Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
In the 1970's and 1980's Nader was a key leader in the anti-nuclear power movement. Ralph Nader has been described as '...the titular head of opposition to nuclear energy.' He advocates the complete elimination of nuclear energy in favor of solar, tidal, wind and geothermal, citing environmental, worker safety, migrant labor, national security, disaster preparedness, foreign policy, government accountability and democratic governance issues to bolster his position. His legacy in this area is continued by his organizational progeny Public Citizen Energy Program. (Wikipedia) ( Frontline Interview)
UPDATE (6-12-08): [Consider this article deleted] Donna Edwards is quoted in published reports that she worked for Public Citizen. It must have been a very short employment because we never saw anything about it while she was there. And she is not shy. So they, like some of the other groups, have satisfied the 'one Black' rule so now they rarely to never have to hire another one.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
AAEA President Norris McDonald participated in the meeting and discussed several issues with NRC staff (see videos). Former Congressman and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy also particupated in the meeting. It was held at the Port Gibson City Hall. About 50 people turned out for the meeting but no antinuclear activists participated.
The Grand Gulf COL Application will reference the Early Site Permit (ESP) issued by the NRC on April 5, 2007, which determined the suitability of the Grand Gulf site for construction and operation of a new nuclear plant. The Grand Gulf COL Application will reference the General Electric Hitachi design for the Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR). NRC will not issue a COL before the ESBWR design is certified. Currently two designs are certified: 1) Westinghouse AP 1000 and 2) GE Advance Boiling Water Reactor.
.27 gallons of milk ($3.75/gal)
.125 gallons of bottled water ( $8/gal. or $1.25 for a 20 oz. bottle)
.08 gallons of Starbucks Coffee ($12.80/gal. or $2 for 20 oz. black coffee)
342 gallons of WSSC water
"In 116 cases since 2005, houses have been illegally built within a protected buffer zone near water, state records show. In two-thirds of the 81 cases city or county officials have allowed the rule breakers to keep what they built."
Saturday, February 16, 2008
58% with natural gas
30% with electricity
7% with heating oil
5% with propane
$ 2,019 for heating oil
$ 1, 691 for propane gas
$ 884 for natural gas
$ 832 for electric heat
Hillary outlined her Green Jobs plan on Feb 11 at the General Motors Allison Transmission Plant, in White Marsh, Maryland. Hillary's Green Jobs Plan will:
1) Modernize 20 Million Low-Income Homes to Improve Energy Efficiency.
2) Provide emergency energy assistance for Maryland families facing skyrocketing heating bills.
3) Invest $5 billion in accelerated energy efficiency and alternative energy investments to jumpstart green collar job growth.
4) Create a $50 Billion Strategic Energy Fund and Demand that Oil Companies Invest in Clean Energy.
5) Raise Fuel Economy Standards. Hillary has proposed a plan to raise fuel economy standards to 40 mpg by 2020 and 55 mpg by 2030.
6) Help Automakers Retool Plants.
7) Promote Plug-In Hybrids (PHEV).
8) Create a Green Building Fund to Make Public Buildings More Energy Efficient.
9) Train "Green Collar" Workers.
Hillary believes our climate crisis presents us with a significant opportunity to lead us to an energy independent future, of which green-collar jobs are the cornerstone. Senator Clinton already cosponsored legislation that was part of the Energy Security & Independence Act, the Green Jobs Act of 2007. Read more on Hillary's plan to create a Green Jobs revolution. (See also: Climate Change & Energy Plan)
Invest In a Clean Energy Economy and Create American Jobs: Invest $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial scale renewable energy, invest in low emissions coal plants, and begin transition to a new digital electricity grid. A principal focus of this fund will be devoted to ensuring that technologies that are developed in the U.S. are rapidly commercialized in the U.S. and deployed around the globe.
Create New Job Training Programs for Clean Technologies: Increase funding for federal workforce training programs and direct these programs to incorporate green technologies training, such as advanced manufacturing and weatherization training, into their efforts to help Americans find and retain stable, high-paying jobs. Create an energy-focused youth jobs program to invest in disconnected and disadvantaged youth. This program will provide youth participants with energy efficiency and environmental service opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of homes and buildings in their communities, while also providing them with practical skills and experience in important career fields of expected high-growth employment. Participants will not only be able to use their training to find new jobs, but also build skills that will help them move up the career ladder over time.
New Jobs Through a New National Infrastructure Investment: Rebuild America's national transportation infrastructure – its highways, bridges, roads, ports, air, and train systems – to strengthen user safety, bolster our long-term competitiveness and ensure our economy continues
to grow. Investing in national infrastructure is especially important in our efforts to bolster our homeland security to meet international terrorism and natural disaster threats. Additionally, a robust federal infrastructure investment program today will help strengthen the U.S. economy and provide at least one million more U.S. jobs at a time when the housing and construction industries are slowing. Create a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to expand and enhance, not supplant, existing federal transportation investments. This independent entity will be directed to invest in our nation’s most challenging transportation infrastructure needs. The Bank will receive an infusion of federal money, $60 billion over 10 years, to provide financing to transportation infrastructure projects across the nation. These projects will create up to two million new direct and indirect jobs per year and stimulate approximately Paid for by Obama for America $35 billion per year in new economic activity. (Obama's Global Warming Mitigation Plan)
Thursday, February 14, 2008
- Increased deployment of high-speed broadband is likely to increase telecommuting by workers,
- Use of broadband applications reduce greenhouse gases by 1 billion tons over 10 years,
- Broadband saves the equivalent of 9-14 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year,
- Telecommuting can reduce greenhouse gas emission by 248 million tons due to less driving
"American business leaders are working to provide safe drinking water for children in Zambia. American schoolteachers are holding book drives to rebuild libraries in Liberia...Across Africa, American citizens like Steve are giving the very personal gifts of their talent and their energy -- and they're saving lives. They represent one of America's most distinguishing characteristics, and that is our sincere desire to see other people succeed."The President:
"We're going to Benin, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and Liberia. Each of these countries is blessed with natural beauty, vibrant culture, and an unmistakable spirit of energy and optimism. Africa in the 21st century is a continent of potential. That's how we view it. I hope that's how our fellow citizens view Africa. It's a place where democracy is advancing, where economies are growing, and leaders are meeting challenges with purpose and determination. Our visit will give me a chance to meet with people who are making the transformation on the continent possible. I'm going to witness the generosity of the American people firsthand. It will give me a chance to remind our fellow citizens about what a compassionate people we are. And I will assure our partners in Africa that the United States is committed to them today, tomorrow, and long into their continent's bright future."(Full Statement)
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I am always impressed that President Bush takes the time to put on a Black History Month program each year. He calls it African American History Month, which is just fine with us. His statement was very powerful and he put emphasis on the noose issue. See excerpt and link to the full statement below:
"For decades, the noose played a central part in a campaign of violence and fear against African Americans. Fathers were dragged from their homes in the dark of the night before the eyes of their terrified children. Summary executions were held by torchlight in front of hateful crowds. In many cases, law enforcement officers responsible for protecting the victims were complicit in their deeds [sic] and their deaths. For generations of African Americans, the noose was more than a tool of murder; it was a tool of intimidation that conveyed a sense of powerlessness to millions.
The era of rampant lynching is a shameful chapter in American history. The noose is not a symbol of prairie justice, but of gross injustice. Displaying one is not a harmless prank. And lynching is not a word to be mentioned in jest. As a civil society, we must understand that noose displays and lynching jokes are deeply offensive. They are wrong. And they have no place in America today." (Full Statement)
Saturday, February 09, 2008
South Africa needs an accelerated power plant construction program and increased privatization of the utility industry. The electricity shortages are being attributed to a post-apartheid economic boom. Unfortunately, government prescribed conservation and efficiency programs will not work in providing adequate electricity in a rapidly expanding economy.
Friday, February 08, 2008
1) A study by Princeton Univesity, Woods Hole Research Center and Iowa State University concluded that use of corn-based ethanol would produce twice as much greenhouse gas emissions as regular gasoline.
2) A study by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the University of Minnesota found that converting rainforests, peatlands, savannas or grasslands in Southeast Asia and Latin America to produce biofuels will increase global warming.
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) disagrees with the findings of the reports.
One assumption the Princeton report refuted was that biofuels are better than fossil fuels because the carbon released when they were burned was balanced by the carbon absorbed when the plants grew. But the Princeton reports says that the refining and transport process of turning plants into fuels causes its own emissions.
The TNC report says that clearing land causes more greenhouse gas emissions than tradition fossil fuels if the full emissions costs of producing these fuels are taken into account. The destruction of rain forest in the tropics or grasslands in South America releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere when they are burned and plowed. Cropland also absorbs far less carbon than the rain forests or scrubland that it replaces. The TNC study also shows that the purchase of biofuels in Europe and America will cause more new land in South America to be cleared as farmers in developing countries try to get in on the profits, so as crops from old fields go for biofuels, even more new fields are cleared to feed people at home.
The recently passed Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) mandated the production of 36 billion gallons of biofuels annually by 2022, compared with about 7.5 billion gallons today. To achieve these volumes, EPA annually calculates the percentage-based standard, which applies to refiners, importers and non-oxygenate blenders of gasoline. Based on the standard, each of these parties determines the minimum volume of renewable fuel that it must use. The RFS program creates new markets for farm products, increases energy security, and promotes the development of advanced technologies that would expand the production of renewable fuels.
Now EPA is raising the 2008 renewable fuels standard (RFS), which determines how much non-petroleum fuel will power your vehicle to 7.76 percent. The move is in response to the EISA, which President Bush signed in December. Last November, EPA announced a RFS of 4.66 percent, based on the Energy Security Act of 2005, that mandated at least 5.4 billion gallons of renewable fuels be blended into the nation's transportation fuels this year. However, EPA is now increasing the standard to 7.76 percent to comply with the new minimum of 9.0 billion gallons of renewable fuel that EISA requires. (More Information) (Wash Post), (NY Times)
Saturday, February 02, 2008
"Mr. Obama scolded Exelon and federal regulators for inaction and introduced a bill to require all plant owners to notify state and local authorities immediately of even small leaks."Obama led the effort in the Senate to require utilities to notify the public of any unplanned release of radioactive substances. Senator Obama introduced the Nuclear Release Notice Act of 2006 (S 2348), which stated that nuclear plants “shall immediately” notify federal, state and local officials of any accidental release of radioactive material that exceeded “allowable limits for normal operation.” A revised bill passed out of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, but did not pass the full Senate. The revised bill eliminated the requirement for reporting repeated accidental leaks that fell below allowable limits and kept enforcement authority with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and not state or local governments.
AAEA supports the revised legislation (S 2224). AAEA also has a 'zero leak' policy. Nuclear plants should work to assure that there are no accidental radioactive discharges, but where there are unplanned, accidental or unintentional radioactive leaks that exceed allowable Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) limits and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limits, plants should immediately notify state and local authorities and nearby residents. (See also:"Barack Obama On Nuclear Power: Groundwater Leaks.) (AAEA Tour of Clinton, Ill Nuclear Plant)