Energy

Corruption at the Department of Interior

Submitted: Sep 19, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The federal Justice Department is looking into the alleged corruption of former Interior Secretary Gale Norton. Under Norton, Interior’s corruption reached baroque proportions, particularly in issues involving California, as stories beneath indicate. For underlying documentation, readers are urged to consult Interior’s Office of Inspector General’s special reports at http://www.doioig.gov/index.php?menuid=2&viewid=-1&viewtype=REPORT&pgid=598&rpttype=special

 

 

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

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Nunes, the tragic hero

Submitted: Jul 19, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

You have to hand it to Rep. Devin Nunes, Tragic Hero-Visalia, he’s a performer. In fact, you have to stand in line to hand it to him, behind national PACs, agribusiness and oil and gas to hand it to him. He’s raised nearly a million dollars for his campaign next year and if some strong Democrat contender lurks in Nunes’ district, that contender lurks below the surface so far.

 

The Costoza, representatives Jim Costa, D-Fresno and Dennis Cardoza, Fairy Shrimper- Annapolis/Merced, are not in Nunes’ league. The political theater-going public, knowing this, has dispensed a mere $350,000 and change to each of these chorus boys. . The fourth member of the Valley congressional delegation, Jerry McNerney, Goose Egg-Pleasanton, who represents the actual Delta, tries to keep the Altamont between him and the Valley as much as possible. Closer to Mother Nancy, McNerney gets nearly half a million.

 

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California water: some recent theological texts

Submitted: Jul 12, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Every culture has its sacred texts. Chinese, the Sumerians, Indians, Persians, Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, Arabs -- and on and on. You name the culture and we'll name the sacred text -- from the I Ching to the Koran and beyond. It is the world's greatest literature,

the true treasury of the deepest human values and highest human visions.

 

In California, we have the water news. Because we are so young, dynamic and full of the belief that economic growth equals population growth, the notion that natural resources, especially water, may have limits, has created a theological crisis here in California.

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Your local "high-tech, bio-tech engine for growth" at work

Submitted: May 09, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Speak Memory: During the entire run-up to approval of UC Merced and construction of its first phase, including all the bogus environmental review documents and the illegal water and sewer hookups with the City of Merced, boosters from the Regents to UC presidents Roger Atkinson and Robert Dynes, UC Merced's first chancellor, Carol Tomlinson-Keasey ("the Cowgirl Chancellor"),  representatives Gary Condit and Dennis Cardoza and their talented staffs, former state Sen. Dick Monteith (who declared the campus a "done deal" before it was, actually, a done deal), every realtor, bank and local land owner and local elected official (if a distinction between these classes can be discerned), every planner, our own Sonny Star, the local gigolo press, and most of all, the Great Valley Center (now a UC Merced partner), declared that the campus would be a "high-tech, bio-tech engine for growth in the San Joaquin Valley." We were promised another Silicon Valley right on the banks of Bear Creek, bright young things full of bright young ideas would be starting companies right and left, so we had to build proper housing for them here, there, and everywhere.

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State of the birds and of the Endangered Species Act

Submitted: Mar 20, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The unprecedented "State of the Birds" Report 2009 caused a small stir in some circles during a week otherwise devoted to stories of unprecedented extortion by finance, insurance and real estate representatives in and out of the Obama administration.

The Wall Street Journal, in an apparent lapse of syntactical clarity, offered this line:

Among the more than 800 bird species in the U.S., 67 are listed as endangered or threatened by the federal government, the report says.

Certainly under the Bush administration, including the former president's parting shot at gutting the Endangered Species Administration (see last posting by Badlands), a wide variety of wildlife species in the US have been endangered or threatened by the actions and especially the non-actions of federal government agencies charged with their protection. As the collected works of former Department of Interior Inspector General, Earl E. Devaney, documented, these agencies were frequently in the pockets of the extortionists now destroying the national human habitat and economy. The most outrageous case Devaney investigated, involved oil and gas leases in Colorado, home state of Obama's Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar.

The Wall Street Journal continues:

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State of the birds and of the Endangered Species Act

Submitted: Mar 20, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The unprecedented "State of the Birds" Report 2009 caused a small stir in some circles during a week otherwise devoted to stories of unprecedented extortion by finance, insurance and real estate representatives in and out of the Obama administration.

The Wall Street Journal, in an apparent lapse of syntactical clarity, offered this line:

Among the more than 800 bird species in the U.S., 67 are listed as endangered or threatened by the federal government, the report says.

Certainly under the Bush administration, including the former president's parting shot at gutting the Endangered Species Administration (see last posting by Badlands), a wide variety of wildlife species in the US have been endangered or threatened by the actions and especially the non-actions of federal government agencies charged with their protection. As the collected works of former Department of Interior Inspector General, Earl E. Devaney, documented, these agencies were frequently in the pockets of the extortionists now destroying the national human habitat and economy. The most outrageous case Devaney investigated, involved oil and gas leases in Colorado, home state of Obama's Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar.

The Wall Street Journal continues:

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Don't let Bush's ESA rules stand

Submitted: Mar 20, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

This item below courtesy of the Center for Biodiversity, brings us up-to-date on Bush's lame-duck anti-Endangered Species Act regulations, what Obama has done about them, what he hasn't don't about them, and what remains to be done to get rid of them in the next several weeks.

 

 

3-18-09

Center for Biological Diversity

(415) 632-5319 for more information

Secretary of Interior Should Rescind Bush Endangered Species Act Rules —

Congressional Authorization Expires in 53 Days

Shortly before leaving office, the Bush administration issued three regulations that (1) remove the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an independent, scientific watchdog over potentially damaging federal projects such as timber sales, mines, and dams; (2) exempt all greenhouse gas-emitting projects, including coal-fired power plants and federal fuel efficiency standards, from Endangered Species Act review; and (3) specifically ban federal agencies from protecting the imperiled polar bear from greenhouse gas emissions. These policies eviscerate the central Endangered Species Act process — U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service oversight — that has protected endangered species for 35 years, and they exclude the greatest future threat to endangered species — global warming — from consideration under the Act.

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The port-smog story mistold

Submitted: Dec 14, 2008
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The Contra Costa Times, covering a story of Port of Oakland air pollution, supposedly of interest to its readers, missed the crucial political fact of the year on this issue: that Gov. Schwarzenegger, vetoed the bill that would have provided the most money for air clean up, by putting a surcharge on all full containers passing through the port. The additional fact that Gov. Sarah Palin, Barfly-AK, had something to do with persuading him to veto the bill, was also missed.

The Contra Costa Times was, until recently, owned by Knight-Ridder, which sold it to the McClatchy Co, which sold it to Denver-based MediaNews Group. Moody's has just again downgraded MediaNews's credit rating and pointed to significant challenges in the chain's near future.

Meanwhile, according to Project Finance Magazine, on Dec. 9, five multi-leteral export credit agencies pledged $5.25 billion for widening and improving the Panama Canal, another blow to westcoast ports. Shipping by sea remains the cheapest means of transport.

Another aspect of the problem of ports, pollution, and the money to improve air quality around the ports, is that the planned "inland ports," warehousing and truck depots in the San Joaquin Valley reached by rail from the ports, have lost one big pot of expected public funding as a result of Schwarzenegger's veto.

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Tri-Valley CAREs sues the Lab on FOIAs

Submitted: Dec 13, 2008
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

for immediate release, December 2, 2008
 

for more information, contact:

Robert Schwartz, Staff Attorney, Tri-Valley CAREs, (925) 443-7148
Marylia Kelley, Executive Director, Tri-Valley CAREs, (925) 443-7148

BAY AREA GROUP SUES TO COMPEL OPEN GOVERNMENT, ENFORCE PUBLIC RIGHT TO KNOW:

LIGITIGATION CHARGES PATTERN OF ABUSE, HAS NATIONAL IMPLICATIONS

 

LIVERMORE, CA - This morning, Tri-Valley CAREs filed a lawsuit in federal district court in San Francisco against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The suit alleges numerous violations of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation's key open government law enacted to ensure public access to federal government records.

Tri-Valley CAREs was forced to pursue litigation after DOE and NNSA failed to respond to six, separate FOIA requests within the 20-day timeframe generally required under the statute. By forcing Tri-Valley CAREs to wait up to 18 months and longer with no substantive response, DOE and NNSA have not only violated the law but greatly diminished the value of the information sought, which often becomes less relevant over time.

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Wild steelhead win in Fresno Federal District Court

Submitted: Oct 30, 2008
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

10-28-08
Fresno Bee
Fish policies upheld in court ruling
Judge says feds have steelhead discretion...John Ellis
http://www.fresnobee.com/local/v-printerfriendly/story/967296.html
A federal judge in Fresno ruled Monday that the U.S. government has discretion to recognize differences in steelhead fish populations when determining whether they are eligible for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
U.S. District Judge Oliver W. Wanger issued a 168-page ruling on two challenges to how the National Marine Fisheries Service viewed California's steelhead populations.
One case challenged the government's practice of counting hatchery steelhead populations separately from wild populations.
The Pacific Legal Foundation had argued that Endangered Species Act listing decisions could be based on the numbers of hatchery steelhead produced each year. Based on that, the foundation had asked the court to remove five separate populations of steelhead from the list of endangered species.
In his decision, Wanger wrote that the "best science available" used by the NMFS "strongly indicated that naturally-spawned and hatchery-born [steelhead] are different."

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