IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Republicans pounce on bankruptcy of US solar company Solyndra --- but what are they not pouncing on?; Shocking revelation: BP is to blame for BP's oil spill; PLUS: Al Gore's "24 Hours of Climate Reality" --- Well, that'll be a nice change of pace! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): EPA FAIL: Greenhouse gas rule delayed; Air pollution from ships plummets due to new fuel blend; NASCAR goes green; Indigenous Alaskans living with climate change now; Irene and Lee flushed pollutants into Chesapeake Bay; 4,600 sea turtles killed yearly by fishing; Think summer 2011 was hot? The worst is still to come; Privatizing government doesn’t actually save money; DIY: Build your own phone solar charger; Coral reefs 'will be gone' by 2100; Australia PM introduces controversial carbon laws; Exxon makes billion-dollar bet that climate change is real; Beginning of the end for suburban America ... PLUS: GOP wants create jobs by unleashing snakes...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- House Republicans Pounce On US Solar Company Bankruptcy:
- Political Divide At Congressional Hearing On Solyndra (NPR):
Jonathan Silver, executive director of the Energy Department's loan program, said the U.S. is rapidly losing out to China in solar technology, and that addressing this decline was the administration's motivation.
"This isn't picking winners and losers. It's helping ensure that we have winners here at all," he said. "We invented this technology, and we should produce it here. The question is whether we are willing to take on this challenge, or whether we will simply cede leadership in this vital sector to other nations, and watch as tens of thousands of jobs are created overseas. The administration believes this is a battle we must fight and win."
Silver said one big reason for Solyndra's failure was that China offered its companies far more subsidies, undercutting the whole market.
- CHART: What If Solar Energy Received the Same Subsidies As Fossil Fuel? (Chicago Sun-Times):
Hint: U.S. receives 3,900% more sun than Germany, yet Germany has 6000% more solar than U.S.
- Why China And Europe Don't Have A Solyndra Problem (Forbes)
- VIDEO: Solyndra: GOP Political Agenda to Kill Clean Energy Jobs, Help Big Oil (Rep. Ed. Markey YouTube Channel)
- White House beats back claim it pressured loan to now-bankrupt company (Grist)
- Know who else benefited from DOE loans? Solar City, who's about to put 160,000 solar arrays on military buildings (Grist)
- NY Times: How Well Did DOE Know Solyndra's Technology --- and Its Market Vulnerabilities? (NY Times)
- Five myths about the Solyndra collapse (Brad Plumer, Washington Post)
- Separating Issues from Myths in Obama's Solyndra Situation (NYT Dot Earth)
- Why Solyndra's loan guarantees were in the stimulus bill (The Economist)
- House Dems Say Solyndra Misled Them on Financing (The Hill)
- China’s New Plan for Solar Power Supremacy (Climate Progress):
The U.S. media is abuzz over last week’s bankruptcy of thin-film solar manufacturer Solyndra LLC, with some conservative politicians trying to use the demise of the start-up to argue against federal financing for green energy. But the Chinese media is focusing on a far more important solar power development: two major energy plans that will lay the policy roadmap for China’s clean energy development over the next decade.
- Solyndra "scandal" is Washington business as usual (TIME)
- Exclusive: Bush Administration Advanced Solyndra Loan Guarantee for Two Years, Media Blow the Story (Climate Progress):
It’s often claimed that the Solyndra loan guarantee was “rushed through” by the Obama Administration for political reasons. In fact, the Solyndra loan guarantee was a multi-year process that the Bush Administration launched in 2007.
- Shocker: BP to Blame for BP Oil Spill (You, too, Halliburton & Transocean!):
- BP Shortcuts Led to Gulf Oil Spill, Report Says (NY Times)
- BP at fault for 21 of 35 factors in Gulf oilspill, panel finds (MSNBC)
- Transocean claims vindication on BP well blowout (The Hill)
- 24 Hours of Climate Reality (Reality for a Nice Change of Pace!):
- WATCH: 24 Hours of Climate Reality (Climate Reality Project.org)
- Al Gore: climate science "reality" versus Republicans (Reuters):
"We have to weigh whether or not we will accept the judgment of every national academy of science of every major country ... or whether we'll instead take the advice of ExxonMobil and the Koch brothers and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck," Gore said.
- Al Gore's climate 'reality' campaign kicks off (AFP)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- EPA FAIL: Greenhouse Gas Rule Delayed (NYT Green):
To the surprise of almost no one, the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed on Thursday that it would not meet a Sept. 30 deadline for issuing rules governing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other major sources.
- Air pollution caused by ships plummets when vessels shift to cleaner, low-sulfur fuels, study finds (via Oceana)
- Gentlemen, Start Conserving: NASCAR Goes Green (NY Times):
While the core of the sport remains unchanged, Nascar, its teams, track operators and sponsors are employing an ambitious set of green initiatives that includes collecting used fuel, planting trees to offset carbon emissions, and deploying sheep to keep the infield grass short.
Going green not only saves money that can be spent on drivers and cars, but it has also created new revenue by attracting sponsors to Nascar that want to trumpet their eco-friendliness to the millions of fans who watch races on television and at the track.
- Indigenous Alaskans live with climate change realities (Grist)
- Graphic: Irene and Lee helped flush pollutants into Chesapeake Bay (NOAA)
- 4,600 Sea Turtles Killed Yearly by Fishing: Study
- Texas Sets Records During the Second Hottest Summer in U.S. History—and the Worst Is Still to Come (TIME Eco-Centric blog) [emphasis added]:
[W]e're headed towards a climate where summers like the one we're experiencing in 2011 will be the norm, not the exception.
[S]cientists often warn that we need to keep average global temperatures from rising above about 3.6 F—which, of course, sounds like nothing. ...But hidden within that bland worldwide average will be temperature spikes that will make the Texan summer of 2011 seem like an air-conditioned movie theater.
Forecast: unpleasant, unhealthy and unbearable.
- Study: Privatizing government doesn’t actually save money (Washington Post)
- Build Your Own Solar Charger For iPhones In 30 Minutes (Treehugger)
- Coral reefs 'will be gone by end of the century' (Independent UK):
Coral reefs will be the first entire ecosystem to be destroyed by human activity, says top UN scientist
Coral reefs are on course to become the first ecosystem that human activity will eliminate entirely from the Earth, a leading United Nations scientist claims. He says this event will occur before the end of the present century, which means that there are children already born who will live to see a world without coral.
- Australia PM introduces controversial carbon laws (Reuters):
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard introduced her government's controversial carbon tax plans into parliament on Tuesday, a third attempt to legislate a price on pollution.
Gillard has staked her minority government's future on passing the laws, which would force around 500 big polluting companies to pay for carbon emissions through a A$23 ($23.75) per tonne carbon tax from July 2012, ahead of emissions trading from mid 2015. Earlier plans to levy a tax were rejected in 2009.
- Exxon Makes Billion-Dollar Bet Climate Change is Real, Here Now and Going to Get Worse But Keeps Funding Deniers (Climate Progress):
Exxon would like you to believe that climate change is neither real nor urgent. That is why they have spent millions of dollars over the last several years funding climate skeptics and fighting legislation that would regulate the emissions of greenhouse gases.
Actions, however, speak louder than words. And Exxon’s most recent action was a thunderclap. According to reports, Exxon has just signed an extensive deal with Rosneft, the Russian state oil company, to develop promising offshore oil and gas deposits in the Arctic Ocean.
One key thing has changed: the arctic ice is melting rapidly.
- The Beginning of the End for Suburban America (The Atlantic):
For decades, Americans have consumed more energy, built bigger houses, and driven more miles with each passing year. Not anymore.
- GOP Jobs Plan: More Snakes? (Talking Points Memo):
Democrats and Republicans all agree that the nation needs to move on a jobs agenda. And Republicans have a new plan: unleash the reins of snake commerce.
GOP members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today called attention to a proposed regulation that would restrict the transportation and importation of nine types of snakes, including the Burmese Python.