IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Koch Industries did business with Iran, despite trading ban, alleged to have bribed several other countries; Shell Oil bribed Nigerian officials; Republicans' investigation of Solyndra halts military solar program; PLUS: The future is here: Winning clean energy home designs at the Solar Decathlon ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Hansen: Southern US will become almost uninhabitable; Current 'crazy weather' will 'become the norm a decade from now'; Some sea lice with your farmed salmon?; Tuvalu runs out of water; Mapping organized climate deniers; Who's bankrolling the climate-change deniers?; Study: organized climate change denial played crucial role in blocking legislation; They won't pay: shipping industry opposes waterway maintenance; GOP wants more logging In nat'l forests; Salmonella stays on chickens; Grim Prediction: 9 more years of TX drought?; Cleaning up Washington's Hanford Nuclear Site; Fed oil spill regulations lacking: report; Cleanup approved for largest abandoned uranium mine in Navajo Nation ...PLUS: "I, for one, Welcome our New Hairy, Crazy Overlords"...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Van Jones & Bill Maher discuss clean energy competitiveness on HBO's 'Real Time with Bill Maher' (HBO 'Real Time with Bill Maher)
- KOCH Industries Sold To Iran, Bribed Foreign Officials, in Violation of U.S. Law:
- The Secret Sins of Koch Industries: Koch Brothers Flout Law Getting Richer With Secret Iran Sales (Bloomberg) [emphasis added]:
For six decades around the world, Koch Industries has blazed a path to riches — in part, by making illicit payments to win contracts, trading with a terrorist state, fixing prices, neglecting safety and ignoring environmental regulations. At the same time, Charles and David Koch have promoted a form of government that interferes less with company actions.
A Bloomberg Markets investigation has found that Koch Industries --- in addition to being involved in improper payments to win business in Africa, India and the Middle East --- has sold millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment to Iran, a country the U.S. identifies as a sponsor of global terrorism.
- Bloomberg’s Bombshell Report on “The Koch Method”: How to Steal, Cheat and Lie Your Way to the Top (Climate Progress):
Price fixing; bribery; safety failures; investigation cover-ups: These are just a normal part of business at Koch Industries, according to a detailed investigative report released yesterday by Bloomberg News.
- 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.
- German State Minister: We Can Decarbonize With Renewables Because “We Don’t Have the … Koch brothers” (Think Progress):
“We don’t have the situation like you have in the U.S., where you have this Koch brothers,” Untersteller said, referring to the billionaire heirs of Koch Industries.
- SHELL Oil Bribed Nigerian Officials, Paid Nigerian Military to Suppress Rebellion:
- Shell oil paid Nigerian military to put down protests, court documents show: Secret papers reveal that in the 1990s the oil giant routinely worked with the army to suppress resistance to its activities (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
Shell has never denied that its oil operations have polluted large areas of the Niger Delta – land and air. But it had resisted charges of complicity in human rights abuses. Court documents now reveal that in the 1990s Shell routinely worked with Nigeria's military and mobile police to suppress resistance to its oil activities, often from activists in Ogoniland, in the delta region.
Confidential memos, faxes, witness statements and other documents, released in 2009, show the company regularly paid the military to stop the peaceful protest movement against the pollution, even helping to plan raids on villages suspected of opposing the company. According to Ogoni activists, several thousand people were killed in the 1990s and many more fled that wave of terror that took place in the 1990s.
- Shell accused of fuelling violence in Nigeria by paying rival militant gangs (Guardian UK)
- $1 billion cleanup tab in Nigeria oil mess, UN says: 'BP did more in six months for the US ... than Shell has done in 50 years,' activist says (MSNBC):
Shell and Nigeria's government contributed to 50 years of pollution in a region of the Niger Delta that could need the world's largest ever oil cleanup, the United Nations said in a report Thursday, adding that the work would take up to 30 years and require an initial tab estimated at $1 billion.
The report came after Shell agreed not to oppose a move by one delta community to have their pollution claims heard by a British court, potentially opening itself up to bigger financial damages.
- House Republican Solyndra Investigations Halt Military Solar Project:
- GOP’s Solyndra Witch-Hunt Halts Project to Employ Veterans Putting Solar Panels on Military Housing (Climate Progress)
- SolarCity to pursue project without loan guarantee (Platts Energy)
- SolarCity plans in doubt after $275m loan guarantee blocked (BusinessGreen)
- SolarCity to Launch Largest Residential Rooftop Project (Reuters):
SolarCity says it will try to employ American veterans and family members for the 750 people needed to complete the project, showing that green jobs do indeed exist.
- Solyndra Shakeout Seen as a Sign of Success for Wider Solar Market (Reuters)
- Solar Comes of Age: SolarCity to Double PV Systems on Americans Homes by 2016 (Think Progress)
- Obama has no regrets about Solyndra loan (AP):
"There are going to be some failures, and Solyndra's an example," Obama said in an ABC News interview, referring to a California solar panel maker that declared bankruptcy last month and laid off its 1,100 workers. The company's failure has become a rallying cry for critics of Obama's clean energy program who say the government should not try to predict winners and losers in the volatile renewable energy market.
- 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.
- Winning Designs at the SOLAR DECATHLON 2011:
- VIDEO: Solar Decathlon 2011 Awards Ceremony (US Dept. of Energy):
Sec. Chu: “It’s not enough for our country to invent clean energy technologies, we have to make them and use them, too. Invented in America, made in America and sold around the world. That’s how we’ll create good jobs and lead in the 21st century."
- VIDEO: Solar Decathlon: SEE and Walk Thru Award-Winning Home Designs (DOE Solar Decathlon Channel, YouTube)
- Chu Strikes Back: America Can’t Just Invent Clean Energy Technologies, “We Have to Make Them and Use Them Too” (Climate Progress)
- 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.
- University of Maryland Wins Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 (Univ. of Maryland)
- New Zealand Wins Engineering Contest at Solar Decathlon (Think Progress) [emphasis added]:
"Wowing jurors with its attention to detail, craftsmanship, and an unusual energy visualization system,” New Zealand (Victoria University of Wellington) received first place Thursday in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 Engineering Contest for its First Light house.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- NASA’s Hansen: “If We Stay on With Business as Usual, the Southern U.S. Will Become Almost Uninhabitable.” (Climate Progress)
- NASA: It Rained So Hard The Oceans Fell; Current 'Crazy Weather' Will 'Become the Norm a Decade from Now' (Think Progress)
- Some Sea Lice With That Farmed Salmon? (Mother Jones)
- Climate Change NOW: Island Nation Tuvalu Runs Dry (Telegraph UK):
The tiny Pacific nation of Tuvalu—already suffering from rising sea levels—has declared a state of emergency as water supplies on some islands ran dry today.
- A Map of Organized Climate Change Denial (NY Times Dot Earth):
A chart of 'key components of the climate change denial machine' has been produced by Riley E. Dunlap, regents professor of sociology at Oklahoma State University, and Aaron M. McCright, an associate professor of sociology at Michigan State University.
- Who's Bankrolling the Climate-Change Deniers? (TIME)
- Organized Climate Change Denial 'Played a Crucial Role in Blocking Domestic Legislation,' Top Scholars Conclude (Climate Progress)
- Shipping Industry Opposes Fincancing Proposal For Waterway Maintenance (NY Times):
President Obama's plan that calls for shipping interests to pick up more of the tab for channel-deepening projects and repairing and upgrading locks and other infrastructure along waterways is facing fierce industry opposition. The waterway proposal in Obama's deficit-reduction plan would generate $1 billion over a decade by charging fees for vessels that use waterways.
- GOP Pushing For More Logging In National Forests (McClatchy):
A century-old federal program that compensates counties straddling huge tracts of nontaxable national forests has expired, and House Republicans are using its reauthorization to push for opening the land to more logging and mining.
- Salmonella Stays With Chickens, From Birth to Kitchen: Salmonella bacteria are pervasive in much U.S. chicken, and sicken an estimated 1 million people a year. (Washington Post)
- Nuclear Relic: Cleaning Up Washington's Hanford Site (Oregon Public Broadcasting):
The scale of operations at the Hanford Site, scene of a multi-billion-dollar cleanup of a half-century of accumulated hazardous waste, cannot fail to impress.
- Federal Oil Spill Probe Finds US Regulations Lacking (NY Times):
An ongoing federal investigation into last year's massive rig explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has found that a particularly lax U.S. regulatory regime was a significant factor in the events leading up to the disaster. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is conducting an extensive examination at the request of Congress of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident, which killed 11 workers. Its probe, which will likely take another year to complete, will analyze all factors that may have contributed to the accident.
- Cleanup Planned for Largest Abandoned Uranium Mine on Navajo Nation (Environment News Service):
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved a plan for the clean up of the largest and highest priority abandoned uranium mine on the Navajo Nation.
- Grim Prediction: 9 More Years of Texas Drought Possible (Reuters):
A devastating Texas drought that has browned city lawns and caused more than $5 billion in damages to the state's farmers and ranchers could continue for another nine years, a state forecaster said on Thursday.
- VIDEO: I, for one, Welcome our New Hairy, Crazy Overlords (Peter Sinclair's Climate Denial Crock of the Week)