IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Breaking: Moratorium struck down by judge, White House to appeal; Now it's 100,000 barrels of oil per day; More whaling?; Wildfires, floods and mudslides, oh my;...PLUS: Praying the Spill away ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): U.S. Chamber of Commerce should support climate bill, based on its own methodology; Twilight of the Coal Era?; USDA proposes antitrust rule on meat industry; Report: Food prices to rise by up to 40% over next decade; Malaria in Brazil linked to forest clearing; FERC to issue new rules upgrading nation's electicity transmission grid ...PLUS: Experts Warn Climate Change Is Beginning to Disrupt Agriculture ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Other Environmental & Energy News NOT in the Gulf of Mexico:
- Nearly 200 dead in China flooding, government says (CNN)
- At least 40 dead, 100,000 homeless in Brazil flooding (CNN)
- Ariz. wildfire near Flagstaff now at 10,000 acres (AZ Central)
- Whaling ban must stay, say 200 scientists (AFP)
- Under Pressure, Commission Discusses Lifting Whaling Ban (NY Times)
- Debate Over Whale Hunt Focuses On Japan (NPR)
- U.S. District Court Judge BLOCKS Moratorium on Offshore Drilling:
- Judge Blocks Deep-Water Drilling Moratorium (NY Times):
[U.S. District Judge Martin] Feldman agreed, saying in his ruling the Interior Department seemed to assume that because one rig failed, all companies and rigs doing deepwater drilling pose an imminent danger.
''An invalid agency decision to suspend drilling of wells in depths of over 500 feet simply cannot justify the immeasurable effect on the plaintiffs, the local economy, the Gulf region, and the critical present-day aspect of the availability of domestic energy in this country,'' Feldman wrote.
''A second deepwater blowout could overwhelm the efforts to respond to the current disaster,'' the Interior Department said.
- READ the Decision by U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman, New Orleans, LA Here [.pdf]
- OP-ED, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA): Waking America from the BP nightmare (Grist):
For years, the oil industry swore this could never happen. We were told that technology had advanced, that offshore drilling was safe.
BP said they didn't think the rig would sink. It did.
They said they could handle an Exxon Valdez-sized spill every day. They couldn't.
BP said the spill was 1,000 barrels per day. It wasn't. And they knew it.
- Judge blocks Gulf offshore drilling moratorium; White House will appeal (AP)
- Landrieu urges White House to reconsider appeal (The Hill)
- Judge to rule on deep-water drilling moratorium: The oil industry and Louisiana officials support a lawsuit challenging the restrictions, saying they will cause more economic pain for gulf states already reeling from the spill fallout. What are the merits of the opposing arguments? (LA Times)
- Oil companies push for status quo on environmental regulations for deep-water drilling rigs: The pleas come as the White House Council on Environmental Quality is reviewing whether the federal drilling watchdog has appropriately followed the National Environmental Policy Act. (LA Times)
- Deepwater drilling moratorium criticized by owner of rig that caused Gulf oil spill (AP)
- MORE in the BP Oil Disaster:
- BP pegs spill at worst-case 100,000 barrels per day: A U.S. lawmaker released an internal BP document that pegged the worst-case rate of the spill far higher than government figures (Mother Nature News)
- Markey: BP 'either lying or grossly incompetent' on worst-case scenario (The Hill)
- Overlooked BP oil spill problem: Well gushes vast amounts of methane, could create Gulf 'dead zones' (AP)
- St. Bernard Parish getting skimmers to help fight Gulf of Mexico oil spill (NOLA.com)
- Salazar creates new agency to oversee drilling (NOLA.com)
- Energy Secretary Steven Chu says 'top kill' should have been tried earlier (LA Times)
- Feinberg ordered by Obama to get BP claims paid 'quickly' (The Hill)
- Death By Fire in the Gulf: So-called burn boxes are torching oil from the water's surface at the sacrifice of turtles, crabs, sea slugs and other sea life. (LA Times)
- Poll Finds Deep Concern About Energy and Economy (NY Times)
- OP-ED: Be careful cleaning up oil spill in areas where protected birds nest (NOLA.com)
- Gulf oil spill has brides canceling beach weddings (NOLA.com)
- Regulators Failed to Address Risks in Oil Rig Fail-Safe Device (NY Times)
- The History of the Blow-out Preventer: The Era of the Oil Gusher (NYT Green)
- BP fought off two U.S. demands on oil clean-up (Grist)
- Big Oil’s Predations are not Your Fault (Juan Cole's Informed Comment):
No, the BP oil volcano in the Gulf of Mexico is not your fault, despite what many pundits will tell you. Back in the 1960s when the environmental movement got going, major US corporations responsible for much of the nation’s pollution decided to fight it by paying for television advertising that urged individuals not to litter, thus implying that pollution is produced by anarchic individuals rather than by organized businesses. It was a crock then and it is a crock now.
You did not demand that BP consistently cut safety corners more than any other petroleum company....
- Fatal, Disastrous Decisions: Warnings in the Last Days of Deepwater Horizon
- MUST-READ: BOOM: The Last Days of DeepWater Horizon (GQ)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Twilight of the Coal Era?:
- NEW Rules from FERC: Because Knowing is Half the Battle (Balloon Juice):
Remember FERC? This week they started a regulatory actions to address the issue, largely because it’s becoming obvious that there won’t be any action addressing this issue (either) in the Energy Bill.
Yesterday FERC announced a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” on transmission. The rulemaking will cover three vital issues: making state and regional transmission planning acknowledge policy goals (that means renewable resource targets), improving inter-regional coordination (making everyone work together to develop an integrated system), and requiring everyone to come up with cost allocation methods (meaning figuring out how to spread the costs of transmission enough that this can take off). This is going to be contentious among utilities and states, as well as between the states and FERC (no love lost there).
- Malaria in Brazil linked to forest clearing (Environmental News Network)
- Food prices to rise by up to 40% over next decade, UN report warns: Growing demand from emerging markets and for biofuel production will send prices soaring, according to the OECD and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (Guardian UK)
- Awesome New USDA Antitrust Rule on Meat Industry: The USDA has come out with a new proposed rule and - based on the reaction it has gotten thus far - it's a big fucking deal. In a good way. The rules would place the sharpest limits on meat companies since the Great Depression, drastically lowering the bar that farmers and ranchers must meet to sue companies whom they accuse of demanding unfairly low prices. (La Vida Locavore)
- Will the New Climate Bill Damage U.S. Energy Security? (Slate):
Slate runs the numbers on one of the skeptics' favorite arguments [Yes, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, we're looking at you]: "[I]f the chamber believes in its own system, it should stop warning of the dangers of cap-and-trade and start touting the security benefits that Kerry-Lieberman would bring to America.
- Experts Warn Climate Change Is Beginning to Disrupt Agriculture:
With the added environmental stresses of climate change, prices of staple crops could double (Scientific American):Climate variability has already affected rains, droughts and temperatures in several parts of the United States, said Cynthia Rosenzweig, a senior research scientist with NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. "We are already seeing climate change."
"We are seeing the expansion of drying,"said Rosenzweig, as she brought up a slide showing precipitation measurements across the United States. The measurements, comparing values from 1958 through 2008, showed significant reductions in rainfall across large portions of the Northwest and Southeast. Idaho, Washington, Montana, Georgia and Florida had some of the most drastic changes in rainfall on the map.
Heat waves, at odd times of the year, affect the proper development of proteins within corn kernels, she said. "It is like scrambling eggs."