IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Latest on the BP Oil Disaster: Progress on 'Cut-'N-Cap'? President Obama rallies for a clean energy economy, Oil reaches the beaches of Mississippi and Alabama... PLUS: Dumb things Sarah Palin now says about offshore drilling ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Record-breaking heat wave kills hundreds in India, Pakistan; USDA forecasts a plague of grasshoppers for 2010; Has Southwestern U.S. reached 'peak water'?; Greenland's rapid uplift is evidence of rapid ice loss; EPA finally forcing Texas to clean up its air ...PLUS: UK nukes: "What we are effectively paying for here is decades of cheap nuclear electricity for which we have suddenly got a massive postdated bill"...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VOTER BEWARE: Sneaky Propositions on State Ballot in California:
- PG&E Ballot Initiative Factsheet: Never Underestimate the Voter's Sense of Smell
- Who is behind Twitter's fake BP PR Page, @BPGlobalPR?:
- FUNNY: BP KILLED AQUAMAN (faux) Comic Book Cover (Techland)
- Leroy Stick – the man behind @BPGlobalPR (Street Giant):
Why has this caught on? I think it’s because people can smell the bullshit and sometimes laughing at it feels better than getting angry or depressed over it. At the very least, it’s a welcome break from that routine. The reason @BPGlobalPR continues to grow is because BP continues to spew their bullshit.
I’ve read a bunch of articles and blogs about this whole situation by publicists and marketing folk wondering what BP should do to save their brand from @BPGlobalPR. First of all, who cares? Second of all, what kind of business are you in? I’m trashing a company that is literally trashing the ocean, and these idiots are trying to figure out how to protect that company?
- Obama Calls for Clean Energy, While MMS Approves NEW Offshore Drilling Permit, and GOP Goes Nuts:
- WATCH IT: Presidential Remarks on Domestic Issues, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, June 2, 2010 (C-SPAN)
- READ IT: Remarks by the President on the Economy at Carnegie Mellon University (White House):
It’s our job as a nation to advocate on behalf of the America that we hope for --- to make decisions that will benefit the next generation --- even if it’s not always popular; even if we can’t always see those benefits in the short-term. We make decisions like this on behalf of our own children every single day. And while it’s harder to do with an entire country as large and diverse as ours, it’s no less important.
- Obama defends policies: The president discusses the struggling economy and delivers a rebuttal to GOP criticism in a speech at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Obama begins spill-to-bill pivot: BP oil disaster means we must end our dependence on fossil fuels: "The time has come, once and for all, for this nation to fully embrace a clean energy future.... And the only way to do that is by finally putting a price on carbon pollution." (Climate Progress)
- Obama Admin. Approves New Drilling as Gulf Disaster Continues: The approval makes clear that the administration, despite touting the need for caution in last week's announcement, has no plans to limit shallow-water drilling, which is defined as drilling in waters of less than 500 feet. (Mother Jones)
- Shill, baby, shill: Sarah Palin to “Extreme Enviros: Drill, Baby, Drill in ANWR – Now Do You Get It?”: BP's destruction of Gulf Coast "proves" to her we must let Big Oil drill everywhere (Climate Progress)
- Palin Blames BP Spill on "Extreme Enviros" (Mother Jones)
- Krauthammer: BP not alone in blame for disastrous Gulf well blowout (Washington Post)
- LATEST on the BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf:
- Admiral Says Oil Pipe Is Cut, a Key Step in Halting Leak (NY Times)
- COOL ANIMATION: Oil Could Reach Atlantic Coasts (NYT Dot Earth)
- Oil spill may reach Florida Panhandle beaches by end of week (St. Petersburg Times)
- BP Bars Photos of Dead Wildlife as Bodies Pile Up: Those stats are shocking: 444 dead birds, 222 dead sea turtles, and 24 mammals (including dolphins). For starters, they don't include the dead animals who may never be counted. (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones)
- "Ignore Her": The BP Press Lockdown Continues (Mac McClelland, Mother Jones)
- See No Evil, Report No Evil" Covering the oil spill, reporters must ensure that what’s out of sight isn’t out of mind (Columbia Journalism Review)
- Drilling relief wells to stop Gulf oil leak poses challenges (Times-Picayune):
"The only problem is really finding it, " Rensink said of the original well. "You're trying to intersect the well bore, which is about a foot wide, with another well bore, which is about a foot wide. The probability of finding it the first time ... is probably pretty low."
When the company drills into the well casing but misses the right spot, it will need to set a cement plug.
As BP tries to meet the original well, it will need to have plenty of mud on hand, because when the drill actually connects, the mud from the relief well will have a tendency to get sucked into the lower pressure of the original well, and drillers could lose control of the relief well.
- BP Relief Wells Bring Risk of Bigger Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill (Bloomberg News):
In a regulatory filing BP made to drill the relief wells it estimates another blowout could release as much as 240,000 barrels of oil a day into the ocean. That’s almost 50 percent more than the company’s worst-case estimate for the first well and equivalent to two-thirds of supply pumped daily from Prudhoe Bay, the largest U.S. oil field.
- Gulf Oil Spill: Relief Wells Are Risky, Could Actually Make Spill Worse (Huffington Post Green)
- The technology oil executives don't want to talk about : Canada requires a backup rig on site. The reason BP failed to have a second drill rig standing by in the Gulf when the Deepwater Horizon was drilling is simple --- money. (Alaska Dispatch)
- Deep Underwater, Oil Threatens Reefs (NY Times):
Nine months later, the warm thrill of discovery has cooled into dread. The reef lies just 20 miles northeast of BP’s blown-out well, making it one of at least three extensive deepwater reefs lying directly beneath the oil slick in the gulf.
But some believe that studies on the impact of oil and dispersants should have been done long ago, given the proliferation of drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Some of these studies were proposed years ago, and the agencies decided not to fund them,” Dr. Ross said. “We’re paying the price for it now.”
- BP spokesman: more proof of plumes needed (AP)
- Markey calls for BP to prove claim of no underwater oil plume (CNN)
- Federal government approves new Gulf oil well off Louisiana (AP)
- Jindal: Federal government will make BP pay for all 6 sand berms to protect coast from Gulf oil spill (Times-Picayune)
- BP ‘not prepared’ for deep-water spill: BP did not have all the equipment needed for stopping the leak from its Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of the explosion on an oil rig six weeks ago, the company’s chief executive admitted. (Financial Times)
- Senate Democrats to BP: Suspend dividend payment: Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Ron Wyden of Oregon called it "unfathomable" that BP would pay out a dividend to shareholders before the total cost of the cleanup is known. (Times-Picayune)
- Spill Workers Get Sick, Chemicals Get a Pass (Mother Jones)
- WATCH: 'Y'all Ain't Gonna Be Able To Eat Shrimp Like You Used To & We Ain't Gonna Be Able to Catch It' (Video) (Treehugger)
- BP CEO Tony Hayward: “I’d like my life back.” (Think Progress)
- BP Oil Disaster: Investigations & Revelations:
- READ IT: Attorney General Eric Holder on Gulf Oil Spill, New Orleans, Tuesday, June 1, 2010 (Dept. of Justice)
- Feds Launch Criminal Probe Into BP Spill (Mother Jones)
- U.S. Opens Criminal Inquiry Into Oil Spill (NY Times)
- A to-do list for Justice's oil spill investigators: BP made plenty of mistakes in the Gulf of Mexico. Were some of them crimes? (Salon)
- Halliburton campaign donations spike --- To lawmakers on key committees investigating spill (Politico)
- OP-ED, New Orleans Times-Picayune: The federal government's welcome investigation into BP: The more Americans learn about the decisions and missteps that may have contributed to the disaster, the more it seems that a wide range of infractions took place.
- BP's Shocking Memo: In 2005 refinery fire, BP's calculation that each worker's life is worth $10 million had fatal consequences. (The Daily Beast)
- Deepwater Horizon's ill-fated oil well could have been handled more carefully, hearings reveal (Times-Picayune)
- What Happened on the Deepwater Horizon, Minute by Minute: BP Decisions Set Stage for Disaster (Wall St. Journal)
- Oil spill hearings: Crane operator recounts Deepwater Horizon explosion terror --- "No, God, no!" (Times-Picayune)
- Oil spill hearings: BP didn't test mud prior to critical pipeline procedure, driller testifies (Times-Picayune)
- BP Oil Disaster: Analysis & Opinion:
- PROFILE of Adm. Thad Allen: The government's 'rock star' in charge of the oil spill: Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen has long commanded respect for his leadership in disaster response. How he handles the spill in the Gulf of Mexico could be his crowning achievement — or an irrevocable blemish. (LA Times)
- BP stock tumbles as feds announce oil-spill probes (AP)
- BP's 10 Biggest Screw-Ups: There are so many, it's getting hard to keep track of them all (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones)
- Obama's "Revelations" and the Oil Industry's Slimy History: Why no oil company executive has ever gone to prison (Mother Jones)
- Conservatives seek oil spill solutions from federal government: All along the Gulf Coast, where the tea party thrives and "socialism" is a common description for any government program, conservatives who usually denounce federal activism suddenly are clamoring for it. (AP)
- Louisiana was Big Oil's best friend, but Big Oil wasn't always Louisiana's best friend: James Gill (Times-Picayune):
[W]e can hardly blame others for undervaluing the marshes when we have proven such lackadaisical stewards ourselves.
It is laughable to wring our hands because nobody cares about the wetlands when we have been complicit in their destruction from the beginning.
- Bobby Jindal: Oil Spill Hero or BP's BFF?:
[T]he media's panegyrics have ignored Jindal's own weak response to the oil spill and his outsized role in promoting the kind of regulatory cutbacks and dangerous offshore drilling policies that are now wrecking Louisiana's economy.
In February, 2006, while serving as a member of the GOP-controlled US House of Representatives, Jindal introduced the Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act. Passed by the House a few months later, the bill would have opened up the entire US coast to offshore oil drilling.
- Obama's Spill Commission Co-chair has Ties to Oil (Mother Jones)
- Florida House spent $200k on 'rush job' pro-drilling report (St. Petersberg Times)
- The Chickens Come Home to Roost: BP oil disaster is Cheney’s Katrina: Bush Administration actions created unsafe circumstance, fostered oil addiction (Climate Progress)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Hundreds die in Indian heatwave: Death toll expected to rise as India faces record temperatures of up to 122F in hottest summer on record (Guardian UK)
- USDA forecasts a plague of grasshoppers for 2010 (Science Blogs)
- Study: Ocean Warmed Significantly Over Past 16 Years: Water takes longer to heat up and cool down than does the air or land, so ocean warming is considered to be a better indicator of global warming than measurements of global atmospheric temperatures at the Earth's surface. (Live Science)
- Has the Southwest Passed "Peak Water"? (KQED):
"We're not going to run out of water," said Palaniappan, "but we're going to see a change. We're at the end of cheap, easy access to water. We're going to have to go further, pay more, and expect less in terms of fresh water."
The report divides peak water into three types: peak renewable water, the total annual supply of water from sources such as rainfall, rivers, and groundwater sources that are refilled relatively quickly; peak non-renewable water, which includes groundwater aquifers that either do not refill or do so extremely slowly; and peak ecological water, past which, the value of ecological services provided by water is greater than the value it provides in direct human services. Or simply, it's the point where taking water causes more ecological damage than it's worth.
In the western US, we are definitely past peak ecological water.
We’re operating on a tight margin, a very tight margin, so the question is about projecting what we think the future will look like twenty years out."
- Greenland's Uplift: Evidence Of Rapid Ice Loss: "What's surprising, and a bit worrisome, is that the ice is melting so fast that we can actually see the land uplift in response," he says. "Even more surprising, the rise seems to be accelerating, implying that melting is accelerating." (Scientific Blogging)
- Carbon "Burp" Helped End Last Ice Age - Study: Researchers writing in Science have found the possible source of a huge carbon dioxide 'burp' that happened some 18,000 years ago and which helped to end the last ice age. (Scientific Blogging)
- Environmental Cage Match: After a history of pulling its punches, is the EPA finally forcing TCEQ to clean up the Texas air? (Austin Chronicle):
TCEQ's failure to protect Texans from the illnesses, diseases, and early deaths caused by air pollutants is no shock, unfortunately, to those familiar with the agency. The litany of its laxity is long and, yes, infuriating – if you don't happen to own an oil refinery. The state environmental agency has a long record of prioritizing the needs and demands of businesses – the oil and gas industry, petrochemical companies, coal-fired power plants, and other major pollution sources – at the expense of public health.
While critics say TCEQ is inexcusably lax across the board, its air permitting system is particularly egregious.
"TCEQ is not in the business of protecting the health and well-being of Texans. They're in the business of issuing permits for big polluters."
- But Wait, There's More!: TCEQ Fesses Up: More Benzene Data Withheld from Public: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality today came clean about additional elevated benzene levels in the Fort Worth area. [They just forgot to tell the public.] (Texas Observer)
- The £4bn black hole in Britain's nuclear power budget: Energy secretary blames predecessors for avoiding tough decisions in 'classic example of short-termism' (Guardian UK):
Britain is facing a £4bn black hole in unavoidable nuclear decommissioning and waste costs, Chris Huhne, the energy and climate change secretary disclosed tonight.
"I do not think it is possible for anyone responsibly to stand aside and say we are not going to deal with it. We just have to, but what we are effectively paying for here is decades of cheap nuclear electricity for which we have suddenly got a massive postdated bill."
- Bobby Jindal: Oil Spill Hero or BP's BFF?:
READER COMMENTS ON
"'Green News Report' - June 3, 2010"
(4 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
... Grizzly Bear Dancer said on 6/3/2010 @ 4:29 pm PT...
Thanks Brad and Desi!
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
... Soul Rebel said on 6/3/2010 @ 4:34 pm PT...
I just don't know how I'm going to break it to my 4-yr old son that Aquaman is dead.
"I just don't know how I'm going to break it to my 4-yr old son that Aquaman is dead."
Could have been worse. Could have been a real super hero, like Superman or Spidey.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
... Soul Rebel said on 6/4/2010 @ 3:47 pm PT...
Hey! Dude can telepathically control sea creatures! That's power, baby!
'Course, oil slicks are probably the anti-telepathy substance. Kal-El has his kryptonite, Arthur Curry has his BP.
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