm, Not the Salmon (Mark Bittman)
  • Report: U.S. energy policy a "serious threat" to economic, national security: According to itsauthors, an advisory board of 15 top-ranking admirals and generals, the U.S. must be a leader in the race to develop clean energy technology, or it will be forced to remain dependent on foreign nations for its energy needs. (The Hill)
  • Pollution makes quarter of China water unusable: ministry: Almost a quarter of China's surface water remains so polluted that it is unfit even for industrial use (Reuters)
  • Meanwhile: B.C.'s carbon tax is looking like a winner (Ottawa Citizen):
    On July 1, 2008, B.C. embarked on an ambitious climate policy path; it brought in North America's first ever carbon tax shift. Though praised by environmentalists and economists, the measure was soon met by a host of concerns --- that it could increase overall taxes, decrease growth, and hurt low-income families.
    ...
    Two years later, it is possible to make a preliminary assessment of the tax, to see what lessons it may offer for the rest of the country, and the world. The result: B.C.'s policy experiment seems to be working.
    ...
    By tying the pollution tax to reduced income taxes, B.C. has shifted from taxing "goods," like working and entrepreneurship, to taxing "bads," like pollution.
  • Beware of Scorched-Earth Strategies in Climate Debates (Harvard Belfer Ctr For Science & Affairs):
    In fact, market-based policies should be embraced, not condemned by Republicans (as well as Democrats). After all, these policies were innovations developed by conservatives in the Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush administrations (and once strongly condemned by liberals).
    ...
    To reject this legacy and embrace the failed 1970s policies of one-size-fits-all regulatory mandates would signify unilateral surrender of principled support for markets. If some conservatives oppose energy or climate policies because of disagreement about the threat of climate change or the costs of those policies, so be it. But in the process of debating risks and costs, there should be no tarnishing of market-based policy instruments. Such a scorched-earth approach will come back to haunt when future environmental policies will not be able to use the power of the marketplace to reduce business costs.
  • U.S. State Dept. Decision on Pipeline Is Delayed (NYT Green)
  • New NOAA Annual Climate Report Shows We Live in a Warming World (Climate Central)
  • Plankton decline 40% across oceans as waters warm (BBC)