Friday, February 24, 2006

Clean it up or shut it down!

Listeners may recall Tina Clark from Clean Water Action was on our show a few months back. She's sending around the letter below to encourage more folks to submit testimony on the Mt. Tom coal-burning power plant (cough, gag) that's making such a mess of this valley. March 6 is the deadline for letters. Clean it up or shut it down!

Dear Friends,

Our hard-won regulation to reduce global warming gas emissions from the Filthy Five coal-burning power plants is being gutted by the Gov. Romney administration. These old, dirty plants produce about 17% of greenhouse gas emissions from the state! They are the SINGLE LARGEST SOURCE of global warming gases. We won a modest reduction of 10% by 2008 in 2001. Romney s proposed changes to the Filthy Five CO2 regulation would let power plant owners off the hook

Please send written testimony using the heading below. We must flood the MA Department of Environmental Protection with written comments to STOP this violation of the public trust and democratic process. Please FORWARD THIS MESSAGE to everyone you can.

Send your Written Comments to Sharon Weber at Sharon.Weber@state.ma.us or: Sharon Weber, Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Waste Prevention, One Winter Street, Boston, MA 02108. Comments must be received by March 6, 2006.

Use this heading:

Written comments

RE: Proposed Greenhouse Gas Amendments to 310 CMR 7.29 & 310 CMR 7.00: Appendix B

Then write:
[your name], [organization name - if you re representing an organization]

[address]

[date]

SUGGESTIONS for your message:

[who you are. If you are writing on behalf of an organization, explain what the organization is about.]

[statement of opposition to the proposed changes to the regulation]

[why this matters to you - your personal perspective: concern for the kind of world your children and grandchildren will have, concern for the changes that could happen to the New England lifestyle and the nature of New England, etc.]

[Any Specific Concerns with Proposed Changes to the Regulation, such as:]


- Global warming is a massive challenge facing us and our children, and we must be sure that we are making real reductions in global warming pollution. This version of the regulations adds uncertainty to those reductions.

- If gone unchecked, global warming threatens New England s economy, food supply, public health, and community well-being. Weather disasters will intensify floods, heat waves, ice storms, high winds that damage homes and energy supply, etc., etc. In addition, we will damage forests, wildlife, foliage, coastline, lobster catch, and winter recreation some of the defining characteristics of our region.

- DEP not only has an opportunity to make a strong regulation that significantly reduces CO2 pollution from our oldest and dirtiest power plants, but it can also set an important precedent for other states and regions on how to structure their programs.

- Our state will not be able to meet its climate protection goals without effectively tackling power plant pollution. If Governor Romney is serious about the commitments he made to those goals, he should stop attacking this regulation.

- The public health, security, and environmental risks of nuclear power are well documented, and the this global warming regulation is not the appropriate place for the state to decide whether it wants to encourage such a controversial energy source as nuclear power. (Though in the draft regulations nuclear power is excluded from being an offset, DEP has asked for comment on whether it should be included.)

- The proposed changes to this regulation mean we may not get the pollution reductions promised in the regulation. Offsets programs are difficult enough to manage when they are well-designed, and adding loopholes to the Filthy Five CO2 regulation will only add more uncertainty to the program. The major loopholes:

- With the $6.50 price trigger for offsets, the geographic scope for offsets expands to the entire globe, and we lose the co-benefits of having the offsets in our region. Many offset projects would be happening in far-off regions, so we wouldn t enjoy, for example, the reductions in non-GHG air pollution that often come with offset projects. Also, accepting offsets from the entire globe further complicates oversight of the system especially determining when and how to enforce penalties.

- With the $10.00 Trust price trigger for offsets, power plant owners can simply pay into a state trust fund at a discount instead of continuing to make pollution reductions. They get to buy their way out of having to meet the emissions standard in the regulation at a cut price. The Trust price trigger also takes away the incentive for plants to invest in new, cleaner technology.

- The altering of the definition of permanent gives the power plant owners a loophole for avoiding their commitments and protesting DEP rulings. DEP should only be allowing offsets that can reasonably be called permanent, instead of giving plant owners leeway to argue for projects that have questionable staying power.

For more information: download the hearing kit at www.newenglandclimate.org/packet
If you have questions, please contact Brian Thurber, Clean Water Action, 617-338-8131, bthurber@cleanwater.org. He ll be delighted to support you.

This is a critical time to express your opinion! Please be sure to mail or email your comments so that the DEP receives them by Monday, March 6.

THANK YOU for taking action.

Tina Clark
Clean Water Action
office/home: (413) 549-6834
cell: (413) 658-8165
tclarke@cleanwater.org
www.cleanwater.org

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Man-made Disasters Show

Our friend Paki, one of the Raging Grannies here in the Valley, will be phoning-in from the Common Ground Collective in New Orleans. She'll clue us in on what's going down amongst the refuse of our most recent MAN-MADE DISASTER! But first a question: when is a disaster man-made? We'd say when man so screws up the environment so badly that natural disasters become mega-magnified! We're talking climate chaos and degraded ecosystems here, folks. Last weeks U.S. House Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina (whew!) report,even though it was a Republican panel, got all over the feds for their screw-ups in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. It described FEMA's personnel shortfall as the most "difficult challenge", but said absolutely nothing about "preparation" with regard to reinforced levies, construction in flood zones, much less rehabilitated wetlands and barrier islands! A supplementary report by House Dems complained about a lack of attention to present problems in the Gulf region resulting from Katrina and called for head of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff to be removed. The NYT echoes that call in its 2/16 editorial.



In any case, apparently the House report is only about Homeland Security's lack of logistical preparation and response, not about preparing for disasters by living WITH the land. These guys are doin' a heck of a job, no?




Like we said, there's a mega man-made disaster that looms behind the disaster of Katrina. The warmer than normal water in the Gulf, and across the globe, intensifies storms. Those warmer waters are the result of massive climate change and the verdict is in on what powers the climate chaos growing all around us: you guessed it! Human activity, and we're not talking keg parties or street demos; we're talking industrial civilization. Now we read in Scientific American (http://www.sciam.com/) that glaciers in Greenland are already experiencing or may soon experience increased melting, meaning that Greenland's ice will contribute even more than expected to the world's rising seas. This is not good news for lowlanders!
But hey, don't take our word for it, even Fortune Magazine....er.. buys it?



Bhopal was truly one of the classic man-made disasters. The people living near Bhopal continue to suffer from the consequences of the Union-Carbide plant gas release. Glen has a clip from the Yes Men ripping a new one for UC, et al.



On our Bus Stop Billboard we see Traprock Peace Center is hosting a video showing of "Surviving the Vernon Reactor" at the Jones Library in Amherst immediately following our show at 7pm. The Vernon nuke, as you listeners know, is a man-made disaster waiting to happen. Also, March 6 is the deadline for comments on that bogus coal-burning power plant by Mt. Tom. In even a less-than-perfect world that sucker should be shutdown.



Stay tuned. Same bat channel, same bat time!

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Enviro Name the REAL Terrorists Show

Rob Skelton & friends join us this week to rock the REAL terrorists into oblivion (we wish). We’ll parse the definition of terrorist, as opposed to eco-TERRA-ists and have a comparative look at their deeds. There'll be talk about government surveillance there at the top of the hour as well. First they sneak around and spy on you, then they come crashing thru your door: it’s freedom on the march!



But first the news: Remember George’s sorry-ass State of the Union Address in which he stated "the U.S. would cut its Middle East oil imports 75 percent by 2025"? Errrrr! There’s the buzzer! Sorry, the real answer is: he lied! Energy Secretary Bodman had to perform some damage repair the very next day saying he didn’t mean that, it was "just an example". Yes! It was a perfect example of the Repugnican Scheme Machine! Checkout the story here.




Big Brother is Spying on Environmental Groups. Responding to ACLU FOIA requests filed in 20 states on behalf of more than 150 organizations and individuals, the government has released documents that reveal monitoring and infiltration by the FBI and local law enforcement, targeting political, environmental, anti-war and faith-based groups. Checkout Earthbeat Radio's piece on this story here in the land of the free.



We've got some serious music this week picked up from our friends over at Axis of Justice Radio Network. Two must hears are "Guns of Brixton" by Camille of Nouvelle Vague, and we close with "Get out of Iraq" by Simple Fears.



Sooooo, who ARE the terrorists, anyway? The thugs in black body armor crashing through your door ‘cuz you posted names and addresses on your website of people who torture animals? How about a foreign army invading your nation for oil and empire, killing and maiming half your family? Maybe a government that sits on its hands while you starve and dehydrate on your roof in the middle of a flood? People who cut medical benefits to poor children and old people? Let’s talk about this! Remember last time we read you that quote from Senator Inhofe comparing the ELF and ALF to Al Qaeda? This guy can’t be for real! How about these feds claiming enviro sab groups are America’s #1 domestic terrorist threat! WEAK!




On Bus Stop Billboard this week there's still some interesting programs over at the Hitchcock Nature Center in Amherst. Also, we're coming up on the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, you remember: the war for oil & empire? On Saturday, February 18 on the Amherst Town Common from 1:45pm on, there will be a Memorial for Gregory Levey & Community Gathering to end the US war in Iraq. Western Mass folks may recall 15 years ago on February 18, 1991 (President's Day), Gregory Levey took his life in a public act against the Gulf War. He wrote "PEACE" on a placard, set an American flag on fire and then immolated himself on the Amherst town common. Today, we remain trapped in the same war Greg resisted 15 years ago. Millions more are dead. The same regime is in the White House. Well.....that sucks!