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Member since: Wed Nov 10, 2004, 12:55 AM
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Kerry warns France against doing business with Iran

Source: The Hill

Secretary of State John Kerry warned France on Wednesday that its businesses will be sanctioned if they try to do business with Iran.

Kerry issued the warning in a wide-ranging interview with CNN on Wednesday after 100 French companies traveled to Iran’s capital this week to do business.

“While the French may send some businesspeople over there, they're not able to contravene the sanctions,” he said. “They will be sanctioned if they do and they know it. And we've put them on notice.”

Kerry called French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius this week to say the visit to Tehran was “not helpful,” according to Wendy Sherman, under-secretary of State for political affairs.

“Tehran is not open for business because our sanctions relief is quite temporary, quite limited and quite targeted,” Sherman told members of Congress on Tuesday.


Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/middle-east-north-africa/197579-kerry-warns-france-against-doing-business-with

These are very difficult negotiations, Kerry is one of the few people who could pull it off.
Even Obama only gives it a 50-50 chance of success.

Help Preserve and Protect New Mexico's Night Skies!


Help Preserve and Protect New Mexico's Night Skies!

New Mexicans have long been proud of their dark pristine night skies where one can see the entire Milky Way year round! In fact, they backed this up by enacting a law in 1999 called The Night Sky Protection Act. It's purpose is, "To regulate outdoor lighting fixtures to preserve and enhance the state's dark sky while promoting safety, conserving energy, and preserving the environment for astronomy." Recently, the New Mexico State Transportation Commission allowed electronic billboards along federal highways throughout the state. This is in direct opposition to the letter and intent of the law. Please do your part to help preserve and protect your right to enjoy this most precious natural resource that belongs to all of us by signing this petition demanding that the New Mexico State Commission reverse their decision allowing these distracting and light polluting billboards. Thank You!

Make a Clean Break, California!

Actresses Amy Smart, Eva Amurri, Dawn Olivieri, and Emmanuelle Chriqui ask Gov. Jerry Brown to make a "clean break" with fossil fuels and commit to replacing the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station with 100% clean energy. Clean energy creates jobs, cleans up the environment, and it's how we're going to grow our economy in a sustainable way. That's the commitment we should make.


Actresses Unite in Support of Replacing Nukes With Clean Energy

Source: EcoWatch

Today, actresses Amy Smart, Eva Amurri Martino, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Dawn Olivieri joined the Sierra Club in an online video asking Gov. Jerry Brown to make a “clean break” with fossil fuels, and commit to replacing the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station with 100% clean energy. The California Public Utilities Commission is expected to begin its decision-making process within the next few days as to how much of the shuttered nuclear plant will be replaced by clean or dirty energy.

The video cuts between the different actresses in the midst of classic break-up scenes—packing up their things, talking over coffee and breaking the bad news as they tell fossil fuels that it’s time to move on: “I just don’t think it’s working out any more—our relationship is toxic. I need something I can commit to for the long term: clean energy.”

The video ends with a link to a petition, where viewers can send a message to Gov. Brown asking him to only use clean energy to replace the power from the retired San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, instead of building new gas-fired power plants.

“Doubling down on dirty energy is not the right answer,” said Emmanuelle Chriqui. “Fossil fuels have been nothing but trouble for California—causing smog, spills, carbon emissions and health hazards all over the state. The upcoming transition of San Onofre is an opportunity for us to move forward and show that our state is going to be a leader on clean energy.”


Read more: http://ecowatch.com/2014/02/05/actresses-replacing-nukes-clean-energy/

Fukushima Pledges To Go 100 Percent Renewable While Japan Grapples With Nuclear Future

Source: Think Progress

The province of Fukushima in northeast Japan, devastated nearly three years ago by the earthquake and tsunami that caused a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, has pledged to go 100 percent renewable by 2040.

The energy will be generated through local community initiatives throughout the province of nearly two million. Announced at a Community Power Conference held in Fukushima this week, it goes against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s agenda to reboot nuclear power throughout the country.

“The Japanese government is very much negative,” said Tetsunari Iida, director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies in Japan.
“Local government like the Fukushima prefecture or the Tokyo metropolitan government are much more active, more progressive compared to the national government, which is occupied by the industry people.”

Former Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa is running for mayor of Tokyo on an anti-nuclear platform. The February 9 election is seen as a referendum on Abe’s efforts to restart nuclear reactors and on the future of nuclear power in Japan in general.


Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/05/3247591/fukushima-pledges-100-percent-renewable/

U.S. launches 'climate hubs' to help farmers face climate change

Source: Reuters

President Barack Obama's administration announced the formation on Wednesday of seven "climate hubs" help farmers and rural communities adapt to extreme weather conditions and other effects of climate change.

The hubs will act as information centers and aim to help farmers and ranchers handle risks, including fires, pests, floods and droughts, that are exacerbated by global warming.


The hubs will be located in Ames, Iowa; Durham, New Hampshire; Raleigh, North Carolina; Fort Collins, Colorado; El Reno, Oklahoma; Corvallis, Oregon; and Las Cruces, New Mexico, the official said.

Additional "sub hubs" will be set up in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico; Davis, California; and Houghton, Michigan.

The hubs are an example of executive actions Obama has promised to take to fight climate change.


Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/05/us-usa-climate-hubs-idUSBREA1408120140205

Oregon offshore wind energy farm project announced

Source: Associated Press

A Seattle company is being given the green light to develop plans to build the West Coast's first offshore wind energy farm — five floating turbines off Oregon's Coos Bay, federal and state officials said Wednesday.

The 30-megawatt pilot project was announced at a press conference by Gov. John Kitzhaber, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Tommy Beaudreau.

Though offshore wind farms are an expensive source of energy, proponents say they could bring clean, efficient electricity, create new jobs and stimulate the economy.

"It's not going to be economic out of the gate," Beaudreau said. But "it's important for Oregon to be on the edge of what could be a huge industry in the future."


Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/oregon-offshore-wind-energy-farm-project-announced

OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Waxman to launch new climate initiative

Source: The Hill

ON THE WAY OUT: Before heading for the exit, environmental advocate Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and members of the Safe Climate Caucus will launch a new initiative to respond to the threat of climate change on Thursday.

Members will hold a press conference Thursday morning to announce the initiative and discuss the climate change and environmental issues facing Congress and the nation in 2014.

ON TAP THURSDAY: The Environmental Protection Agency will hold a hearing at its headquarters on President Obama's proposed carbon pollution limits for new coal-fired power plants.


And Waxman will continue his climate-filled day at the EPA hearing. The long-time climate champion will hold a press conference with representatives from coal country and the Hispanic community outside of EPA headquarters in support of the proposed carbon pollution standard.


Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/197592-overnight-energy-waxman-to-launch-new-climate-initiative

Abe Eyes Window for Biggest Military-Rule Change Since WWII

Source: Bloomberg

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, pressed by China and seeking to strengthen ties with the U.S., is considering Japan’s biggest change in military engagement rules since World War II.

Barred by its interpretation of a pacifist constitution from protecting other nations’ troops, Japan needs broader deployment abilities, according to Abe, 59. Having increased defense spending two years running and set up a U.S.-style National Security Council, Abe is now seeking to allow Japan to come to the aid of its allies, telling parliament yesterday that “it’s about whether we can exercise this right that every country has.”

China’s escalating challenge to Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea played into Abe’s plans to strengthen the military, said ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Katsuei Hirasawa. The initiative, which requires backing by Abe’s coalition partner, faces public opposition and risks further straining ties with China and South Korea that soured in December with Abe’s visit to a war shrine in Tokyo.

“Abe is determined to do this now because otherwise it is very difficult to get support,” said Tsuneo Watanabe, senior fellow at The Tokyo Foundation research center. When regional tensions are low “people don’t see the need for it.”


Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-05/abe-eyes-window-for-biggest-military-rules-change-in-postwar-era.html

EU Parliament votes against plan to drop renewable energy targets

Source: ClickGreen

The European Parliament has today voted against the Commission’s controversial proposal to drop binding renewable energy and energy efficiency targets to be met by 2030 by EU states.

This follows the European Commission announcement last month that its 2030 energy plan proposed a binding renewable energy target only at a pan European level, rather than targets at national level.

Although, the Parliament’s vote isn’t binding, it sends a strong signal to EU governments ahead of ministerial meetings early next month and a Heads of Government summit which follows, where the EU 2030 climate and energy targets will be hotly debated.

Greenpeace Policy Director Doug Parr said: “If the UK wants to reap the economic benefit of 21st century industries like clean energy, it needs a strong and growing Europe-wide market for the key technologies and their supply chains.


Read more: http://www.clickgreen.org.uk/news/international-news/124187-eu-parliament-votes-against-plan-to-drop-renewable-energy-targets.html
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