Monday, December 31, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
"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."
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
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
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
"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
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
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
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
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
Thursday, December 13, 2007
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
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
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
"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]
"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."
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.
KEY PROVISIONS OF THE ENERGY BILL
Saturday, December 01, 2007
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)
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.
"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. "
Friday, November 30, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Former New Jersey Governor and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Todd Whitman cochairs a coalition that started publicly supporting nuclear power in 2005. She speaks to groups around the country about the emission free benefits of nuclear energy.
The pro-nuclear movement needs more American environmentalists to ACTIVELY support nuclear power. We accent actively because, although some folk give lip or blog service support, they do not show up at the public hearings, forums and press conferences to support the renewed interest in developing this technology. They are also not doing the homework needed to promote the building of new nuclear power plants. Although there is much discussion and many plans to build these new plants, not one order has been placed. No one really knows if this rennaisance will happen and the anti-nuclear movement has not gone away. Wall Street and Main Street will still have much to say about a possible nuclear power future. AAEA could use some help out here in the field of battle. More American environmentalists need to step up to the plate. Global climate change is the most important environmental issue facing us today.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
City / % African American (added by AAEA)
1. Detroit 82%
2. St. Louis 51%
3. Flint, Mich 53%4. Oakland, Calif 36%
5. Camden, N.J. 53%
6. Birmingham, Ala 73%
7. North Charleston, S.C. 50%
8. Memphis, Tenn 61%
9. Richmond, Calif 36%
10. Cleveland, Ohio 51%
11. Orlando, Fla 27%
12. Baltimore, Md 64%
13. Little Rock, Ark 40%
14. Compton, Calif 62%
15. Youngston, Ohio 44%
27. Washington, DC 60%
Source: Wikipedia (2000 U.S. Census), CQPress is a division of Congressional Quarterly, Inc.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Whites share the view that there has been a convergence in black and white values in the past decade; they also agree that the values of middle-class and poor blacks have grown less alike. Blacks and whites alike agree -- by solid majorities -- that immigrants work harder than both blacks and whites at low-wage jobs. One constant over the last two decades has been the nearly unanimous favorable views that blacks and whites express toward each other – roughly eight-in-ten of each group says they have a very or mostly favorable view of the other group. As of 2002, blacks remained the nation’s most segregated racial or ethnic group.
• Very likely contributed to sea level rise during the latter half of the 20th century
• Likely contributed to changes in wind patterns, affecting extra-tropical storm tracks and temperature patterns
• Likely increased temperatures of extreme hot nights, cold nights and cold days
• More likely than not increased risk of heat waves, area affected by drought since the 1970s and frequency of heavy precipitation events.
The report also states that:
1) Altered frequencies and intensities of extreme weather (heat waves, heavy
precipitation events, droughts, more severe storms, extreme sea level
events), together with sea level rise, are expected to have mostly adverse
effects on natural and human systems.
2) Anthropogenic warming could lead to some impacts that are abrupt or
irreversible, depending upon the rate and magnitude of the climate change.
3) Anthropogenic warming and sea level rise will continue for centuries due to
the timescales associated with the climate processes and feedbacks, even if GHG
concentrations were to be stabilized.
4) Climate change preferentially selects the poorest and most vulnerable in any
Friday, November 16, 2007
Now we're not trying to second guess your programming but NPR has to see the logic behind what we say. You launch this show with an A-list star and then broadcast it 80 percent of the time through WAMU. And you keep this talent from communicating with her fans on relax-day Friday when she could really be creative. Come on NPR. Listen to us. We have solved some of our planet's most complex energy and environmental problems (theoretical mostly of course) and you should consider implementing this recommended fix over there at WAMU. Now we do not know whether this is an NPR issue or a WAMU issue, but regardless, the show should be broadcast on Fridays at 2 p.m.
3. Aspire to be middle-class or higher
4. Dress well
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
*** A new cap-and-trade program that auctions 100 percent of permits alongside investments to move us on the path towards energy independence;
*** An aggressive comprehensive energy efficiency agenda to reduce electricity consumption 20 percent from projected levels by 2020 by changing the way utilities do business, catalyzing a green building industry, enacting strict appliance efficiency standards, and phasing out incandescent light bulbs;
*** A $50 billion Strategic Energy Fund, paid for in part by oil companies, to fund investments in alternative energy. The SEF will finance one-third of the $150 billon ten-year investment in a new energy future contained in this plan;
*** Doubling of federal investment in basic energy research, including funding for an ARPA-E, a new research agency modeled on the successful Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
*** Aggressive action to transition our economy toward renewable energy sources, with renewables generating 25 percent of electricity by 2030 and with 60 billion gallons of home-grown biofuels available for cars and trucks by 2030;
*** 10 "Smart Grid City" partnerships to prove the advanced capabilities of smart grid and other advanced demand-reduction technologies, as well as new investment in plug-in hybrid vehicle technologies;
*** An increase in fuel efficiency standards to 55 miles per gallon by 2030, and $20 billion of "Green Vehicle Bonds" to help U.S. automakers retool their plants to meet the standards;
*** A plan to catalyze a thriving green building industry by investing in green collar jobs and helping to modernize and retrofit 20 million low-income homes to make them more energy efficient;
*** A new "Connie Mae" program to make it easier for low and middle-income Americans to buy green homes and invest in green home improvements;
*** A requirement that all publicly traded companies report financial risks due to climate change in annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission; and
*** Creation of a "National Energy Council" within the White House to ensure implementation of the plan across the Executive Branch.
*** A requirement that all federal buildings designed after January 20, 2009 will be zero emissions buildings.
Monday, November 05, 2007
The cap for 2012 will be the 2005 emissions level, 10% below 2005 by 2020, 30% by 2030, 50% by 2030, 70% by 2050. The Lieberman-Warner bill covers the electric power, transportation and manufacturing sectors, which account for 75 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Other provisions include:
*** 24% in 2012 will go to auction through the Climate Change Credit Corporation; rising to 52% by 2035.
*** Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) regulations and a legal framework for the Federal assumption of liability for geological storage will be proposed by a study group within two years of enactment.
*** The bill will set forth detailed, rigorous requirements for offsets, with the purpose of ensuring that they will represent real, additional, verifiable, and permanent emissions reductions.AAEA supports the bill with caveats. We do not support auctioning the credits. (Hill Heat)