Friday, June 15, 2007

Alternative Energy Daily News - June 15, 2007

  • European low-budget airline EasyJet has urged plane manufacturers to produce greener planes after unveiling the prototype for an aircraft that could slash carbon dioxide emissions by half.

  • California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger notified the EPA that California will file a lawsuit against the federal government six months and one day after the required notice was originally sent on April 26, 2007.

  • Dallas oilman and investor Boone Pickens wants to build the world's largest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle, a project that would put as many as 2,000 turbines on nearly 200,000 acres in four counties.

  • The list of universities and colleges putting up green buildings, buying alternative energy and otherwise shelling out money to green their campuses gets longer every day.

  • Across the country, a sprinkling of economists, authors, bloggers, and pundits are making the case that there's a silver lining to high gasoline prices: less traffic, fewer accidents, reduced air pollution, better efficiency, more reliance on renewable fuels, and less dependence on foreign oil.

  • Japanese carmaker Toyota Motors, calling hybrid technology its core technology, said it looks to soon sell 1 million gasoline-electric vehicles a year.

  • Access to clean water is going to continue to grow as an issue around the world and in the U.S. Ultimately, it will become an issue of national security as much as it will be one of environmental concern. In Nevada, there's a battle of 'Crops vs. Craps' over water right now.

Friday Links

  • After Hurrican Katrina, FEMA may have told the insurance industry that it was OK to load up damages on the taxpayer-funded flood program while shorting people on their wind damage payments.

  • In recent years, the Bush administration has recast the federal government’s role in civil rights by aggressively pursuing religion-oriented cases while significantly diminishing its involvement in the traditional area of race. Why? Ask Kanye West.

  • Responding to shabby treatment of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Democratically-controlled Senate moved on Wednesday to boost disability pay to those hurt in combat and improve care for brain injury.

  • In stunning victory for gay marriage advocates and a devastating blow to efforts to reverse a historic 2003 court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, Massachusetts lawmakers blocked a proposed constitutional amendment Thursday that would have let voters decide whether to ban gay marriage in the only state in which same-sex marriages are legal.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thursday Links

  • Over the last six years, the Defense Department has spent more than $30 million trying to find an efficient way for American soldiers and civilians living abroad to vote in elections back home. Unfortunately, they haven't figured it out yet. “ 'A system should be in place, regardless of the cost, to make sure that the very defenders of our democracy have the opportunity to take part in it,' wrote Sgt. James Mowrer, an Iowa National Guardsman deployed in Iraq who helped organize voters in his unit in 2006."

  • GOP Congressman and lower-tier presidential candidate Duncan Hunter (CA) is having trouble defending his role in helping steer tens of millions of dollars to a La Jolla-based aerospace firm to develop a military jet the Pentagon did not want. Hunter aggressively supported the program over decades even though the Pentagon repeatedly questioned the jet's feasibility and lambasted the contractor's work.

  • The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the nation's one million home healthcare aides are not entitled to minimum wages or overtime pay under federal law, even if they work for private employers. The 9-0 decision, which keeps in place a long-standing rule that denies minimum wages and overtime pay to those who provide "companionship services" at home, could trigger a move in Congress to amend the law.

  • In another unanimous ruling on Monday, the Supreme Court strengthened a landmark anti-pollution program yesterday, enabling companies to recover costs when they voluntarily clean up hazardous material. The Bush administration, as one might imagine, had argued otherwise.

  • The Georgia Supreme Court threw out the latest challenge to the state's voter ID law, but sidestepped a decision on the whether the requirement is constitutional. With a federal challenge still pending, election officials will not require voters to show photo IDs for the special elections scheduled next week in the race to succeed the late Rep. Charlie Norwood in Congress. These voter ID laws are discriminatory, and the argument that they prevent "voter fraud" is bogus.

  • As motorists face near-record gasoline prices, the Senate took up an energy bill Tuesday that would raise vehicle fuel-economy standards for the first time in nearly 20 years and make oil-industry price gouging a federal crime.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Alternative Energy Daily News - June 12, 2007

  • Votes for shareholder resolutions that would force General Motors and ExxonMobil to take action on greenhouse gas emissions received record levels of support at the companies' annual meetings.

  • If people object to wind farms cluttering up the countryside, one answer might be to put them in the air instead.

  • U.S. CEOs want leadership from Washington on regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Europe's first regular passenger train service powered by bio-fuel set off on its maiden journey across Britain last Thursday with prime minister-in-waiting Gordon Brown hailing the launch for helping to combat global warming.

Goodbye to "The Sopranos"

As everyone in the country knows, this past Sunday's episode of HBO's "The Sopranos" was the series finale. And while we can all argue over whether we liked it or not (I thought it was amazing), we can all agree that the series itself was incredible.

In this article on, Gary Kamiya discusses how what he'll miss the most is the show's moral perversity, and how it reflects how many Americans feel about their country in the age of Bush.