IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: As we slam into Earth Day weekend... Deadly fertilizer explosion slams Central Texas town; Flooding, sinkholes, extreme weather slam Chicago; PLUS: Nebraskans unite to slam the Keystone 'Export' pipeline ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Report: alarming levels of of resistant bacteria on grocery meat & poultry; Chevron defies CA on emissions, undercuts biofuels; Chevron ignored regulators warnings in refinery explosion; Scientists question NOAA report on climate, drought; New study shows once again how "Climategate" emails were distorted; Utility industry can survive - and lead - clean energy transition; Obama inks Arctic international fishing accord, GOP complains; Innovating 'dumb' LEDs; Why can't we quit fossil fuels? ... PLUS: Think those chemicals have been tested? Think again ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- EARTH DAY is Saturday, April 22nd --- Celebrate, Participate --- Find an event near you!
- BP Oil Disaster: 3rd Anniversary on 4/22:
- The BP oil disaster: Three years later (Environmental Defense Fund) [emphasis added]:
“Three years after the Gulf was inundated with BP oil, the wildlife, habitats and people of the Gulf are still feeling the effects of the disaster,” [National Wildlife Federation’s David] Muth said. “In 2012 alone, some 6 million pounds of BP oil was collected from Louisiana’s shorelines and 200 miles of coast remain oiled. We can’t allow BP off the hook for anything less than justice requires—a full payment for its recklessness so that real restoration of the Gulf’s ecosystem and economy can begin.”
- Full coverage on the ongoing BP Trial from the New Orleans Times-Picayune (NOLA.com)
- BP oil spill trial continues as demonstrators note upcoming 3-year anniversary of disaster (NOLA.com)
- BP Manager Cites Rig’s Safety-System Delay as Trial Ends (Bloomberg)
- U.S. Chemical Safety Board, OSHA Woefully Underfunded, Understaffed:
- As critics press for action, Chemical Safety Board investigations languish (Center for Public Integrity):
Yet three years after Tesoro and Deepwater Horizon, both inquiries remain open – exemplars of a chemical board under attack for what critics call its sluggish investigative pace and short attention span. A former board member calls the agency “grossly mismanaged.”
- Deadly Explosion at Fertilizer Plant in West, TX:
- BRAD BLOG's minute-by-minute coverage of West, TX Fertilizer Disaster (The BRAD BLOG)
- West Fertilizer Co. said in report that it presented no risk (Dallas Morning News)
- Op-ed: Explosion in West should make all towns question zoning decisions (Dallas Morning News Editorial Board)
- No OSHA Inspections at Texas Plant in 5 Years: Are We Doing Enough to Protect Workplace Safety? (Democracy Now!)
- West Fertilizer Co. fined in 2006 by EPA (WFAA-TV Dallas-Fort Worth)
- Perry: 'Nightmare scenario' in West earns McLennan County disaster declaration (WFAA-TV Dallas-Fort Worth)
- Extreme Weather Slams the Midwest, Floods Chicago
- VIDEO: Chicago flooding: Travel nightmare by plane, train, car (Chicago Tribune)
- Chicago floods: Evacuations, sandbagging as river levels rise (Chicago Tribune)
- Grand River flooding: Record-high water levels expected in downtown Grand Rapids (Michigan Live)
- Midwest Weather Woes Range From Snow To Twisters (CBS Minnesota)
- ANALYSIS: Oil-by-train may not be substitute for Keystone pipeline (Reuters):
The prospects for bringing large amounts of Canadian heavy crude oil into the United States by train is a contentious issue as the U.S. government weighs whether to allow the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to go ahead.
- Keystone XL: Nebraskans Unite to Fight KXL:
- Nebraska hearing vitrifies Keystone XL pipeline debate (CS Monitor):
The Keystone XL pipeline debate comes to a head in Grand Island, Neb., as the State Department holds a public hearing on the Canada-Texas pipeline. If the passionate, opposing sides agree on anything, it's that the Keystone XL pipeline debate is about more than just a pipeline.
- Rowdy Keystone pipeline hearing pits workers vs greens (Reuters):
U.S. construction workers, environmentalists and company executives squared off on Thursday at a raucous meeting on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, but it was unclear the gathering changed any minds on the controversial project.
- Op-ed: Lighting a Spark on the High Plains (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
Today, citizens will gather at a hearing on the pipeline in Grand Island.
TransCanada made the mistake of bullying our fiercely independent farmers and ranchers. Landowners say the company threatened to take their land if they didn’t cooperate and warned them that later offers of money would be much smaller if they delayed. TransCanada also insisted, landowners say, that they sign papers agreeing not to talk to the press or anyone about their agreements.
- Keystone XL opponents brace for protests in Neb. (Miami Herald)
- Keystone Emissions Seen as Equal to 46 Coal Power Plants (Bloomberg)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Think Those Chemicals Have Been Tested? (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
Many Americans assume that the chemicals in their shampoos, detergents and other consumer products have been thoroughly tested and proved to be safe. This assumption is wrong. Unlike pharmaceuticals or pesticides, industrial chemicals do not have to be tested before they are put on the market. Under the law regulating chemicals, producers are only rarely required to provide the federal government with the information necessary to assess safety.
- Report on U.S. Meat Sounds Alarm on Resistant Bacteria (NY Times):
More than half of samples of ground turkey, pork chops and ground beef collected from supermarkets for testing by the federal government contained a bacteria resistant to antibiotics, according to a new report highlighting the findings.
- Chevron Defies California On Carbon Emissions (Bloomberg):
Chevron Corp. helped write the first-in-the-nation rule ordering reduced carbon emissions from cars and trucks...Now Chevron is leading a lobbying and public relations campaign to undercut the California mandate aimed at curbing global warming...
- Chevron ignored a decade of warnings before Richmond refinery explosion (Grist)
- ALASKA: Dems say they'll support push for oil tax cut vote (Anchorage Daily News):
Minority Democrats, outraged by the passage of a multibillion-dollar oil tax cut, said Monday they plan to support an effort to try to overturn the measure.
- Energy Regulatory Chief Says New Coal, Nuclear Plants May Be Unnecessary (NY Times):
"We may not need any, ever," Jon Wellinghoff told reporters at a U.S. Energy Association forum.
- Scientists Raise Questions on Drought and Climate (Climate Central):
Judging by the reactions of other respected scientists, though, the idea that global warming is off the hook is probably too hasty. While the report did fail to find a climate-change connection, it also failed to identify any other “proximate” — i.e., direct — cause, either, leaving more questions unanswered than answered.
- New Study Shows Once Again How "Climategate" Emails Were Distorted (Media Matters):
[A] recent study re-confirms what that scientist was actually saying --- that much of recent heat has been trapped deep in the ocean.
- The Farming Technique That Could Revolutionize the Way We Eat (The Atlantic):
Large PVC pipes led from the fish basins to a "water garden," an area the size of a small bedroom, canopied by huge banana leaves. Growing beneath them were about 10 different plants, including coffee and lemongrass. I would later describe this sight to friends and family as my come-to-Jesus moment.
- The Utility Industry Can Survive the Energy Transition—It’s Leading It: A response to a recent GTM article on disruption in the utility industry—by the author of the cited report. (GreenTech Media):
[T]he electric power sector is facing “disruptive challenges,” a mix of transformative technological and economic changes, as well as regulatory constructs, that could challenge and transform the electric utility industry. The financial risks created by these challenges include declining utility revenues and increasing costs. This is not new. However, what could be new, for some at least, is that these challenges not only affect the utilities and their shareholders, as suggested by Mr. Nelder, but, first and foremost, they also affect their customers.
- Accord Would Regulate Fishing in Arctic Waters (NY Times):
It was once protected by ice. Now regulation will have to do the work.
- Making Dumb LEDs Smarter for Just Pennies (GreenTech Media): New LED integration partnerships are blossoming this spring.
- AIR POLLUTION: Supreme Court seems open to nixing L.A. 'clean truck' program (E & E News):
Supreme Court justices today appeared receptive to the trucking industry's call to strike down a Port of Los Angeles program designed to clean up some of the country's most diesel-polluted air.
- Why can't we quit fossil fuels? (Guardian UK):
Despite all the mounting scientific concern, the political rhetoric and the clean technology of the past decade, the growth rate in global carbon emissions has not reduced at all. Why? Because we continue to extract and burn fossil fuels more than ever before...
- It’s official: EPA delays climate rule for new power plants (Wahsington Post): EPA is likely to alter the rule in some way in an effort to make sure it can withstand a legal challenge.
- How Far Can Climate Change Go?: (Scientific American) [emphasis added]:
How far can we push the planet?
- COVER STORY: It's Global Warming, Stupid (Businessweek):
If all that doesn't impress, forget the scientists ostensibly devoted to advancing knowledge and saving lives. Listen instead to corporate insurers committed to compiling statistics for profit.
- Ocean Acidification: Animals are already dissolving in Southern Ocean (New Scientist)
- Global warming targets further out of reach, UN says (Phys.org):
Based on current pledges, global average temperatures could rise by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius (5.4 to 9.0 degrees Fahrenheit) this century --- way above the two degrees Celsius being targeted, said a UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report.
- Skeptical Science: Get the FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Arguments
- VIDEO: James Hansen: Why I must speak out about climate change (TED Talks):
Top climate scientist James Hansen tells the story of his involvement in the science of and debate over global climate change. In doing so he outlines the overwhelming evidence that change is happening and why that makes him deeply worried about the future.
- VIDEO ANIMATION: Time history of atmospheric CO2 (NOAA Carbon Tracker YouTube channel):
- VIDEO: Animation Charts Modern Global Warming (NYT Green)
- Thinking Big: NREL Study Shows 80 Percent Renewables Possible By 2050 (Climate Progress)
- Part 1: The brutal logic of climate change (David Roberts, Grist) [emphasis added]:
It's simple: If there is to be any hope of avoiding civilization-threatening climate disruption, the U.S. and other nations must act immediately and aggressively on an unprecedented scale. That means moving to emergency footing. War footing. ...It is unpleasant to talk like this. People don't want to hear it.
- Part 2: The brutal logic of climate change mitigation (David Roberts, Grist)
- How to Buy Time in the Fight against Climate Change: Mobilize to Stop Soot and Methane: A short list of relatively simple actions taken to reduce greenhouse gases other than CO2 could help put the brakes on global warming--if implemented globally (Scientific American)
- World headed for irreversible climate change in five years, IEA warns: If fossil fuel infrastructure is not rapidly changed, the world will 'lose for ever' the chance to avoid dangerous climate change (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
"The door is closing," Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency, said. "I am very worried - if we don't change direction now on how we use energy, we will end up beyond what scientists tell us is the minimum [for safety]. The door will be closed forever."
- Concise Overview: The IPCC report on extreme climate and weather events (Real Climate)
- The Real Global Warming Signal (Tamino)