California State Senate Vote Do-or-Die for High Speed Rail

By: Friday July 6, 2012 6:55 am

Today is a consequential day in the future of high speed rail in America. The California State Senate will vote to approve initial funding for the state’s HSR project through a bond issue. The Assembly has already passed the funding, but observers expect a tougher road in the Senate. Governor Jerry Brown has been a [...]

Environmentalists Don’t Like Concessions in Transportation Bill

By: Friday June 29, 2012 8:55 am

Lost in the shuffle yesterday amid the health care ruling and the contempt citation for Eric Holder was the deal reached on a minibus package for freezing student loan interest rates, extending surface transportation funding for two years, and reauthorizing for five years the flood insurance program. That package will get House and Senate votes [...]

Climate Change’s Disastrous Effects Already Taking Root

By: Tuesday June 26, 2012 10:19 am

Alex Pareene has a darkly amusing story at Salon today, basically telling everyone to abandon all hope and the minutiae of Supreme Court health care decisions: Sure, it’s infuriating that a simple majority of ideologically conservative justices with lifetime appointments are abusing the extra-constitutional power of judicial review to advance partisan Republican policy goals, but [...]

EPA Proposes New Standards on Soot Pollution

By: Friday June 15, 2012 1:22 pm

The EPA today proposed tougher standards for soot pollution today, in a move required by the courts, which they say 99% of all communities can meet without further action. The Environmental Protection Agency announced the proposed change on Friday; it would decrease the allowable fine particle pollution, or soot, to a range of between 12 [...]

Trans Pacific Partnership Document Leaked, Shows Corporations Could Violate National Sovereignty

By: Wednesday June 13, 2012 9:42 am

While I was watching a generally weak set of questioning of Jamie Dimon at the Senate Banking Committee (outside of Menendez, Brown and especially Merkley), Zach Carter was reporting on a key leaked document from the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. This is the “NAFTA for Asia” trade deal that Senators sought more transparency for earlier in [...]

Programming Note: Announcing the FDL News Guest Posters

By: Thursday April 19, 2012 12:15 pm

So I’m going to be stepping away from the blog for a couple weeks as I take a long-delayed vacation. But as I’ve said, I won’t be leaving you empty-handed. I have assembled a diverse group of writers to hold down the fort over the next two weeks. Kathleen Geier: You may remember her from [...]

EPA to Release Fracking Rule Today

By: Tuesday April 17, 2012 6:54 am

The EPA will announce the first federal rules against fracking. Curiously, however, the rules have nothing to do with the Clean Water Act, but seek to reduce the air pollution around fracking sites. This is also a problem, but most of the attention around the corrosive side effects of fracking has revolved around water contamination. [...]

Will the Housing Bust End the Emergence of Suburban Sprawl?

By: Thursday April 5, 2012 11:50 am

Kaid Benfield from the Natural Resources Defense Council takes a look on the bright side in regards to the foreclosure crisis, postulating that it will sound the death knell for exurban communities and sprawl: The subject of the Great Recession came up, and I volunteered that I thought the persistent economic slump had hurt both [...]

Climate Change Nearing “Irreversible” Stage

By: Tuesday March 27, 2012 1:22 pm

The new EPA rules on future power plants will limit but not reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the near future, and maybe ever, if natural gas prices remain low. No new coal-fired plants are really on the horizon post-2012, and while without carbon capture and sequestration equipment they couldn’t be built, nobody’s clamoring to build [...]

The End of Coal? New EPA Rules Will Limit GHG Emissions

By: Tuesday March 27, 2012 7:36 am

After years of study, the EPA will finally release their initial greenhouse gas emissions rules for power plants, which are likely to end the construction of any coal-fired plants from this point forward. The proposed rule — years in the making and approved by the White House after months of review — will require any [...]

Joe Nocera’s Puzzling Column on Fracking

By: Tuesday February 28, 2012 10:18 am

Joe Nocera has a bizarre column today, a riposte to anti-fracking activists, really, that can be summed up in three words: “Get over it.” Fracking isn’t going away. To put it another way, the technique of hydraulic fracturing, used to extract natural gas from once-impossible-to-get-at reservoirs like the Marcellus Shale that lies beneath New York [...]

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