Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Open thread for night owls: ConocoPhillips thinks cutting oil subsidies is 'Un-American'

Wouldn't it be something if these absurd billions in federal subsidies to the oil and gas industry were finally eliminated? While we're at it let's do something about legal oil speculation activities that artificially inflate gas prices and amount to a robbery of the general public.

Japanese Officials Ignored or Concealed Dangers

The Times is having a good day as I've felt compelled to post several pieces from the paper today. This in-depth report on the nuclear industry's history of ignoring and downplaying safety issues at nuclear power plants in Japan, particularly risks associated with earthquake vulnerabilities, reveals that regulators and government there were too closely aligned with TEPCO to effectively perform their duties to protect public health. We have precisely the same problems here in the US and yet our officials are pushing for new nuclear power plant construction despite the fallout from the disaster in Japan. Do not forget that all nuclear plants in this country are subsidized 100% with taxpayer money because the private sector will not invest without government support, because of the massive risks and cost overruns involved in nuclear energy. Based on this story and the history of NRC negligence in regulating nuclear power in America, we simply cannot trust the governments assertions that these plants are safe. We need to stand up and say "No!" to more nuclear power in this country, and insist that the hundreds of spent nuclear fuels rods and pools that currently exist, as well as the aging plants still in service, are responsibly managed and regulated.

Greenpeace Welcomes Japanese Move to Shut Down Reactor - Will US Regulators Learn From Japan?

Propublica reports on persistent cost-cutting shortcuts that have undermined the integrity in the construction of a nuclear fuel plant that produces particularly dangerous mixed oxide fuel in the US. Engineers on the NRC who complained about safety issues were removed from the project by regulators. 
Safety Reviewers Raise Questions About Construction of New Nuclear Fuel Plant in South Carolina

A Conflict Without End

This NYT editorial brings to light new legislation voted by the GOP-controlled House that seeks to expand the terror mandate against any "associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States." The vague language of the law would allow it to be applied to groups who had nothing to do with 9/11 and could also be applied domestically. Such military actions and indefinite detentions (and torture) of 'belligerents' would take place in secret and without the approval of Congress. This is bad news and we've got to resist the hyperbole and false patriotism that its proponents use to sell it to us.


This is a compelling documentary on scientific analysis of data on GMOs, and the health hazards that genetically-engineered food pose for all people with a particular emphasis on the increased impact these foods have on children. It's really critical information that all of us need to have as we contemplate the future of food in America.

New York Investigates Banks’ Role in Fiscal Crisis

A new investigation into the mortgage securitization deceptions of Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley has been launched by the New York State attorney general, Eric Schneiderman. Now, this is good news!