IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: New electric car...from South Korea, not us; Boulder wildfire now largest in Colorado history; Killing BP's oil well on hold while BP's blame game continues to continue, and the Interior Department blames itself ... PLUS: Obama calls for R&D tax credits for green development, but will the GOP play along? ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): German military freaked out by prospect of peak oil; China dominates clean energy industry by skirting trade rules; NASA fosters greener aviation future; Virginia attorney general vows to try again in Climategate records case; WaPo FAIL: Replacement of old technologies drives growth; New analysis finds Prop. 23 would cut CA jobs; CA is top solar state, but NV is per-capita winner; US Chamber of Commerce has "no shame or sense; Corn ethanol boom driving 'Dead Zone' expansion: feds ...PLUS: Bummed about the future? Zen and the art of protecting the planet ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- 1 Year and $34 Million Later: S. Korea Enters the Electric Car Market:
- Hyundai shows off SKorea's first electric car: Hyundai has in recent years won strong reviews for quality and design as it increased market share and brand recognition worldwide, but Japanese rivals have pushed ahead in electric vehicles. (Raw Story)
- 10-10-10: Let's Get To Work! A Day of Community Action:
- Let's Get To Work!: On 10/10/10, the planet is getting to work on climate change with 1800+ events in 140+ countries (350.org)
- Boulder's Fourmile Fire Now Most Destructive in CO State History --- and Twitter Helped!:
- Firefighters fear fresh winds in battling Boulder wildfire (CNN)
- Fourmile Fire is now state's worst in history, with 135 homes destroyed (Boulder Daily Camera)
- Boulder Fire Stokes Community Through Social Media (Huffington Post Green)
- Update: BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf:
- BP's Well May Not Be Permanently Killed Until October: "We are in a little bit of a diagnostic phase right now to try to figure out what is the current status of the well," National Incident Commander Thad Allen said." (Bloomberg)
- Final shutdown of BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico adds a step : BP officials will perform additional tests on the well and continue to look for the mysterious piece of displaced pipe that they now believe has fallen deep into the well. (NOLA.com)
- OP=ED: Speed up payments from fund to compensate oil spill losses: An editorial (NOLA.com)
- The Gulf Oil-Fund Czar's Biggest Challenge: Who qualifies for BP spill compensation? Kenneth Feinberg, America's top mediator, enters another minefield (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones):
How extensive is the true damage? How long will it last? Who qualifies for payments, and how do they prove it?
This final point, says Feinberg, is his biggest challenge at the moment. Since so many shrimpers and fishermen work on a cash basis, they seldom have the tax forms or pay stubs they need to back up their stories. Of the 20,000 personal claims received during the first week, he notes, more than 18,000 were from individuals with "zero, or very, very scarce corroboration."
- BP Blame Game Spreads the Blame Around
- The eight failures that caused the Gulf oil spill (New Scientist)
- Partners in slime: BP report says there's plenty of blame to spread around for Gulf explosion (Grist)
- READ IT: Deepwater Horizon Accident Investigation Report [.pdf]
- Halliburton: BP spill report has 'substantial' omissions, errors (The Hill)
- Transocean fires back at 'self-serving' BP spill report (The Hill)
- BP's Internal Report: Spreading the Blame Around (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones)
- BP Spill Report Hints at Legal Defense (NY Times)
- Regret, Apology Not Part of BP's Oil Spill Report (AP)
- The BP Report Is Out, But What About Its Methodology? (Wall St. Journal)
- Transocean, Halliburton Blast BP Report on Cause of Blowout, Oil Spill (Christian Science Monitor)
- Questions, worries, arguments preceded Gulf blast (AP)
- Chalmette Refining powder release prompts lawsuit (NOLA.com)
- Interior Department Releases Its Own Report on Federal Failures in the BP Oil Disaster:
- What a BOEMRE: New report cites litany of problems at agency that oversees offshore drilling (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones) [emphasis added]:
"It is honest," Secretary Ken Salazar said of the report. "It does not sugar-coat problems."
The report found that BOEMRE does not have enough staff to conduct adequate inspections and the staff it does have is under-trained.
The bureau's Gulf operations have been especially neglected. While the Pacific region has five inspectors assigned to 23 production facilities, the Gulf of Mexico has just 55 employees assigned to 3,500 facilities. Since 1982, leasing in the outer continental shelf has increased 200 percent and oil production has increased 185 percent. But staff has been cut 36 percent over a similar period.
The report also outlines the inadequacies of the current penalties for environmental and safety violations. Civil penalties are capped at $35,000 per day, which many staffers said was not a sufficient deterrent. The cap is in place even if someone dies on the job due to an infraction, which demonstrates "the inequities of the current civil penalty fine matrix," the report concludes. And even when concerns are raised about violations, they're seldom acted upon.
- Offshore drilling inspectors needtime, training and resources.(NOLA.com)
- Obama Calls for Extending Research & Development Tax Cuts for Businesses --- GOP, Predictably, Is Against It:
- WATCH: White House, GOP Clash Over Economic Plans (C-SPAN)
- READ IT: Transcript: President's Remarks on the Economy at Cuyahoga Community College, Parma, OH (Cleveland Plain Dealer):
A lot has changed since I came here in those final days of the last election, but what hasn't is the choice facing this country. It's still fear versus hope; the past versus the future. It's still a choice between sliding backward and moving forward. That's what this election is about. That's the choice you will face in November. (Applause.)
Now, we have a different vision for the future. See, I've never believed that government has all the answers to our problems. I've never believed that government's role is to create jobs or prosperity. I believe it's the drive and the ingenuity of our entrepreneurs, our small businesses; the skill and dedication of our workers --- (applause) --- that's made us the wealthiest nation on Earth. (Applause.) I believe it's the private sector that must be the main engine for our recovery.
I believe government should be lean; government should be efficient. I believe government should leave people free to make the choices they think are best for themselves and their families, so long as those choices don't hurt others. (Applause.)
But in the words of the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, I also believe that government should do for the people what they cannot do better for themselves. (Applause.) And that means making the long-term investments in this country's future that individuals and corporations can't make on their own: investments in education and clean energy, in basic research and technology and infrastructure.
- Obama's tax-credit plan getting a cool reception (Washington Post)
- Hatch (R-UT): Obama's Tax Credit Plan a Job-Killer (Salt Lake Tribune)
- What Can Goolsbee's Early Academic Work Tell Us About the R&D Tax Credit?: "For policy makers interested in using tax policy to stimulate investment or, especially, to smooth business cycle fluctuations, the results are not promising." (Rortybomb blog)
- Now With Pretty Charts!: Rich? Poor? Want to Make More Money? Vote Democratic (Blue Virginia)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- The German Military is Freaked Out by Prospect of Peak Oil: The authors of the study, led by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Will, forecast a "shifts in the global balance of power, of the formation of new relationships based on interdependency, of a decline in importance of the western industrial nations, of the 'total collapse of the markets' and of serious political and economic crises." (Treehugger)
- On Clean Energy, China Skirts Rules (NY Times):
But much of China’s clean energy success lies in aggressive government policies that help this crucial export industry in ways most other governments do not. These measures risk breaking international rules to which China and almost all other nations subscribe, according to some trade experts interviewed by The New York Times.
- NASA Summit Fosters Cleaner, Greener Aviation Future: "We need to make some changes both in the design of aircraft and in the way they transit through our skies to not only maintain, but improve safety and efficiency," Bolden said. "That's a huge challenge, but we at NASA enthusiastically accept it." (Environmental News Service)
- Virginia attorney general vows to try again in Climategate records case (Need To Know, PBS)
- The WashPost gets it wrong again: The replacement of old technologies by new ones drives growth (Climate Progress):
In fact, U.S. regulations on energy efficient lightbulbs have created jobs across the lighting industry, in research, development, manufacture, and sales of compact fluorescent and LED bulbs.
- New Analysis Finds Prop. 23 Would Cut Jobs and State Revenue (UC Berkeley):
An independent analysis of Proposition 23 says the initiative would create legal uncertainty, reduce California state revenue, and jeopardize new and existing clean energy jobs. The white paper, released today by UC Berkeley School of Law's Center for Law, Energy & the Environment, reports Prop. 23 would also slow California's efforts to reduce climate change and could have a domino effect on other states.
- California Is Top Solar State, But Nevada Is Per-Capita Winner: Florida may be the "Sunshine State", but New Jersey has more installed solar (
- The Chamber of Commerce: Without Shame or Sense: The Chamber of Commerce is rolling out its "jobs and economy" political initiative today. As Politico reports, the blitz is "designed to drive voters toward '5 Questions to Ask Your Candidates', to be distributed by mail and online to millions of voters." (Huffington Post)
- Corn Ethanol Boom Driving 'Dead Zone' Expansion, Federal Scientists Say: "You're not going to solve the dead zone with an energy policy that says grow corn." (SolveClimate.org)
- READ IT: Scientific Assessment of Hypoxia in U.S. Coastal Waters (US Interagency Working Group, Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology)
- Zen and the art of protecting the planet: Bummed about the state of the environment? In a rare interview, zen buddhist master Thich Nhat Hahn says to let go of the need to save the planet.