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Japan Meltdown: Human Error Starts in the Boardroom

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17. March 2011

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Japan Meltdown: Human Error Starts in the Boardroom

I remember days and nights spent at a rewrite desk in Washington 25 years ago, taking in and editing nearly unbelievable information from reporters in Russia and Western Europe. Where was this place, Chernobyl? Was the meltdown first, or the explosion? Was radiation really spreading across Europe? Do we have a stringer in Norway? How […]

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Coal’s Anonymous Dirt

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28. July 2010

Coal’s Anonymous Dirt

Big Coal is planning an anonymous campaign blitz against elected officials (in Kentucky in this case) who dare to favor any restrictions on coal. That’s according to an internal coal company memo obtained by Kentucky’s Lexington Herald newspaper. This is only a tiny piece of the fallout from the Supreme Court’s decision to let corporations pour unlimited anonymous money into political campaigns. How many of these memos do we not know about?

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$20 Billion for “Clean Coal”?

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15. July 2010

$20 Billion for “Clean Coal”?

$20 Billion for "Clean Coal"? by Khan Shoieb Senators John Rockefeller IV (D-WV) and George Voinovich (R-OH) have reportedly come out with a bill that would give massive subsidies to the coal industry over the next decade and might be packaged into upcoming energy legislation in the Senate. According to CQ: [The Senators] unveiled a […]

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Fossil Fuel Fiascos-in-Waiting

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24. June 2010

Fossil Fuel Fiascos-in-Waiting

6-24-10 by dugan   BP is touting restoral of its robot-damaged "cap" (which looks like a giant hat for the Tin Man) to corral a large fraction of the company’s Gulf oil spill, but is staying as silent as possible about its other big engineering feat–a gravel island it built off the Alaskan coast for […]

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Congress Gets It Backward

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17. June 2010

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Congress Gets It Backward

  How is it that renewable energy producers struggle to renew expiring, and already expired, tax breaks and other funding credits in Congress, while the Senate overwhelmingly refuses to cut Big Oil’s $35 billion in taxpayer subsidies? Something to ponder as BP’s CEO faces withering fire for BP’s catastrophic spill in a House Committee hearing […]

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Which Is Worse, BP or MMS?

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25. May 2010

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Which Is Worse, BP or MMS?

05-26-10 by dugan   Big day today in learning about ways to demean and devalue safety. 1. A BP internal document (see it on Daily Beast) used a dismissive "Three Little Pigs" analogy in deciding to put Texas workers in flimsy trailers rather than blast-proof rooms next to a facility that exploded three years later, […]

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Dread on the Gulf Coast

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6. May 2010

Dread on the Gulf Coast

5-6-10 by dugan   (Fort Walton Beach, Florida)–In the northern Gulf of Mexico, along a sparkling coast from Louisana to Florida, everyone is used to hurricanes. You can prepare, and afterward repair, no matter how grueling. But this is something different and harder. The BP oil spill is fading from the headlines nationally. But here, […]

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The Price of Cheap Coal

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7. April 2010

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The Price of Cheap Coal

04-7-10 by dugan    It’s not just mountaintops blown to smithereens and drinking water polluted. Cheap coal’s price is also the the 25 miners known dead, plus four more feared dead, in Monday’s West Virginia underground explosion, and scores of miners still missing in last week’s China disaster. "Cheap" means a deliberate refusal to put […]

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‘Clean’ Coal PR, Dirty Reality

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29. March 2010

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3-29-10 by dugan Just as the oxymoronic American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity launched a new campaign telling us that coal is sooo much cheaper than natural gas (coal’s chief, and cleaner, competitor), the admirable Center for Investigative Reporting announced its new documentary, "Dirty Business," showing us exactly why "clean coal" isn’t. The ad campaign […]

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Sympathetic Hired Guns

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2. March 2010

Sympathetic Hired Guns

3-2-10 by dugan   While the end game on health care legislation sucks up the available news space, proposals to curb greenhouse gas emissions are being picked to shreds by power companies, coal companies, oil interests, large agribusiness and… senior citizens? The first member group that pops up on the website of Energy Citizens, an […]

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Oil vs. Water: You Choose

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28. December 2009

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Oil vs. Water: You Choose

If you had to choose between oil and water, one or the other, which would you choose? Living without oil or natural gas wouldn’t be fun, but you wouldn’t live at all without drinkable water. Which raises another question: Why is Exxon’s huge bet on natural gas drilling that may widely contaminate U.S. drinking water […]

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Sen. Byrd whacks Big Coal

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8. December 2009

Sen. Byrd whacks Big Coal

12-8-09 by dugan On the other fossil fuel front, Sen. Robert Byrd, the coal industry’s best ally in Washington for decades, is standing up against its current scare campaign in West Virginia, and its demand to continue "mountaintop removal" mining. The EPA has held up new permits for this destructive and polluting form of coal […]

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Hapless state gets it on climate

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24. November 2009

Hapless state gets it on climate

11-24-09 by dugan   California doesn’t have many bright spots lately, what with a new $21 billion hole in its budget, more than 12% unemployment and a hapless state Legislature. But its prospects looked up today with a climate regulation proposal. It’s just a draft regulation, but because the underlying legislation (small PDF) is already […]

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