Showing posts with label Green Policy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Green Policy. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

President Grievance Strikes Again


Millions and millions of Americans are suffering but Trump only cares about his latest grievance against the world:

The US Department of Energy on Tuesday finalized a pair of new rules rolling back water efficiency standards on showerheads and other consumer appliances, punctuating President Donald Trump's long-documented water flow grievances in the final weeks of his administration. 

The new showerhead rule goes after the two-and-a-half-gallon-per-minute maximum flow rate set by Congress in the 1990s. Under current federal law, each showerhead in a fixture counts toward that limit collectively -- but the Energy Department's new rule means each showerhead individually can reach the limit set by Congress.

The department also established separate product classes for residential washers and dryer units that have cycle times of less than 30 minutes and meet lower efficiency standards. 

"Today the Trump Administration affirmed its commitment to reducing regulatory burdens and safeguarding consumer choice," Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette said in a statement. "With these rule changes, Americans can choose products that are best suited to meet their individual needs and the needs of their families."

Who needs substance anymore? Why bother governing? Trump is in it for himself and that includes making sure that his shitty properties can use cheap showerheads.

Some day, when we're suffering through a shortage of clean water and other natural resources, we'll look back fondly on the substance-free presidencies of Republican presidents and wonder, "how did anyone ever fall for these jackasses." And then we'll look at the shower head and go, "oh, yeah. That's how it happened."

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Elizabeth Warren's Clean Energy Plan

I have to confess that I like darned near all of people running for president, but I'm endorsing Elizabeth Warren because I like her approach to problem solving. I think she has the best chance of explaining what needs to be done, how to get it done, and how it will benefit the country. The next president is going to have to be the explainer in chief and win the arguments that it isn't even possible to have with Trump and his supporters.

Warren has so many plans, no one could adequately blog about all of them. What I like about this plan is that she isn't selling our future short. She's willing to make a huge investment.
Climate change is an existential threat. It’s real, it’s man-made, and we’re running out of time to address it. Our government needs to take bold action and use all the tools available to combat climate change before it’s too late. 
That’s why I’m proud to be an original supporter of the Green New Deal. That’s why I’ve proposed a historic $2 trillion investment in researching, developing, and manufacturing clean energy technology here in America so that we can lead the global effort to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and beyond. That’s why I support returning to the Paris Agreement and restoring Obama-era environmental protections like the Clean Power Plan. And that’s why I’ve proposed a set of executive actions I’ll take on day one of the Warren Administration to stop drilling and promote renewables on public lands. 
Today I’m proposing a plan to attack climate change from another angle too — using the power of public markets to accelerate the adoption of clean energy. I’m proud that my plan has the support of former Vice President Al Gore, a long-time leader on combating climate change, and support from many colleagues in Congress, including Senator Ed Markey and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — the original authors of the Green New Deal.
Yep, this is what I can get behind. We need to do it and that's why we need to make sure people are ready for the November election.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

They Are Poisoning Everyone and Everything

This article is a microcosm of what Trump has meant for America. It is nothing less than the wholesale poisoning of everyone and everything in order to sell the country off to foreign interests:

In the waning months of the Obama administration, a Chilean conglomerate was losing a fight with the United States government over a copper mine that it wanted to build near a pristine wilderness area in Minnesota.

The election of President Trump, with his business-friendly bent, turned out to be a game-changer for the project.

Beginning in the early weeks of Mr. Trump’s presidency, the administration worked at a high level to remove roadblocks to the proposed mine, government emails and calendars show, overruling concerns that it could harm the Boundary Waters, a vast landscape of federally protected lakes and forests along the border with Canada.

In order to secure the deal, the owner of the Chilean company rented a house to Jared and Ivanka Trump. This happened because the only corruption that’s allowed is Republican corruption, and it is the key to understanding what is happening:

The Trump administration’s efforts to smooth the way for Antofagasta’s mining ambitions began less than two weeks after the inauguration, when Interior Department officials began re-examining the leases, the government emails show.

The message from an early meeting, according to an attendee who spoke on condition of anonymity, was that officials should prepare for a change in direction.

Officials also made sure the incoming interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, not yet in the job, was briefed. In an email, one Interior Department official described that effort as a “fire drill.”

The administration’s efforts are documented in part in thousands of pages of government emails and calendars, many obtained through records requests by Louis V. Galdieri, a documentary filmmaker, and the Sierra Club, an environmental organization.

A key meeting occurred in early May, when Antofagasta’s chief executive, along with other executives and lobbyists, discussed the issue with the White House’s top adviser on domestic energy and the environment, Michael Catanzaro. The company said it wanted to reverse the Obama-era decisions, which it said were illegal and inflicted “undue damage.”

The next month, Interior Department officials learned that the White House had “expressed interest in the Twin Metals matter,” according to an email sent by a department lawyer marked “TIME SENSITIVE.” Soon after, top interior appointees traveled to the Minnesota site.

In any other era of American politics, someone like Ryan Zinke wouldn’t have been confirmed for any job in any administration. Why Zinke isn’t in Federal prison right now for corruption is beyond the understanding of reasonable adults.

Here’s what the Sierra Club had to say about this horrific project years ago:

The proposed underground sulfide mining project by Twin Metals LLC in northeastern Minnesota includes over 30,000 acres containing disseminated mineralization of copper/nickel and associated trace metals bonded to sulfide ores.  Located within the Superior National Forest approximately 10 miles east of Babbitt, 15 miles southeast of Ely, MN, and 2-3 miles from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA), the project was originally proposed by Franconia Minerals, which has since been absorbed by Twin Metals, a joint venture between Canadian Duluth Metals Ltd and Chilean Antofagasta PLC.  The project currently includes the Birch Lake, Maturi, and Spruce Road deposits, with exploration continuing.  The close proximity of the deposits to key water bodies such as the South Kawishiwi River, Birch Lake, the White Iron Chain of Lakes, and the BWCA create a potential for environmental destruction on an unprecedented level.  In fact, the South Kawishiwi River was named one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2013. 

Twin Metals’ proposed underground mine is referred to as an “underground city” by Twin Metals (St. Paul Pioneer Press). Miles of tunnels would be blasted out below ground where dump trucks and massive earth moving equipment would extract tremendous amounts of material to be transported to the surface. Portions of the Twin Metals’ deposits might be deemed more economically feasible to mine as open pits.

Due to the low grade character of the rock formation, less than 1% of the ore would be produced as copper, nickel and trace metals, with waste rock comprising the remaining 99%.  Since the amount of sulfur containing waste rock would be so enormous, the impact to the environment would be significant and long-term.

Although mining companies claim that they can “mitigate” such problems, there is currently no sulfide mine in existence that is not polluting the ground water.  Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) and toxic heavy metal release can last for centuries; adversely affect fish and other aquatic life, wildlife dependent on those aquatic lives as food sources, and the quality of watersheds and drinking water.  Sulfates (from sulfur) also leach into the environment and become part of a bio-chemical process that converts mercury into methyl mercury, which bio-accumulates in the food chain resulting in fish consumption advisories. Sulfates are particularly harmful to the growth of wild rice.  Thus, pollutants from sulfide mining operations could adversely affect food sources and ultimately, human health.  In addition, the scope of mining such low grade ores changes the landscape forever.

Advanced mineral exploration, including leasing and exploratory drilling, is now occurring on lands bordering the Boundary Waters and deep into the Superior National Forests and nearby state lands such as Bear Head Lake State Park and into the Cloquet Valley State Forest.  Twin Metals is currently developing its mine plans and the company is expected to begin the permit application and environmental review process in 2014.

They won’t stop until everything is in ruins and until every single dollar they can steal is wedged up into their own asses. This is the most sickeningly corrupt era I’ve ever seen.

And, yep, I wrote about this three years ago. Sigurd Olson is a figure more Americans should know about.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Conservative Agenda Dominates American Politics

Before the day is out, Matt Grossmann's bullshit will be eviscerated eight ways to Sunday. Here's what I carved out of his delusional piece:
Conservatives in Congress are the prime suspects in Washington’s dysfunction. Veteran congressional watchdogs Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann called the previous session the “worst Congress ever,” and they did not hold back in assigning blame: “The Republicans are the problem,” they said. After a fruitless government shutdown last fall, even House Speaker John Boehner lashed out at conservative groups and passed bills over the opposition of his caucus.
In response, conservatives make two simple claims: Most policies under debate are liberal, and Republican leaders sacrifice conservative principles when they compromise. History shows they are right on both counts.
Ornstein and Mann have simply identified the tactic of obstructionism; this is how Republicans drive the agenda. They obstruct when they cannot simply destroy something, like the labor movement or the regulatory agencies of the American government. 

The idea that U.S. policy has "gone the liberals' way" is laughable. The agenda that runs American politics is almost entirely a conservative one; liberal ideas are often non-starters.There are--as of yesterday--efforts underway by an anything-but-liberal President who wants to undertake the radical idea of closing gender pay gaps, something that would have been accomplished decades ago if liberals controlled the agenda. We are watching the destruction of voting rights in this country and conservatives are driving this agenda. We have a bloated defense budget and cannot establish a foreign policy initiative in this country without hearing John McCain scream for more war. There are no jobs bills alive anywhere and, hence, there is no initiative within the Federal government that has a chance of passing that would do anything to put people back to work. The oligarchs are in charge, and they are not liberals.

Obamacare? A liberal idea pushed by liberals on a conservative country? Oh my God--give me a break. We need single payer insurance for anyone to be convinced that the "liberals" have won this debate. We're lucky to have anything, period.

What few policies end up being delivered by the government are watered-down to the point where they almost inevitably betray the liberal agenda. I mean, there is no coherent energy policy, a liberal idea and agenda item if there ever was one. There is no way a progressive with a desire to protect the environment or the American worker is ever going to be elected to national office. And what? Go out and try to deliver jobless benefits, and stimulate business hiring in order to deal with our crippling unemployment?

The conservatives have successfully driven abortion providers into hiding in this country if they're even available at all. Despite things like actual democracy and voting--elections, Supreme Court decisions, constitutional amendments--the conservative agenda is one that subjects Americans to relentless attack. They hide behind bringing freedom because going out and actively saying, "we're here to force things into your vagina" only play in certain rural areas.They don't care about privacy, and what little they do pretend to care about will vanish as soon as a Republican wins the White House. 

Grossmann wants you to think the liberal agenda is one of handouts. It is not. The liberal agenda evens the playing field for working people. Ask your local oligarch how that's working out for him.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Space Program Runs Into the New Austerity

Space exploration has had to take a backseat--and a serious overhaul in funding--because we have spent ourselves into oblivion. If you know anything at all about research and development, the innovation of space flight and space research, then you know that we are simply eating the seed corn at this point. Tomorrow's innovations won't happen simply because we are not going forward with space exploration and research. All of the technology we use to communicate right now--the satellites being just the tip of the iceberg--has been helped in some way by space research. 

That's going away now, and, with it, the possibility of capturing the imagination of the next wave of people who are going to be born in the next few years and won't have anything meaningful to inspire them, in terms of space exploration and going to places like Mars and beyond. There's a very real possibility that manned spaceflight itself might end altogether in the next few decades.

There is a new administration in Washington, trying to pick up the pieces of the debacle left by the last administration, and it is trying to come to terms with austerity and reality. Too bad there isn't anyone working in that administration who can do a better job than this man, whose tears are a little much to take:

It's Charlie Bolden's job to make people get it - to make them understand. So, how do you think he is doing? You may well have seen some of his Congressional appearances, and the speeches he's given of late.

There are those who think he's just sold the vision badly; there are others who think he's got the impossible sell.

Charlie Bolden, himself, says he was insufficiently prepared to roll out and explain the president's plan. He's made that confession on a number of occasions now and repeats it in the BBC interview with our Washington correspondent Philippa Thomas.

What do you make of his very public displays of emotion? We've seen Charlie Bolden swallow hard several times as he discusses the end of the shuttle. In our interview, the passion overwhelms him for a few moments. The tears flow:

"It is very difficult... it's really difficult. It's a programme that has gone for 30 years and it's been incredible. And you know during the programme I've unfortunately had an opportunity to watch or witness the loss of two vehicles, but most importantly 14 people. On the first crew that we lost on the Challenger, they were very, very, very, very close friends because I had trained with them. Mike Smith on the crew I had been in school with. So they were really close friends. It was a flight so close on the heels of my first flight; I had landed just 10 days prior to Challenger."
And speaking of the shuttle workers in Florida, he adds: 
"Shuttle becomes like a person to them, and so they're very attached to them and as each vehicle flies its last flight, they have a really difficult time. Unless you've been in this programme, people don't understand that; and they think we're crazy."

I urge you to remember that this is virtually the end of the space program, and we will never know what breakthroughs in science, medicine, communications, or research we will now never realize or see come to fruition. At exactly the point in our civilization when we need greener technologies and smarter use of our dwindling resources, we are killing the very thing that delivers untold riches in scientific solutions and discoveries.

Posted via web from An American Lion is on Posterous