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Archive for May 18th, 2009

nukeblankcheckBuried in the language of the “Clean Energy Bank” legislation sponsored by Senate Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman and Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) is a blank check to the nuclear industry.

This bill includes unlimited availability of taxpayer loan guarantees for construction of new nuclear reactors.

Unlimited guaranteed loans.  As in, as many as the industry could possibly want, no matter the cost, no matter the default rate.  Which for the record, is 50% according to the Congressional Budget Office.

This is one of the most audacious, nasty, pork-laden bill I have heard of in a really long time.  How do they even think that they can get away with this?

Write your House member and Speaker Nancy Pelosi now. And then forward this message to everyone you can think of.

For more information on the “clean energy” bank, check out this NIRS post on Daily Kos.

Since our own Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is encouraging lawmakers to give the nuclear industry even more money, it is more important than ever that we make sure folks on the Hill know that Not All Texans support nuclear power.  Make your voice heard today!

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Over the weekend we had a little more time to look over the language in the American Clean Energy and Security Act, and have found it wanting.  Check out this thoughtful statement from our Energy Program Director for the skinny on the bill and what went wrong:

Statement of Tyson Slocum, Director of the Energy Program at Public Citizen

The climate change legislation that will be debated this week is a huge disappointment. Not only will it prove a boon to energy industries, but it won’t protect consumers and may very well not even curb global warming. The first draft, penned months ago, was on track to accomplish these goals, and we applauded it as a great start. Since then, however, lawmakers have met in secret with representatives of the coal and oil industries and facilitated industry efforts to gut the bill.

The Obama administration got it right when officials released a budget that would auction 100 percent of pollution allowances. As long as pollution allowances are auctioned, the government will have the revenue necessary to mitigate energy price increases through rebates while having money to invest in the sustainable energy infrastructure we need to end our reliance on fossil fuels.

This was further reinforced by President Obama’s selection for the new chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Jon Wellinghoff, who said that “we may not need any” new nuclear or coal power plants because we have yet to harness the capacity of renewables and energy efficiency.

But the House of Representatives has not followed the administration’s lead.

When Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) released a draft climate bill in March, we praised it as a great first step but noted that it needed to be improved during the committee mark-up process.

But instead of a transparent process involving debate and voted-upon amendments, committee leadership conducted closed-door negotiations with polluters. The result: The bill was radically altered to accommodate the financial interests of big energy corporations while giving nothing new for the environment or for working families. This is hardly the transformation this country needs to jump-start its economy and curb climate change. This is more of the same old wait-and-see, special-interest-bailout approach that has gripped Washington for ages. (more…)

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round upIt’s Monday, and that means it is time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance’s weekly round-up.

At Bluedaze, TXsharon asks: What are the chances that an industry in charge of conducting its own testing to determine waste disposal methods will find toxin levels too high if that means disposal of the waste will be more costly? Landfarms: Spreading Toxic Drilling Waste on Farmland. With VIDEO.

BossKitty at TruthHugger sees lessons never learned … it is NOT about religion, ya’ll! How does it fit that US Military crusader evangelists want to save these souls right before we blow them away. How can we justify putting Mulims on death row, by their own people, just because we convinced them to become APOSTATES?! General Order Number One, Forbid Proselytizing – Evangelists Cannot Protect Murtads Wars fought using 12th century religious mentality means that civilization has made two steps backwards!

Mean Rachel is reminded on Mother’s Day of children, the lack thereof and why The Pill should be available over the counter.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants to know how can Rick Perry brag about how well Texas is doing when over 22% of our children face hunger every day?

Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News showed a video from the Texas Freedom Network of our own Texas Department of Miseducation in action.

WhosPlayin covered the Denton County Democrats’ election of a new County Chair, after previous chairman Neil Durrance resigned to run for U.S. Congress in District 26 in 2010. (more…)

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