Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal owns the fourth largest stake in News Corp “” the parent company of Fox News “” making him the largest shareholder outside the family of News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch. According to the Financial Times, News Corp announced today that it is purchasing a $70 million dollar stake in Prince Alwaleed’s Rotana Media, a Middle Eastern music and news conglomerate. Boasting about the increased cooperation between the Murdoch empire and his own media corporation, Prince Alwaleed said, “This is a qualitative leap not just for Rotana but for the whole Arab world.” Because Prince Alwaleed has publicly acknowledged that he has forced Fox News to edit its coverage he disliked, conservative activists have attacked the business partnership as “really dangerous for America.”
Today, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works considered the 2011 budget request for the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson spent most of the hearing listening to Republicans deny the science of global warming, as Democrats talked about protecting their constituents from toxic pollution and creating new clean jobs. In his opening statement, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) lashed out at the Republican attacks that regulation of greenhouse gas pollution would destroy the economy:
Every single time in this nation, when we have confronted great damage to our air or to our water, it is always the same mantra: “it will kill jobs.” And every single time when we look back 10 years later, 20 years later, we’re so thankful that we actually created jobs by cleaning up our waterways, we created jobs by cleaning up our air, and we’re going to create jobs by cleaning up carbon dioxide pollution as well.
Merkley said “it absolutely infuriates me that we’re spending a billion dollars a day on oil from the Middle East and countries like Venezuela” so that “dictators in far-away countries can build shiny new towers.” Borrowing a turn of phrase from Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Merkley argued we should create “red, white, and blue jobs” in this country by “creating renewable energy and keep those dollars in our economy.”
As the Center for American Progress has found, our oil dependence is a dangerous habit.
Transcript: Read more
The NOAA chart FoxNews put up is discussed here.
In January I went on Neil Cavuto’s show because it was cold outside. Today — barring a last-minute cancellation (which happened last week) — I’ll be going on again around 4:05 thanks to the Senator even the Washington Post mocked as “the last flat-earther.”
UPDATE: Yes, Cavuto kept me on about twice as long as usual, but then proceeded to cut me off repeatedly, which I confess I wasn’t prepared for because he hadn’t done this before. Next time I’ll have a different strategy. I’ll let the comments from the Fox crowd run since it is important to get that perspective every once in a while — and it also helps you see what you’re missing on all those other blogs that have been taken over by the anti-science crowd!
Every month brings more evidence the world’s greatest ice sheet is disintegrating much faster than the “consensus” forecast (see Satellite data stunner: “Our data suggest that EAST Antarctica is losing mass”¦. Antarctica may soon be contributing significantly more to global sea-level rise”). Guest blogger Nick Sundt has the latest news in a piece first published here.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported Monday that “every ice front in the southern part of the Antarctic Peninsula has been retreating overall from 1947 to 2009, with the most dramatic changes occurring since 1990. “ The finding comes on the heels of the warmest January on record for the Southern Hemisphere.
Plenty of time for Congress to act first
Today’s guest blogger is Daniel J. Weiss, Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy at the Center for American Progress.
Big oil, the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and senators including Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are whipping up hysterical fears that the Environmental Protection Agency will use its existing authority under the Clean Air Act to immediately restrict global warming pollution for even the smallest of emitters. For instance, NAM President John Engler makes the ridiculous claim that “If EPA moves forward and begins regulating stationary sources, it will open the door for them to regulate everything from industrial facilities to farms to even American homes.”
In fact, EPA’s efforts are simply following the law of the land established by the Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. EPA.
To calm the hysteria, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson sent a letter to eight Democratic senators assuring them that EPA will pursue a very deliberative process for establishing limits on global warming pollution from the largest polluters first, which would leave ample time for Congress to establish a more comprehensive pollution reduction program before EPA standards take effect.
Energy and Global Warming News for February 23rd: DOE guarantees $1.37 B concentrated solar loan; Hu says China committed to fighting climate change
The United States Energy Department on Monday offered a $1.37 billion loan guarantee to a company planning to build a large-scale solar power plant in the Southern California desert.
The loan guarantee, for BrightSource Energy of Oakland, Calif., is the largest given for a solar project. BrightSource’s 392-megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is the first utility-scale solar power plant to undergo licensing in California in nearly two decades. It would use solar thermal technology, in which mirrors concentrate sunlight to heat a fluid and generate steam, and if built it would be the world’s largest such plant.
I continue to believe strongly that if we want to compete with the Chinese and the Indians and Europe when it comes to clean energy, unless you price carbon, you don’t send the right signals to the marketplace. I hear that from the utilities””Jim Rogers at Duke Energy and John Rowe from Exelon””and from industry leaders like Dow Chemical, GE, and others. It’s a mainstream idea.
It’s tempting to believe that a robust energy-only bill like we’ve passed out of the Energy Committee would reduce our carbon emissions, but based on all the scientific analysis I’ve seen, it wouldn’t. It would drive some innovation; it would send resources into research and development; it would improve our capacity to expand our transmission system. But it wouldn’t drive down carbon emissions, and for that reason I’m not willing at this point to give up on a price on carbon.
This interview of Sen. Udall by David Roberts was first posted at Grist.org.
Today’s guest blogger is Max Weiss, an Intern on CAP’s Energy Opportunity Team.
Many military leaders and Afghan and Iraq veterans have warned that global warming and oil dependence will harm U.S. national security. A new video “Climate Patriots,” by the PEW Project on National Security and Energy, warns that climate change is the enemy we’ve been forgetting to fight. It includes American military leaders and retired officers who are very concerned about the security impact of inaction: