With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/26/2010, 1:14pm PT  

TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Cholera outbreak in Haiti; Volcanoes & tsunamis in Indonesia; BP's oil still in the Gulf, while BP's new CEO slams media "scaremongering" ... PLUS: Obama moves forward on clean energy & fuel efficiency, while Republicans pledge even more obstruction as Election Day nears ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...


Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Carbon tax in the U.K.?; Turning old industrial plants into clean energy economic zones in Shanghai; Employees say BP's ombudsman neglected safety; Did Tom Perriello vote "to give tax breaks to foreign companies creating jobs in China? (No); Global food crisis forecast as prices reach record highs; Prominent climate science critic under investigation; Hidden costs of coal generation ...PLUS: Report: Utilities, investors face risks from growing water scarcity...


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

  • Employees Say BP's Ombudsman's Office Neglected Their Safety, Retaliation Concerns (Truthout):
    BP's office of the ombudsman has been presented with dozens of safety concerns and evidence that would appear to support claims of widespread retaliation against employees who work for one of the beleaguered oil company's contractors on Alaska's North Slope.

    But the watchdog has failed to investigate the allegations and in some instances has prematurely closed cases without conducting a thorough probe, a three-month investigation by Truthout has found.

  • FALSE: Robert Hurt says Tom Perriello voted "to give tax breaks to foreign companies creating jobs in China. (Politifact):
    It is true that many companies taking advantage of the grants for alternative energy sources are based outside of the U.S., but most of them are in Europe and none was owned by a Chinese company.

    The American Wind Energy Association, representing the developers involved, said only three of the 33,000 wind turbines operating in the U.S. today were made in China and those included parts made in Minnesota and North Dakota.

    The association claims the tax credit provision in the stimulus act "saved" 40,000 jobs in the American wind industry by stimulating demand. It does not have an estimate of the jobs that would be created by the manufacturing tax credit cited by the Washington Times.

    Choma, the author whose article sparked the allegation, remains perplexed by the avalanche of ads that have relied on his work. "I don't see how you can attach China to the manufacturing tax credit," Choma told us.

    We don't see the connection either, so we find Hurt's claim to be False.

  • Turning old industrial plants into clean energy economic zones in Shanghai, China (Grist):
    A group of us from the NRDC teams in Beijing, San Francisco, and D.C. just visited Shanghai, China to discuss opportunities to collaborate on helping turn an old iron and steel alloy plant into a new "clean energy development zone." The site is one of 12 old industrial sites that China is planning to turn into clean energy development zones.

    NRDC's China Program will be working with this project to make it as energy-efficient as possible. This project is another powerful reminder of how focused China is on tapping into the clean energy economic opportunities that will come as China and the world move towards a low carbon economy. They are literally turning old industry into new industry.

  • Carbon tax in the U.K.: What does it mean for U.S. debate? (David Roberts, Grist):
    The U.K. may have just implemented a carbon tax. "Whuuut?" you're asking. Seriously. And it's kind of a funny story.

    The Carbon Reduction Commitment, developed by the U.K.'s Department of Energy and Climate Change, is a scheme whereby the nation's 5,000 or so largest commercial energy consumers will be charged a fee for carbon emissions. Originally it was intended to be revenue-neutral --- the money from the fee was to be returned to participants; businesses that increased energy efficiency the most would get proportionally more money back. In effect the scheme would have operated like a feebate.

  • Global food crisis forecast as prices reach record highs: Cost of meat, sugar, rice, wheat and maize soars as World Bank predicts five years of price volatility (Guradian UK):
    Rising food prices and shortages could cause instability in many countries as the cost of staple foods and vegetables reached their highest levels in two years, with scientists predicting further widespread droughts and floods.
  • University investigating prominent climate science critic (USA Today):
    Officials at George Mason University confirmed Thursday that they are investigating plagiarism and misconduct charges made against a noted climate science critic.

    In 2006, GMU statistics professor, Edward Wegman, spearheaded a Congressional committee report critical of scientists' reconstructions of past climate conditions --- notably the 1999 "hockey stick" paper in Nature, which concluded that the 20th Century was the warmest one in a millennium. A National Research Council report later that year largely validated the 1999 paper's research, but the "Wegman" report has knocked around in public debate over climate ever since.

    GMU spokesman Daniel Walsch confirms that the university, located in Fairfax, Va., is now investigating allegations that the Wegman report was partly plagiarized and contains fabrications.

  • Report: Utilities, investors face risks from growing water scarcity (McClatchy Newspapers):
    Water and electric power utilities face growing financial risks from water scarcity, but the credit rating agencies that rate municipal bonds largely ignore the problem, leaving bond buyers missing some important information, says a new report by Ceres and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

    Water scarcity — especially in the Southeast, the Southwest and the West — will create risks for thousands of utilities that are managed by municipalities and counties, the report says. It looked at water scarcity risks in Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Phoenix.

    Investors who buy municipal bonds are "blindly placing bets on which utilities are positioned to manage these growing risks," the report said.

    Water risks, it concluded, are a key factor in utilities' financial health. The water and power utilities depend on adequate water supplies to earn revenues and pay off their bonds.

  • Hidden costs of coal generation: Pollution from Chicago's two coal-fired power plants hits neighboring communities with $127 million a year in health costs (Chicago Tribune)