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Green News Roundup: Week of August 2, 2013

02 Aug 2013  |   Amanda Giddon

Tags: General Environment

President Obama dispelled the widely repeated myth this week that the Keystone XL Pipeline would lead to massive job creation.  The President clarified that the dirty energy project would only create about 50 permanent jobs, and ‘is not a jobs plan.’ [Youtube]

The new EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy had some other ideas about spurring innovation. In her speech at Harvard Law School this week, McCarthy advised that the country should embrace reducing carbon emissions as a way of driving economic growth. She also stressed, “Climate change isn’t an environmental issue. It is a fundamental economic challenge for us.” [Politico]

Senators Shaheen and Portman are also focused on greening the economy. In this Politico Op-Ed, the Senators assure that their Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, legislation aimed at improving U.S. energy efficiency, “makes good environmental sense…makes good energy sense…And…makes good economic sense, too.” The modest energy efficiency bill should not be a target for anti-environmental riders. [Politico]

Renewable energy is being taken in a new direction – offshore.  The government auctioned off the rights to build wind turbines in over 150,000 acres of federal waters this week. There are currently no offshore wind farms, but Deep water Wind LLC, the winning bidder, plans to spend up to $6 billion to take turbines off shore. [Grist]

It’s time to make some changes in the fracking industry, too. Currently, fracking companies are exempt from having to test the toxic waste they dump. Fortunately, Representatives Cartwright and Huffman proposed a bill that would ensure that the toxic waste fracking produces is covered by the landmark law that governs the safe disposal of hazardous materials. [Examiner]

President Obama’s interview with The New York Times this past weekend encourages us that he is getting the fact straights on the Keystone XL Pipeline. According to a Washington Post blog, the President’s recent comments on Keystone “suggest he accepts much of the criticism opponents have lodged against the project.” [Washington Post]

And the criticism continues to build…LCV joined 28 other groups in urging Secretary Kerry to discard the tainted Environmental Impact Statement of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The consultants who lead the review had previously worked for the TransCanada Company, creating a conflict of interest. The facts show that the pipeline is a severe threat to climate change, and we are waiting for the climate impact assessment to reflect that. [Daily Kos]

Not only can dirty energy exacerbate climate change, it can also devastate some of your favorite vacation getaways at a moment’s notice. Thousands of gallons of crude oil flooded the shorelines of Thailand’s Coconut Bay, a paradise-like vacation spot, this past weekend. The oil gushed out of a ruptured pipeline and blackened Coconut Bay’s sandy shoreline. [Grist] 

Oil spills have become far too frequent. This Huffington Post blog titled “Gulf Rig Fire Is Déjà Vu for Fisherman Still Reeling From BP Disaster” reminds us that unless we take action against dirty energy practices, communities will continue to suffer the consequences from past, present, and future accidents. Families are still suffering health effects from destructive BP oil spill 3 years ago. [Huffington Post]

(Image courtest of Nuon's Flickr page

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