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Why I'm Standing Up To Transcanada's Keystone Xl Pipeline In East Texas by Daryl Hannah, The Guardian | October 18, 2012On 4 October 2012, in rural east Texas, a 78-year-old great-grandmother, Eleanor Fairchild, was arrested for trespassing on her own property … and I was arrested standing beside her, as we held our ground in the path of earth-moving excavators constructing TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline. Seems there's showdown in Texas – but, in fact, it's a battle being waged all over the United States. It's being fought by ordinary citizens of all colors, economic strata and political persuasions – against the world's wealthiest multinational corporations, misinformation and deeply embedded fears. While I'm not a fan of war terminology, in these struggles, war analogies seem to highlight both the crisis at hand and perhaps the solution we seek. read more »
Big Wind's Recurring Nightmare by Tim McDonnell, Mother Jones | October 17, 2012Jacob Susman is frustrated again. Sitting in the bright green conference room of his company's trendy industrial office, overshadowed by the Brooklyn Bridge, he's a clean-cut poster child for the "green economy": Since 2007, Susman's OwnEnergy, which installs wind turbines, has grown to be one of the nation's most prominent wind installers. But he's plagued by a recurring nightmare: "Every few years the industry has to drop everything for six or nine months and focus exclusively on having the credit passed." He's talking about the Production Tax Credit, the federal subsidy that gives a 2.2-cent per kilowatt hour break to wind energy producers. Those pennies add up to about $1 billion per year, no chump change for the burgeoning industry. The subsidy, a touchstone issue in the presidential campaign, is set to expire at the end of this year, and uncertainty about whether Congress will extend it has led to layoffs and much anxiety in the industry. read more »
Mitt Romney's Winners And Losers by Sen. Bernie Sanders, grist.org | October 15, 2012The Big Energy industries (oil, coal and gas) along with their political allies like Mitt Romney are waging war against sustainable energy and efforts to transform our energy system and reverse global warming. In many instances, they are aided and abetted by the very powerful nuclear power industry. One of their main lines of attack (used repeatedly by Romney in his first debate with President Obama) is that the federal government is picking energy “winners and losers.” Romney says he will not invest in “chasing fads and picking winners and losers” among energy technologies and will instead allow the free market to determine energy development. Romney is right about one thing: The government does pick winners and losers in the energy sector. What Romney has not told the American people, however, is that the big winners of federal support are the already immensely profitable fossil fuel and nuclear industries, not sustainable energy. read more »
Join the Blockade of the Keystone Pipeline by Chris Hedges, truthdig.com | October 15, 2012The next great battle of the Occupy movement may not take place in city parks and plazas, where the security and surveillance state is blocking protesters from setting up urban encampments. Instead it could arise in the nation’s heartland, where some ranchers, farmers and enraged citizens, often after seeing their land seized by eminent domain and their water supplies placed under mortal threat, have united with Occupiers and activists to oppose the building of the Keystone XL tar sand pipeline. They have formed an unusual coalition called Tar Sands Blockade (TSB). Centers of resistance being set up in Texas and Oklahoma and on tribal lands along the proposed route of this six-state, 1,700-mile proposed pipeline are fast becoming flashpoints in the war of attrition we have begun against the corporate state. Join them. read more »
Climate Change: The Elephant In The Dining Room by Michael C. Osborne, grist.org | October 10, 2012There are 1,001 reasons to love the local/slow/organic food movement. Whether we care about animal rights, our carbon footprint, or the poverty-obesity link, it behooves all of us to take a serious look at our food choices. But before we get too carried away by the promise of small-scale, chemical-free growing, let’s look at some of the cold, hard facts: a billion people go to bed hungry every night, and another billion aren’t too far from that; we’re about to add another 2 billion people to the global population; the planet is warming (fast), meaning more heatwaves and drought, which is bad news for growing food. Translation: It’s going to take more than backyard chicken coops and window-box gardens to get us through the next few decades. read more »
The New "Golden Age of Oil" That Wasn’t by Michael T. Klare, tomdispatch.com | October 4, 2012Last winter, fossil-fuel enthusiasts began trumpeting the dawn of a new “golden age of oil” that would kick-start the American economy, generate millions of new jobs, and free this country from its dependence on imported petroleum. Ed Morse, head commodities analyst at Citibank, was typical. In the Wall Street Journal he crowed, “The United States has become the fastest-growing oil and gas producer in the world, and is likely to remain so for the rest of this decade and into the 2020s.” Once this surge in U.S. energy production was linked to a predicted boom in energy from Canada’s tar sands reserves, the results seemed obvious and uncontestable. It turns out, however, that the future may prove far more recalcitrant than these prophets of an American energy cornucopia imagine. read more »
Is Climate Change the Sleeper Issue of 2012? by Chris Mooney, Mother Jones | October 3, 2012It was quite the messaging turnaround. In his September 6 acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, President Obama—whose reticence about so much as mentioning global warming has flummoxed environmental activists—used the subject to launch an unexpected attack on his opponent. "Climate change is not a hoax," the president declared. "More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They are a threat to our children's future." In the after-speech gabfest, Politico cited the moment as one of Obama's top applause lines. Obama's shift comes as pollsters and strategists are increasingly saying that Democrats—and even perhaps some Republicans—could be using the climate issue to their political advantage, especially after a summer of drought, wildfires, and record heat. read more »
Swing Voters and Climate Change by Anna Fahey, daily.sightline.org | October 3, 2012We are hearing a lot these days about a small group of Americans—the approximately 7 percent who remain undecided about which presidential candidate they’ll vote for. So where do these few—but mighty, and mightily sought out by political operatives—stand on climate change? The latest data from Yale Project on Climate Change Communication indicate that a broad majority of undecided likely voters—as well as Obama-leaning voters—know climate change is real and want the United States to do more to address it. read more »
Everything You Need To Know About Where Obama And Romney Stand On Energy Policy by Daniel J. Weiss and Jackie Weidman, grist.org | October 1, 2012The United States is in the midst of significant changes in our energy outlook. We are producing and burning more natural gas for electricity, while reducing coal use. Domestic oil production is at a 15-year high while oil imports are at a 15-year low. Renewable electricity doubled over the past four years, while worldwide carbon pollution and the impacts of climate change grow. The next president will face these and other serious challenges posed by a changing energy world. President Barack Obama’s first term featured the adoption of essential toxic and carbon pollution reduction measures to protect public health. In addition, he modernized fuel-economy standards for the first time in two decades, which also helped the auto industry; invested in energy efficiency and renewable electricity; and created tens of thousands of jobs. Gov. Mitt Romney’s energy agenda couldn’t be more different. read more »
Carpe Climate: House Dems Seize Extreme Summer To Attack GOP by Tim McDonnell, grist.org | September 27, 2012In these first days of autumn, temperatures are finally starting to break after the country’s third-hottest summer on record. But meanwhile, most of the country is still locked in terrible drought, rebuilding after wildfires, or drying out after Hurricane Issac. And after endless calls from scientists and signs that the public is shifting on climate change in response to extreme weather, climate-minded Democrats are seeing an opportunity to lampoon House Republicans as climate skeptics in the runup to November’s general election. Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the legislators behind Congress’ first (and failed) big stab at carbon pricing legislation, yesterday released a study that lays out the case for why global warming is a predictor of more severe and frequent weather disasters. read more »
As Kagan Confirmation Hearings Begin, Republicans Struggle for Line of Attack, The Washington Post | June 28, 2010
For weeks leading up to the start of Elena Kagan's Senate confirmation hearings Monday, Republicans have struggled to find a compelling line of attack to take against the Supreme Court nominee. But their efforts to wield an effective cudgel against President Obama's second nomination to the country's highest court have largely failed.
GOP Eager to Press Case in Elena Kagan Hearing, Politico | June 28, 2010
Republicans, who decided early on that they stood little chance of defeating Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, settled instead on making her confirmation process a “teachable moment” to highlight the dangers of liberal judicial activism. read more »
Bingaman: ‘Difficult to See’ 60 Votes for Climate Change Bill, thehill.com | June 28, 2010
“If you actually have a bill that puts in place a cap-and-trade system or a limit on greenhouse gases and a mandatory reduction in greenhouse gases, I think it is difficult to see where we get the 60 votes to pass that legislation,” he said. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans to bring a broad energy package to the bill next month.
Climate Bill Gets GOP Cold Shoulder, dyn.politico.com | June 28, 2010
President Barack Obama needs a couple of Senate Republicans to play ball if he’s going to pass a cap on greenhouse gases this year.
But few, if any, GOP senators seem willing to work with him on a plan their leaders have dubbed a “national energy tax” — despite the fact that some of them have seemed supportive of the idea before. read more »
Dems Short on Details but Pledge Unity on Energy Ahead of White House Meeting, thehill.com | June 25, 2010
Senate Democrats emerged from a caucus meeting Thursday afternoon with a political message that they’re jazzed up about moving ahead with an aggressive energy bill, but major questions about the shape of the package remain unanswered. read more »
Harry Reid's High-Stakes Climate Bill Gamble, Politico | June 25, 2010
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is planning a high-risk, high-stakes strategy for bringing climate and energy legislation to the floor ahead of the August recess. The gamble: yoking a bipartisan, fast-track measure to overhaul offshore drilling rules with a broad, contentious bill capping greenhouse gas emissions that otherwise would have almost no chance of passage on its own.
Louisiana Governor Outraged at Stop in Dredging Operations, CNN | June 24, 2010
Obama Seeks Delay in Moratorium Ruling on New Oil Drilling, USA Today | June 24, 2010
Republicans Spare Barton, Accept Apology, thehill.com | June 24, 2010
Climate Advocates Plan $11 Million Ad Campaign Targeting ‘Key Senators’, thehill.com | June 24, 2010
Environmental groups and some liberal advocate organizations plan to announce an $11 million ad campaign Thursday to bolster support for Senate passage of climate change and energy legislation. read more »