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Renewable energy debuts on ballots October 30, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Energy, Environment, News, Politics, Voting.
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Courtesy USA Today:

Renewable energy is one of the top issues facing voters Tuesday, along with ballot proposals that would ban abortion, legalize marijuana, protect farm animals, end affirmative action and use gambling to fund education.

Three states — California, Colorado and Missouri — have measures on their ballots that deal with alternative energy sources, including wind and solar power. “This is a fairly new issue to the ballot,” says Jennie Drage Bowser, who has been tracking ballot measures for more than a decade at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “It’s a direct response to the demand for energy independence and the rising cost of energy.”

Also new, she says, are a measure in South Dakota that would repeal eight-year term limits on state lawmakers and one in Colorado that would criminalize abortion by defining a person as “any human being from the moment of fertilization.”

Californians will consider animal rights. An initiative there would require farms to give egg-laying hens, calves and pregnant pigs room to turn around, lie down, stand up and fully extend their limbs. Florida passed a similar measure in 2002 that protected only pregnant pigs, and Arizona approved one in 2006 that covered pigs and calves.

On Tuesday, voters in 36 states will consider 153 ballot measures. Most are referendums placed on the ballot by legislatures; 59 are grass-roots initiatives that needed tens of thousands of signatures to qualify. Many citizen initiatives are controversial, and fewer than half have passed in the past decade. Three of every four referred by legislatures succeeded.

For more on this story, click this link.

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Palin’s Stand on Mining Initiative Leaves Many Feeling Burned September 28, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in Energy, Environment, News, Politics, Repiglicans.
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Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 28, 2008; Page A12

For months, the confrontation mounted, a face-off that arguably held in the balance the fates of two of Alaska’s biggest industries. On one side were companies hoping to open Pebble Mine at a huge gold and copper reserve adjacent to one of the world’s largest salmon runs, Bristol Bay. On the other side were fishermen and environmentalists pushing a referendum that would make it harder for the mine to open.

The two sides spent more than $10 million — unprecedented for such efforts in Alaska — and throughout it all, the state’s highly popular first-term governor, Sarah Palin, held back. Alaska law forbids state officials from using state resources to advocate on ballot initiatives.

Then, six days before the Aug. 26 vote, with the race looking close, Palin broke her silence. Asked about the initiative at a news conference, she invoked “personal privilege” to give an opinion. “Let me take my governor’s hat off for just a minute here and tell you, personally, Prop. 4 — I vote no on that,” she said. “I have all the confidence in the world that [the Department of Environmental Conservation] and our [Department of Natural Resources] have great, very stringent regulations and policies already in place. We’re going to make sure that mines operate only safely, soundly.” Source Article

Gore’s Call to Action September 24, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in Democrats, Environment, News, Politics.
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NY Times/The Caucus

September 24, 2008, 9:18 pm

By Paul Vitello

Al Gore, the former vice president and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is nothing if not passionate on the issue of global warming. But his usual fired-up remarks on the subject took a step into the Gandhian realm on Wednesday when he told an audience at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York that the crisis was so severe and intractable that it was time for direct action.

“If you’re a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration,” he said at the third annual meeting of former President Bill Clinton’s initiative, which arranges partnerships between the very rich and the very needy. Source Article

“Brutal” Ad Targets Palin’s Aerial Wolf Hunting (VIDEO) September 12, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in Environment, News, Politics, Repiglicans, Video.
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Huffington Post

September 12, 2008 11:56 AM

The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund has put out an ad on Sarah Palin’s promotion of (and personal fondness for) aerial wolf hunting, describing the practice “brutal.” The ad features disturbing, graphic footage of a wolf’s death. “Do we really want a vice president who champions such savagery?” it concludes. Watch:

Source Article

Obama campaign pivots on Gustav September 1, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in Environment, News, Obama, Politics.
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Politico

Carrie Budoff Brown Mon Sep 1, 2:28 PM ET

DETROIT — In an abrupt shift of tone, Barack Obama nixed his stump speech Monday and replaced it with a plea to his supporters to assist Gulf Coast residents who fled Hurricane Gustav.

“I had come here planning to talk about the contributions of the American worker,” Obama said at a Labor Day rally here, explaining the switch of plans. “My main goal today is to ask you to help. … I want everybody to remember there is a time for us to argue politics, but there is a time for us to come together as Americans.”

A day earlier, Obama was still ripping into Republican John McCain on the campaign trail. As late as Sunday night, in Battle Creek, Mich., Obama was giving his usual stump speech that includes digs at his rival.

The Republican National Committee, which had spent the day scaling back its convention schedule, quickly criticized Obama: “It’s unfortunate that Barack Obama is continuing to put politics first and attack John McCain and Sarah Palin. If a natural disaster is not enough to convince Obama to ease off the political attacks, then what is?” Source Article

“Left Behind” Panel Puts Katrina In Focus August 25, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in Economy, Environment, Healthcare, News, Obama, Politics.
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Huffington Post

Jason Linkins

August 25, 2008 03:04 PM

Here at the Democratic National Convention, there’s action far afield from the Pepsi Center, including a number of vital panel discussions hosted at The Big Tent, where issues that may get underplayed on the convention floor take center stage. One such topic is the recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast region, three years and counting after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area.

James Rucker, the man behind Color of Change, led an insightful exchange with Scott Myers-Lipton of the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project, Jonah Goldman of the National Campaign for Fair Elections, and Stephen Bradberry of Louisiana ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). Titled “Left Behind,” the panel used Katrina as a jumping-off point to dig into another poignant topic for people of color — voting rights and fears of voter suppression.

On both scores, the panel found Democratic leadership sadly wanting. Goldman expressed his frustration at the uphill climb voting rights activists have faced. Insisting that the solutions are easy to implement, he bemoaned the lack of priority, the scarcity of issue infrastructure, and the inability to truly deal toughly with those who would undermine voting rights through dirty tricks. Myers-Lipton, whose Gulf Coast Civic Works Project is styled on the New Deal-era WPA, criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for not putting her weight behind H.R. 4048, the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act. He drew a comparison to the quickly-passed economic stimulus package. Source Article

Words vs. Deeds August 21, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in Environment, McCain, News, Politics.
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Washington Independent

By John Dougherty

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. — Sen. John McCain’s environmental legacy in Arizona may be inexorably linked with the fate of a narrow ribbon of Fremont cottonwoods and willows lining the diminutive San Pedro River, the last free-flowing, wild river in the desert Southwest.

McCain has repeatedly expressed strong support for saving the San Pedro River, which he describes as a “national treasure” whose loss would be a “national disaster.” His statements about preserving the most biologically diverse wildlife corridor in the United States have burnished his maverick reputation for he is embracing a conservation ethic that appears far more moderate than current Republican norms. But looking beyond McCain’s words, an examination of his legislative actions on the San Pedro River reveals a very different attitude.

Since the early 1990s, scientists have warned that ground water pumping by the burgeoning communities near the Army’s Fort Huachuca threatens to dry up the San Pedro. Yet when McCain faced a crucial vote in 2003 about whether to protect the San Pedro River or assure the long-term presence of Fort Huachuca and its high-desert boom towns, McCain voted to save the base. At the river’s expense, McCain voted to exempt the fort from a key provision of the Endangered Species Act. Source Article

McCain Turns Back on Grand Canyon August 21, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in Environment, McCain, News, Politics.
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Washington Independent

By John Dougherty 07/22/2008

Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz.—Arizona Sen. John McCain, the presumed GOP nominee, has repeatedly declared himself a disciple of Theodore Roosevelt, the Republican president who first brought an environmental ethic to the nation and, as part of his conservation effort, set aside the Grand Canyon as a national monument 100 years ago.

McCain has regularly prodded his fellow Republicans to embrace Roosevelt’s belief that the nation must leave to posterity a land in better condition than it was found. McCain reiterated his Roosevelt stripes in a recent interview with The New York Times, just as he had loudly declared it during his first bid for the presidency in 2000. “Theodore Roosevelt was my hero and is to this day,“ McCain said during a 2000 GOP presidential debate. “He was responsible for the National Parks system, the crown jewels of America. They are $6-billion under-funded, they’re under enormous strain.”

Nowhere is the “enormous strain” on the national parks greater than here at the nation’s most famous park. Ironically, at a time of the Grand Canyon National Park’s greatest need for a latter-day Roosevelt to ride to the rescue, McCain is nowhere to be found. Source Article

McCain Campaign “Clarifies” His Colorado Water Grab Statement August 19, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in Environment, McCain, News, Politics.
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Daily KOS

Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 06:51:18 AM PDT

They sure have to do a lot of clarifying in the McCain campaign, don’t they?

McCain set off a firestorm last week when he suggested that the 86 year old agreement that allocates the scarce resource of the Colorado River among the seven states of the Colorado Basin “obviously needs to be renegotiated” because of “new realities of high growth, of greater demands on a scarcer resource,” he didn’t mean it should, you know, be renegotiated, really, to make sure that the high growth states of California, Nevada, and Arizona got more of that scarce resource. But that’s sure how it sounded to the people of Colorado.

So here comes the McCain campaign with what he “really” meant:

Source Article

Obama meets oilman who funded ’04 attacks on Kerry August 17, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in Energy, Environment, Obama, Politics.
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By Jeff Mason Sun Aug 17, 6:00 PM ET

RENO, Nevada (Reuters) – White House hopeful Barack Obama talked energy policy on Sunday with T. Boone Pickens, a billionaire oil investor who funded the “Swift Boat” attacks on Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry in 2004.

Pickens, a lifelong Republican, has endorsed neither his party’s candidate, Arizona Sen. John McCain, nor Democrat Obama in the November 4 election and wants to make energy a top campaign issue.

He has advocated a plan to cut U.S. oil use by converting cars to run on natural gas. Source Article