Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007 and Hello 2008: Happy New Year

PRESIDENT'S CORNER. By Norris McDonald. It was a very good year. I traveled to China, Brazil and France. It helped to bolster our operation in Homeland China and we opened an office in Hong Kong. Brazil and France opened new doors for us that we hope to expand upon in 2008. We opened a Midwestern Office based in Evansville, Indiana. Hopefully our feet on the ground will give us standing for implementation of the new energy bill.

My son turns 16 on Jan 3. WOW. Time flies. We hope to open an office in Europe in 2008. Of course I prefer the Yuan to the Euro for obvious reasons. God bless America (and the rest of the world too). I hope you have a very Happy New Year. And don't forget to JOIN AAEA. (Picture hand drawn in Beijing, China)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Political Environment & Green Movement In America

Senator Barack Obama has raised more money than any other presidential candidate but will he be elected president of the United States? His race, more so than his politics, will determine his electability. It is unique to American politics but not unique in American politics. The Washington Post cites the phenomenon:

"Less than 4 percent of the nation's elected officials are black, and 90 percent of them represent predominantly black or predominantly black-and-Hispanic constituencies. Thus, not many black politicians have won elections when the majority of voters were white. Only three black U.S. senators and two black governors have been elected since Reconstruction."
Blacks represent 13% of the U.S. population so Senator Obama represents the exception and not the rule in his powerful run for the top political office in the land. Black Americans navigate through a society that challenges them to fully participate while being hostile to their participation. Barack Obama, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, among others, address this paradigm differently. All are relevant and needed.

The environmental movement has far less African American participation at the policy professional position level than the American political environment. There might not be one policy professional working for any traditional environmental group at the moment. If you're out there let us know. Thus the need for an AAEA, among others, to give voice to the reality that virtually every American city has a black side of town and a white side of town. Yet, the African American community is as American as apple pie.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Keep Producing the Banned CFC Asthma Inhalers


AAEA calls on President Bush and Congress to repeal the ban on CFC asthma inhalers.

As a signatory to the Montreal Protocol, the USA committed to eliminating asthma inhalers that contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) as a propellant because it destroys atmospheric ozone. Of course it is estimated that such inhalers only contribute around 1 percent to that loss. AAEA opposes elimination of the CFC inhalers, left, because the replacements, Hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) inhalers, right, do not work as well. The propellant does not provide the same power. The taste is different, they are more expensive and a very small amount of ethanol is added to the new inhalers. Ethanol is grain alcohol (moonshine) and we also burn it in our cars.

AAEA supports the National Campaign To Save CFC Asthma Inhalers. The 1987 Montreal Protocol required signatory countries to eliminate CFC use by Jan 1, 2006. An 'Essential Use Exemption' was granted for the space shuttle and asthma inhalers, until Jan 1, 2009, when CFC inhalers are banned for medical use and the new HFA inhalers are scheduled to replace them (FDA final rule 21 CFR 2.125). [Hat Tip: Art Abramson, The National Campaign to Save CFC Asthma Inhalers, 415-753-2122]

ABC News Channel 7 Story featuring AAEA President Norris McDonald


Hugo Chavez, Energy & the American Black Community

Hugo Chavez hates President Bush and is working very hard to become a dictator in Venezuela. Venezuelans recently rebuffed his referendum to gain even more power. It will not stop him. Young people have already started protesting against the abuses of his governance. White and Black American liberals have embraced Chavez as a sort of hero even in the face of his abuses at home. Former congressman Joe Kennedy gets cheap fuel oil from Chavez through Citgo and Danny Glover, Cornell West, Harry Belafonte and British model Naomi Campbell have met privately with him. Well Kennedy got a $100 million fuel oil deal and apparently the others got nothing but lip service. Par for the energy course. America gets about 13% of its oil from Venezuela.

So we have a suggestion for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Sell Citgo to an African American entrepreneur. AAEA can suggest excellent buyers for you. Blacks do not own any energy infrastructure in the United States. The big energy companies simply are not inclined to include African Americans as equity partners. So since it appears that Chavez enjoys goosing America through providing cheaper fuel oil through Joe Kennedy's Citizen's Energy, maybe he would get a bigger kick out of empowering an American minority entrepreneur. Divest now President Chavez. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

MERRY CHRISTMAS

PRESIDENT'S CORNER. By Norris McDonald. What does Christmas mean to you? Maybe for an atheist it means the end of the fourth quarter and hopes for our capitalist system to get needed stimulation. Maybe for a pagan it is sorrow for the disturbance of the many Christmas trees. Maybe for the Christian it is the recognition of the birth of Jesus Christ (even though the date is not right). Maybe for the Muslim it is an interesting festival time. Maybe for the Buddhist it is being one with the snowflake or the falling leaf. Maybe for the Hebrew it means still waiting. Maybe for the Hindu it means nothing at all. Ah but for the four year old, it clearly means Santa Claus, Christmas trees and presents.

I tease my 15 year old son now about the great entertainment it provided for me to see his excitement about Santa. The milk and cookies gone in the morning that Santa drank and ate. My son (5 yrs old at the time-1997) is sitting on the lap of Walter Tibbs at the Frederick Douglass house in Highland Beach south of Annapolis, Maryland in the upper left picture. He was first in line and asserted his good behavior and belief that he deserved an X-Man action figure. Ah Christmas. Rest, relaxation and a good time for reflection.

National Harbor Gaylord Resort & Convention Center

AAEA was the only environmental group of any kind to support the National Harbor-based Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center during the planning and approval phases for the site and facility. Not that this will ever be publicized mind you except by us because it happens for our good work most of the time. But AAEA does not allow such 'publicity avoidance' to stop us from continuing to do good work. Here is what The Washington Post said about the project today:

"With an 18-story atrium towering over the banks of the Potomac, Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is reshaping the skyline of Prince George's County. Now the hotel and meeting place, the largest to be built on the Eastern Seaboard, is set to transform the economic terrain of the county, which has struggled for years to lure major employers. Gaylord posted more than 2,000 jobs on its Web site recently."
Prince George's County is the richest majority African American county in the United States and the developers appear to be working in good faith to include minority equity, management participation and employment in this historic project. Although many folk from the majority will groan at describing 'minority participation,' this group is purposely excluded in so many areas (and believe us we know) that it should be publicized when an operation does the right thing. And in that regard, talk to anyone in Prince George's County and they will tell you that project developer Milt Perterson has always tried his best to do the right thing. This county appreciates Mr. Peterson's interest in an area of the region that has been avoided by other developers. Thank you.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Nuclear Power Gets Loan Guarantees

The FY 2008 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, contained within the FY 2008 Omnibus Appropriations bill (H.R. 2764) continues the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program for two more years. The bill contains language directing the Secretary of Energy to provide $38.5 billion in loan guarantees, with a specific requirement that $20.5 billion be provided for nuclear energy, ($18.5 billion for nuclear reactors, $2 billion for uranium enrichment), $10 billion for renewable energy and energy efficiency, $8 billion for clean coal technology.

It is being projected that new nuclear plants will cost as much as $4 billion and will take at least 7 years to construct. The first six plants are being heavily subsidized by the federal government to assure a renaissance of new nuclear power plant construction. The loan guarantees are a very important component of the federal support. Nuclear companies are forming consortia and aggressively competing with each other for these subsidies. Front end construction and operation success will pave the way for the hundreds of nuclear power plants America needs to provide reliable electricity. Will African Americans have a role in this nuclear renaissance?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Courts Support Global Warming Mitigation

In a Dec 12, 2007 ruling, Federal District Court Judge Anthony Ishii rejected the auto industry's claim that federal fuel economy standards preempted the authority of California and other states to limit global warming pollution from automobiles. Of course, passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act (H.R. 6) of 2007 on Dec 18, 2007 moved EPA to reject California's waiver request to use fuel economy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles to mitigate global warming.

On Sept 12, 2007 a federal judge in Vermont ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has an obligation to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on April 2, 2007 in Massachusetts vs Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the agency does have the authority to regulate carbon dioxide as a criteria pollutant under the Clean Air Act. More specifically, the court to ruled 5 to 4 that the EPA violated the Clean Air Act by improperly declining to regulate new-vehicle emissions standards to control carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming. Background: when groups in Massachusetts petitioned the EPA to set standards for greenhouse gas emissions for new vehicles EPA declined in 2003 citing "numerous areas of scientific uncertainty" about the causes and effects of global warming. Massachusetts, along with other states and cities, took the agency to court.

The U.S. Supreme Court also unanimously ruled on April 2, 2007 in Environmental Defense vs Duke Energy Corporation that industrial smokestacks and power plants must meet the Clean Air Act's New Source Review program (NSR), which requires that when large industrial facilities, such as power plants, refineries and chemical plants, expand operations and increase air pollution, they must also modernize air pollution controls.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Media Should Be Careful With Nuclear Reporting

The Washington Post published an article, "A Nuclear Site Is Breached," that made it sound like a commercial nuclear power plant in Africa was successfully breached by attackers. The article should have distinguished between a commercial nuclear power plant (only one on the continent of Africa) and a nuclear research facility. The distinction is very important because the article referred to "a site where hundreds of kilograms of weapons-grade uranium are stored." Such uranium is not at any commercial nuclear power plants. The attack at the research center was not successful and would have completely failed at any highly secured commercial nuclear power plant. AAEA would like to see many more nuclear power plants constructed in many different African countries and confusing articles will not make the job any easier.

The article should have taken the time to distinguish between Pelindaba Nuclear Research Center, left, where the attack occurred, and Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, right, which is the commercial nuclear power plant and the only one on the entire continent. Pelindaba is a research facility and Koeberg is a commercial nuclear power plant. The Pelindaba Center is located at Pelindaba near Hartbeespoort Dam approximately 30-35 km West of Pretoria( Northern South Africa inland). Koeberg is approximately 30km northwest of Cape Town, close to Melkbosstrand (Southern South Africa on the coast). The article described a 'successful' attack that posed a danger for constructing a dirty bomb. Hopefully, such reporting in the future will provide distinguishing descriptions of the facilites so that the public will not be unnecessarily frightened and prejudiced against this beneficial technology. With public acceptance African countries could prosper from the benefits of nuclear power and mitigate the problems of global warming and climate change.

EPA Denies California Global Warming Waiver Request

On the same day that President Bush signed the energy bill (H.R. 6), EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, right, denied California's request to limit its own global warming gases from cars and trucks. Johnson concluded that the new energy law obviates the need for the equivalent of fuel economy standards in California because it requires a comparable 35 mpg nationwide requirement. We agree with President Bush and EPA on this issue. A nationwide fuel economy standard is much better than a patchwork of standards by each state patterned after the California law (A.B. 1493) and the Northeastern states (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative-RGGI).

Now we need an international climate change agreement patterned after the Asia Pacific Partnership and American legislation establishing a cap and trade program (no auction) for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. America should adopt new technological developments to lead the world in greenhouse gas reduction and energy productivity, including: solar, wind, efficiency, conservation, natural gas, clean coal, and nuclear. (Wash Post)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Congress Passes Final Energy Bill

The House passed the final version of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 today (Dec 18) by a vote of 314 to 100. The Senate passed the revised energy bill 86 to 8 on Dec 13. It now goes to the president for his signature.

President Bush will sign his second energy bill (H.R. 6) and will thus lead America into a new age of automobile efficiency. Raising vehicle fuel economy standards is a great achievement that eluded other presidents and congresses since the passage of the original mileage law (Energy Policy Conservation Act of 1975). President Bush signed his first energy bill, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. AAEA atttended the signing of that historic legislation.

Key provisions of the bill include: Autobile fuel efficiency stardard of 35 miles a gallon by 2020, Renewable fuel ethanol use increased to 36 billion gallons a year by 2022, Green Jobs training for 35,000 people every year, Increases the efficiency of buildings and appliances and eliminates incandescent light bulbs by 2015, among others. The new law also goes far in helping to fulfill the goals of the California global warming law and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Iniative (RGGI) of the Northern states.

Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
(Enrolled as Agreed to or Passed by Both House and Senate)[H.R.6.ENR]

Friday, December 14, 2007

Obama Targeted By Anti-Nuclear Protesters in S.C.

According to numerous published reports anti-nuclear protesters planned to disrupt presidential candidate Barack Obama's rally with Oprah Winfrey in Columbia, S.C., on Dec. 9. The activists hoped to draw attention to recent statements Obama made in support of nuclear power, including a comment favoring Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). AAEA supports the GNEP. Evidently the demonstrators were relegated to a "free speech" holding area several blocks from the venue where Obama and TV personality Oprah Winfrey appeared. They urged colleagues to investigate how much money Obama is receiving from companies in the nuclear energy industry and to start a letter-writing campaign to Winfrey demanding that she take a stance against GNEP and for free speech.

These extremists were dealt with appropriately by the rally organizers. It is our opinion that these eco-extremists go out of their way to show extraordinary disrespect to African Americans who do not agree with them. AAEA experienced such disrespect last summer from some eco-hillbilly extremists. Note that they have not targeted Chris Dodd (D-Conn) or any of the Republican presidential candidates, all of whom support nuclear power. Senator Obama and Ms. Winfrey should aggressively engage them because these eco-extremists see them as targets to be particularly disrespected and to use for their own publicity purposes. AAEA is pronuclear and would be more than happy to provide a counterpoint to these extremists.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bush Beats Gore (Again) at Bali Climate Change Conference

The Bush administration won the battle between establishing an arbitrary 25% reduction or relying on technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the recent climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia. This conference is the beginning of the second stage of global climate talks to extend climate change programs from the Kyoto Protocol, which ends in 2012. Signatories to the protocol will not achieve their current emissions reductions targets by the deadline so it would appear that establishing even more stringent targets would be continuing a failed program. AAEA supports the technological approach over the hard target approach.

Our bet is that Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chairman James Connaughton led the fight to avoid setting arbitrary limits of 25-40 percent. Connaughton is being practical because he knows China and India will never agree to hard targets so would never sign such an agreement. And without these two countries any climate change agreement is useless and doomed to failure. Moreover, the American public will not accept any plan that requires a reduction in our standard of living or placing any kind of limit on our economic growth. That is why President Bush did not support the Kyoto Protocol. (More at The Washington Post, WP)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

AAEA Supports Proposed ExxonMobil LNG Project

Exxon Mobil is proposing to build a $1 billion floating liquefied natural gas plant 20 miles off the coast of New Jersey.The project would begin operating in 2015 and would provide 1.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day enough for 5 million homes. The facility will be known as Blue Ocean Energy. Hopefully ExxonMobil will not make the same mistakes other projects have made in seeking state and local approval.

AAEA has either supported or sought to negotiate partial minority ownership (See LNG) at such projects on the East and West coasts with little success. We have suggested partial minority ownership for these projects but the developers have not been receptive. Maybe this is part of the reason the projects are failing. Moreover, these proposed LNG facilities or their pipelines have a funny way of finding minority communities. We believe safe, environmentally friendly and mutually beneficial economic partnerships can be established between these types of projects, the local communities and minority entrepreneurs. So far, the big boys just do not seem to get it. Or get it and would rather not get approval for the projects than include minorities.

The BHP Billiton project (Cabrillo Deepwater Port) near Malibu was rejected by the State of California, the AES proposal for Baltimore, Maryland is in limbo and the Broadwater Project proposal for the Long Island Sound does not appear to be moving forward. The Mitsubishi proposal in Long Beach failed due to its proxity to a minority community and a highly developed area. AAEA took no position on the Long Beach and Baltimore projects because of local community opposition. (AAEA Malibu Press Conference, More, Video of Malibu Press Conference)

Roy Innis of CORE on Energy Policy

Roy Innis is national chairman of the New York-based Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), one of America’s oldest civil rights organizations. This excerpt comes from his testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives in December 2007. We often hear that “clean, free, inexhaustible” renewable energy can replace the “dirty” fossil fuels that sustain our economy. A healthy dose of energy reality is needed. Fully 85% of America’s total energy comes from fossil fuels. Over half of its electricity comes from coal. Gas and nuclear generate 36% of its electricity.

American consumers simply cannot afford to halt the construction of new coal-fired power plants, though some politicians, activists and even companies are trying to do exactly that. Power plants fueled by coal are far less polluting than 30 years ago. Just since 1998, their annual sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions have declined another 28% and 43% respectively. We need every energy resource: oil, gas, coal, hydroelectric, nuclear – and wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. We cannot replace 52% of our electricity (the coal-based portion) with technologies that currently provide only 1% of that power (mainly wind).

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Owner Sells African American Engineering Company

Rodney Hunt, right, just sold his RS Information Systems (RSIS) to Wyle, a Southern California aerospace engineering company, for a hefty sum. RSIS provides information technology, systems engineering, scientific support and management consulting. RSIS had more than $300 million in annual revenues and recently partnered to win a $1 billion contract with the U.S. Department of Energy. Our guess is Wyle wrote him a $100 million check. Hunt is 75% owner of RSIS. Don't you need a tax deduction Mr. Hunt?

Many minority owned firms find it hard to compete once they graduate from the 8(a) affirmative action program. It was smart for Hunt to sell when he did because revenues were falling quickly each year in the competitive open market. It is hard to impossible for a minority-owned firm to compete in the marketplace. We are marketeers but if a highly successful firm like this one cannot swim then the market waters must be shark infested. Discrimination is still an imperfection in the marketplace that confounds the best of minority firms. AAEA has felt its bite. Regardless, Mr. Hunt made a very good business decision and he is probably somewhere playing golf or enjoying his yacht. Or maybe he is creating or investing in another business. (The Washington Post)

Wandering Off The Plantation

It is an expression of leaving a place where others think you should stay. AAEA has wandered way off the plantation and it has been quite fulfilling. Many would have us address only certain issues such as environmental justice and racism. Of course we address environmental justice and racism but we do not limit ourselves to these important issues. Many are disappointed when we do not meet their expectations of what our positions should be. For instance, we know that conservation, wind and solar alone cannot meet our energy needs. Yet our supposed green brethren would have us believe it is so and express anger when we do not tow the movement line. Some believe that we should simply follow all of the positions of the mainstream environmental groups. Disagreement holds the threats of excommunication and pariah status. So be it. There are many segregated country clubs we have no desire to belong to anyway.

So AAEA has addressed issues based simply on science and logic. We take our positions based on what is good for our communities, our nation and our planet. We have supported certain important development projects including National Harbor and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge replacement. We support nuclear power. We support liquefied natural gas (LNG) use. We support clean coal and coal-to-liquid (CTL). We also aggressively support wind and solar because they are great emission free supplemental sources of power. We promote plug-in, fuel cell hybrid electric vehicles. We support a healthy mix of energy technologies. When plantation owners try to keep us in our place we just wander on off and do not accept their need for our dependence and subjugation. We also try our best to avoid victimhood addiction in favor of working to solve problems with practical solutions. Although it is the 21st Century, some still want us to have a plantation mentality. Well we are happy that we have wandered off to freely express ourselves and delighted with what we are doing.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Al Gore In Oslo, Norway and Bali, Indonesia

Al Gore is on the move again. This time he is in Oslo, Norway to pick up his Nobel Peace Prize for his global warming work. Then during the second week of the Bali Climate Change conference, he will leave Europe to speak at the post Kyoto gathering. We just wish he would get his carbon dioxide offsets from us.

Former Vice President Gore has now published a book, produced an Academy Award winning documentary, produced a worldwide Live Earth concert event, won the Nobel Peace Prize and having done all of this has become the global warming guru he refused to be while second in command during his White House years.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Statement of President Bush on Climate Change

"My Administration’s climate change policy is science-based, encourages research breakthroughs that lead to technology development, encourages global participation, and pursues actions that will help ensure continued economic growth and prosperity for our citizens and for people throughout the world. Since 2001, we have spent almost $37 billion on climate science, technology development, and incentives and international assistance. Recently, we convened representatives of the world’s major economies – the largest users of energy and largest producers of greenhouse gas emissions, from both developed and developing nations – to discuss a new international approach on energy security and climate change. Our aim is to agree on a detailed contribution for a new global framework in 2008 that would contribute to a global agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change by 2009. The United States looks forward to working with partners to reach consensus on a “Bali Roadmap” at the upcoming UN meeting on climate change in Indonesia in December."

"Energy security and climate change are two of the important challenges of our time. The United States takes these challenges seriously, and we are effectively confronting climate change through regulations, public-private partnerships, incentives, and strong investment in new technologies. Our guiding principle is clear: we must lead the world to produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and we must do it in a way that does not undermine economic growth or prevent nations from delivering greater prosperity for their people." [The White House sent it and we published it]

John Edwards Statement On Senate Climate Legislation

Senator John Edwards released the following statement on the Lieberman-Warner bill (S. 2191) that was approved Dec 5 by the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works:

"Addressing global warming is one of the great moral tests of our generation, and it's time for bold action and leadership to address this crisis that threatens the globe. While I'm glad to see that global warming legislation is finally moving in the Senate, unfortunately the Lieberman-Warner bill doesn't go far enough to address the crisis of global warming. We cannot be limited in our approach by the armies of lobbyists from big oil companies and other special interests. This bill gives away pollution permits to industry for free - a massive corporate windfall - instead of doing what is right and selling them so that we can use these resources to invest in clean energy research, create a new economy of green jobs, and help regular families and business go green."

"I believe it is our moral obligation to do everything climate science says is needed to save our planet. Ending global warming won't be easy, but it is time to ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war. If we start taking the bold action I have recommended, we can emerge from the crisis of global warming with an economy built on clean, renewable energy and more than one million new jobs." [His campaign sent it and we published it]

Energy (H.R. 6) & Climate (S. 2191) Legislation

The House passed the Energy Bill today (H.R. 6), the Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007 on a vote of 235-181 and now it moves to the Senate for final passage. President Bush has threatened to veto the bill because of provisions included that he opposes (Statement of Administration Policy). President Bush supports the most important provision of the legislation: increasing automobile fuel economy standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020, 40 percent more than the current 27.5 mpg standard. AAEA supports the legislation (and administration objections).

Update (evening Dec 13): The Senate passed the revised energy bill 86 to 8, which makes it veto proof. President Bush will sign it anyway if the House passes the revised bill, which eliminated the tax package.

Update
(morning Dec 13): The Senate voted 53 to 42 (evidently changed to 59 to 40), which fails to get the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture and close debate, effectively killing the measure. The Senate will try to rework the bill for passage before Congress adjourns. The bill failed largely because of the provision to pay for the renewables items with ending about $13 billion in tax breaks for oil companies over 10 years.

Energy Tax Incentives Package: The new $21 billion tax incentives package measured over 10 years includes 1) $2.8 billion in incentives for energy efficient products, 2) a $993 million credit for plug-in vehicles and 3) more than $7 billion in incentives for renewable fuels.

KEY PROVISIONS OF THE ENERGY BILL

1) Fuel Efficiency. The new stardard would be 35 miles a gallon by 2020.
2) Renewable Energy. Electric utilities would be required to use renewable energy sources for at least 15 percent of their power generation.
3) Taxes. A $21 billion package of tax incentives.
4) Efficiency Standards. Incandescent light bulbs would be eliminated by 2015.
5) Renewable Fuels. Ethanol use would be increased to 36 billion gallons a year by 2022.

The Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Warner (R-W.Va.) America's Climate Security Act (S. 2191) passed out of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee 11-8 on December 5 and will proceed to the Senate Floor (Chairman Boxer's Statement). The bill calls for the U.S. to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent by 2050. The House has not started hearings on a climate bill. AAEA supports the legislation. We do not support auctioning the allowances because it would increase the cost of the program and raise energy prices. (The Washington Post)

* Eliminated

Saturday, December 01, 2007

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Nuclear Power Godfather

By Norris McDonald. I recently traveled to France and met with Dr. Bruno Comby, the Godfather of environmentalists for nuclear power. Dr. Comby lives just outside of Paris and he is pictured at right holding his son. Bruno is the real deal, just like the Marlon Brando character, except he is a nuclear physicist. He is also the first environmentalist to publicly support nuclear power (1996). I have also noticed that some other 'prominent' environmentalist nuclear power supporters rarely to never mention him. We had a great chuckle about that after I told him about me getting the same treatment as the first American environmentalist to publicly support nuclear power.

My son and I spent four hours with Bruno and his family on an overcast Sunday afternoon. His colleague, Berol Robinson, was also present. Berol, next to Bruno in the photo, will move to the United States (Boston) in six months and will serve as president of the Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy in America. We ate a great lunch of vegetables and steamed chicken. He provided some organic cider for me, because sulfites cause a little asthma reaction. Bruno has a beautiful, smart and nice wife who works in computer IT at a bank. She also plays piano. And they are blessed with the cutest two year old son. Comby is building a state-of-the-art environmentally and energy friendly office next to his home (more on that later). It was a great visit to a person I have admired for a long time. (More)

Back To Paris By Train

New Vehicle Magazine Targets African Americans

A new 'newspaper-delivered consumer automotive magazine,' with the slogan, "Why Can't We All Just Buckle Up?" is targeting Blacks. "African Americans On Wheels" is published by On Wheels, Inc, which is a multicultural multimedia company that also publishes Asians On Wheels and Latinos On Wheels magazines.

The mag mostly advertises V-8 SUVs. Maybe AAEA can get them interested in covering energy legislation, particularly the 36 mpg requirement pending in current legislation. Hopefully they will also give some coverage to the potential of plug-in fuel cell hybrid electric to revolutionize transport.

AAEA President Takes Fact Finding Trip To France

AAEA President Norris McDonald traveled to France to tour a nuclear fuel reprocessing facility, meet with a member of the French congress and tour a nuclear power plant. The fact finding trip was from November 24-29, 2007 and included a ride on France's bullet train.

McDonald toured the La Hague nuclear fuel reprocessing facility near Normandy. He was briefed by Assemblyman Claude Birraux, a member of the National Assembly of France and the Chairman of the Parliamentary Office for Evaluation of Scientific and Technological Options. McDonald toured the Civaux nuclear power plant, France's newest. He is pictured above standing in front of this clean, safe, state-of-the-art emission free electricity producing facility.

Wayne Curry Leads Class-Action Suit On Pollution

Former Prince George's County Executive and lawyer Wayne Curry, right, is taking the lead on a class action lawsuit brought by an upscale Anne Arundel County community over water contamination. The suit is from residents of Gambrills and Crofton and is against Constellation Energy Group, which buried 4.5 million tons of toxic fly ash on an 80-acre site without warning homeowners. The local groundwater is now contaminated with arsenic and other metals and was a source of drinking water for some of the community residents.

It is being reported that this is Mr. Curry's first litigation since leaving office. The suit could include as many as 5,000 Crofton and Gambrills residents. (The Washington Post)

The Post Environmental Movement Took Off In 2004?

According to USA Today columnist Laura Vanderkam,

"The post-environmental movement took off in late 2004, when Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, green movement veterans, published an essay called The Death of Environmentalism. In the essay they argued that the traditional environmental approach — identify a pollutant, mobilize public opinion, pass a law to stop it — was inadequate for dealing with global warming. For starters, there's no one polluter to target. We're all sinners. "
Really? That is news to us and we have been working in the environmental movement for 28 years. Admittedly they shook up the Sierra Club and some other traditional environmentalist groups. But we knew those mainstream groups had lost their way at least a decade before Vanderkam's Nordhaus/Shellenberger revelation. We agree with Vanderkam that, "Americans don't like to limit ourselves, period. If fighting global warming requires sitting in the dark, we'll never do it." AAEA has long stated that Blacks want to participate in aggressive capitalism 'before' we are asked to conserve. America's Black community IS China and India when it comes to global warming and other energy issues. Yet we believe technology CAN mitigate environmental degradation while aggressively pursuing capitalism.

We also agree with Nordhaus/Shellenberger for proposing a $300 billion investment in a technology solution-based approach in this new economy. African Americans want to be right in the middle of this energy renaissance. Unfortunately, some are still dodging our participation.

Wind Power: Too Far Offshore Too Expensive?

AAEA testified at the Cape Wind Project in 2004 and three years later the project is still in jeopardy. The project developers told us at that time they could hold out maybe 2 more years. Well it has been 3 years and they are still fighting for a project that should have been a cake walk. We have lost our backbone in America and cannot even develop wind projects that many once touted as the perfect energy technologies to satisfy our energy needs. Massachusetts is hurting America's 'can do' image by allowing NIMBY elitists to slow or stop this valuable project.

Others are taking the innovation away from us just as France did with nuclear power. Talisman Energy Inc, a Canadian oil and gas company has partnered with the utility Scottish & Southern Energy PLC to proceed with plans to build a 200 turbine wind farm in the North Sea. It would provide enough electricity for one million people, or a fifth of Scotland's population. The only real obstacle is cost. The deeper the water and the longer the distance to land, the more a wind project's installed capacity will cost. The Scottish project will cost about $90 million, or $9 per megawatt compared to $1.5 million per MW for a gas-fired power plant. Yet Cape Wind in Nantucket Sound is planned to have a similar distance to shore as the Scottish project. The water depth is not 150 feet like the Scottish project. [Comparison of planned offshore wind farms] (The Wall Street Journal)