Apollo Alliance Ten-Point Plan for
Good Jobs and Energy Independence
1. Promote Advanced Technology & Hybrid Cars: Begin today to provide incentives for converting domestic assembly lines to manufacture highly efficient cars, transitioning the fleet to American made advanced technology vehicles, increasing consumer choice and strengthening the US auto industry.
2. Invest In More Efficient Factories: Make innovative use of the tax code and economic development systems to promote more efficient and profitable manufacturing while saving energy through environmental retrofits, improved boiler operations, and industrial cogeneration of electricity, retaining jobs by investing in plants and workers.
3. Encourage High Performance Building: Increase investment in construction of ìgreen buildingsî and energy efficient homes and offices through innovative financing and incentives, improved building operations, and updated codes and standards, helping working families, businesses, and government realize substantial cost savings.
4. Increase Use of Energy Efficient Appliances: Drive a new generation of highly efficient manufactured goods into widespread use, without driving jobs overseas, by linking higher energy standards to consumer and manufacturing incentives that increase demand for new durable goods and increase investment in US factories.
5. Modernize Electrical Infrastructure: Deploy the best available technology like scrubbers to existing plants, protecting jobs and the environment; research new technology to capture and sequester carbon and improve transmission for distributed renewable generation.
6. Expand Renewable Energy Development: Diversify energy sources by promoting existing technologies in solar, biomass and wind while setting ambitious but achievable goals for increasing renewable generation, and promoting state and local policy innovations that link clean energy and jobs.
7. Improve Transportation Options: Increase mobility, job access, and transportation choice by investing in effective multimodal networks including bicycle, local bus and rail transit, regional high-speed rail and magnetic levitation rail projects.
8. Reinvest In Smart Urban Growth: Revitalize urban centers to promote strong cities and good jobs, by rebuilding and upgrading local infrastructure including road maintenance, bridge repair, and water and waste water systems, and by expanding redevelopment of idled urban ìbrownfieldî lands, and by improving metropolitan planning and governance.
9. Plan For A Hydrogen Future: Invest in long term research & development of hydrogen fuel cell technology, and deploy the infrastructure to support hydrogen powered cars and distributed electricity generation using stationary fuel cells, to create jobs in the industries of the future.
10. Preserve Regulatory Protections: Encourage balanced growth and investment through regulation that ensures energy diversity and system reliability, that protects workers and the environment, that rewards consumers, and that establishes a fair framework for emerging technologies.
© 2008 Apollo Alliance
For more informaion visit Apollo Alliance at:
• Global Warming: Why Aren't We Using More Alternative Energy? (4.15.13)
• Pennsylvania Court Deals Blow to Secrecy-Obsessed Fracking Industry (4.14.13)
• Fight over NDAA's police-state provisions continues in court (8.15.12)
* Green Party Jill Stein Interview, the Green New Deal (8.9.12)
More Trouble with
The $12,300,000,000 nuclear waste treatment plant continues to be plagued with overwhelming problems. The cost keeps rising, the completion date keeps being pushed back, design flaws keep emerging, and, if the plant should ever be completed, there is no assurance that a location can ever be found where the nearby residents will accept the treated wastes.
The waste treatment plant is supposed to be completed and operating by 2019. It’s designed to convert highly radio-active and toxic waste into glass blocks so that it can be safely stored underground.
But now, workers at the plant have discovered serious problems, and have made their discoveries known to the plant’s management and to the public. These whistleblowers have already found erosion and corrosion in piping and tanks, and the plant hasn’t even been built yet. It is vital that these problems be solved before the plant is completed, because the pipes and tanks lie inside what are known as black cells. Once the plant begins to operate, nobody can get into black cell areas for maintenance and repairs because of the high levels of radioactivity there.
Now that the problems have come to light, the Dept. of Energy and the plant’s contractor, Bechtel National, Inc., are seeking new funding from the government and a new construction schedule. The Dept. of Energy announced that the new estimates will be delayed at least a year, while it conducts additional tests costing tens of millions of dollars to try to resolve the problems.
In the meantime, aging tanks holding millions of gallons of toxic and highly radioactive waste are leaking and threatening the Columbia River. Are Washingtonians and Oregonians fated to be cursed with a radioactive river in future decades and centuries?
—from Jackrabbit News, May-June 2012
Natural Gas Fracking:
A Threat to Health & Safety
Fracking is the process whereby water, mixed with chemical additives under great pressure, is used to fracture rock beneath the earth’s surface. This releases the natural gas and petroleum that is trapped deep underground. Fracking is not exactly new, having been used since 1947. But technological advances, such as deeper drilling, horizontal drilling, and new chemicals have now made it profitable to drill in new sites.
Environmentalists are worried about how fracking affects human health and the health of the planet. The fracking companies inject dozens of different chemicals into the ground, and they’re not revealing what they are or how toxic they are, though some of them are known carcinogens. They say that such information is a trade secret. Unknown chemicals getting into our aquifers and drinking water is surely a cause for concern.
Great quantities of water are used in the fracking process, and certain areas, such as the arid West, have no surplus water to waste. Also, how can we safely dispose of the enormous quantities of polluted water and mud?
Along with natural gas, other gases, including methane, are released. As a greenhouse gas, methane is 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The methane has been trapped under rock for millions of years. Then the frackers came and released it into the atmosphere. And of course it’s not just a localized problem. The hundreds of fracking operations throughout the world are gushing out methane and adding significantly to global warming.
Communities located near fracking operations complain about the noise, vibration and diesel fumes from the drilling and the thousands of truck trips. Residents in Dish, Texas, close to where fracking is going on, complained about unexplained sickness in humans and animals. Tests revealed high levels of benzene, a hazardous chemical, in the air.
Frackers call natural gas a clean energy source because it emits less carbon than coal or oil when burned. Yes, it emits half as much carbon as coal and 70 percent as much as oil, but it still emits carbon. And they forget to mention the large quantities of methane emitted while they’re getting the gas out of the ground.
The next big energy disaster could be waiting to happen at a fracking site. In West Virginia, seven workers were burned when a well esploded. In Pennsylvania, gas and wastewater spewed out of a well for 16 hours before it was contained. The mechanism that failed to prevent the explosion, known as a blowout preventer, was the same piece of faulty equipment that failed to prevent the DP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
—from Jackrabbit News, May-June 2012
Here are five reasons that assassinating people with drones is illegal:
1. Assassination by the U.S. government has been illegal since 1976, when President Gerald Ford issued an executive order stating, "No employee of the U.S. government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination." The reason for the ban on assassinations was that the CIA was involved in attempts to assassinate national leaders opposed by the U.S.
2. A U.N report of May, 2010 directly questioned the legality of U.S. drone killings.
3. International law experts condemn U.S. drone killings. Also, human rights groups in Pakistan challenge the legality of U.S. drone strikes there and assert that Pakistan can prosecute military and civilians involved in murder.
4. Military law of war does not authorize widespread drone killing of civilians. The law of war allows killing only when consistent with four key principles: military necessity, distinction, proportionality, and humanity.
5. Retired high-ranking military and CIA veterans challenge the legality and efficacy of drone killings. U.S. Army Colonel Ann Wright (Ret.) denies the legality of drone warfare, saying, "These drones, you might as well call them assassination machines. That is what these drones are used for: targeted assassination, extrajudicial untimely death for people who have not been convicted of anything."
—condensed from Bill Quigley's Summer 2012 issue of "The War Crimes Times"