You are hereEnergy
Urgent: Single Payer on the Table in Energy and Commerce on Thursday | Press Release
This Thursday, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) will introduce, in the Energy and Commerce Committee, an amendment that abolishes private insurance and creates a national single-payer system that would cover everyone. This amendment would substitute Rep. John Conyers' (D-MI) single-payer bill, HR 676, for the current Tri-Committee Health Reform Bill.
If your representative is a member of the Energy & Commerce Committee, please call and ask him or her to support Rep. Weiner's single payer amendment. Energy & Commerce Committee members can be found here.
By Jeremy Scahill, AlterNet
Obama's Cap and Trade Carbon Emissions Bill - A Stealth Scheme to License Pollution and Fraud
By Stephen Lendman
On May 15, HR 2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACESA) was introduced in the House purportedly "To create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy."
In fact, it's to let corporate polluters reap huge windfall profits by charging consumers more for energy and fuel as well as create a new bubble through carbon trading derivatives speculation. It does nothing to address environmental issues, yet on June 26 the House narrowly passed (229 - 212) and sent it to the Senate to be debated and voted on. More on that below.
On March 31, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Edward Markey released a "discussion draft" of the proposed legislation and falsely claimed:
Unveiling a blueprint for the VA-5th to lead the nation in clean energy economy: http://tinyurl.com/ldmtvd
Click through to YouTube for more information and links.
By Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Mountaintop removal coal mining is the worst environmental tragedy in American history. When will the Obama administration finally stop this Appalachian apocalypse?
... Obama has the authority to end mountaintop removal, without further action from Congress and without formal rulemaking. He just needs to make the coal barons obey the law.
American forces have attempted to take over an Iranian oil field near the country's western border with Iraq, a security official says.
“US forces backed by tanks entered the Mousian area of the Dehloran County, laying around 100 meters of pipeline in Iranian territory," the source, talking on condition of anonymity, said Monday. Read more.
Kucinich: "Passing a weak bill today gives us weak environmental policy tomorrow" | Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 26, 2009) -- Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today issued the following statement after voting against H.R. 2454, The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009:
“I oppose H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. The reason is simple. It won’t address the problem. In fact, it might make the problem worse.
“It sets targets that are too weak, especially in the short term, and sets about meeting those targets through Enron-style accounting methods. It gives new life to one of the primary sources of the problem that should be on its way out– coal – by giving it record subsidies. And it is rounded out with massive corporate giveaways at taxpayer expense. There is $60 billion for a single technology which may or may not work, but which enables coal power plants to keep warming the planet at least another 20 years.
“Worse, the bill locks us into a framework that will fail. Science tells us that immediately is not soon enough to begin repairing the planet. Waiting another decade or more will virtually guarantee catastrophic levels of warming. But the bill does not require any greenhouse gas reductions beyond current levels until 2030.
“Today’s bill is a fragile compromise, which leads some to claim that we cannot do better. I respectfully submit that not only can we do better; we have no choice but to do better. Indeed, if we pass a bill that only creates the illusion of addressing the problem, we walk away with only an illusion. The price for that illusion is the opportunity to take substantive action.
Irony of Ironies: Biggest Iraq War Oil Profiteer ExxonMobil Starts Nation's First Electric Plug In Car Share Scheme in Baltimore
by Diane Wittner | June 25, 2009 | Chesapeake Citizens
I have not owned a 'personal' car for eight months, and counting.
I am a member of Zipcar, a nation wide car sharing business, and their fleet has some hybrids for rent.
But check out their new competition: the nation's first electric plug-in car share scheme opened two days ago in Baltimore.
Here's their press release.
How ironic that biggest and most obscene Iraq oil war profiteer ExxonMobil is behind this initiative!
How to respond if one is tempted to join this new company?
Here are a few ideas:
Kucinich: Will Increased CO2 Emissions be our Gift to the Next Generation? | Press Release
Washington D.C. (June 24, 2009) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement against The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 on the House floor:
“Science tells us that we must begin to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in the next five to ten years. But according to an analysis by offsets expert and Stanford law professor Michael Wara, it is possible that we could see no net reduction of CO2 emissions until the year 2040 because of offsets and unlimited banking of allowances in the new climate change bill.
“The bill allows 2 billion tons of carbon offsets a year, roughly equivalent to 30% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Supporters of the bill point out that coal use will continue to increase until at least 2020 because electric utilities will continue to use dirty coal, the prime source of pollution.
Creating Clean Energy Jobs: Helping People Helping the Environment
Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 11:00 a.m.
Congressman Tom Perriello
Homeowner Ingrid Feggans
Homeowner Chad Thorne
Charlottesville Mayor Dave Norris
Albemarle County Supervisor Ann Mallek
Worker Michael Stewart
Chair of White House Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley
Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality Van Jones (hovering but not speaking)
Backstory: Admirable, if insufficient, as this event was, there is an unpleasant context. The week before this event, Congressman Tom Perriello voted for $100 billion for wars (which he was happy to do) combined with $100 billion in loans to eastern European banksters through the International Monetary Fund (which he will likely be hammered for in television ads a year from now, and which he claims to have opposed even while voting for). The White House and Democratic Party leaders made a lot of promises and threats to pass the bill in a very close vote. The day before this event House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer came to Charlottesville for an event with Perriello. Now Van Jones and Nancy Sutley came. Who will be next? My money is on a south district event with a military big whig. You read it here first.
OPEN FOR VIDEOS
FutureGen moves forward with Department of Energy support
By Kelsey Volkmann | St. Louis Business Journal
A proposed $2.4 billion coal-fueled, near-zero emissions experimental power plant in Mattoon, Ill., is moving forward with the preliminary backing of the U.S. Department of Energy and the allocation of $1 billion in stimulus money.
The FutureGen Alliance, comprised 11 member companies, including Peabody Energy Corp., and President Barack Obama’s Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, have signed an agreement to restart plans for preliminary design activities, final cost estimate analysis and funding for the plant, which stalled under the Bush administration. Read more.
There's an easy way to find oil. Go to some remote and gorgeous natural sanctuary, say Alaska or the Amazon, find some Indians, then drill down under them.
If the indigenous folk complain, well, just shoo-them away. Shoo-ing methods include: bulldozers, bullets, crooked politicians and fake land sales.
But be aware. Lately the Natives are shoo-ing back. Last week, indigenous Peruvians seized an oil pumping station, grabbed the nine policemen guarding it and, say reports, executed them. This followed the government's murder of more than a dozen rainforest residents who had protested the seizure of their property for oil drilling.
Again and again I see it in my line of work of investigating fraud. Here are a few pit-stops on the oily trail of tears:
In the 1980s, Charles Koch was found to have pilfered about $3 worth of crude from Stanlee Ann Mattingly's oil tank in Oklahoma. Here's the weird part. Koch was (and remains) the 14th richest man on the planet, worth about $14 billion. Stanlee Ann was a dirt-poor Osage Indian.
Stanlee Ann wasn't Koch's only victim. According to secret tape recordings of a former top executive of his company, Koch Industries, the billionaire demanded that oil tanker drivers secretly siphon a few bucks worth of oil from every tank attached to a stripper well on the Osage Reservation where Koch had a contract to retrieve crude.
Koch, according to the tape, would, "giggle" with joy over the records of the theft. Koch's own younger brother Bill ratted him out, complaining that, in effect, brothers Charles and David cheated him out of his fair share of the looting which totaled over three-quarters of a billion dollars from the Native lands.
The FBI filmed the siphoning with hidden cameras, but criminal charges were quashed after quiet objections from Republican senators. Read more.
Google Inc (GOOG.O) is closing in on its goal of producing renewable energy at a price cheaper than coal, the company's so-called green energy czar, the engineer in charge of the project, said on Tuesday.
But the United States needs to raise government-backed research significantly and take much bigger risks if it wants to make alternative energy mainstream, executive Bill Weihl told Reuters in an interview.
Google, known for its Internet search engine, in late 2007 said it would invest in companies and do research of its own to produce affordable renewable energy -- at a price less than burning coal -- within a few years.
The often-quirky company cast the move as a philanthropic effort to address climate change, but the work is done by a unit of the for-profit corporation, Google.org, and Google investors will profit from any breakthroughs.
The story of its pursuit of cheap, clean energy became an overnight phenomenon, and Chief Executive Eric Schmidt conferred with U.S. President Barack Obama on economic revival and green jobs. Read more.
By Dave Lindorff
Just imagine for a moment that you are a retired contractor, struggling to get by on your pathetically shriveled 401(k). when your ne-er-do-well child suddenly comes to you saying he’s got this idea to start buying derelict homes and rehabbing them for resale. He asks you to stake him with a $100,000 loan (about half of what you’ve got left in your retirement fund), promising to repay you when he sells his first couple of houses. You know the kid’s flat busted and has been laid off from his job as a dishwasher, so you want to help, but you’ve also seen his carpentry skills: The doghouse he build in high school fell apart on a windy day, and his own house has a leaking roof, needs repainting, and all the plumbing leaks. You’ve also seen his business skills: He plays the Lotto excessively, hasn’t saved a penny, and buys most of his supplies at the local 7-Eleven.
Would you front this kid half your money?
Oil Economy Driving Growth of Controversial Tar Sands
By Chris Arsenault | IPS
A report from one of the world’s top energy consultancies says oil production in Canada’s tar sands could see a five-fold increase by 2035.
"The oil sands have moved from the fringe to the center of energy supply," notes the report "Growth in the Canadian Oil Sands: Finding a New Balance" released by IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) on May 18.
Environmentalists and some aboriginal groups want the oil sands to stay on the fringes because extracting heavy oil produces more greenhouse gas emissions than convention crude.
Meanwhile, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) issued a report titled "The Canadian Oil Sands: Energy Security vs Climate Change" on May 22 arguing that both the negative environmental impacts and benefits to U.S. energy security from Canada’s tar sands are overstated.
"Smart regulation can place a fair and reasonable price on the oil sands’ greenhouse gas emissions, providing the right incentive to reduce them," said Michael Levi, an author of the CFR report.
Levi told IPS that lifecycle green house gas emmissions from the tar sands are 17 percent worse than conventional U.S. oil imports. Environmentalists dispute this claim, stating oil production from the tar sands is at least three times worse than conventional oil.
"The development of Canadian oil sands encapsulates the complexities that the world faces on energy, environment and security," said IHS CERA chairman Daniel Yergin in a statement. Read more.
US Army gets eco-conscious, preps mega solar plant
By Austin Modine | The Register
You know the "go green" push is reaching a zenith when the fuel-slurping US Army wants to get serious about having a daintier environmental footprint.
The Army said it's enlisting several big new energy projects to promote less energy waste in local and overseas bases. Among its ambitions are rolling out a fleet of electric vehicles, establishing biomass fuel demonstrations at select Army posts, and constructing what could be one of the most powerful solar power plants in the world.
"We spend over $3bn every year on energy and the majority of it is spent on our installations. We can significantly reduce our energy consumption by partnering within government and with the private sector to capitalize on the great strides in proven technology that have been developed and implemented across the country," said Secretary of the Army Pete Geren. Read more.
A team of Korean researchers has developed a cutting-edge solar cell that might help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
The discovery could make Korea a leader in the alternative energy industry as the research team plans to double the cell's efficiency and commercialize the technology by 2012.
The team's leader, Lee Kwang-hee of the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, said on Thursday, "Together with Prof. Alan Heeger at the University of California Santa Barbara, we have developed a plastic solar cell with 6.5 percent efficiency. That level of efficiency is sufficiently high for commercial products."
Years before it was announced that Van Jones, the premier green-jobs advocate in the country, was headed to the White House, it was clear that Van Jones was headed to the White House. Thomas Friedman devoted an entire 2007 column to Jones, writing of his lofty goals, "I would not underestimate him." Jones muscled his way through Congress to get a Green Jobs Act passed in 2007 and then lavished praise on Nancy Pelosi and now-Labor Secretary, then-Rep. Hilda Solis. Pelosi returned the favor with a rave book blurb for Jones' 2008 best-seller The Green Collar Economy, writing that Jones possessed "sparkling intelligence, powerful vision, and deep empathy." When he wasn't running his fix-poverty, fix-the-planet nonprofit in Oakland, Calif., he was seeding Obama's transition team with ideas for an all-encompassing environmental/labor/energy/
This winter, as Congress was scrambling to pass the stimulus package, the bottom fell out of the renewable energy sector -- the very industry that lawmakers have held out as our best hope of salvaging the economy. Trade groups like the American Wind Energy Association, which as recently as December was forecasting "another record-shattering year of growth," began predicting that new installations would plunge by 30 to 50 percent. Solar panel manufacturers that had been blazing a trail of growth announced a wave of layoffs. Some have since cut their workforces in half, as stock prices tumble and plans for new green energy projects stall.
Hackers Reportedly Have Embedded Code in Power Grid
By Jeanne Meserve | CNN
Computer hackers have embedded software in the United States' electricity grid and other infrastructure that could potentially disrupt service or damage equipment, two former federal officials told CNN.
The code in the power grid was discovered in 2006 or 2007, according to one of the officials, who called it "the 21st century version of Cold War spying."
Department of Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano would not confirm such a breach, but said Wednesday that there has been no known damage caused by one.
For millenniums, microbes have been a staunch technological ally. They have leavened our bread and cured our cheeses. Now, engineers are asking them to convert carbon dioxide into fuel and to build a new generation of batteries. Some of the smallest life forms with which we share the planet are helping us cope with the energy challenges of the 21st century.
Forget about the so-called hydrogen economy for a moment. The much-discussed plan to use hydrogen as a major power source has serious problems, such as how to deliver the fuel to consumers.
Bruce Logan at Penn State says methane could be a much more appealing candidate. Through the study of how microbes produce methane in swamps, bogs, and landfills, he and his colleagues believe they have found a perfect source for the gas.
In a move sure to stoke a diplomatic frenzy, the United Arab Emirates, with U.S. interests, may be the first Arab state with a civilian nuclear-energy program.
U.S. President George W. Bush signed a treaty with the United Arab Emirates during his last week in office to give American companies the opportunity to enter into nuclear trade relations in the Emirates, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The United Arab Emirates would purchase nuclear fuel from approved contractors for the facility rather than rely on controversial autonomous uranium enrichment.
Washington sees the United Arab Emirates deal as a model of nuclear energy in the Gulf region and could put legislation before Congress as early as next week, the Journal reports.
Iran and Syria signed a broad memorandum of understanding in the oil and gas sector that includes exploration and pipeline development.
Sufian Allaw, the Syrian energy minister, said the package foresees development of upstream activities, drilling and exploration and the possible construction of the Persian Pipeline from Iran to Europe.
The 2,100-mile Persian Pipeline would bring an estimated 1.3 trillion cubic feet to markets in Europe along a path that includes Turkey, Iraq and Syria.
Both sides are also expected to move forward with the development of oil refineries in Syria as well as discuss plans to include Iraq in the Persian Pipeline talks, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reports.
People died---and are still dying---at Three Mile Island.
As the thirtieth anniversary of America's most infamous industrial accident approaches, we mourn the deaths that accompanied the biggest string of lies ever told in US industrial history.
As news of the accident poured into the global media, the public was assured there were no radiation releases.
That quickly proved to be false.
The public was then told the releases were controlled and done purposely to alleviate pressure on the core.
Both those assertions were false.
The public was told the releases were "insignificant."