With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/21/2010, 1:10pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Ding dong the BP well is DEAD, but the disaster lives on; Jimmy Carter was right; Solar panels on the White House?; PLUS: Get ready for Frankenfish!!! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Massey mine failed dust-control standards; Renewable Electricity Standard gets another chance; Mining’s Final Frontier: the deep sea; Walmart unveils thin solar roof panels on stores; Spending blocked for Capitol charging stations; Justice slams FBI probes of environmental groups; How Hillary Clinton's clean stoves will help African women; World's largest mining company says 'We Must Move Away from Coal'; World's largest solar plant wins key approval in CA; Are climate change sceptics just naturally gullible?; Clean Air Act by the numbers; Gas pipeline regulator's industry ties...PLUS: Researchers find future temperatures could exceed livable limits ...

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

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

  • Coal Tattoo Exclusive: Massey mine failed dust-control standards in 79 percent of samples (Coal Tattoo):
    According to data that the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration presented to families of the 29 miners who died in that April 5 explosion at Upper Big Branch. During a closed-door meeting last evening in Beckley, MSHA officials gave told the families of these results:

    - 1,803 samples taken

    - 78.92 percent out of compliance

  • Not Dead Yet!: Renewable Electricity Standard Gets Another Chance (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones):
    Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) will unveil their plan to create a national renewable energy standard at a press conference, where they'll be joined by Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Tom Udall (D-N.M.). While Brownback is better know for strident view on abortion and the creation of human-animal chimeras, he's been the most vocal Republican supporter of an RES in the Senate.
  • Mining’s Final Frontier: A new generation of prospectors is eager to explore the ocean floor. Will deep-sea digging damage one of the earth’s most valuable ecosystems? China is angling to be first to exploit a source of minerals that has tempted and frustrated dreamers for almost 150 years: the floor of the deep sea. (Newsweek)
  • Rooftop sale: Walmart says thin (solar) is in (Grist):
    When Walmart announced on Monday that it would install 15 megawatts' worth of solar arrays on as many as 30 of its stores in California and Arizona, it set out to shape the solar market in more ways than one.

    The reason? The world's biggest retailer specified that many of the new solar installations should use thin-film photovoltaic panels. Thin-film solar cells are printed or deposited on glass or flexible materials. And although they are less efficient at converting sunlight into electricity, they can be produced at a lower cost than traditional crystalline silicon solar cells.

  • Spending Is Blocked for Capitol Charging Stations (NYT Green) [emphasis added]:
    Last week, the Government Accountability Office issued a finding that the Architect of the Capitol, the steward of the Congressional campus, cannot use money from its budget to buy and install battery charging stations on the Capitol grounds so employees and members of Congress can charge their electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles while at work. That holds true even if the vehicle owners reimburse the government for the costs related to the use of the charging stations, it said.

    “The use of appropriations for recharging personal vehicles of employees is a matter for Congress to address through legislation,” Lynn Gibson, acting general counsel for the General Accounting Office, wrote.

  • FBI Probes [of Environmental Groups] Improper, Justice Says (Washington Post):
    But the report cited what it called other "troubling" FBI practices in its monitoring of domestic groups in the years between the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and 2006. In some cases, Fine said, agents began investigations of people affiliated with activist groups for "factually weak" reasons.

    In others, the report said, the FBI extended probes "without adequate basis" and improperly kept information about activist groups in its files. Among the groups monitored were the Thomas Merton Center, a Pittsburgh peace group; People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals; and Greenpeace USA. Activists affiliated with Greenpeace were improperly put on a terrorist watch list, the report said.

  • How Hillary Clinton's clean stoves will help African women: Poorly ventilated small fires are claiming millions of lives – as wood for them wrecks the environment (Guardian UK)
  • World's Largest Mining Company: We Must Move Away from Coal (Treehugger)
  • World's largest solar plant wins key approval in California: The world's largest solar power plant cleared an important hurdle on Wednesday, laying the groundwork for a dramatic expansion in solar energy generation in the United States and around the world (Reuters)
  • Are the climate change sceptics with no evidence just naturally gullible?: To dismiss a scientific canon on the basis of evidence that has been debunked evinces an astonishing level of self-belief (George Monbiot, Guardian UK)
  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Clean Air Act!: The Clean Air Act by the Numbers (Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator, Huffington Post Green)
  • Here We Go Again: Critics Fault Oil and Gas Pipeline Regulator's Industry Ties (Greenwire):
    The top federal regulator of oil and gas pipelines is facing withering criticism for her ties to industry and her agency's floundering response to recent oil-pipeline spills in the Midwest and last week's deadly gas pipeline explosion in California.
  • Researchers find future temperatures could exceed livable limits (Purdue Univ. News Service) [emphasis added]:
    Reasonable worst-case scenarios for global warming could lead to deadly temperatures for humans in coming centuries, according to research findings from Purdue University and the University of New South Wales, Australia.
    ...
    The study did not provide new evaluations of the likelihood of future climate scenarios, but explored the impacts of warming. The challenges presented by the future climate scenarios are daunting in their scale and severity, he said.

    "Whole countries would intermittently be subject to severe heat stress requiring large-scale adaptation efforts," Huber said.