IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Climate change denial industry desperately distorting EPA reports; 'Poo Power' lights London --- literally; Historic dam removal creating a bunch of new dam jobs; PLUS: Rand Paul wants the Koch Brothers to go to jail?!? (but he doesn't want you to have safer gas pipelines ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Winners of the Solar Decathlon 2011, ends this weekend; Maathai: Be "active participants" in environmental restoration; Feedlots are hazardous to your respiratory health; American 'allergy' to global warming; Google invests $75m in residential solar; Santa Fe's air among cleanest in the world; Texas air quality the worst in US; New process converts plastic into synthetic crude oil; Artificial leaf could change solar power; Keystone XL: Pipeline divides along Old lines; No one wants Japan's radioactive soil; Pakistan: another victim of climate change; Obama admin delays fed fuel efficiency rules; Gibson Guitars made illegal logging a conservative cause célèbre; Lobbyists spinning weak science to defend BPA ... PLUS: Peak Coal: The Coming Decline and Fall of Big Coal ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- "Job-Killing EPA"? Nope:
- Rick Perry: EPA Is A 'Jobs Cemetery' (Think Progress)
- Is the EPA a Job-Killing Machine? (Hint: No) (Kevin Drum, Mother Jones):
* The combined annual benefits from all final rules exceed their costs by $32 billion to $142 billion a year. The benefit/cost ratio ranges from 4-to-1 to 22-to-1.
* The combined annual benefits from four proposed rules examined here exceed their costs by $160 billion to $440 billion a year. The benefit/cost ratio ranges from 12-to-1 to 32-to-1.
- RightWing FAIL #1: Climate Change Denial Industry Desperately Distorting New EPA Reports:
- Comprehensive Debunking: Conservative Media Join Inhofe's Anti-EPA Fishing Expedition (Media Matters)
- EPA Accused of Cutting Corners On Climate Finding: (Daily Climate):
The Environmental Protection Agency cut corners in its effort to regulate greenhouse gases but met rulemaking requirements, a federal watchdog found. The EPA, disagreeing strongly, countered the science
-- and the case for action --- was unquestioned.
- Inspector General report: EPA needed more data before ruling on greenhouse gas emissions (Washington Post)
- READ the REPORT: EPA Inspector General's September 26, 2011, Report [pdf] (EPA Office of Inspector General)
- New IG Report Faults Process in EPA's Greenhouse Gas Assessments (Greenwire)
- EPA 'Strongly Disagrees' With Inspector General Climate Finding (The Hill)
- The EPA Inspector General's Report on EPA's Endangerment Finding Review Process, And Some Responses (Climate Science Watch)
- EPA Pushes Back Against Report Alleging Agency Cut Corners On Climate Finding: Inhofe questions "scientific integrity" of EPA climate gas finding based on OIG report that doesn't dispute science. (Huffington Post Green)
- Report Criticizes EPA's Climate Finding (AP)
- Are There 'Serious Flaws' in the EPA's Bid to Regulate Greenhouse Gases? [No.] (Scientific American)
- Sen. James Inhofe And His Demands To Probe The EPA (MinnPost)
- RightWing FAIL #2: NO, the EPA is NOT Hiring 230,000 New Employees:
- The Daily Caller Really Should Be Embarrassed By This (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones) [emphasis added]:
This would be kind of funny, if it weren't terrible. The Daily Caller claimed on Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency is going to have to hire 230,000 new employees just to put new climate rules in place. And then others, including Fox News, repeated it, as Media Matters highlights today.
The problem is not only the fact that the number is, uh, inconceivable, given that the EPA currently only employs 17,000 people. But the story actually managed to pull that number from a court filing about what the EPA is trying to avoid.
- Rumors of EPA's $21B Expansion Sets Web Ablaze (Politico)
- No, EPA Is Not Hiring 230,000 Workers To Implement Climate Rules (Media Matters)
- Daily Caller exec editor offers longer, more substantive defense of EPA story (Plumline, Washington Post)
- The EPA was also clear it won't implement statutory threshold if it's impossible to administer (Plumline, Washington Post)
- Solyndra Scandal Breakdown: Scandal-mongering is the REAL Scandal (Huffington Post Green) [emphasis added]:
The Republican recipe is familiar: cherry-pick the facts and evidence; release just enough to the media without showing the whole picture; create a bubble of media coverage from conservative news outlets; use congressional hearings like the set of a TV show. It sure looks real, so it must be real, right? But the facts keep getting in the way.
- Poo Power Lights London:
- Thames Water turns to 'poo power' for renewable electricity generation (Guardian UK):
Company estimates that 16% of its electricity needs will be met in the current financial year by burning sewage flakes
They look like instant coffee granules, but they are in fact sewage flakes - a highly combustible new renewable form of fuel that burns like woodchip and is being used for the first time to generate electricity for Britain's largest water and sewerage company.
- Renewable energy hits record high in UK: Second quarter of 2011 saw green generation contribute 9.6% per cent of the UK's electricity supply, a 50% rise on 2010
- Thames Water puts renewable 'poo power' to the test (Energy Efficiency News)
- Google Invests in Pig Poo Power (Discovery News)
- U.S. Farmer saves $200,000 with poo power (CNN)
- Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) Wants the Billionaire Koch Bros. To Go To Jail?!?:
- Koch brothers spooked by forthcoming story: Anonymous sources try to discredit Bloomberg article on Koch Industries before it's even published (Salon) [emphasis added]:
Based on the prebuttal items appearing this week in the Washington Examiner, the Daily Caller, and U.S. News and World Report, the Bloomberg story focuses on alleged malfeasance and/or fraud and/or bad behavior by the conglomerate Koch Industries.
- But Sen. Rand Paul DOESN'T Want You to Have Safer Pipelines:
- Federal pipeline safety regulation blocked by a single Senator, Rand Paul (AP)
- No Regs Are Good Regs: Single Senator Blocks Pipeline Safety Bill on Principle (AP)
- Utility Finds 4 More Natural Gas Leaks in Seattle (AP) [emphasis added]:
Utility crews have found a total of eight natural gas leaks in the north Seattle neighborhood where a home exploded, injuring two residents in a two-alarm fire. Meanwhile, Kentucky Tea Party Sen.
Rand Paul holds up a gas pipeline safety bill even as a pipeline rupture scares residents of his state.
- Gas Pipeline Ruptures in Clark County, Roar Awakens Residents Who Call 911 (AP)
- Plastic Natural Gas Pipe Failure Data Kept Secret (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Feds Fear for Safety Of PG&E's Gas System (San Francisco Chronicle)
- NTSB Releases Report on Deadly Pipeline Explosion (AP)
- Tea Party Conservative Blocks Pipeline Safety Bill (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Historic Dam Removal Creates 1100+ Dam Jobs
- Olympic National Park - Elwha River Restoration (U.S. National Park Service)
- See it for yourself: Dam removal under way on Elwha River (Seattle Times)
- Elwha River Dam Removal (Geology.com)
- Learning from Elwha: Mistakes of the Past Are Lessons For the Future (Huffington Post Green)
- Go with the flow: Removing old dams benefits America’s rivers economically and ecologically (The Economist)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Solar Decathlon 2011: Decathletes Demonstrate Affordable Solar Housing (US Dept. of Energy):
The first-ever Affordability Contest at the 2011 Solar Decathlon concluded yesterday with two teams tied for first place, demonstrating that innovative technology doesn't have to be expensive.
The two teams - Parsons The New School for Design and Stevens Institute of Technology and Purdue University - built their homes for less than $250,000 each, which includes materials, labor and construction equipment as evaluated by a professional cost estimator. Parsons New School and Stevens' Empowerhouse cost less than $230,000, and Purdue's INhome cost just under the $250,000 cap. Winners were announced Tuesday at a ceremony in the solar village.
- Remembering Wangari Maathai: People Should Be "Active Participants" in Environmental Restoration (Treehugger)
- European study shows living near a CAFO is hazardous to your respiratory health (European Respiratory Society)
- The American 'allergy' to global warming: Why? (AP) [emphasis added]:
"The desire to disbelieve deepens as the scale of the threat grows," concludes economist-ethicist Clive Hamilton.
"Eventually it'll become damned clear that the Earth is warming..." [said retired Columbia University geoscientist Wally Broecker]."
- U.S. Engineers: We have all the tech we need to cut carbon (Grist):
Apparently the world's engineers are getting sick of being told that cutting emissions is an engineering problem. Eleven of the biggest engineering organizations have released a joint statement saying, in effect, "You want carbon cuts? We can give you carbon cuts. Just say the word, smart guy."
We already have all the tech necessary to cut emissions 85 percent by 2050, say the engineers. What we don't have is support from governments --- laws that prioritize carbon reduction, and funding to put the technology into action.
- Google Invests $75 Million in Residential Solar Power (Treehugger)
- Sante Fe's Air Quality Among Cleanest in World (via High Country News)
- Graphic: Texas air pollution compared to other states (NY Times)
- New process converts plastic into synthetic crude oil (Yale 360)
- How an Artificial Leaf Could Change Solar Power (TIME)
- Keystone XL: A Pipeline Divides Along Old Lines: Jobs vs. Environment (NY Times):
The final days of rancorous public debate over a $7 billion oil pipeline that would snake from Canada through the midsection of the United States have taken on an unexpected urgency this week, as the economic and environmental stakes of the massive project snap into focus at a time of festering anxiety about the nation's future.
- Fukushima Fallout: Radioactive Soil Can Fill 23 Tokyo Domes (Japan Times):
Five prefectures' nuclear burden is a hot potato no one wants to catch.
- Pakistan: Another Victim of Climate Change (Environment News Service):
Environmentalists are blaming climate change for the unprecedented massive monsoon rains in Pakistan, which so far this year have affected eight million people, claiming 350 lives and damaging 1.3 million homes.
- Obama Admin Delays Federal Fuel Effiicency Rules (LA Times):
The federal government plans to delay until mid-November new rules to implement a set of fuel efficiency standards for cars and light-duty trucks, administration officials said Tuesday.
- How Gibson Guitars Made Illegal Logging a Conservative Cause Célèbre (Grist):
Foreign timber companies, Tea Party groups, and Gibson Guitar have turned illegal logging into Republicans' new cause célèbre.
- Economists: Every $1 of electricity from coal does $2 in damage to U.S. (Grist)
- How Lobbyists Are Spinning Weak Science to Defend BPA (The Atlantic):
They're arguing that a new study shows canned foods to be safe, even when lined with BPA. The problem? That's not what the study says.
- Peak Coal: The Coming Decline and Fall of Big Coal: How will Appalachia survive once the coal's all gone? (Rolling Stone) [emphasis added]:
[T]he coal industry as we know it today is a dead man walking. All the high-quality, easy-to-get coal is gone, and what’s left is increasingly expensive and difficult to mine.
In the last couple of decades, coal operators have dealt with this by shifting to cheap but highly destructive ways of getting coal out of the ground, such as blasting away the mountains above the coal with explosives (a practice known as mountaintop-removal mining).
But now the remaining coal seams are so deeply buried and so thin that even that isn’t working anymore. As the AP story points out, the U.S. Department of Energy projects that in a little more than three years, the amount of coal mined in Appalachia will be just half of what it was in 2008. After that, the downward spiral will continue. There is no magic remedy, no quick fix: when the coal is gone, it’s gone.