IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: The final report from the National Oil Spill Commission on the BP Gulf Oil Disaster; Haiti, one year later; Yet another shutdown of BP's Alaska pipeline ... PLUS: From a unique perspective above the Earth, a word about Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a clean energy champion .... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Four Loko will now fuel cars; Chamber of Commerce calls for 'unemotional' talks on energy; Underground carbon capture and storage leaking, killing animals; GOP threatens EPA; U.S. To Lower Fluoride In Drinking Water; Germany recalls eggs due to dioxin contamination; Weed killer linked to genital changes and sexual preference; The End for small glaciers; Why the CIA is spying on a changing climate; Species loss a signal of future mass extinction?: study ... PLUS: By 2045 global population is projected to reach nine billion. Can the planet take the strain? .....
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- HAITI: One Year After Disaster:
- Rebuilding Haiti for the Rich (Mac McClelland, Mother Jones) (Mother Jones)
- TWITTER: FOLLOW Mac McClelland, On the Ground in Haiti
- Rape crisis festers as hope mired in rubble (New Zealand Herald)
- Haiti quake exposed public health threats (CBC)
- The Samaritan's dilemma: How best to help after a natural disaster?: Our humanity prompts us to rush assistance to victims after a disaster like the Haiti earthquake. But assistance can sometimes trigger a whole new set of problems. (Christan Science Monitor)
- Haiti quake reconstruction slow (CBC)
- Yet Another Shutdown of BP's Alaska Pipeline:
- BP shuts Alaska pipeline after leak (Guardian UK):
• BP shares fall 2.5% and oil prices rise on news
• Pipe carries 12% of America's oil output
• Leak could push up petrol prices for motorists
- Alaska oil pipeline disruption enters third day, boosts prices: A shutdown of the Trans Alaska Pipeline, which ships 12 percent of U.S. crude output, entered a third day on Monday, boosting prices and raising pressure on operators including BP to restore shipments. (Reuters)
- BP to Cut Alaskan Oil Production (Wall St. Journal)
- BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf: The National Oil Spill Commission Report:
- READ the Report and SEE the Multi-media Presentation: The National Commision on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill And Offshore Drilling's Final Report (OilSpillCommission.gov)
- Offshore oil industry needs sweeping overhaul – White House commission (Guardian UK)
- WATCH the Press Conference: The National Oil Spill Commission Final Report (C-SPAN)
- Spill commission calls for reform (AP):
Despite reforms put in place since the massive BP oil spill, a presidential investigating panel has concluded that the government and the oil industry still haven't done enough to avert another catastrophic accident offshore.
Among the commission's recommendations: increased budgets and training for the federal agency that regulates offshore drilling; increasing the liability cap for companies drilling offshore; dedicating 80 percent of fines and penalties from the BP spill to environmental restoration in the Gulf; and lending more weight to scientific advice in government decisions about where to permit oil and gas leasing.
- Oil Spill Panel to Urge Tougher Oversight of Offshore Drilling (NYT Green)
- Selling, spinning Tuesday's spill report: Environmental and oil-industry trade groups are preparing to spin the findings of Tuesday’s long-awaited report from the presidential commission probing the BP oil spill. (The Hill)
- Reid: Congress 'must take action' in 2011 on oil-spill bill (The Hill)
- Government Commission: The Gulf Oil Spill Was Avoidable-But Corporate & Regulatory Mistakes Made It Virtually Inevitable (TIME Eco-Centric blog)
- BP Cost-Cutting Blamed for 'Avoidable' Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (Guardian):
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was an avoidable disaster caused in part by a series of cost-cutting decisions made by BP and its partners, the White House oil commission said last night.
- Panel: BP Well Blowout Revealed Industry-Wide Problems (McClatchy Newspapers) [emphasis added]:
"The root causes are systemic and, absent significant reform in both industry practices and government policies, might well recur," the panel says in its final report, a chapter of which is being made public Thursday. "The missteps were rooted in systemic failures by industry management . . . and also by failures of government to provide effective regulatory oversight of offshore drilling."
- Wishing a Speedy Recovery to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, A Champion of Clean Energy:
- Astronaut Scott Kelley on the International Space Station, Rep. Gifford's Brother-in-Law: "We're Better Than This; We Must Do Better" (Countdown, MSNBC)
- Pretty green for a blue dog: Giffords has environmental cred (Grist):
Way to be, Gabby. We're pulling for you.
- Solar industry praises Giffords as 'one of the strongest advocates for solar in Congress' (The Hill) [emphasis added]:
In a letter to the group’s members...Solar Energy Industries Association President Rhone Resch called Giffords “one of the go-to champions for solar in the House of Representatives.”
Giffords authored the Solar Technology Roadmap Act, which would instruct the Department of Energy to develop a long-term solar energy plan. The bill would also set aside more than $2 billion for solar energy research. The House passed the legislation in October of 2009. The Senate has not yet acted on the bill.
- A Very Green Love Affair: Vows: Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly (NY Times):
The wedding, at which Rabbi Stephanie Aaron officiated, was held in the evening under ancient mesquites at an organic produce farm in Amado, Ariz., called Agua Linda.
Insisting that anything that wasn’t biodegradable had to be reusable, the bride wore recycled Vera Wang, a gown borrowed from a family friend.
- Flashback: Bachmann Called for "Armed and Dangerous" Citzenry on Climate Bill (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones)
- What is "violent rhetoric"? (Lawyers Guns & Money blog)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Loko-Voracious: Four Loko will now fuel cars, not mayhem (Grist):
It's pretty much the Ke$ha of beverages. But it looks like the caffeinated alcoholic energy drink, whose main 2010 achievements were inspiring mediocre hip-hop and pissing off the FDA, may be getting a clean slate in the new year.
A Virginia facility is now turning the drinks into fuel, by distilling their alcohol and recycling it into ethanol.
- Carbon dioxide injected underground now leaking, Saskatchewan farmer's study says (Winnigpeg Free Press) [emphasis added]:
A Saskatchewan farm couple whose land lies over the world's largest carbon capture and storage project says greenhouse gases that were supposed to have been injected permanently underground are leaking out, killing animals and sending groundwater foaming to the surface like shaken-up soda pop.
- Chamber's top energy official: Time for 'unemotional' talk about energy costs: U.S. Chamber of Commerce's top energy official is calling on policymakers to have a "very adult and unemotional" conversation about the nation's energy priorities in light of the country's economic troubles. (The Hill)
- The clout and cover of Tom Donohue: Unlike a politician, Thomas Donohue --- CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce --- doesn't have to worry about the next election. He can provide cover to politicians who might get scared off by tough decisions on the economy and spending. (Christan Science Monitor)
- Issa's Regulatory Rehash (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones)
- U.S. To Lower Fluoride In Drinking Water: Regulations: New data on health effects, sources of exposure prompt government action (Chemical Engineering News)
- Germany lifts quarantine on 3,000 farms in contaminated egg scandal (CNN):
Germany filed criminal charges against the company at the heart of the country's tainted egg scandal.
The company, Harles and Jentzsch, apparently knew for months that fatty acid it was delivering to animal-feed makers was contaminated with dioxin, said Christian Seifert, a spokesman for the agricultural ministry in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein.
- Study: Endocrine Disruptors Linked To Genital Changes and Sexual Preference (NPR's Living On Earth) [emphasis added]:
Scientists are continuing to sound the alarm about some common chemicals, including the herbicide atrazine, and link them to changes in reproductive health and development. Endocrine disrupting toxic chemicals have been found to feminize male frogs and cause homosexual behavior. Ashley Ahearn reports on how these substances may be affecting human development and behavior.
- The end for small glaciers: IPCC estimates of sea level rise corroborated, but large ice sheets might endure. (Nature)
- Why the CIA is spying on a changing climate (McClatchy Newspapers)
- Study: Species loss tied to ecosystem collapse and recovery (Brown University):
Geologists at Brown University and the University of Washington have a cautionary tale: Lose enough species in the oceans, and the entire ecosystem could collapse. Looking at two of the greatest mass extinctions in Earth’s history, the scientists attribute the ecosystems’ collapse to a loss in the variety of species sharing the same space. It took up to 10 million years after the mass extinctions for the ecosystem to stabilize.
- Global Population: 7 Billion and Counting: By 2045 global population is projected to reach nine billion. Can the planet take the strain? (National Geographic Multi-Media Presentation)