Environment, energy programs survive fiscal cliff vote http://bit.ly/VZyUmX NRDC
From the start Heather Zichal, chief energy adviser to President Barack Obama, struck Elgie Holstein as an unusual Washington player.
He got to know her when Zichal was a Congressional aide for Senator John Kerry, a position she held from 2002 to 2008. One day, she sought out Holstein, a veteran policy adviser who had served in the Clinton administration, because she needed information on refinery economics. Keep reading →
Questions about the efficacy of President Barack Obama’s stimulus spending for clean-energy programs came under the spotlight on Thursday with the claim by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney that “half” of the companies that received government support under the $90 billion program had gone out of business.
Romney attacked the program that poured billions into clean energy as part of the administration’s effort to keep the economy afloat after the 2008 financial meltdown, saying that the money could have been better spent on teachers, and accusing the president of picking “losers.” Keep reading →
Last night the House of Representatives passed a payroll tax bill, but at the same time they took Americans’ health and safety hostage. They used a bill Congress feels it must pass to jam through two riders that would weaken protections against polluters.
One rider would allow industrial facilities to release more mercury, lead, and other toxins into the air we breathe. The other would enable the Keystone XL pipeline to go through the American Heartland without the environmental and safety review the White House deemed necessary. Keep reading →
It is a wonder sometimes that new energy infrastructure is ever built.
On a recent walk-through of a new tool devised to help renewable energy projects with permitting challenges that arise in Department of Defense reviews, the overriding impression was one of wonder. Complex maps and layered data showing flight routes, radar line-of-sight limitations and domestic US military installations left surprisingly scant available open land for project development, although projects that lie in restricted areas do get permitted by DoD. Keep reading →
On Tuesday night the House passed a bill mandating a decision on the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline by November 1. This bill is unlikely to pass the Senate and become law, mostly because it would speed us towards a pipeline that could have a disastrous effect on US waters and communities.
What the public wants is better pipeline safety, not acceleration of a pipeline that would threaten the Yellowstone River, the Nebraska Sandhills and the Ogallala Aquifer. The more the public learns, the more concerned they get. It is ironic that in the wake of the Yellowstone River oil spill and on the anniversary of the yet-to-be-cleaned up Kalamazoo River tar sands oil spill, the House would act so contrary to the public concerns about pipeline safety. In fact, to heighten the irony, on Wednesday, the House Energy Committee will discussed a draft pipeline safety bill that would require a study of the impacts of raw tar sands oil such as would be carried in the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Keep reading →