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Afghanistan's Energy War

http://www.fpif.org/articles/afghanistans_energy_war

FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS

oil-natural-gas-afghanistan-pipeline

Violence escalated daily in Afghanistan with the approach of the 10-year anniversary of the U.S. invasion on October 7. At the same time, a little-noted energy agenda is moving rapidly forward that may not only deny Afghans the much needed economic benefits their energy resources could provide, but may also exacerbate insecurity and instability, ensuring a prolonged U.S. and foreign military presence. It is an agenda remarkably similar to one well underway in Iraq.

Eight years of war in Iraq succeeded in transforming the country’s oil industry from a nationalized model, largely closed to American oil companies, into an all but privatized industry open to foreign oil companies. ExxonMobil and BP, among other companies, are today producing oil in Iraq for the first time in over 30 years under some of the most corporate-friendly terms in the world. However, opposition from Kurdish leaders, Iraqi unions, civil society organizations, and some parliamentarians — who worry that the terms would grant undue benefit to foreign companies, to the detriment of Iraq’s economic stability and security — has kept the Iraq Oil and Gas Law, written to lock in this access, from passage.

But while the effort to transform Iraq’s oil sector has played out on a fairly public international stage, no such attention has been focused on Afghanistan. Compared to Iraq, Afghanistan’s populace remains poorly educated, its civil society and public sector workforce underdeveloped, and its government not only weak and challenged by corruption, but also lacking in both energy sector expertise and infrastructure. Under such circumstances, a radical redesign of the nation’s energy development model cannot take place in a manner that ensures fairness, equity, sustainability, or safety.

Knock Knock Knocking on the Devil's Door

Last year I reviewed a book called "Apocalypse Never" that made a powerful case for our options being limited to two: either we get rid of nuclear weapons or humanity will be destroyed. I noted then a deep flaw in the case: the author accepted nuclear energy as something we could survive, focusing his opposition purely on nuclear weaponry.

A new film makes the additional case I was looking for. "Knocking on the Devil's Door: Our Deadly Nuclear Legacy" by Gary Null could not come at a better time. Not far from where I write this, a nuclear plant at Lake Anna was damaged in a recent earthquake. Whether the damage was severe or not -- this time -- is unclear.

Vermonters Build a Direct Action Anti-Nuke Movement They Hope Will Go National

By Dan DeWalt


Newfane, VT -- A classic David vs. Goliath battle is taking shape in the courtroom and in the streets and fields of Vermont as Entergy Nuclear of Louisiana tries to overturn Vermont law in the federal courts. 


The state has thoughtfully and repeatedly voted no to the extension of Entergy's Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor's license, which is due to expire on March 21, 2012. Results of Town Meeting votes, a 26-4 vote by the Vermont Senate, and a pivotal gubernatorial race all have shown that the state does not see Vermont Yankee as a reliable or economical partner for its energy future. Forty years' accumulation of radioactive waste on the banks of the Connecticut River is enough.

Vets: Clean Fuel Standard Good

Vets: Clean Fuel Standard Good for National Security
Standard would reduce dangerous US oil dependence, save Americans billions at the pump


 

Uranium Safe to Eat With a Spoon!

Carefully ignoring Fukushima, Los Alamos, Vermont, and Nebraska, a comforting new announcement informs us that "nuclear energy is safe."

A series of soothing television ads and videos tells us that mining uranium in Virginia would produce jobs and protect us from scary foreigners.

Infrastructure and Alternative Energy = Good Strong Growth

No money for infrastructure? Get ready to crumble!

 

July 28: Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania, talks with TRMS guest host Melissa Harris-Perry about the litany of benefits that would come with more investment in US infrastructure and the certain disaster if Republicans succeed in slashing government spending.

 

To Hell with the Democrats!: Time to for Any Real Progressives in Congress to Bolt the Party and Start a New One

By Dave Lindorff

Jeff Greenwald has just written that President Obama, by playing a leading role in pushing for cuts in Social Security benefits as part of the whole kabuki-theater drama over the debt ceiling, and the alleged crisis of America’s national debt, has cut out the “soul” of the Democratic Party.

'Jobless veterans, US national disgrace'

I Demand a War Tax and call it that, it's been over a decade and counting of No Sacrifice by the Country as we demanded Sacrifice of our Soldiers and their Families, with multiple tours in two occupation theaters!

Those of us who were born during or in the years shortly after World War II grew into what our grand parents and parents with the help of our Government investments were building, joining in as we joined the workforce professions to build for our children, from the needed education professions to the skilled trades once professions.

The Paradox of Progress

  Months ago, I attended David Swanson’s book signing in Baltimore to purchase his remarkable work, War is a Lie, and to hear Swanson, Debra Sweet, and Andy Worthington speak. During the question-and-answer period, a woman stood and introduced herself. Speaking beautifully, softly, and passionately, she gestured, pointing to lighting in the room, laptops, and cell phones. She said something like this: “It’s cold outside, but the room temperature is warm.  So many here have computers, cell phones, technology….” She paused and, then, continued, “Are people willing to sacrifice for peace?”

Fukushima Spews, Los Alamos Burns, Vermont Rages & We’ve Almost Lost Nebraska

By Harvey Wasserman

Humankind is now threatened by the simultaneous implosion, explosion, incineration, courtroom contempt and drowning of its most lethal industry.

We know only two things for certain: worse is yet to come, and those in charge are lying about it -- at least to the extent of what they actually know, which is nowhere near enough.

Indeed, the assurances from the nuke power industry continue to flow like the floodwaters now swamping the Missouri Valley heartland.

But major breakthroughs have come from a Pennsylvania Senator and New York’s Governor on issues of evacuation and shut-down. And a public campaign for an end to loan guarantees could put an end to the US industry once and for all.

FUKUSHIMA: The bad news continues to bleed from Japan with no end in sight. The “light at the end of the tunnel” is an out-of-control radioactive freight train, headed to the core of an endangered planet.

Chill Bill: The US Military's A/C Bill for Iraq and Afghanistan Gives Me the Shivers

By Dave Lindorff

The United States Military is spending $20.2 billion a year for air-conditioning the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read that again please: $20.2 billion just to provide air-conditioning for our troops in these two desert countries.

How much is $20.2 billion?

Well, I live in Pennsylvania, where the eighth-largest school district in the country, here in Philadelphia, is about to lose 1300 of its 11,000 teachers--that’s 12% of the teaching staff in an already overcrowded school system, because the state’s Republican governor and legislature want to cut some $500 million in education funding from the state’s $27-billion budget. That military air-conditioning bill could not only restore those teachers by closing the $400 million budget deficit facing the Philadelphia School District. It could almost fund the entire budget of the state! In fact, it could probably fund the school budget deficit in almost all the school districts in the nation.

Fukushima: It's much worse than you think

"Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind," Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Al Jazeera.

Japan's 9.0 earthquake on March 11 caused a massive tsunami that crippled the cooling systems at the Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan. It also led to hydrogen explosions and reactor meltdowns that forced evacuations of those living within a 20km radius of the plant.

Gundersen, a licensed reactor operator with 39 years of nuclear power engineering experience, managing and coordinating projects at 70 nuclear power plants around the US, says the Fukushima nuclear plant likely has more exposed reactor cores than commonly believed.

"Fukushima has three nuclear reactors exposed and four fuel cores exposed," he said, "You probably have the equivalent of 20 nuclear reactor cores because of the fuel cores, and they are all in desperate need of being cooled, and there is no means to cool them effectively."

READ THE REST FROM DAHR JAMAIL AT AL JAZEERA.

Do Not Make Connections

Fewer guns, more solar arrays

Americans are feeling the chill of economic malaise, and the policy response should be to divert part of the defense budget and to tax U.S. corporations' offshore profits to develop an alternative energy infrastructure, columnist Cate Long writes.

Jobs, offshore profits and infrastructure

Jun 8, 2011 - Our nation is in a serious economic crisis. Both political parties dance around each other with varying demands for cuts in entitlement programs, tax increases and a rise in the debt ceiling. It’s a doomsday prospect and the American people are feeling the chill of economic malaise.

Germany trying to step back from Nuke Holocaust

German government wants nuclear exit by 2022 at latest

By Annika Breidthardt
BERLIN | Mon May 30, 2011 3:04pm EDT
(Reuters) - Germany plans to shut all nuclear reactors by 2022, Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition announced on Monday, in a policy reversal drawn up in a rush after the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Candidates for Congress: Differing on Nuclear Power

FROM CALIFORNIA:

North Bay congressional candidate Norman Solomon said Monday (May 23) that his position for closure of California’s two nuclear power plants means that voters will have “a clear alternative to nuclear business as usual.”

Solomon, a longtime opponent of nuclear power, has called for closure of the state’s Diablo Canyon and San Onofre nuclear power plants.

In contrast, Solomon’s only declared opponent for Congress, Assemblyman Jared Huffman, has been equivocal about California’s nuclear power plants, saying he’d support closing them “if studies reveal that there is a risk that would warrant immediate closure” (Marin IJ, 5/8/11).

In a full-page ad that appears in the current Pacific Sun weekly newspaper, the Solomon campaign asks: “Do we really need more ‘studies’ from nuclear-friendly agencies in Washington to tell us whether nuclear power is an acceptable ‘risk’ -- particularly in earthquake country?”

Harvey Wasserman on How We'll Survive and Succeed

TRANSCRIPT:

DAVID SWANSON: Okay, we’re recording, this is David Swanson, I’m speaking with Harvey Wasserman, long time wonderful activist, author, author among other of wonderful books of "Solartopia," and Harvey, you were emailing me yesterday a little bit about success stories. Do you want to elaborate?

WWF: Sustainable Development and Wildlife Conservation

WWF Marks 50 Years With Urgent Call for Global Green Economy

 

Orangutans are endangered by loss of their forest habitat. (Photo © naturepl.com / Anup Shah courtesy WWF)

April 29, 2011 (ENS) - Environmental leaders and politicians from around the world today called for an urgent move towards a global green economy in order to achieve sustainable development and wildlife conservation over the next 50 years.

Low-carbon technology, green infrastructures, investment in renewable energy and sustainable agriculture are essential in combating climate change, poverty and water shortages, said participants in the summit convened by WWF to mark the global conservation organization's 50th anniversary.

Do You Live/Work in a Nuclear Evacuation Zone?

Physicians for Social Responsibility marked the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident (26 April 1986) by releasing a new interactive Evacuation Zone Map. It shows a person’s residence in relation to a nuclear reactor and its evacuation zone. One third of the population of the United States (over 111 million people) lives within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor.

Kucinich Plan to Lower Gas Prices: Windfall Profits Tax

Redirect Oil Company Windfall Gains To Efficient Vehicles

Washington D.C. (April 26, 2011) -- As the summer peak driving period begins and as oil companies are expected to announce record profits again while gas prices continue to rise, Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) announced today that he will reintroduce the Gas Price Spike Act, which would reduce the price of gasoline.

The bill will address the spike in price of gasoline by placing a windfall profits tax on oil companies; giving tax credits for the purchase of ultra efficient vehicles; and providing federal grants to reduce mass transit fares.

“Consumers are being gouged at the gas pump,” stated Kucinich. “The only thing rising faster than the price of gasoline right now is the skyrocketing profits of the oil companies.”

DR. JACK SCOTT, CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGES CHANCELLOR, ENDORSES OIL EXTRACTION FEE TO RESCUE EDUCATION

GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE OFFICIALLY CUT $1.4 BILLION FROM HIGHER EDUCATION; MORE CUTS PROJECTED: $585 MILLION MORE FROM COMMUNITY COLLEGES, AND $1.1 BILLION MORE FROM CSU AND UC; MORE SEVERE CUTS OF $5 BILLION, K-12; $66 PER UNIT TUITION PROJECTED AT COMMUNITY COLLEGES

OIL EXTRACTION FEE PROPOSITION INITIATIVE WILL BRING IN $3.6 TO $4 BILLION FOR EDUCATION, K-12, College, University

Students, Professors and activists officially submit text of Proposition Initiative to Implement Fee on Crude Oil, to California Attorney General

Earth Day 2011

Well Welcome To

 

 

One of the many Earth Day sites this one with a A Billion Acts of Green, where you can add your own.

In this I will just add a few reports I've come across this morning while waking up, might add some more as they trickle in.

TV, Newspapers, Congress Apologize for Claiming War Not About Oil

In the wake of the latest revelations of what everyone always knew, the largest press conference in the history of the United States has been planned for tomorrow in the Nationals Park baseball stadium in Washington, D.C. The powerful people lining up to apologize for having claimed the ongoing War on Iraq has had nothing to do with oil were deemed too numerous to gather in any indoor facility.

Former Congressman David Obey, who screamed at Congressman Dennis Kucinich in a Democratic caucus meeting for suggesting that oil might be one factor in the war, is currenly on a plane back to Washington to MC the mass apology. The line-up includes each major television, radio, and print news outlet in the United States. Select commentators, columnists, cartoonists, and talking heads of all varieties will represent each organization apologizing.

BP Is Messing With the Wrong Woman

A year ago BP began filling the Gulf of Mexico with oil.

Last week BP blocked a woman from entering its annual meeting.

Which will prove the bigger mistake?

BP may have chosen the right country to hit with the worst oil disaster in world history. If there's any population that will take seeing its land and water destroyed for corporate profit lying down, it's got to be us. We're split between gratitude and indifference: should we thank BP or just stay out of its way?

English Information on the Earthquake & Nuclear Disaster in Japan

FYI at

YUMI KIKUCHI’S BLOG AND PODCAST

Yumi is a committed worker for peace & justice and translated the book ADDICTED TO WAR into Japanese.

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