IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: US Senate floor fight fails to pass Keystone XL pipeline; Can Congress override the President next year?; Native Americans say KXL is 'an act of war' and vow to fight the pipeline on their land; PLUS: Finally! Accountability for the 'Dark Lord of Coal': Don Blankenship indicted on criminal charges... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Injuries and violations continue at coal mines that owe millions in fines; Scientists think they know why starfish are melting; PR firms' astroturf documents expose oil industry attacks; G20 issues climate change statement after 'trench warfare'; Soap ingredient triclosan triggers liver cancer in mice; Federal pipeline regulator issues first-ever warning; GMO pest resistance rising... PLUS: Peru prepares to host climate talks as indigenous forest defenders die ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Senate To Vote on Keystone XL:
- Vote for Keystone wouldn't help Landrieu, experts say (USA Today)
- Louisiana Senate Seat Is Real Reward in Keystone Pipeline Vote (NY Times)
- Landrieu's last stand begins, Keystone vote down to the wire (Washington Post)
- Debunking Keystone XL Talking Points:
- VIDEO: Obama debunks Keystone XL: Allows Canada to pump their oil through our land where it will be sold everywhere else (White House Youtube Channel):
- EPA Slams State’s Draft Impact Statement For Keystone XL (Climate Progress)
- Debunking 8 discredited talking points pushed by Keystone XL proponents in Senate debate (NRDC Switchboard)
- Is Keystone Coverage Getting Worse? (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting)
- The Keystone XL Vote Will Come Down To A Small Group Of Senate Democrats (Huffington Post Green)
- Why The U.S.-China Climate Deal Makes Keystone XL Pipeline An Even Worse Idea (Climate Progress)
- VIDEO: TransCanada CEO Concedes Keystone Pipline to create only 50 Jobs (ABC This Week):
The CEO of TransCanada, Bill Girling, concedes that the pipeline may only create fifty permanent jobs in the US and 42,000 "temporary" and "indirect" jobs along the route during its two-year construction.
- KXL: Can Congress Override Executive Branch?:
- Does it actually matter if Congress votes to approve the Keystone XL pipeline? (Washington Post):
[Congressional Research Service] argued that while lack of congressional action in the past has allowed the executive branch to decide on permitting of such so-called "border crossing facilities," congressional action could trump this. So it does look like Congress has the power to make the determination it is trying to make on Keystone.
- 6 Questions About What's Next for Keystone XL as U.S. Senate Votes (National Geographic):
Congress is unlikely to muster the two-thirds majority to override an expected Obama veto. Even if it did, the pipeline currently lacks an approved route through Nebraska, and its construction permits for South Dakota need to be recertified. What's more, falling oil prices may make future production less lucrative.
- Obama eyes possible trade on Keystone pipeline (MadowBlog, MSNBC)
- Native American Tribes Push Back Against KXL, Tar Sands Mining Pollution:
- Rosebud Sioux Tribe: House Vote in Favor of Keystone XL Pipeline an Act of War (via Bold Nebraska) [emphasis added]:
“The House has now signed our death warrants and the death warrants of our children and grandchildren. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe will not allow this pipeline through our lands,” said President Cyril Scott of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.
“We are outraged at the lack of intergovernmental cooperation. We are a sovereign nation and we are not being treated as such. We will close our reservation borders to Keystone XL. Authorizing Keystone XL is an act of war against our people.”
- American Indian Tribe Calls Keystone XL Vote An ‘Act Of War’ (Climate Progress)
- Keystone XL pipeline opposition forges 'Cowboys and Indians' alliance (Guardian UK):
Native Americans and ranchers in South Dakota are making common cause in their efforts to stop the project to transport oil from Canadian tar sands
- Washington tribes testify against Canada oil pipeline (Seattle Times)
- 'Dark Lord of Coal' Indicted In Deadly Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster:
- Gag Order in Criminal Indictment of Coal Baron Blankenship May Not Ensure Impartial Jury (The BRAD BLOG):
While ideally, cases should be decided only on the basis of the evidence presented in a court of law, one should not underestimate the power of corporate propaganda to indirectly reach inside that courtroom in the form of deliberately calculated juror bias.
- Longtime Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship indicted for mine explosion that killed 29 (Charleston Gazette):
“Blankenship knew that UBB was committing hundreds of safety-law violations every year and that he had the ability to prevent most of the violations that UBB was committing,” the indictment states. “Yet he fostered and participated in an understanding that perpetuated UBB’s practice of routine safety violations, in order to produce more coal, avoid the costs of following safety laws, and make more money.”
- Blankenship’s hands-on management provides target for prosecutors (Charleston Gazette):
In a 43-page grand jury indictment issued Thursday [pdf], prosecutors do not specifically allege that Blankenship caused the April 5, 2010, explosion that killed 29 workers at Massey’s Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh County. But, they allege that Blankenship “fostered and participated in an understanding that perpetuated UBB’s practice of routine safety violations, in order to produce more coal, avoid the costs of following safety laws, and make more money.”
- 5 more things about the Don Blankenship indictment (Coal Tattoo, Charleston Gazette)
- Culpability in the Upper Big Branch Disaster (NY Times Editorial Board):
The word “greed” was not used, but the indictment left no doubt about the priorities that led to the worst mine disaster in 40 years: “produce more coal, avoid the costs of following safety laws, and make more money.”
- VIDEO: The 'Dark Lord of Coal Country' Speaks: Newsnerd Chris Hayes Meets Match In Stack Of Talking Points Wearing A Skin Suit, former Massey CEO Don Blankenship (Wonkette)
- The trial of Don Blankenship: Will West Virginians decide that coal companies need to follow the law? (Coal Tattoo, Charleston Gazette)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- NPR investigation: Injuries and violations continue at coal mines that owe millions in fines (Coal Tattoo, Charleston Gazette)
- Edelman’s TransCanada Astroturf Docs Expose Oil Industry PR Attack (DeSmogBlog):
Documents obtained by Greenpeace detail a desperate astroturf PR strategy designed by Edelman for TransCanada to win public support for its Energy East tar sands export pipeline. TransCanada has failed for years to win approval of the controversial border-crossing Keystone XL pipeline, so apparently the company has decided to 'win ugly or lose pretty' with an aggressive public relations attack on its opponents.
- KY: Groups Allege 28,000 Coal Mining Violations, Lax Enforcement (Louisville Courier-Journal):
Kentucky environmental advocates accused state regulators today of lax enforcement of water quality rules while putting a mining company on notice that they intend to sue over claims of thousands of false pollution reports during the last year.
- Peru Prepares to Host Climate Talks as Indigenous Forest Defenders Die (NYT Dot Earth):
The nonprofit group Global Witness makes some valuable points in a new report offering Peru a path to cut the violence on its poorly governed resource frontier in the Amazon. The report, 'Peru’s Deadly Environment,' is being released today at a Manhattan event organized with the Alexander Soros Foundation.
- Climate Change in G20 Communique After 'Trench Warfare' (Sydney Morning Herald):
The final G20 communique includes a significant passage on climate change after "difficult discussions" among leaders on Sunday, and despite an impassioned defence of coal and fossil fuel industry by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
- Scientists Say They've Figured Out Why Starfish Are Melting (Huffington Post Green):
Now, a massive new study has narrowed down the cause of what's liquefying this lynchpin species. ...It's a virus that's sweeping the starfish, researchers say. In fact, it's the first starfish virus ever discovered.
- Triclosan: Soap Ingredient Can Trigger Liver Cancer in Mice: Scientists (UK Independent):
A chemical ingredient of cosmetics, soaps, detergents, shampoos and toothpaste has been found to trigger liver cancer in laboratory mice, raising concerns about how safe it is for humans, scientists said.
- Pipeline Alert From Federal Regulator Is First of Its Kind (InsideClimate News):
Reversing oil and natural gas pipelines or switching the product they're carrying can have a 'significant impact' on the line's safety and integrity—and 'may not be advisable' in some cases, federal regulators told pipeline companies in a recent advisory.
- Nuclear Agency Rules Are Ill-Suited for Plant Decommissioning: Leader (NY Times):
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s rules are not geared for supervising the decommissioning of nuclear reactors, the task that will occupy much of its time in the coming years, the head of the agency, Allison M. Macfarlane, said Monday.
- Armyworm Resistance To GMO Crops Seen In U.S. --- Study (Reuters):
Crop-devouring armyworms are showing increasing resistance in some U.S. farm fields to a popular type of genetically modified crop that should kill them, scientists said on Monday.
- BP Tries To Pay Less For The Gulf Oil Spill, Again (Climate Progress):
BP is asking a federal judge to cap the amount of Gulf oil spill-related fines it must pay at $12 billion, which is almost a third less than the amount U.S. prosecutors are seeking from the company.
- Charlotte Struggles With Cleanup of PCBs from Major Dumping Incident (WSOC-TV):
The city of Charlotte is still trying to recover from one of the worst catastrophes in the city's history.
- U.S. and China climate deal explained (Mashable):
Obama said the new U.S. goal is to cut emissions by 26% to 28% by 2025, compared to 2005 levels....The new goal therefore commits the U.S. to a much faster pace of emissions cuts than previously announced, and, if fulfilled, would keep the country on course to cut emissions by 80% relative to 2005 levels by 2050.
- Pope Francis: “Unbridled consumerism” will have destructive consequences for the planet (Salon) [emphasis added]:
Free market fundamentalism poses a grave threat to both economic security and the health of the planet, Pope Francis warns in a letter to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the host of this weekend’s Group of 20 leaders’ summit in Brisbane.
- Fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 says IPCC (BBC) [emphasis added]:
The unrestricted use of fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change, a UN-backed expert panel says. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in a stark report that most of the world's electricity can - and must - be produced from low-carbon sources by 2050. If not, the world faces "severe, pervasive and irreversible" damage. The UN said inaction would cost "much more" than taking the necessary action.
- How to stop global warming, in 7 steps (Vox.com) [emphasis added]:
5) Cutting emissions will cost us — but so will global warming... Economic modeling suggests that this would shave 0.06 percentage points off global economic growth each year....The world would still get richer over time, but at a somewhat slower rate.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page
- Video Proof That Global Warming is a 'Hoax'!: NASA Temperature Data 1888-2011 (The BRAD BLOG):
- NASA climate change video: This is the U.S. in 2100 (NASA).