Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Paula Jackson For New AABE President

Select Paula Jackson

New AABE President

The African American Environmentalist Association (AAEA) is endorsing Paula Jackson to be the next president of the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE).

AAEA President Norris McDonald was president of the Washington, DC AABE Chapter from 1981 through 1984.

We endorsed Ms. Jackson in April 2011 when Frank Stewart retired.  We are endorsing her again.

McDonald worked with Ms. Jackson when they traveled to South African for 9 days in 2010. [See videos below]

Paula Jackson is the consummate professional and would be a huge asset to AABE as its new president.

William "Mo" Cowan Appointed To U.S. Senate

William "Mo" Cowan
Two Blacks in U.S. Senate For First Time In History

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has appointed his former chief of staff, William “Mo” Cowan, to take the place of departing Senator John Kerry. Kerry became the Secretary of State this week.

Cowan will serve along with Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina. Cowan will become only the eighth African American U.S. Senator in U.S. history.  There has never been two African Americans serving in the United States Senate at the same time in American history. 

There will be a total of 44 African American members of Congress after Cowan is sworn-in.

Though Cowan is a historic pick as he joins the Senate, he will likely only serve in the institution for a very short time. The special election for Kerry’s Senate seat is on June 25.  (Politics 365)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lisa P. Jackson: Best U.S. EPA Administrator In History


By Norris McDonald

Norris McDonald and Lisa P. Jackson

We supported Lisa Jackson's nomination to be EPA administrator when it was announced in 2008.  I remember like it was yesterday greeting her in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee right after her confirmation hearing. I knew she would be a great administrator.  And she proved me right.  I was also with her in her office at the EPA Headquarters in Washington, DC. on the Friday just before President Obama's Inauguration Day.

Lisa Jackson never got 'The Big Head.' I've been around Washington, DC for over three decades and have seen many come and go.  I have also observed many heads explode upon experiencing the intoxicating elixir that is power Inside The Beltway.  Not Jackson.  She's the same now as when she came in.  My guess is that she was already experienced in the ways of Washington, having worked at EPA for years.  She was also commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.  It probably doesn't get much more political than that at the state level.  So she was ready for this town.  And I am very impressed that she did not let it swell her head.

I was Lisa's groupie when she started as administrator.  Actually I was making it a point to get in front of all of the energy and environmental officials in the new Obama administration.  But Administrator Jackson was at the top of my list.  I would be there on the Senate side.  I would be there on the House side.  We got to know each other a bit better via these encounters.  She invited me to meet with her early on.  And we met in her office for about 45 minutes and discussed international, national, state and local environmental issues. 

I found out that Administrator Jackson and I shared a birthday (February 8th) and I gave her a really goofy card right after one of her Senate hearings.  She was a bit more controversial by now and a bit slippery.  But I handed her the card right outside of the Dirksen Senate Office Building just before she got into her chauffeur-driven town car.  It was one of those speaking cards that goofed on our getting older.  She got me back though.

The next year I asked if we could 'do lunch' for our birthdays.  She said she had another engagement (her husband's birthday is on Feb 8th too), but could I do an early breakfast.  I said sure and wondered where we might go.  She got back to me a few days later with arrangements for us to have breakfast at The White House (West Wing Navy Mess).  We sat and ate breakfast and chatted for an hour.  It was funny when I asked if she minded if I talked while eating because it's not everyday you get this kind of quality time with the U.S. EPA administrator.  She laughed and said it was okay.  And talked with food in her mouth too.  It was my best birthday ever.  Thank you Lisa.

Adminstrator Jackson mused about whether she would stay on for a second term during that breakfast.  Although I wanted her to stay on, I am not surprised that she decided to step down.  Her sons are at a very crucial age and you can't get that time back. 

I spent the afternoon with Administrator Jackson at a sustainability roundtable and environmental forum at EPA Headquarters on the Friday before the beginning of President Obama's second term.  She was the same Lisa Jackson at this forum as she was at that Senate confirmation hearing.  She made me feel real special on this day too.  She went out of her way to arrange for us to take a picture in her office.  I could see how busy she was when I walked in as she was wrapping up her tenure as administrator.  We took the photo and shared a hug.  We remain in contact.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Letter From MD Senator C. Anthony Muse on Offshore Wind Bill

C. Anthony Muse
Dear Community Resident:

As you may be aware, I will be serving you this legislative year as a member of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. As you may also be aware, I have served previously as a member of the Senate Finance Committee. The reason for this committee reassignment is my refusal to “promise” my vote for the “Offshore Wind Bill” without having the opportunity to speak with the governor about concerns that many of my constituents have raised. I was told the governor had no desire to have a meeting and that he just wanted the promise of my vote or I’d be moved. The reassignment was then made by the President of the Senate.
I have a number of concerns about the Wind Bill. My primary concern is the long-term economic impact of wind use on my constituents. I refuse to commit to support a bill that I haven’t even seen, a bill that has yet to be written or submitted to the 2013 legislative session.
However, while I have not seen the bill or read the fine print, here is what I do know about the measure: The cost to residential and commercial consumers will be nearly three times more expensive than the current cost of electric power. So far, no state has state has been successful in bringing its offshore wind farm to the construction stage. I am also very concerned about the following:
1) A surcharge of up to $2 will be added to your monthly electric bill for 20 years.
2) The cost of wind per kilowatt hour in 2008 dollars is between 24.3 cents and 26 cents. We now pay between 9.5 cents and 12.5 cents per kilowatt hour.
3) A study commissioned by the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel rejected the state’s offshore wind project, declaring it was not in the public interest and would have a negative impact on the state’s economy to the tune of $1 billion and 30,000 jobs lost, as well as increase electricity rates by $15 million to $37 million annually.
4) The Massachusetts Cape Wind project has been unable to sell half of its wind-powered electricity because of its high cost.
5) Because wind turbines are so undependable and minimally productive more than half the time, they need the backup of fossil fuel power plants, which contribute to the greenhouse gases that we are trying to reduce.
6) Developers will make billions in economic profit.
7) Wind bills submitted in 2011 and 2012 had no provision for participation by women and minority businesses. I am concerned about local, women and minority participation. The project should not simply benefit large developers who stand to make a windfall at the expense of rate payers. Our local, small and minority businesses that will also be financing the project should also be able to participate.

This must be in the bill.
As your representative, I believe I owe it to you to hear your concerns about any issue that directly affects your pocket. I have never and will never sell my vote for a committee assignment. Before being elected to the Maryland Senate, I promised you that I would not be bossed or bought by the powers-that-be in Annapolis. You, my constituents, are my bosses.
In my opinion, being given an ultimatum to either vote the way I am told or be reassigned to another committee is neither democracy nor the democratic legislative process. Rest assured that I will serve on any committee with diligence and with integrity, but I will never sell my vote for political gain!!
At the end of the day, I am accountable only to you! I will continue to hold town hall meetings, send you emails and ask for your input on issues, just as I have done for the past six years. This is how I have served you and will continue to serve and represent the voice and the will of the majority of the residents of the 26thDistrict.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office with any questions or concerns.

Lisa P. Jackson Addresses Sustainability


By Norris McDonald

I was delighted to be invited to EPA headquarters where sustainability issues were discussed. 

Lisa Jackson center, Norris McDonald third from right
Lisa P. Jackson's sustainability effort included a meeting at EPA headquarters with an Executive Roundtable on Applying a Sustainability Lens to Environmental Protection. Jackson announced that EPA will continue to invite stakeholder dialogue on sustainability.  According to Jackson: 
"We believe that continued input from business, trade associations, other government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations will be essential as we move to further integrate sustainability principles into our work. We will be sharing more information about our plans for these dialogues in a follow-up communication next week."
EPA also just launched a new website on sustainable manufacturing. We hope it will be a valuable resource for your organization. This new portal pulls together information from a variety of government and non-governmental sources.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

American Petroleum Institute Promoting Oil & Gas Jobs


African Americans, Latinos Can Benefit From Growth In US Oil and Natural Gas Development

API President and CEO Jack Gerard met with African American and Latino organizations and companies today and discussed a new report by IHS Global Insight showing the oil and natural gas industry is in a strong position to expand its workforce with minority employees. According to Gerard:
“The industry has a great story to tell, polls show that job creation is a top priority for Americans, and the oil and natural gas industry will be a key driver for those new jobs for all Americans. Research shows that half of our industry will turn over in the next seven to 10 years, and with the expansion of shale energy and other oil and natural gas development, we have an unprecedented opportunity for job growth across the country that will benefit Americans from every community.”
The new IHS study, API Employment Outlook for African Americans and Latinos in the Upstream Oil and Natural Gas Industry, analyzes the employment outlook for African American and Latino workers based, in part, on a recent Wood Mackenzie study. Among the IHS study’s findings:

• With the right policies, 166,000 of the new oil and natural gas jobs created by 2020 could be expected to be held by African American and Latino workers. That would be 31 percent of the projected 525,000 new job opportunities.

• By 2030, that number could jump to more than 285,000 (35 percent of the projected 811,000 new job opportunities).

• More than 50 percent of all jobs created would be high-paying skilled and semi-skilled blue collar jobs with a significant range of opportunities at the scientific/managerial level, e.g., petroleum engineers, most of which require a college degree.

• Over half of the job growth, 417,000 jobs, is expected in the Gulf region. The East region is expected to contribute nearly 140,000 job opportunities and the Rockies region nearly 116,000 job opportunities. The West, Alaska, and Central regions will combine to contribute approximately 138,000 job opportunities.

API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 500 members – including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms – provide most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives. (API)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Maryland Wind Proposal Includes Grant Money For Minorities

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley latest version of his third straight effort to pass legislation approving offshore wind development includes $10 millions in grant money intended to help small and minority-owned businesses compete for offshore wind contracts. With that change, several African American lawmakers and the head of the state’s NAACP joined environmentalists and union workers on Tuesday in backing the measure.

AAEA supports the offshore wind development plan.

O’Malley’s administration envisions a field of giant turbines about 11 miles off the coast of Ocean City that would produce as much electricity as a small power plant. To offset the higher cost of producing the wind energy, an average of $1.50 a month would be added to residential electricity bills. The impact on commercial and industrial users would be capped at 1.5 percent of their total monthly bills. (Wash Post, 1/23/2013)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Keystone XL Pipeline Protest at The White House Feb 17th, Sierra Club and Hip Hop Caucus are leading a protest in front of the White House on Sunday, February 17th, Presidents Day weekend. They will demand that President Obama reject the Keystone XL pipeline. The organizers believe the pipeline must not be built and because the American public needs a show of faith that he will finally start to lead on climate change.

The demonstration’s goal is to stop the Keystone XL pipeline: if built it would connect Canada’s Tar Sands with Texas refineries and shipping ports.

Editor's note: The Keystone Pipeline is already built and has been operating since 2010 and takes Canadian tar sands oil to Cushing, Oklahoma and to Illinois.  The protesters want to stop and extension from Oklahoma to Houston, Texas (but this part has already been approved by the Obama administration).  So the protesters are protesting the construction of a 'short cut' line that goes through Montana instead of further away through North and South Dakota.

The protesters believe the protest will facilitate the full exploitation of as much as 240 gigatons of carbon, nearly half of what can be safely burned to avoid catastrophic warning over 2° Celsius. In 2011 this fight saw 1,253 people arrested at the White House in an August civil disobedience, and 10,000 people ring the White House in November. The president put off deciding to permit or reject the pipeline. But the opponents believe he must decide soon, and his campaign rhetoric was supportive of the pipeline.

NASA’s James Hansen, a venerated climate scientist, says that if the Tar Sands are exploited fully it’s “essentially game over for the climate.” and its local chapter 350NYC believe 2013 must be a landmark year of climate protest. With fossil fuel divestment campaigns active at 200 colleges and across faith-based communities, with ongoing action from the Tar Sands Blockade, and with a connection between indigenous rights and environmental exploitation through the Idle No More Movement.

Rally begins at noon.

Congressional Black Caucus Inaugural Gala & Celebration

Inaugural Invitation CBCF

The CBCF VIP Inaugural Gala is sold out of the $750 Inaugural Reception, Gala & Celebration tickets.
If you are interested in being placed on a waiting list for VIP Tickets, please send your name and phone number to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We will contact you should tickets become available.
January 11th was the final day to purchase tickets for the CBCF Inaugural Celebration* at the early bird price of $250. Tickets to the Celebration are now $350.
*The CBCF Inaugural Celebration begins at 9:30 p.m. immediately following the VIP Gala.
$350Inaugural Celebration
9:30 PM - 1:00 AM

Click here for sponsorship information.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Free Entrance To National Parks on MLK, Jr. Day

The National Park Service has announced that all 398 across the country will have free entrance on Monday, January 21 in commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The holiday provides the perfect opportunity to visit a national park with a direct connection to Dr. King – a place where you could literally walk in his footsteps. You can visit one of the many national parks or National Register of Historic Places sites that honor the Civil Rights Movement or other African American accomplishments.

National parks directly associated with Dr. King include the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in Georgia which contains his birthplace, home, church, and grave; the 54-mile long Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail in Alabama where he led the 1965 Voting Rights March; and the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C. which include the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial where he spoke of his dream for America.

Among the dozens of other national parks that celebrate African American achievements are in Louisiana, Sequoia National Park in California, George Washington Carver National Monument, Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama, and Nicodemus National Historical Site in Kansas. The National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places also recognizes key locations associated with African American history. Their travel itineraries, We Shall Overcome: Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement Aboard the Underground Railroad, provide details on more than 100 significant sites.

The National Park Service will also waive admission fees on 10 other days in 2013 – the weekdays of National Park Week (April 22 through 26), the National Park Service’s 97 birthday (August 25), National Public Lands Day (September 28), and Veterans Day weekend (November 9 through 11). (NPS)

Coaliton For Change Unemployment Video

The Coalition For Change, Inc. (C4C) video highlights the disparity in employment between black and white individuals. It documents that despite educational attainment at varying levels, African-Americans have the highest unemployment rate of any ethnic group.

It further depicts that our largest employer, the Federal Government, is one of the biggest discriminating entities failing to enforce equity and fairness in the workplace.

NAACP DC, City Year & Sierra Club DC MLK, Jr. Project

The NAACP DC's Climate Committee, City Year and the Sierra Club DC, are sponsoring a Service Project in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Burrville Elementary School on Saturday morning, January 19. City Year has coordinated a number of school beautification projects at Burrville and will be joined by numerous other organizations and volunteers helping out that day. The service day will begin with a speech by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at 9:00 am.

The NAACP DC's Climate Committee's contribution to the service day will be an energy efficiency workshop for parents and students. Judith Barrow, of the Sierra Club DC's energy committee, along with Hasim Dawkins, Community Energy Savings Manager at the DC Sustainable Energy Utility, will provide a fun presentation on the basics of energy efficiency. After ther energy efficiency workshop, they will assist with a seed preparation project and painting of a school mural encouraging students to pursue STEM studies. 
Date/time:Saturday, January 19, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm (registration begins at 8:30 am)
LocationBurrville Elementary School, 801 Division Ave NE, Washington DC 20019
Contact:Nicole Williams Sitaraman,
Description:Join NAACP DC, Sierra Club DC, and City Year for a Service Project at the Burrville Elementary School, honoring the legacy of Dr. King. Volunteers will help transform a high-need school into a more engaging, educational and vibrant place for students to learn and play. Service projects will include painting murals, maintaining playgrounds, building benches and planting green spaces.
A couple of DC Chapter members will also be giving an "Energy Efficiency 101" Workshop at the Service Day event, and will talk to parents and students about how we can reduce our energy consumption in our homes, schools and apartment buildings.
For more information and to RSVP, please email
Registration begins at 8:30 am, and the event starts at 9:00 am. Come dressed for the weather if you're interested in helping with an outdoor project!
If you are driving, please arrive at school by 9 am. If you will be taking the metro please email ASAP. They plan on meeting at the Capitol Heights metro station at 8:30 am and taking a bus to the school. On the day, if you are running late and/or have additional questions, please feel free to call 857-222-6255.

Monday, January 14, 2013

GreenHouse Foundation

CeeLo Green and his sister Shedonna Alexander have cofounded the GreenHouse Foundation to make “green education” more accessible to students in underserved school districts.  The GreenHouse Foundation also plans to launch other initiatives including an Atlanta Green Day, the Greenhouse Community Gardens Program and a Green Collar Career Development Program.

Green and Alexander pose after the event.
CeeLo Green and Shedonna Alexandra

There was a groundbreaking last August at the Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. The Atlanta-born Green was back home for the groundbreaking at the donated “greenhouse” area where the school’s students have been tending to and growing vegetables. Green – born Thomas DeCarlo Callaway – is an alum of SACA.  The event, hosted by Art Terrell of KISS 104.1-FM, also included a performance of a spiritual from renowned Atlanta jazz singer Kathleen Bertrand and a speech from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.  (Access Atlanta)

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Stakeholders Fight Charleston, SC Port Permit Over Diesel Emissions

The South Carolina State Ports Authority has asked state regulators to allow a challenge to a permit for a new $35 million Charleston cruise terminal to head directly to court. The Department of Health and Environmental Control last month approved a permit to add new pilings under an existing riverfront warehouse for the new terminal. In doing so, regulators said the terminal doesn’t change what has been happening on the waterfront of a city that has had a port for centuries.

Opponents of the city’s expanded cruise industry are appealing the permit and the DHEC board will consider whether to review the issue.  The Southern Environmental Law Center and ordinary citizens are asking for a reasonable balance in cruise operations to safeguard Charleston’s economically vital historic district andto  protect human health from diesel pollution.
Proposed Cruise Terminal
Attorneys for the Ports Authority, in a letter to the DHEC board on Monday, wrote that “opponents intend on pursuing this matter in a request for a contested case hearing before the South Carolina Administrative Law Court in continuation of their ongoing crusade against the cruise business.”
The letter asked the DHEC board not to conduct another review of the permit at the agency level but to allow the parties to move to the courts “in the most expeditious manner possible.”

The permit can be appealed through the Administrative Law Court and the issue could then go to circuit court.

It would be the third court case challenging the terminal. There’s a federal court suit and, last week, a special referee recommended to the state Supreme Court that a state lawsuit should proceed on whether or not the expanded cruise industry comprises a public nuisance.

The dispute over the cruises has been going on for several years. Three years ago, Carnival Cruise Lines permanently based its 2,056-passenger liner Fantasy in Charleston, giving the city a year-round cruise industry. Before that the city only had a handful of seasonal cruises. Opponents say the added tourists, traffic congestion and smoke from the cruise liners are destroying the historic fabric of the city. (Wash Post, AP, 1/8/2012)

Monday, January 07, 2013

Black Ministers Opposing Virginia Uranium Mining

A coalition of black ministers from the Roanoke Valley and Southside Virginia spoke out Friday in Roanoke against lifting Virginia's ban on uranium mining, citing what they believe would be disproportionately negative consequences on minority populations should the ban be lifted.

State lawmakers are poised to consider ending the 30-year moratorium on uranium mining, as Virginia Uranium Inc. intends to mine one of the nation's largest known uranium deposits in Pittsylvania County.  Seventeen black ministers signed a resolution requesting a permanent ban on uranium mining in Virginia.

AAEA supports the uranium mining proposal.

The ministers' announcement comes less than a week before the General Assembly begins debate about whether or not to lift the ban. A multi-agency working group created by Gov. Bob McDonnell recently outlined a regulatory framework should uranium mining and milling be allowed. State Sen. John Watkins, R-Powhatan, said he will introduce legislation during the upcoming session to lift the uranium mining ban.

Seventeen black ministers signed a resolution requesting a permanent ban on uranium mining in Virginia. Many were in attendance at Friday's news conference to support those who spoke about the matter.
17 black ministers signed a resolution requesting
 a permanent ban on uranium mining in Virginia,
 at Friday's  news conference  to support
 those who spoke about the matter

Virginia Uranium officials say that modern uranium mining and milling can be done safely and that lifting the ban will create jobs in economically strapped Southside. However, the ministers who spoke Friday said those jobs will come at a cost to the region's health and that lifting the ban will actually hurt the local economy.

The ministers referred to a 2011 National Academy of Sciences study that found Virginia faced "steep hurdles" before it could safely allow mining. The ministers said mining at the Coles Hill site could adversely affect groundwater, agriculture and economic development. They said "there is a cumulative risk to minority communities [from] uranium mining.  Minorities rely on local food sources that could be exposed to "pathways of uranium" and that "unskilled workers tend to be offered the more dangerous jobs." They also cited a 2011 report by the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Biotechnology Information that found blacks might be more likely than whites to develop cancer as a result of consuming groundwater that contains high levels of uranium. Finally, they added that regulating the uranium industry will cost millions of dollars and will divert state funding for programs that might benefit minorities.

The ministers drafted their resolution with assistance from Ann Rogers, a Roanoke County-based organizer with the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League; former Roanoke councilman and environmental activist Rupert Cutler; and one-time House of Delegates candidate and Roanoke activist Freeda Cathcart. (The Roanoke Times, 1/7/2012)

Environmental & Clean Energy Inaugural Ball

The 7th Environmental and Clean Energy Inaugural Ball is on Monday, January 21, 2013. The event will once again be held at the beautiful Sequoia Restaurant located on the Washington Harbour waterfront in Georgetown from 8-12:00 midnight.

This bi-partisan celebration has become a Washington tradition over the past 24 years as the environmental and clean energy communities gather to welcome a new Administration and make headway towards a more sustainable future. (Environmental Ball)

2013 Green Inaugural Ball

The 2013 Green Ball is on January 20. The ball is a celebration of the past four years of accomplishment on the environment, energy, and clean technology and a look forward to another four years of progress. The Green Ball brings together top leaders from the environmental, conservation, clean tech, and renewable energy communities. A complete list of the Host Committee can be found here.

The event will be held at the Newseum at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001.


Tim Scott - - U.S. Senator - - Energy & Environment

Tim Scott

On December 17, 2012, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley named Timothy Eugene "Tim" Scott (born September 19, 1965) to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jim DeMint who announced his resignation earlier that month. 

Scott is the only African American member of the U.s. Senate as well as only the seventh African American to have ever served in the United States Senate. Scott is the first-ever African-American senator from the state of South Carolina and the first from the South since 1881.

Scott is a former U.S. Representative for South Carolina's 1st congressional district.  Elected in November 2010, to the 112th Congress, he was the first Republican African-American Representative from South Carolina since 1897.

Senator Scott has been added to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Energy and Environment Background

The NAACP considers climate change to be a civl rights issue. Scott drew an “F” on the NAACP’s legislative report card and one of its 20 core civil rights concerns is support for EPA efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Scott opposes EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Scott successfully advocated for federal funds for a Charleston harbor dredging project estimated at $300 million, arguing that the project is neither an earmark nor an example of wasteful government spending.  He said the project was merit-based, and in the national interest because larger cargo ships could use the port and jobs would be created.

Scott had a 6% voting score according the the League of Conservation Voters scorecard for the 1st session of the 112th Congress.

In 2011, Scott voted for H.R. 2021, Jobs and Energy Permitting Act of 2011.  The bill would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from measuring air pollution caused by oil drilling on water. Rather, the EPA would be limited to measuring such pollution emitted on land. In addition, the underlying oil drilling bill would eliminate the Environmental Appeals Board’s authority to review applications for oil drilling leases. Under the bill, the authority to review challenges to oil drilling permitting decisions would instead be vested in the D.C. Court of Appeals.

In 2012, Scott voted for H.R. 2250, EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011, This bill would invalidate several Environmental Protection Agency regulations in industrial boilers intended to bring them into compliance with the Clean Air Act. (These were often referred to as the "Boiler MACT" rules, for "maximum achievable control technology.") It says that instead the EPA must take 15 months to issue new "achievable" rules for boilers, process heaters, and incinerators. The bill stipulates that the rules impose the least burdensome regulatory alternatives consistent with the purposes of the Clean Air Act. Also, compliance deadlines would be extended from three years to at least five years.
The bill is a response to industry complaints that the compliance costs of the EPA rules would be prohibitive.

In 2012, Scott voted for (H.R. 4480) Strategic Energy Production Act.  This bill would encourage the expansion of federal lands designated for oil and gas development and exploration if the president deems it necessary to tap the National Strategic Oil Reserve to relieve a gasoline supply shortage. It would require the Department of Energy to develop a plan for expanded domestic production once there is a withdrawal from the reserve. National Park System and National Wilderness Preservation System lands would not be included in lands designated for federal oil and gas production.

In 2012, Scott vote for HR 3409 - Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012

"On The Issues: Tim Scott on Energy & Oil"
Scott graduated from Charleston Southern University in 1988 with a B.S. in Political Science.  In addition to his political career, Scott owns an insurance agency, and works as a financial advisor. (Wikipedia, The Middle Class)

40 Acres......... And A Mule

The original Executive Order by President Abraham Lincoln was executed by Union General William T. Sherman's via Special Field Order No. 15, issued on Jan. 16, 1865.


"The islands from Charleston, south, the abandoned rice fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the St. Johns river, Florida, are reserved and set apart for the settlement of the negroes [sic] now made free by the acts of war and the proclamation of the President of the United States."

Section two specifies that these new communities, moreover, would be governed entirely by black people themselves: " … on the islands, and in the settlements hereafter to be established, no white person whatever, unless military officers and soldiers detailed for duty, will be permitted to reside; and the sole and exclusive management of affairs will be left to the freed people themselves … By the laws of war, and orders of the President of the United States, the negro [sic] is free and must be dealt with as such."

Finally, section three specifies the allocation of land: " … each family shall have a plot of not more than (40) acres of tillable ground, and when it borders on some water channel, with not more than 800 feet water front, in the possession of which land the military authorities will afford them protection, until such time as they can protect themselves, or until Congress shall regulate their title."

With this Order, 400,000 acres of land -- "a strip of coastline stretching from Charleston, South Carolina, to the St. John's River in Florida, including Georgia's Sea Islands and the mainland thirty miles in from the coast," as Barton Myers reports -- would be redistributed to the newly freed slaves.

The response to the Order was immediate. The freedmen hastened to take advantage of the Order. Baptist minister Ulysses L. Houston, one of the group that had met with Sherman, led 1,000 blacks to Skidaway Island, Ga., where they established a self-governing community with Houston as the "black governor." And by June, "40,000 freedmen had been settled on 400,000 acres of 'Sherman Land.' " By the way, Sherman later ordered that the army could lend the new settlers mules; hence the phrase, "40 acres and a mule."

And what happened to this astonishingly visionary program, which would have fundamentally altered the course of American race relations? Andrew Johnson, Lincoln's successor and a sympathizer with the South, overturned the Order in the fall of 1865, and, "returned the land along the South Carolina, Georgia and Florida coasts to the planters who had originally owned it" -- to the very people who had declared war on the United States of America. (The Root)

Friday, January 04, 2013

Diversity in the 113th Congress

The House has 81 women, 61 of them Democrats. The Senate includes 20 women — still just a fifth of the chamber. 

There will be now be 42 African Americans in the House and one in the Senate — Scott, the first black Republican in the Senate since 1979.

Two of the Senate’s three Hispanics will be Republicans (Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida). Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.) is a Democrat. Of the 29 Latinos in the House, 24 are Democrats. (Wash Post, 1/4/2012)

Changes at Senate Energy & Environment Committees

Senate Republicans Freshmen Sens. Tim Scott (S.C.) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.) have been added to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) is also coming back to the committee after an absence. The committee oversees topics including offshore oil-and-gas drilling, Energy Department programs and an array of others. Leaving the panel are Rand Paul (Ky.), Dan Coats (Ind.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.).

On the Environment and Public Works Committee, the new GOP members will be Sen. Roger Wicker (Miss.) and freshman Sen. Deb Fisher (Neb.).

Sens. Alexander and Mike Johanns (Neb.) left the committee. (The Hill, 1/3/2012)