Friday, August 31, 2007

Congratulations Dana Perino

President Bush has chosen Dana Perino, left, to replace Tony Snow as White House Press Secretary. Excellent choice. We have known Ms. Perino for years and we think she is great. President Bush will be well served by Ms. Perino. She has always been responsive to us and helpful when she could be. She is also very good and knowledgeable on energy and environmental issues. We first met Ms. Perino when she served as the Director of Communications for the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).

Again, congratulations Dana. We promise not to bother you too much. We bet now 'one of your people' will get back to us instead of a personal return call.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

DOE Awards Nuclear Power Research Funding To Colleges

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $3.8 Million in funding to 38 U.S. Universities for advancing nuclear power research. DOE awarded $100,000 to 38 universities to enhance nuclear research and development (R&D) under President Bush's Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). The one-time GNEP University Readiness awards total $3.8 million in funding and will include upgrading laboratories; improving reactor facilities; purchasing state-of-the-art equipment; providing increased faculty support and further enhancing nuclear-related curricula. GNEP is part of a President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative and aims to close the nuclear fuel cycle by reducing proliferation risks, reducing waste and further increasing energy security around the world.

The grants are designed to increase research expertise and improve infrastructure at America's universities. Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dennis Spurgeon runs the DOE's GNEP. The GNEP University Readiness awards will directly enable a university to compete in future GNEP R&D solicitations and contribute to a new generation of engineers and scientists necessary for expanding nuclear power - a safe, reliable source of emissions-free energy. These GNEP University Readiness awards follow the Department's funding opportunity announcement in March and DOE's thorough review of all applications since the June deadline. This funding is part of $15.2 million that DOE has awarded to universities that provide nuclear energy programs in fiscal year 2007.

The universities receiving awards include:

Clemson, University Colorado School of Mines, Cornell University, Georgia Tech, Idaho State University, Kansas State University, Livingstone College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University, Ohio State University, Oregon State University, Pennsylvania State University, Prairie View A&M University, Purdue University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center, South Carolina State University, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Texas Engineering Experiment Station, University of California, Berkeley, University of Cincinnati, University of Florida, University of Idaho, University of Illinois, University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts-Lowell, University of Michigan, University of Missouri, Columbia, University of Missouri-Rolla, University of Nevada Las Vegas, University of New Mexico, University of Pittsburgh, University of South Carolina, University of Tennessee, University of Texas at Austin, University of Utah, University of Wisconsin, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

Read additional information on this announcement, GNEP and nuclear R&D programs.
Media contact(s): Angela Hill, (202) 586-4940 (Historically Black Colleges in bold)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Crandall Canyon Coal Mine Accident

The Aug 6 Crandall Canyon mine accident near Huntington, Utah killed six miners and three more (2 miners & a federal safety worker) in a cave in on Aug 16. Six others were also injured in the rescue attempt, which was called off after the rescue accident. Two men have become the faces of the disaster and will have to answer to Congress and other federal officials. The mine's owner is Robert E. Murray and the head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, which regulates mine safety, is Richard (Dick) E. Stickler.

Americans need electricity and coal is used to produce 50 percent of it. There will be mine accidents in the future just as there will be airline accidents. In 1923 there were 863,000 miners and one in 350 died in mine accidents. In 2006 there were 119,000 miners and 47 miners, one in 2,500 died in mine accidents. The median age of a miner is 46, 54% have high school diploma, 5 percent have college degrees and the average annual salary is $55,000. The five largest mining states are Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Wyoming and Texas. (Sources: Dept of Labor, Nat'l Mining Association, Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Washington Post)
"The Utah mining accident has illustrated the way increasing numbers of Hispanic immigrants are working the mines in this heavily white, mostly Mormon state. Three of the six men trapped in Monday's cave-in are from Mexico, according to the Mexican Consulate." (Wash Post)

NDR Energy - - Black-Owned Natural Gas Company

NDR Energy of Upper Marlboro, Maryland is a firm that sells natural gas to more than 15 utility companies in the USA. Its top suppliers are Total Eagle Energy Partners and Anadarko Petroleum Corp located in Houston, Texas. Customers in the DC Metro Area include Washington Gas and Baltimore Gas and Electric. According to Black Enterprise magazine NDR Energy had $108 million in sales in 2006 (#40 on BE top 110 black-owned industrial/service companies).

The company was founded by Rickey R. Hart in 2000. He now resides in North Carolina. (The Gazette)

Ground Zero Workers Plagued With Asthma

Almost 1,000 of the approximately 26,000 rescue workers at Ground Zero have developed asthma. This represents almost 4 percent of the rescue workers. Those who worked more than 90 days at the site represent 7 percent of the rescue workers. The average nation asthma rate if 0.3 percent. (New York Post 82807)
Courtesy: New York Post, Sunday, Aug 26, 2007

Black Balloons

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mike Huckabee Is Very Good on Environment & Energy

We are glad that Mike Huckabee did well in the Iowa straw poll by coming in second place. We like Huckabee's conservative values and his efficient way of communicating his views. This world view is applied to energy and environmental issues in The Wall Street Journal (81907). And we like his Fair Tax proposal to replace the federal income tax with a sales tax of either 24% or 30%.

Climate change: "We have allowed it to become a political issue rather than an issue about being responsible inhabitants of earth....Anything we do that does in fact curb and contain CO2 emissions is a good thing...My first thought is that a tax is not the ideal way to try to change behaviors....[and] this whole idea of carbon credits, it seems to me a bit like buying indulgences...I think every citizen can take some steps. flex fuel car, fluorescents. I'm from an agricultural state (Arkansas) so I tend to like biofuels. But I think the answer's going to be a combination of many sources: solar, nuclear, hydrogen, hydrogen cells and wind. The best thing the government could do is eliminate any type of penalties on productivity and innovation.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Radical Greens Threaten Utilities & Banking

PRESIDENT'S CORNER. By Norris McDonald. I recently thought I was going on a simple camping vacation in the woods of North Carolina with my son. Instead I stumbled into a personal and professional snake pit. Upon being asked to leave a gathering of extremist greens, I believe I was successful in preventing the protest against Progress Energy's Asheville power plant. It was my first time defending a coal facility, but I disagree with the call of the wild greens to shut down all coal, nuclear and natural gas electricity plants. These facilities generate about 90% of the electricity in the United States. Working to shut down this important American infrastructure amounts to anarchy. Most Americans do not want to live without electricity.

I must also admit to being disturbed by hearing about acts of sabotage against power plants. There was bragging in the woods at a roundtable about the theft of 60 boxes of documents from Watts Bar nuclear power plant. Quite disturbing indeed.

I just wish I could have helped the Bank of America. They ended up being the soft target once the Progress Energy protest was scratched. This cowardly protest against an undefended branch of this financial institution was right up there with being abusive towards my son. The radicals targeted the Bank of America becasue they provide financing for needed American energy infrastructure. They whined when five of them were arrested for violating a banking institution. Yet the radicals in the woods were intolerant of dissent. I apologize to the Bank of America. I wish I could have assisted in protecting you from intolerance. You provide a great service in financing needed energy infrastructure. Keep up the good work.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

AAEA Comments At Nuclear Regulatory Commission Hearing

AAEA participated in a Nuclear Regulatory Commission hearing on the Environment Report for the Unistar/Constellation Combined License Application on Aug 14, 2007. The hearing was held in Solomons, Maryland a few miles south of the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant, which is located in Lusby, MD. AAEA also submitted a written statement for the record.

AAEA President Norris McDonald Addresses NRC Officials

Addtional information about the facility can be found at this link and The Washington Post also published an article about the hearing. We are sure that Post reporter Dan Morse submitted a quote from AAEA but it must have been cut by the editors. Oh well, AAEA rendered invisible again. Fortunately, thanks to modern technology, we can get our message out to the public.

AAEA Parent Opens Hong Kong Office

We could not wait to announce this important development. The website and blog are still being developed but our expansion into Asia is very exciting. The Center for Environment, Commerce & Energy is the parent to AAEA. We will introduce the new Director soon.

The Center has opened a Hong Kong office to enhance our work in Southeast Asia. The Hong Kong Office will work closely with our Mainland China Office. There are unique issues in Hong Kong due to its unique history. And although it has reunited with the Mainland, there are many environmentaland energy issues that will have to be addressed. The Center plans to provide its expertise to assist with practical solutions to global warming and the many other environmental issues facing all countries.

Friday, August 10, 2007

AAEA Kicked Out of Southern AntiNuclear Gathering

AAEA President Norris McDonald and his son were told to leave the Southeast Convergence for Climate Action on the third day of the gathering because, as one of the organizers stated, "We do not share the same beliefs and goals." Why did they invite him to the conference? They already knew of AAEA's positions. Why did they accept his registration and $50 registration fee? The super radicals probably turned on those that invited him and demanded his expulsion. Regardless, it was a cowardly act. It was also abusive because it involved McDonald's son. And this after AAEA invited Paul Gunter of one of the organizing groups to participate on a panel at the Howard University School of Law earlier this year (See Environmental Justice Blog). He was treated with dignity and respect (See videos).

The organizers also clearly violated their own Southeast Convergence for Climate Action Anti-oppression Policy, which states, "In order to create a safe and productive environment for activism and community, we will not tolerate behavior that demeans, marginalizes, or threatens people. " Well our fearless leader communicated back to us that he felt demeaned and marginalized. He also stated that his son felt threatened (See video below). Of course, knowing our fearless leader he was more than prepared to protect himself and his son from any harm. But they were on private property deep in the mountainous back woods in Brevard near Asheville, North Carolina. And the two of them were vastly outnumbered.

This was a traumatic incident for McDonald's son, but he has been assured that it is a great learning experience. Although it will be imprinted on him for the rest of his life, it should not be attributed to the South. Blame lays with elitist radicals bent on a purest mission. We abhor this purist ethic and it led to a perverse place in the past. And we do not hold the same beliefs or goals.

Asheville Citizen-Times

The BICEP Bulletin Asks: Does Elitism Exist in the Environmental Movement

Fox News

ABC News

Interview at Progress Energy Electric Plant

All of this is simply a 21st Century manifestation of the racial underbelly of America as exemplified by the mindset of some elitists in the past:

March of 1857, the United States Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, declared in Dred Scott v. Sanford that all blacks -- slaves as well as free -- were not and could never become citizens of the United States. The case before the court was that of Dred Scott, a slave who had lived in the free state of Illinois and the free territory of Wisconsin before moving back to the slave state of Missouri. He appealed to the Supreme Court in hopes of being granted his freedom. Taney wrote in the Court's majority opinion that, because Scott was black, he was not a citizen and therefore had no right to sue. The framers of the Constitution, he wrote, believed that blacks "had no rights that the white man was bound to respect..."

We are certain that we will not experience such intolerance at the upcoming Bush Administration climate change summit. AAEA will share its backwoods experience with the participants of this summit.

Fortunately, there is not unanimity on our expulsion: One participant sent us the email below:

"It was disturbing for me to hear today about your expulsion from the Convergence. I can't understand intolerance of this nature. Ideas and information need to be exchanged freely, even if we disagree. I regret deeply this happened to you and your son and I can assure you the Canary Coalition had no part in asking you to leave, nor were we informed of such a decision by anyone at the camp...I'll be glad to continue this conversation with you, if you're willing."

Avram Friedman, Executive Director, Canary Coalition

Thursday, August 09, 2007

AAEA at Southeast Convergence for Climate Action

Local, state, regional and national environmentalists and antinuclear activists are gathering for a week on a private camp ground near Asheville, NC to discuss climate change. AAEA President Norris McDonald is attending the convergence and is reporting back that although we disagree with virtually all of their positions and their strategy, he is finding the get-together to be quite informative. Some new information is being discussed that he was not aware of. More on that later.

Climate Convergence (Part One)

Of course we are baffled at how these activists would provide America with the power it needs. They want to shut down all of the nuclear, coal and natural gas plants. And many local activists are opposing wind projects from a NIMBY position. All that is left is photovoltaic and environmentalists would oppose those projects too if they were being proposed in any kind of serious way.

Climate Convergence (Part Two)

Our fearless leader also reports that it is funny that some of the traditional environmentalists do not consider us to be environmentalists because of our support for nuclear power, yet the nuclear industry's association does not consider us to be environmentalists either. We are just the odd man out. But the thing that both of those camps have in common is their aversion to hiring and retaining black policy professionals. And though both camps are quite wealthy, they avoid sharing virtually any resources with the black community.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

House Passes Energy Bill

The House voted 241 to 172, with 26 Republicans joining Democrats, on Aug 4 to pass an energy bill that puts the accent on renewable energy and conservation. The bill requires more energy efficiency in appliances, buildings and power grids, grants for studies to promote ethanol pipelines, installation of pumps for 85 percent ethanol fuel at as statios and production of cellulosic ethanol. The bill requires that 15 percent of electricity come from solar, wind or other renewables by 2020. The bill also calls for a carbon neutral federal government.

The House also passed an energy tax package on a vote of 221 to 189, with nine Republicans joining Democrats, that revokes $16 billions in tax breaks for the oil and gas industry.

This bill could be considered the environmentalist bill while the Energy Policy Act of 2005 was more of an industry bill favoring production of traditional energy sources, such as coal, oil and nuclear power.

Now the House bill has to be reconciled with the Senate bill, which passed in June and contains provisions to increase the average-fuel-efficiency requirements for cars. The House bill does not have a fuel economy component because of John Dingell. The Senate version requires that cars and light trucks sold in the U. S. achieve a fleet average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

President Bush To Host Climate Change Summit

The Bush administration will host an international climate change summit that will include 16 nations. The summit will take place on Sept 27-28 and will be hosted by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. President Bush relies on investment in new technologies, efficiency and flexibility in achieving global warming mitigation.

The conference will "seek agreement on the process by which the major economies would, by the end of 2008, agree upon a post 2012 framework," the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol. The following countries have been invited to send representatives to the summit: Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and South Korea. (Wash Times)

African Americans Do Not Own Energy or Environment

The Environmental Movement is now a $6 billion per year industry. Virtually no blacks work in professional policy positions in these organizations. Blacks also do not own, operate or manage the energy resources produced in this country. So from green groups to energy companies blacks are left out of positions of power. Is this good for America? We do not think so. Excluding blacks from full participation is counter productive because the expertise, imagination and energy of a large portion of our population are wasted. In the new world of resource competition, the U.S. can no longer afford to continue with this 20th Century inefficiency. The Chinese are not distracted by such nonsense.

Now the United States is facing the challenge of global warming. Massive efforts will be launched to address this most important of environmental issues. Will blacks again be excluded and marginalized in participating in the resolution of this problem? Blacks want to participate but run into roadblocks and exclusive inclinations at every turn. Elitism and greed are radioactive and should be contained. Open up the door America. It is the 21st Century. There is more than enough to go around. And we need every able American in the mix to keep up with a rapidly changing world.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Racial Environment In America: Inefficient & Ineffective

China has moved ahead of the United States in every category except maybe the military. China is basically a one race country and does not have to concern itself with the inefficiencies of race relations. Virtually every city in the United States has a black side of town and a white side of town. Even New York, Chicago and Los Angeles have separate commnities. America wants the ideal of a melting pot like it wants to fight global warming- - without any significant personal adjustments. So climate will change but not the nature of our neighborhoods. Whites want blacks to assimilate, but just not in their neighborhoods. So blacks happily live in their own neighborhoods.

Yet when the terms African American or black are invoked whites seem to take offense or tend to ignore 'the black community.' There is an ethic of 'why can't everyone just be Americans?' Don't they notice that blacks notice that they run and move away as blacks move in? So looking over one's shoulder and suggesting that we are all 'just Americans' seems a bit hypocritical, and that is being generous. This is also ironic because the African American community is as American as apple pie. So the Chinese will continue advancing their society because they do not have to tip toe around each other after work. And even if Barack Obama is elected president, American neighborhoods will not change. A very good description of this response to the term African American is in the PG Gazette.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Lieberman & Warner Global Warming Bill

Senators Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn), left, and John Warner (R-VA), right, have unveiled a climate change bill that would establish a federal Climate Change Credit Corporation (CCCC) that would auction emission allowances and use the money to promote technologies. The goal of the legislation is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent from current levels by 2050.

Some of the provisions include: 1) free allocation of emissions to cover 30 percent of utility needs in 2012 based on historical use, 2) phase in full allowances, 3) transportation emission allowances imposed at the refinery levels, 4) Auction 52 percent of all of the allowances by 2035, 5) auction revenue used to promote clean renewable energy sources, carbon capture and storage and new vehicle technologies, 6) ease impacts on coal mining communities, 7) relief to negatively impacted companies from price rise risk. (Wash Post)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

AAEA Joins New Electricity Alliance in New Jersey

AAEA recently joined the New Jersey Alliance for Affordable, Clean, Reliable Electricity (NJACRE). The NJ Alliance (ACRE) was formed to assure that New Jersey develops and supports energy policies that protect our environment and improve the economy. ACRE is a diverse collection of individuals and groups representing environmental, business, health care, labor, academic, and civic communities.

ACRE's key focus is the development of new and emerging clean energy technologies, encouragement of conservation, and a greater reliance on existing clean energy technologies, including wind, solar, geothermal, nuclear and ocean. Although the alliance will promote supplemental technologies, nuclear power will be the focss because the state's four nuclear plants provide almost 52 percent of its electricity with emitting any smog-forming or greenhouse gases. Moreover, Governor Corzine has announced his intention to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The regulations would also cap emissions at 20 percent of 2006's levels by 2050. New Jersey is also a signatory to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).