Posts Tagged ‘environment

27
Sep
14

A Tweet Or Two

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On Thursday, President Obama created the world’s largest ocean reserve. The new reserve, an enlargement of the existing Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, nearly quadruples the total amount of US ocean territory that’s protected from commercial fishing, oil drilling, and other activities. Previously, the monument — a cluster of reserves surrounding seven uninhabited islands south and west of Hawaii — covered about 86,888 square miles. The new monument will cover nearly 490,000 square miles in total, with the gains coming from extending the borders to 200 miles off the coasts of Wake Island, Jarvis Island, and Johnston Atoll. This is as far as the US government is permitted to protect, according to international law.

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07
Jul
14

#ActOnClimate? President Obama Is

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Ari Phillips: The Energy Department Just Announced $4 Billion For Projects That Fight Global Warming

The U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday announced that it is issuing a loan guarantee program of up to $4 billion to support innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions. In support of the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan, the DOE identified five key technology areas for the loan program to support. One is advanced grid integration and storage, which essentially means technologies that better support renewable power on the electric grid. Another is drop-in biofuels, which are biofuels that can be used in existing infrastructure. The DOE also said the program would consider supporting waste-to-energy projects, energy efficiency improvement projects, and projects that would enhance existing hydroelectric facilities.

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The Loan Guarantee Program is designed to encourage private investment while minimizing risk to taxpayers. It doesn’t provide direct financing but rather brings down lending rates to help spur private investment. The Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects Loan Guarantee Solicitation is the latest loan guarantee program issued by the Department. The DOE is also offering loan guarantees as part of the $8 billion Advanced Fossil Energy Projects program started last December and the $16 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program. In June, Moniz also announced the awarding of $100 million for the Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) to facilitate advances in science related to energy production, storage, and use. Also last month the DOE announced $33 million in funding for 13 new projects aimed at developing transformational fuel cell technologies for low-cost distributed power generation.

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06
May
13

Rise and Shine

Two years ago: President Obama walks across the tarmac with Vice President Biden prior to departure from Fort Campbell, Ky., May 6, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

The President has no scheduled public events

12:45 Jay Carney’s press briefing

4:0: VP Biden meets with members of the faith community at the White House to discuss gun safety

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Jonathan Chait: State of the Union addresses are wearying rituals, in which stitched-together lists of never-gonna-happen goals are woven into idealistic catchphrases, analyzed as rhetoric by an unqualified panel of poetry-critic-for-a-night political reporters, quickly followed by a hapless opposition-party response, and then, in almost every case, forgotten. This year, plunked into the midst of the tedium was a gigantic revelation, almost surely the most momentous news of President Obama’s second term. “I will direct my Cabinet,” he announced, “to come up with executive actions we can take now and in the future to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”

Here was a genuine bombshell. It sounded a little vague, and the president did not explain precisely what he intended to do or how he would pull it off. But a handful of environmental wonks had a fairly strong grasp of the project he had committed himself to, and they understood that it was very, very real and very, very doable. If they were to have summarized the news, the headline would have been OBAMA TO SAVE PLANET…..

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USA Today: President Obama is turning back to the jobs issue, launching a series of “Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tours” starting Thursday with an appearance in Texas.

Obama will visit growing areas “to learn what has helped them become successful and use these models of growth to encourage Congress to act,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

On Thursday, the president opens the new effort with a tour in Austin, Texas, where he will visit a high school, and speak with leaders of the city’s high-tech industries.

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Michael Tomasky: There Are No ‘Absolute’ Rights – Nearly every idea in the Bill of Rights comes with restrictions and limitations. To think that the Second Amendment should be any different is absurd

Every time I write a column on guns, the howl arises that I am talking about a right that is enshrined in the Constitution, buddy, and I better watch myself. The howl then transmutes into an extended harangue that this right is absolute, and no libtard fascist, whether me or the Satanesque Dianne Feinstein, is going to limit the right in any way.

The first soldier to charge across this rhetorical veld is followed by hundreds harrumphing their assent. The only problem is that it’s an ahistorical, afactual, and barbaric argument. No right is absolute. In fact, the Second Amendment arguably has fewer restrictions on it these days than many of the other first ten, and there is and should be no guarantee that things are going to stay that way. In fact, if we’re ever going to be serious about trying to stop this mass butchery that we endure every few months, they cannot.

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VP Biden: ….. We fell short on our first effort to pass Manchin-Toomey in the Senate, but we will not be deterred by one setback. We have an obligation to make sure that the voices of victims, not the voice of the NRA, ring the loudest in this debate.

For too long, members of Congress have been afraid to vote against the wishes of the NRA, even when the vast majority of their constituents support what the NRA opposes. That fear has become such an article of faith that even in the face of evidence to the contrary, a number of senators voted against basic background checks, against a federal gun trafficking statute and against other common-sense measures because they feared a backlash.

…. In the end, I believe we will prevail. And those who wrote off gun safety legislation last month will come to realize that moment wasn’t the end at all. It was the turning point.

Full editorial here

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