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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: NE New York
Home country: USA
Current location: Serious Snow Country :(
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 189,980

Journal Archives

Senate advances bill to let FPL customers pay fracking costs

Florida Power & Light’s quest to have customers pay for natural gas fracking projects in other states overcame a key hurdle Tuesday as the Senate Rules Committee passed the controversial measure and overlooked opposition from residential and commercial customers.

The proposal, SB 1238 by Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, now goes to the Senate floor. A similar measure in the House, HB 1043, has made it through one of three committees in that chamber.

The goal of the legislation is to overturn a Florida Supreme Court ruling last year that found the Public Service Commission exceeded its authority when it gave FPL permission to charge customers up to $500 million for investing in an Oklahoma-based fracking company in 2015. Although the company predicted the project would save customers millions in fuel costs, it resulted in a loss of $5.6 million in the first year.

The Rules Committee adopted a series of amendments proposed by Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, who opposes the measure, and approved the modified bill on a bipartisan vote of 7-3.


Consumer groups ranging from the state’s largest industrial users and the Florida Retail Federation to AARP opposed the measure, arguing the policy will cost FPL customers millions and lock the state’s largest utility into an increased reliance on fossil fuels for decades to come.

More: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article146750094.html

Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Fri Apr 28, 2017, 03:54 AM (3 replies)

Don't forget President Carter! Then - and now:

Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Mon Apr 24, 2017, 02:55 AM (0 replies)

Deepwater Horizon: Seven years after explosion and oil spill study finds clean-up workers got sicker

On the seventh anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the health impacts that the spewing oil had on the people who came into contact with it are still raising questions about how the cleanup was handled.

The latest studies by the National Institutes of Health found that the thousands of clean-up workers who came into contact with the oil that coated the coastlines of four states in 2010 were more susceptible to health woes during the cleanup, according to Dale Sandler, chief of the NIH's epidemiology branch.

"People who had the greatest exposure were more likely than other workers to report itchy eyes, burning throats, coughing, wheezing and skin irritations," she said.

Often those symptoms were initially blamed on heat exhaustion, she said. But the NIH has found that the workers in contact with the oil experienced those symptoms two to three times more than other workers who weren't in contact with the oil.

"We were seeing symptoms that were not part of the definition of heat stress," she said.

More: http://www.tampabay.com/news/environment/deepwater-horizon-seven-years-after-explosion-and-oil-spill-study-finds/2320962

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico on April 21, 2010, more than 50 miles southeast of Venice, La. BP and five Gulf states announced an $18.7 billion settlement Thursday, July 2, 2015, that resolves years of legal fighting over the environmental and economic damage done by the energy giant's oil spill in 2010. The settlement involves Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. (Associated Press)
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Fri Apr 21, 2017, 04:27 AM (6 replies)

Lewis Black Begins His Mornings With The News And Screaming - Late Show with Stephen Colbert 4/19/17

Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Thu Apr 20, 2017, 05:33 AM (2 replies)

Bill O'Reilly Gets the Boot: The Daily Show - 4/19/2017

Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Thu Apr 20, 2017, 05:21 AM (10 replies)

Would Trump really care??

I remember turning on Letterman's show a few years back and when I saw he had Donald Trump as his guest, I started to change the channel. But I underestimated Dave, he really took Trump to task. It was during the controversy about that Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque being built in New York in the vicinity of the World Trade Center. Trump went on about all his specious reasons why he was opposed to it. But Dave firmly reminded him of how and why this country started.

And I found the video!
Letterman and Donald Trump discuss Islamic Cultural Center
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Tue Apr 18, 2017, 05:09 AM (0 replies)

F*ck you, Geraldo: John Oliver torches Fox and Friends crew for their MOAB war-gasm

On this week’s “Last Week Tonight,” HBO’s John Oliver ripped into President Donald Trump’s bizarre flip-flops this week on foreign policy, but he reserved special scorn for the crew at “Fox and Friends” and their pie-eyed worship of Trump’s reckless, potentially nuclear war-provoking actions.

Oliver poked fun at the fact that Trump remembered to slip “a commercial for Mar-a-Lago’s chocolate cake” into his recollection of the night he fired Tomahawk missiles into Syria, but couldn’t remember whether it was Iraq or Syria he was raiding.

The past week has been a whip-saw for Trump supporters, the host said, who saw Trump going back on his international isolationist promises of the campaign and showed signs of softening toward China.

For those voters, Oliver said, “It’s like getting tickets for the ‘Vagina Monologues,’ but on the night you went it starred Brian Dennehy.”

More: (includes the video posted below) https://www.rawstory.com/2017/04/fck-you-geraldo-john-oliver-torches-fox-and-friends-crew-for-their-moab-war-gasm/

John Oliver Destroys Donald Trump and Sean Spicer on LastWeekTonight 4/16/17
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Mon Apr 17, 2017, 06:12 AM (8 replies)

The Crisis of Attention Theft - Ads That Steal Your Time for Nothing in Return

BY NOW, IT is pretty well understood that we regularly pay for things in ways other than using money. Sometimes we pay still with cash. But we also pay for things with data, and more often, with our time and attention. We effectively hand over access to our minds in exchange for something “free,” like email, Facebook, or football games on TV. As opposed to “paying” attention, we actually “spend attention,” agreeing to the view ads in exchange for something we really want.

The centrality of that deal in our lives makes it outrageous that there are companies who seize our time and attention for absolutely nothing in exchange, and indeed, without consent at all—otherwise known as “attention theft.” Consider, for example, the “innovation” known as Gas Station TV—that is, the televisions embedded in gasoline pumps that blast advertising and other pseudo-programming at the captive pumper. There is no escape: as the CEO of Gas Station TV puts it, “We like to say you’re tied to that screen with an 8-foot rubber hose for about five minutes.” It is an invention that singlehandedly may have created a new case for the electric car.

Attention theft happens anywhere you find your time and attention taken without consent. The most egregious examples are found where, like at the gas station, we are captive audiences. In that genre are things like the new, targeted advertising screens found in hospital waiting rooms (broadcasting things like “The Newborn Channel” for expecting parents); the airlines that play full-volume advertising from a screen right in front of your face; the advertising-screens in office elevators; or that universally unloved invention known as “Taxi TV.” These are just few examples in what is a growing category. Combined, they threaten to make us live life in a screen-lined cocoon, yet one that leaves us more like larva than butterflies, shrunken and incapable of independent thought.

What makes it “theft?” Advances in neuroscience over the last several decades make it clear that our brain’s resources are involuntarily triggered by sound and motion; hence the screens literally seize scarce mental resources. As neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley and psychologist Larry Rosen put it in their book, The Distracted Mind, humans have an “extreme sensitivity to goal interference from distractions by irrelevant information.” Meanwhile, in the law, theft or larceny is typically defined as the taking control of a resource “under such circumstances as to acquire the major portion of its economic value or benefit.” Given the established market value of time and attention, when taken without consent or compensation, it really is not much different from someone taking money out of your pocket. Hence, when the firms selling public-screen advertising to captive audiences brag of double-digit growth and billions in revenue, those are actually earnings derived by stealing from us.

More: https://www.wired.com/2017/04/forcing-ads-captive-audience-attention-theft-crime/
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Mon Apr 17, 2017, 01:58 AM (4 replies)

Is A Solar Boom Coming To The Middle East?

On April 6th, Middle Eastern nations announced an ambitious energy project to establish an Arab Common Market for electricity. The energy ministers from 14 Arab countries signed a memorandum of understanding, confirming their commitment to the development of an integrated electricity supply system for the Middle East. This announcement is very important, yet it also comes at time of even larger changes in energy in the Middle East: solar power. A future common electricity market will see an ever-increasing role for solar power as countries across the Middle East are heavily investing in renewables.

Ongoing low oil prices together with rising demographic concerns are increasingly motivating MENA states to invest in a more secure and diversified energy portfolio. With an estimated population of 692 million by 2050, the MENA region will require a substantial increase in generating capacity to meet future energy demands. This point has been hit home this year as Fitch has warned that most oil producers will not break even in 2017, based on a predicted average price of $52.50 per barrel. Most MENA countries need substantially higher prices (ex: Saudi Arabia needs $74) to balance their budgets.

Solar investment makes economic and security sense

These fiscal pressures risk instability, both in the short and long-term, not only due to general budgetary concerns, but the risk of energy-related social unrest. Erratic domestic electricity supply has been a main instigator of social unrest in Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt. To this end, a common electricity market and grid would help mitigate localized energy disturbances, aiding both economic and social stability.

Consequently, declining oil reserves, climate change, and hydrocarbon price instability means the Middle East will need to look elsewhere for future energy increases. A prime candidate is solar power, as the world’s deserts receive enough energy in six hours to meet the globe’s annual energy needs.

It appears that MENA governments have taken heed, as “over the past year we have seen huge investment in renewables […] It seems clear that this is a trend set to continue as nations in the Middle East strive to reduce their carbon footprints and increase generation capacity,” notes Anita Mathews, director at Informa Energy Group. In the GCC alone, which accounts for 47 percent of MENA generating capacity, some $316 billion worth of investments are needed by 2020.

Much more: http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Is-A-Solar-Boom-Coming-To-The-Middle-East.html

Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Sun Apr 16, 2017, 05:21 AM (0 replies)

Energy Star ratings are cheap, effective and popular. Why does Trump want to kill them?

Commercial real estate giant CBRE is always on alert for shifts in federal government policy that might impact its vast property management and investment business.

But the Los Angeles-based Fortune 500 company never anticipated an effort to eliminate a voluntary, cost-effective initiative that has saved its customers millions of dollars and had almost no critics.

In a reflection of how much influence a handful of free-market think tanks wield over the White House, the Trump administration has decided the immensely popular Energy Star program must go.

The fight centers on the Environmental Protection Agency’s 25-year-old effort to boost efficiency in products and services by encouraging companies to compete for coveted, government-issued labels that certify a product or property meets high standards for saving energy and costs.

Functioning like a government seal of approval, the Energy Star program costs taxpayers a pittance and is widely beloved by the 16,000 companies and organizations that participate. Now it is fast becoming a test case of how committed the Trump administration is to pursuing the agenda of once-fringe groups seeking to slash government programs wherever they can.

Much more (includes video): http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-energy-star-20170412-story.html
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Thu Apr 13, 2017, 04:26 AM (21 replies)
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