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As oil flowed unabated from the Gulf of Mexico seabed, Senator John Kerry used a speech today (May 5th) at a green jobs conference in Washington, D.C., to press the case for an energy bill that speeds the country’s journey to a post-fossil future and constrains emissions of greenhouse gases.He cited a fabled remark made by Thomas Edison in a 1931 discussion with Harvey Firestone and Henry Ford on the world’s energy future (which I used in a 2006 article on declining energy research and in this 2007 magazine story on climate choices):
I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.
Earlier in the year, it appeared that preserving a strong climate component in energy legislation was going to be a tough challenge, with Kerry conceding in one news story that “climate sort of follows; it’s on for the ride.” But in the prepared text of today’s speech, which is appended below, you can see he’s aiming to keep carbon constraints a central component. As he told me in an e-mailed statement in March, “Energy transformation and climate reform go hand in hand; that’s all we’re trying to communicate.”
Originally published on Planet Green. Written by Sara Novak
A recent article in Time Magazine highlights what the pill has meant for women and society. In 1960, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of the first pill for women. Shortly thereafter, nearly 1 million women started taking the pill. Today, over 80 percent of women will take the pill at some time during their reproductive years.
That’s not to say that the introduction of the pill wasn’t met with controversy. Even today, many religions believe that the purpose of sex, even within marriage, is reproduction. Outside of these social controversies, however, the pill, like all pharmaceuticals, has an effect on the planet. So, what effect has the pill had on the once exploding U.S. population? And, with so many women today taking the pill, how can we mitigate the adverse ecological effects that this powerful pharmaceutical has on our water supply?
A common spin in the right wing coverage of BP’s oil spill is a gleeful suggestion that the gulf blowout is Obama’s Katrina.
In truth, culpability for the disaster can more accurately be laid at the Bush Administration’s doorstep. For eight years, George Bush’s presidency infected the oil industry’s oversight agency, the Minerals Management Service, with a septic culture of corruption from which it has yet to recover. Oil patch alumnae in the White House encouraged agency personnel to engineer weakened safeguards that directly contributed to the gulf catastrophe.
Originally published at The Huffington Post. Written by Dan Froomkin
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration officials last fall warned the Department of Interior, which regulates offshore oil drilling, that it was dramatically underestimating the frequency of offshore oil spills and was dangerously understating the risk and impacts a major spill would have on coastal residents.
NOAA is the nation’s lead ocean resource agency, and the warnings came in its response to a draft of the Obama Administration’s offshore oil drilling plans. The comments were Web-published in October by the whistle-blowing group, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).
But NOAA’s views were largely brushed aside as Obama went ahead and announced on March 31 that he would open vast swaths of American coastal waters to offshore drilling — a plan now very much in doubt as a blown-out BP well in the Gulf of Mexico spews out an estimated 200,000 gallons of oil daily, for the 13th straight day.
(AP/Huffington Post) — Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the potential environmental outlook for the Gulf Coast oil spill is “a very grave scenario.”
He tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that it could take three months before workers attain what he calls the “ultimate solution” to stopping the leak — drilling a relief well more than 3 miles below the ocean floor.
Until that’s accomplished, he says, “a lot of oil could spread.”
Salazar says President Barack Obama has directed him to protect all of the assets in the region, including the communities that will be affected by the spill.
Salazar also appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union,” telling host Candy Crowley that the Gulf Coast disaster was “indeed, a massive oil spill.”
“It potentially is very catastrophic. And I think we have to prepare for the worst, as we have from day one,” he said. “If this thing continues to spew out, the ultimate relief here is going to be a relief well that may be 90 days out. And so we have to be prepared to make sure that we’re protecting the American public, the American environment, our treasured coastlines on the Gulf Coast. So we are ready to do everything humanly possible to get that done.”
The secretary also pointed out that BP, which operated the rig that caused the spill, would be held accountable.
“Our job is to keep the boot on the neck of” BP Salazar said of the company’s responsibility to clean up the spill.