Environment

Sub Pop Goes Green with Bonneville Environmental Foundation

- for the Grateful Web

Sub Pop Records, the music label that has given rise to bands ranging from Nirvana to The Shins, announced today that it has purchased enough Green-e certified Green Tags, also known as renewable energy credits, from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to equal 100 percent of the company's energy use. To date, Sub Pop records is the first Green-e certified record label company in the United States.

"I was made aware of the program by one of my co-workers. I was, quite frankly, shocked by how easy it is to support renewable energy. Green Tags are a simple way for anyone to choose wind energy, which, in turn, lowers dependence on burning fossils fuels for energy," said Jonathan Poneman, president of Sub Pop Records. "Green Tags fulfill an important commitment to both the planet and the Pacific Northwest, where Sub Pop is rooted."

Earlier this year, Sub Pop Records' recording artist Kelley Stoltz released Below the Branches as the first album to be green powered and incorporate the Green-e label on its packaging. Like Kelley Stoltz, Sub Pop Records is promoting climate recovery by supporting new renewable energy, such as wind and solar power.

"Sub Pop has been synonymous with helping talented new artists support their passion for creating music," said Patrick Nye, director of sales of Bonneville Environmental Foundation. "Now, Sub Pop Records is directing the same energy toward new, renewable sources of power."

Both Sub Pop Records and Kelley Stoltz hope to influence other artists and music fans to consider what they can do to shift our nation's energy model to clean renewable technologies.

About Sub Pop Records
Sub Pop Records started eighteen years ago with releases from bands that were relatively unknown at the time, including Mudhoney, Nirvana and Soundgarden. The label continues to champion new artists that have quickly become part of the music lexicon including The Postal Service, The Shins, Iron and Wine, Wolf Parade, and Band of Horses. Sub Pop is based in Seattle, Washington. Visit www.SubPop.com.

befAbout the Bonneville Environmental Foundation
The Bonneville Environmental Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, was established in 1998 and was a pioneer in developing the market for renewable energy certificates, which it calls Green Tags. BEF reinvests all the net revenues from Green Tags sales in support of its mission, which funds solar power systems for schools and businesses, wind power systems for farms and ranches, and restoration efforts for salmon-bearing streams. Visit http://www.GreenTagsUSA.org to learn what individuals, utilities, and businesses are doing to increase the use of wind and solar power in our nation's electricity grids. www.b-e-f.org or www.GreenTagsUSA.org .

About Green-e and the Center for Resource Solutions
Launched in 1997, the Green-e Renewable Energy Certification Program is the leading independent certification and verification program that sets standards for renewable energy options. The Green-e logo serves as the national symbol for consumer protection and "seal of approval" indicating high quality, verified renewable energy. Green-e provides an easy way for consumers to find environmentally friendly energy options that fit their budget and present much less environmental impact than electricity generated primarily by fossil fuels. To learn more about certified renewable energy available in all 50 states, visit www.green-e.org, or call 888.63.GREEN.

Green-e is a program of the Center for Resource Solutions, a national nonprofit organization that works to make it easier for people and organizations to use renewable energy as a tool for mitigating climate change. CRS designs and operates national and international programs that support the increased supply and use of renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, low-impact hydroelectric power, and other clean energy sources. To learn more about CRS, visit www.resource-solutions.org.

Pearl Jam Selects Bonneville Environmental Foundation for Renewable Energy Programs

Pearl Jam- for the Grateful Web

Pearl Jam announced today that Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) was selected as one of nine non-profit organizations to receive a combined total of $100,000 to launch its 2006 Carbon Portfolio Strategy. The band's initiative is the latest demonstration of its commitment to solve global warming and provide information to music fans worldwide about what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint. The band also is inviting its fans to make their own contributions in support of the initiative, as a way of taking action against climate change.

BEF and the other organizations were selected according to their advancement of approaches to develop clean, renewable energy options and other climate change solutions.

"We looked for partners to put our contributions towards the greatest use in combating global climate change," said Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard. "BEF was an obvious choice when we considered the renewable energy component."

Pearl Jam has been a supporter of BEF since the 2004 Vote for Change tour, when Gossard organized some of the participating bands to fund the installation of small-scale renewable energy projects in many of the states where it toured. In addition to Pearl Jam and Gossard, participants included Bonnie Raitt, The Dave Matthews Band, and REM. BEF's role was to identify the Vote for Change beneficiary projects, and to manage the ongoing installation efforts.

"With the Vote for Change initiative, Pearl Jam helped BEF expand the scope of its renewable energy programs to reach new audiences in the Midwest, Southeast, and Eastern states," said Tom Starrs, Vice President of Marketing and Sales & Chief Operating Officer of Bonneville Environmental Foundation. "With the Carbon Portfolio Strategy, Pearl Jam is helping BEF reach an even broader audience with the message that it's easy to take action today to make our energy supply cleaner, safer, and more secure. We are very grateful for the band's continuing support."

bBEF will use the contributions from Pearl Jam's Carbon 2006 Portfolio Strategy to support its renewable energy initiatives, including its Green Tag programs. BEF's Green Tag programs enable individuals, businesses, and other organizations to offset their carbon footprint by supporting renewable energy projects that deliver solar and wind power into the nation's power grid.

The organizations designated as beneficiaries of Pearl Jam's Carbon Portfolio Strategy include: the American Solar Energy Society, Bonneville Environmental Foundation, Cascade Land Conservancy, Conservation International, EarthCorps, Green Empowerment, Honor the Earth, IslandWood, and Washington Clean Energy Initiative. To learn more about Pearl Jam's Carbon Portfolio Strategy visit: www.pearljam.com/activism/ .

About the Bonneville Environmental Foundation:
The Bonneville Environmental Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, was established in 1998 and was a pioneer in developing the market for renewable energy certificates, which it calls Green Tags. BEF reinvests all the net revenues from Green Tags sales in support of its mission, which funds solar power systems for schools and businesses, wind power systems for farms and ranches, and restoration efforts for salmon-bearing streams. Visit http://www.GreenTagsUSA.org to learn what individuals, utilities, and businesses are doing to increase the use of wind and solar power in our nation's electricity grids. www.b-e-f.org or www.greentagsusa.org.

Becoming What You Abhor: The Lesson Learned from "The Family"

- for the Grateful Web

Recently, eleven members of a group known as "The Family", who are in fact an extremist faction of both the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), were indicted on 65 charges, all related to "eco-terrorist" attacks that were carried out over four and a half years and spanned five states.

While it is easy for most of us to empathize with their concern for the environment and animals, and their discouragement and outrage at how little the masses of society care about these concerns, it is harder to understand what they thought they were accomplishing with their violent attacks.  If their goal was to help further world peace on all levels (ecologically, spiritually, physically, etc…), isn't it counterintuitive to destroy, blow up, vandalize or otherwise harm anything?  As the consummately wise Gandhi believed, we cannot achieve peace through violent means.  It may be easy to think that we must shock or jolt people out of their complacency to make any change in the world, but change is usually not something that comes about in one moment of epiphany.  Usually, it is a series of gradual changes that take place over time.  Unfortunately, when someone uses violence, even if it's to highlight an important injustice or wrong that is happening in society, they then relinquish their right to speak for positive change as they've become part of the problem.  Michael Franti, of the group Spearhead, ask the all-important question in one of his songs, "Are we part of the solution, or are we part the pollution?"

However, the tone and words that officials in the U.S. government have used to condemn these acts strike me as the epitome of hypocrisy.  Although the technical definition of terrorism, according to the American Heritage dictionary, is "the unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons," I would like to propose a change in that definition.  Even though most can justify war as lawful and necessary, aren't the bombs we're dropping, the guns we're shooting and the sanctions we've imposed intended to intimidate and coerce societies?  And aren't the majority of these people innocent of any wrongdoing, but unfortunately happen to be in the wrong place at the terribly wrong time?

As the Bible so clearly advises us all, don't point out the speck of wood in another's eye when you have a log in your own.  It also warns:  "Judge not, lest you be judged."

Henry J Hansen for the Grateful Web

 

Oil's Well that Ends Well

Bio Car- for the Grateful Web

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have dealt a one-two punch to the petroleum infrastructure in the Gulf states of Texas and Mississippi. Over 1 million barrels of daily oil production and over 6 billion cubic feet of natural gas remain offline in the Gulf, and to date, 10% of annual oil production and 7% of annual natural gas production have been lost (link).  Natural gas and home heating oil prices are expected to rise about 50% this winter.  Some analysts are now saying that $5/gallon gasoline is not beyond probability.

I'll go into home heating in another article, but for today, I'd like to focus on transportation.

What are you driving?  How many miles per gallon do you get?  Me, I drive a 1983 Mercedes sedan, and I get a modest 25 miles per gallon.  Now, I suppose you're saying to yourself, "If this guy is such an energy expert, why isn't he driving a Prius or an electric car?"  I would, but I can't afford to buy one.  Can you?  Yeah, I drive a big car, but I have a family, and besides, I don't use gasoline.  My car has a diesel engine, and I fuel it with biodiesel: diesel fuel made from vegetable oil.  Most companies that produce biodiesel now produce it from new soybean oil.  However, biodiesel can also be made from used cooking oil, such as might be obtained from the French fryer of a restaurant.

Currently, in several states, drivers of diesel engine vehicles can fill up at stations that sell biodiesel fuel, typically in blends with petroleum diesel (affectionately known as "dino-diesel") of either 20% or 99% biodiesel.  It costs a little more than dino-diesel (about 15 cents per gallon), and that's after a generous $1.00 per gallon tax credit that Congress included in a jobs bill it passed in October 2004.  (Occasionally, Congress does something good.)

So, if it costs more, why buy biodiesel?  There are a number of reasons:

1)      Environmental:  When I buy biodiesel, I know that it was made with a minimum of toxic chemicals, unlike refining petroleum which results in such a high level of solid, liquid and airborne pollutants, Southern Louisiana and Mississippi, home to several refineries, has been given the nickname "Toxic Alley".

2)      Political:  When I buy biodiesel, I'm supporting a locally-owned company that produces an agricultural-based product.  I'm not supporting a multi-national corporation that's responsible for putting the George W. Bush into the White House and sending our armed forces to Iraq.

3)      Mechanical:  The original diesel engine, designed by Otto Diesel (yes, really!), was designed to run on peanut oil.  Diesel engines run better and last longer on biodiesel.  When I first started using biodiesel, I used a 50-50 or 60-40 blend by filling up half the tank with dino-diesel and then topping it off with biodiesel.  If a car has run dino-diesel for a long time, burning biodiesel in it will start to clean out a lot of deposits from the engine and could clog up the oil filter.  My mechanic recommended changing the oil filter frequently at the beginning.  Once I had cleaned out a lot of the gunk, I could run straight biodiesel.

4)      Olfactory:  Maybe I'm weird, but I like driving around in a car whose exhaust smells like French fries.

5)      Futuristic:  So, how is driving a 22-year-old car that runs on refined vegetable oil futuristic?  World oil production has likely peaked, and every year after this one, we can expect to see less oil produced than the year before.  Meanwhile, global demand for oil is going up.   That means higher and higher prices.  But I can live quite nicely without petroleum fuel (admittedly, though not without other petroleum products such as engine oil and compact discs).  Long after my neighbor stops driving his Lincoln Navigator, I'll be driving my quaint biodiesel car.

6)      It's cool:  Musicians such as Bob Dylan and Neil Young have used biodiesel buses on recent concert tours.  Willie Nelson, and staunch biodiesel proponent, has invested in biodiesel projects, including a biodiesel production facility in Oregon and a biodiesel truck stop in South Carolina.

There are some biodiesel users who even make their own.  If they're really brave, they can make their own on the stove with household cookware and some barrels.  (see http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_make.html)   Some have purchased turnkey small-scale (though pricey) biodiesel production units, such as the "FuelMeister" sold by http://www.homebiodiesel.com

Biodiesel production requires lye or sulphuric acid as well as small amounts of methanol as a catalyst, which is toxic and must be handled carefully.  One nice thing about the turnkey systems is that you just mix everything together, and it does the rest, which reduces the hazardous nature of the chemicals.  The major byproduct of producing biodiesel is glycerin, which can be made into soap, though often I wonder just how much soap one person needs.  Then again, that person next to you in the crowded elevator probably could use more.

Presently, in most places, there are still ample sources of used vegetable oil to be found.  However, as petroleum becomes more expensive, more people will be seeking out sources of vegetable oil, and it could become a limited resource as well.  I would advise you to start now and talk the owners of your favorite restaurants to secure their goodwill and their oil.

What about that Prius?

One more thing, which may be obvious, but I've been asked it several times.  No, you CANNOT run your gasoline-powered car on biodiesel.  Gasoline and diesel are two completely different types of fuel, and they are not interchangeable.  So, you may not use biodiesel in your new Toyota Prius.  It seems to me that the ideal would be diesel-electric hybrid, but as yet, I am not aware of one available.  GM is working on a diesel-electric hybrid concept car, and I would suspect that other manufacturers are, too.  We'll just have to wait and see.  That is, if there's enough oil left to manufacture them.

My long-term recommendation:  walk, ride a bicycle, or take mass transit, and save your biodiesel car for only when you really need it.  That will help ensure an adequate supply of fuel for everyone.  Biodiesel will be an important piece of the puzzle of our dubious energy future, and any investment made into promoting biodiesel will most certainly pay off.

Daniel Sapon-Borson holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.S. in Energy Policy and Management.  When not driving his biodiesel Mercedes, he can be seen walking or bicycling around the streets of Eugene, OR.

 ***

Corn Image Thumbnail Credit: photographer Navin Sigamany  Navin Sigamany's Blogocentricity, Life online and in Chennai

Bio Car Image: Grateful Web hybrid using Storacar image

Related Links: VW Leads Automotive Pack with BioDiesel Research

10/12/2005: Denver Public Schools one of largest fleets in country to run on BioDiesel

Thoughts On Katrina

My friend Aaron had some interesting thoughts on the situation in New Orleans: 

"If you were a organization that hated the USA, wouldn't you start flooding your men into New Orleans?  Think about it... get some pipe bombs exploding, add to the chaos, the fear level, and get some local thugs all fired up.  Blow up some cars, attach some cops, etc."

"It's crazy to think of how exposed that town is right now.  Ripe for the picking so to speak."

"There is potential to overtake the town for at least a little while.  Yikes."

"Just think as people start getting hungrier and thirst increases... so will the tension and the violence.  Freaking crazy!"

"Gaia is getting ready for the big global flush.  We could seriously go the way of the dinosaurs and any day now."

"Let's face it, New Orleans is now just a big shit filled ghetto, loaded with impoverished black people... and once again, they get the shaft."

"Good thing all our federal money, supplies, personnel, and equipment are all over in the Middle East."

"We can't even take care of one big town in the USA right now."

Wow, he may be right, though it is probably tougher than it sounds...and I bet terrorist entry to the US is more why the National Guard is there than to help get people out...the reports and footage that show Guard personnel at a local junior high playing basketball and relaxing...five guardsmen hunting down one looter, guns drawn, etc...prove that the feds don't care about whether anyone gets out alive (in fact it probably helps out the welfare budgets), but they put guardsmen in place to keep out foreigners and terrorists...

Personally, what I have gathered from seeing this catastrophe, and what seems to be revealed above all is how much finding someone to blame seems essential to human nature.  We need this to focus our anger and frustration.  The Lefties are all blaming the Neo-cons and bad government, and global warming...the neo-cons are blaming the looters, as if they are really a problem (did any of you see the footage of the Wal-Mart that was mostly empty, and the looters actually, when asked where are the cops, said "they are in THAT aisle..."  and the cameras zoom in on cops looting the Walmart, on duty, with no idea if their families were ok or not, etc, thinking, "I'm going to take advantage of this...it is about survival now, not morality...")

Anyway, it seems to me that Katrina (as well as the Tsunami) has revealed how much terrorist attacks really pale in comparison to the devastation that Mother Nature can dish out.  In fact, it should shift our priorities to back off on the terrorist threat (as i argue there would be much less terrorism if we weren't fighting a war on it...creating the threat in order to fight it)...and focus on learning to live in harmony with Gaia, as  Aaron called her...learn how to cope with her ferocity when she's pissed off (and it appears she is pissed off right now...is it becuase we are assuming our superiority to her?  Disrespecting her?  Ignoring her? )

If we are wasting our energy fighting each other, we miss out on the opportunity to learn about and explore Gaia's awesomeness...in every way, her awesome beauty, her awesome power...we should be focusing our lives on simply living harmoniously, but we instead need to find someone to blame, and damn it, it sure makes me feel better to blame someone here.  (Of course Bush in particular is not fully responsible for this, but there are plenty of things he represents and and crimes that his kind has committed against Gaia that he can be a nice scapegoat for us as the proud, cocky, sociopathic, American yahoo with no real concern for humanity.)  Bush and Co. have fostered the fallacy of demonizing a particular group as someone to focus our anger on, "the terrorists"...which we have painted a very particular picture of with turbans and robes and their, "Durkah, Durkah, Allah!  Muhammed, Durkah, Jihad!"  Osama, our terrorist poster boys...ugh...it is a lot easier to demonize and hate a particular "threat" than to learn to be afraid of Gaia, which I don't propose, but rather learn to love and respect the planet, her spirit and science, and its potential for beauty as well as her destructive power...again, find the harmony, not the blame...It is funny that when I was in catechism classes as a 9th grader,  we were told that we should "fear and love God", so that we would follow the commandments...anyway, I never understood the fear part, a "healthy respect for" seemed better wording, but, how apropos it is that we should fear and love Gaia so that we learn to live in harmony with her and one another.  As I said before, respect her potential for destruction and honor her rightly, as opposed to bogging ourselves down in self-destructive terrorism and "anti-terrorism" tactics...

Ahhh...so i am exposed as a blamer, myself...a whining liberal...in fact I'll go a couple steps further, now...I have seen some folks say things like, "Those looters are the lowest form of human life...we should drop a nuke on each of those projects..."  What? Of course I know this person never "truly" meant to use a nuke per se on them, but it certainly reveals the prejudice in such a statement...and how easy it is to simply lump a whole diverse group of people into a cardboard cut out of "looters" or "bad people" or "garbage" that needs to be disposed of.  There are many truly sweet and caring and wonderfully amazing people in those projects that suffer from our generalizations, and now in turn, those generalizations marginalize them into those that aren't worth saving...

It was interesting to see pictures of old white people getting airlifted out while scores of blacks wait endlessly for busses...if you look at comparisons of 9/11 and Katrina, we can see that terrorist attacks are nothing compared to Cleaning up the Mississippi coast and NOLA.  9/11 was a nicely controlled explosion in a white-collar, rich area, that was "easy" to clean up, easy to keep order in, since the survivors could just run a few hundred yards away to safety and receive immediate care, whereas with Katrina, it is pure chaos.  A very poor areas, spread out and extremely messy...It is taking forever to just get started...Clean up is not contained in anyway and the effects will linger for a long time. 

Yet we can't say, "Terrorists! In the name of all that is holy and American, DIE!"  Or can we?  The Environmental Terrorists currently headed by GW Bush and friends may be to blame in a blameless situation.  The global warming (that really doesn't exist, right?) and the lack of preparation and response, and the "cost-effectiveness" reports against the building levees that hold back a greater than Category 3 storm, the long vacations, the scientific witch hunts against scientists that have "evidence" against the Bush mind frame, and on and on...

I really don't want to say it that way...I don't want this to be a blame fest...the whole situation got away from the authorities (and if they purposely meant to withhold care, then that is their problem for the karma they'll face...the Hell they'll pay...)  What I'd like to think is that the lesson of living in harmony is what we all take from this first and foremost.  Harmony with nature as well as with each other.  I truly feel that we are paying a price for our extreme hubris, for our extreme prejudice...for living out of harmony. 

We NEED to change our priorities and perspective.  We need to stop the blame game (I swear, from now on, no more blame, starting...NOW).  We need acceptance and gratitude.  We need to start being proactive in living harmonious lifestyles with Gaia and in turn one another.  We need to be aware that the demonizing of others is part of our problem.  We can become more aware through simple experience of living as opposed to living vicariously through the TV...We  need not to accept "the media" as truth, but to seek truth as an essential part of experiencing life fully, in and of itself, and therein see what is truly important, rather than fitting our experience into our favorite theories about life...We need to help where we can, when we can...Let's use Katrina to help us learn and love and live BETTER, more fully and in harmony with the world and each other...in each moment...always.

Amen.

(Thanks, Aaron, for setting me off, I feel better now...)

Bush's Logic - Protect the Homeland - DON'T PRESERVE IT

- for the Grateful Web

"It's clearly a budget," President Bush once said, "It's got a lot of numbers in it." The problem is there just aren't nearly enough numbers in the president's FY 2006 budget to cover important domestic programs. That's certainly the case with environmental protection, where gigantic spending cuts hurt all Americans who prefer to breathe healthy air, drink clean water, treasure our natural heritage and enjoy wildlife.  Securing environmental protection in America is critical to our nation's well-being.

 

Indeed, our environmental security forms the basis of policies that protect public health, manage natural resources to ensure our nation's long-term wealth, and foster America's energy independence.

While the administration proposes reducing domestic discretionary spending for all federal programs (excluding defense and homeland security) by less than one percent, environmental funding is targeted for a punishing 10.4 percent cut. Whacking environmental funding by $3.3 billion – down from $31.3 billion in the last budget to just $28 billion – represents the largest cut in environmental protection ever proposed by this White House.

The proposed cuts spread the pain widely across a range of environmental programs, including:

• The Environmental Protection Agency's clean water projects (-$700 million)

• Land conservation, including the Land and Water Conservation Fund (-$1.1 billion)

• Ocean and coastline restoration, under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (-$333 million)

• Amtrak, with funding zeroed out despite serving 23 million Americans a year in 47 states

• The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where drilling is based on dubious accounting gimmicks.

The Natural Resources Defense Council says get prepared for the worst..

- for the Grateful Web

Dear NRDC BioGems Defender,

"What's going to happen if President Bush is reelected?"

That's a question I heard a lot last month. My answer was simple: we'll be shell-shocked for a day, and then NRDC will come out fighting for the like there's no tomorrow.

Well, the shock has set in. We've spent the better part of four years publicizing and challenging the president's assault on our forests, western wildlands and wildlife habitats. As a tax-deductible organization, NRDC could not oppose or support a candidate for president. But a lot of hopes were pinned on the ballot box as the fastest way to terminate the Bush administration's giveaways to logging, timber and mining companies.

Those hopes were dashed yesterday. The president prevailed, despite his horrific environmental record, which remains at odds with the views of the overwhelming majority of Americans.

We're stunned not so much by the outcome itself. After all, President Bush was a slight favorite to win this election. No, the look of distress on faces all around NRDC's offices today is true alarm at what lies ahead. As sweeping as this administration's attack on the environment has been, things are about to get worse. Perhaps much worse.

It was only the threat of the ballot box - of answering to the American people - that caused the Bush administration to backburner many of its most destructive plans. The White House has already signaled that the attacks of the past four years are but the leading edge of a much broader assault that will come in a second term.

Look for it to begin over the next few weeks with new attempts to auction off vast stretches of our Alaskan rainforest for clearcutting . . . open Greater Yellowstone and other beloved wildlands to oil and gas drilling . . . and hand over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to giant oil companies.

So, yes, take one full day for feeling shell-shocked.

But prepare yourself. Tomorrow the battle will be joined. And we must be ready.

You can take heart in this: thanks to your support, NRDC and our BioGems campaigns have succeeded in stalling, blocking or sinking the worst of President Bush's attempts so far to exploit and destroy our last wild places.

And let me tell you, the second Bush administration will have to contend with an NRDC that now wields the most potent combination of grassroots activism, courtroom power and media outreach ever assembled by one public interest organization.

That impressive operation - one million Members and BioGems Defenders, scores of attorneys, the best rapid response operation in the business - will be focused like a laser on stopping the onslaught to come.

Failure is not an option. Everything we have fought for and achieved over the past 35 years is at stake. In the weeks ahead, I will be reporting to you in more detail on NRDC's action plan for defending our last wild places during President Bush's second term.

But I can share one key element of that plan right now: you. We're counting on you to stay the course with our BioGems campaigns. We need your outrage. We need your activism. If we have those, we are going to prevail.

Sincerely,

John H. Adams
President
Natural Resources Defense Council

BioGems: Saving Endangered Wild Places
A project of the Natural Resources Defense Council
http://www.savebiogems.org

Another Forest Bites The Dust

Colorado- for the Grateful Web

Bush & Dick are at it again... June was a busy month (even for this administration), as Bush, Dick, the Army Corps of Engineers, federal judges, the Forest Service, the Fish & Wildlife Service, the EPA, and the rest continued on their (war)path of doing more damage to our environmental protections than any other administration in U.S. history.

The latest and greatest; Bush's plan to cut back Clinton's roadless rule - opening the way for his logging & mining buddies to go to town on 58 million acres of our National Forests. As expected, Republican governors in many western states applauded Bush's plan, claiming its ideal land for development.

What I can't understand is their inability to look down the road 10, 20, or 50 years. George Bush, Dick "Oil Can" Cheney, and all these western Governors (including Colorado's very own Bill Owens) have children and many have grandchildren.  Surely they want to maintain our countries' national treasures for them? They must want to continue Teddy Roosevelt's notion of saving forests for wildlife and their sheer beauty?  I'm certain they want their grandkids to experience a hike through the Rocky Mountains - knowing there is wildlife afoot and they could have an opportunity to see some.  Hey guys, if we continue to invade wildlife's habitat with new roads, homes, & humans, there won't be any places left for them to be wild...

Why are Republicans always so interested in the short-term dollar? Our forests and our wildlife should not be up for sale. Their habitat can NEVER be replaced.  This discussion will be moot in 50 years if we don't do something now. We cannot continue to open forests to development...there isn't enough left.

A perspective from an oil & gas V.P. from Midland, Texas

A Natural Electric Rig in the field- for the Grateful Web

I need to correct Grateful Web over their bias over the impact of oil and gas on the environment.  First of all... the production that bush wants to open up in Colorado is GAS.  Gas is very clean,  not only for burning, but also to drill and produce.  An average house in Boulder is far, far worse for the environment then either an oil or gas well.  It only take a few weeks to drill a well, where a house is pretty much permanent. An oil well normally has a 20 year life span... if the producer is lucky. Granted oil wells require pump jacks, holding tanks and an access road, but even so,  ten oil wells cause less pollution then 1 household i.e. water/waste, garbage, non-indigenous landscaping, etc. Plus, let me remind you that the Colorado stuff is gas and gas wells are only noticeable when being drilled.  When they are put on production the gas head is smaller then a large dog and the gas is piped so no need for roads, hence, gas is THE cleanest energy source possible.

 

Hydroelectric power is hundreds of times more damaging to the environment, so is wind power (although I think the huge windmills north of Denver are actually very artistic and awesome to look at), solar power is a great idea, but not practical or economical at this time.. plus who knows what effect all those mirrors might have? (joke) And I don't think I need to say anything about nuclear power.

 

I am not sure, but I suspect that oil wells are what is purposed for Alaska. And I do agree that oil would impact that environment a great deal.  Not because of the actual wells, but because the heat from the pipeline is bad for the permafrost and obviously tankers suck. However,  when you consider that the Clinton administration emptied the majority of our strategic reserves... and that the US  only has about 24 hours of reserves left.   I think a bit of damaged environment (less then 1% of 1%) is worth world peace.  How on earth did I come up with "world peace"?  Well,  back in 1997 the commerce department reported that if we had another crisis like when Iraq destroyed Kuwait oil production, the US would have no choice but go to war and begin civilian rationing of energy. So you ask... "perhaps things have changed?"  Yep, they have gotten worse.  In 1997 we were only 50% dependent on foreign oil production, we are currently over 60% dependent. Granted, the US only gets about 15% of our imports from the middle east.... but Germany, France & Japan get almost all of there production from the middle east. Hence,  world war.  Like it or not petroleum products are vital to the world economy. (did you know that 80% of ALL chemicals used in manufacturing come from petroleum? Like  petro-based fertilizers that have increased the average yeld 100%,  can you imagine world hunger without the increased yeld of grain?)

 

I don't think I need to explain that wars aren't about religion or politics,  those are more noble justification,  war is about economics and feeding people.  Look at Ireland... when their economic sucked, they bombed each other... now Ireland has one of the fastest growing standards of living.. and there is peace in Ireland.

 

Taking the above into account, I feel that the USA is currently raping the entire world by hoarding our domestic reserves and not producing them. What will happen when the world reserves wane and the USA is forced to open up its reserves?  What right does the US have to be gluttons?