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first_imgDear EarthTalk: Radioactive rain recently fell in Massachusetts, likely due to Japan’s nuclear mess. Given the threats of radiation, wouldn’t it be madness now to continue with nuclear power? How can President Obama include nukes as part of a “clean energy” agenda? — Bill Mason, Hartford, CT In the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, countries around the world that were growing more bullish on nuclear power are now reconsidering their future energy investments. Germany has shut down seven of its oldest nuclear reactors and is conducting safety studies on the remaining facilities; those that don’t make the grade could be closed permanently. Meanwhile, in earthquake-prone Chile some 2,000 demonstrators marched through the capital to protest their government’s enthusiasm for nuclear power. And China, the world’s fastest growing nuclear energy developer, has suspended the approval process on 50 nuclear power plants already on the drawing board, and begun inspections on 13 existing plants.But despite calls to shutter the U.S. nuclear program, President Obama remains committed to the industry despite his stated opposition to it pre-election. In December 2007, Obama told reporters at a campaign stop in Iowa: “Until we can make certain that nuclear power plants are safe…I don’t think that’s the best option,” adding that he was much more keen on solar, wind, biodiesel and other alternative fuels.According to investigative journalist Karl Grossman, Obama changed his tune on nuclear as soon as he took office, “talking about ‘safe, clean nuclear power’ and push[ing] for multi-billion dollar taxpayer subsidies for the construction of new nuclear plants.” Right away, Grossman says, Obama brought in nuclear advocate Steven Chu as energy secretary, and two White House aides that had been “deeply involved with…the utility operating more nuclear power plants than any other in the U.S., Exelon.”Undeterred by the Japanese nuclear disaster, Obama pledged just two weeks following the initial explosions at the Fukushima Dai-ichi facility that nuclear power should be revived in the U.S., as it provides “electricity without adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.” He added that he requested a comprehensive safety review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to ensure the safety of existing facilities. “We’ll incorporate those conclusions and lessons from Japan in designing and building the next generation of [nuclear] plants,” Obama added.But just because nuclear energy isn’t a fossil fuel doesn’t make it green, given the ongoing risk of radioactivity. Also, reports the non-profit Beyond Nuclear, “Nuclear power is counterproductive to efforts to address climate change effectively and in time…funding diverted to new nuclear power plants deprives real climate change solutions, like solar, wind and geothermal energy, of essential resources.” Indeed, if policymakers were able to divert the hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to the U.S. nuclear industry every year to solar, wind and geothermal developers, there is no telling how quickly we could innovate our way to sustainable non-polluting energy independence and put the specter of nuclear power that much further in our rearview mirror. But it looks like as long as Obama remains in office, nuclear will remain a big part of our near term energy future, damn the torpedoes. 1 2last_img read more

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr With numerous legislators emphasizing that credit unions and other small financial institutions should not be punished by burdensome regulations, the U.S. House Financial Services Committee referred four CUNA-backed bills to the House Wednesday.Members of the committee voted 50-9 to pass the Risk-Based Capital Study Act of 2015 (H.R. 2769). The bill would delay the National Credit Union Administration’s risk-based capital proposal until a study of its impact is conducted.CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle has said the proposal is a “solution in search of a problem.” Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), the committee chair, used the same words, saying “so many are concerned the NCUA’s proposal is a solution in search of a problem” in his opening statement.The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), said the bill is not an attempt to get rid of the NCUA’s proposal, just a chance to get more information. continue reading »last_img read more

first_imgAthletics: Mengden pitched in a game for the first time since undergoing elbow surgery in February. He was moved into the rotation as left-hander A.J. Puk deals with a strained throwing shoulder that landed him on the injured list to start the season and required cortisone and platelet-rich plasma injections. … T.J. McFarland, Jake Diekman and Yusmeiro Petit, all of whom pitched three times in Oakland’s first four games, were rested. UP NEXTThe two-game series ends Wednesday afternoon when Oakland’s Frankie Montas (0-0, 2.25 ERA) makes his second start of the season against Colorado’s Germán Márquez (0-1, 1.59) in a matchup of right-handers. Marquez’s loss on opening day was his first in 16 interleague starts.___More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports July 29, 2020 Tyler Kinley, Daniel Bard and Carlos Estévez combined to two-hit the A’s over the final four innings.Ramon Laureano had two hits and Mark Canha added a sacrifice fly for the A’s, who were attempting to go 4-1 for the first time since 2010.Oakland manager Bob Melvin had been hopeful of resting his taxed bullpen but didn’t get the chance after Mengden (0-1) lasted four innings and gave up three runs on five hits. “Strike one can be a problem for him sometimes,” Melvin said. “He tries to be a little too fine at times. It’s getting the pitch count down and trying to get the other team to put the ball in play earlier in the count.”The Rockies tacked on a pair in the fifth with four consecutive one-out hits and a sacrifice fly off A’s reliever Jordan Weems in his major league debut. They scored three more in the eighth. MILESTONE, BUT NO HITSDavis moved into second place in games played by A’s designated hitters but continued to struggle at the plate. He struck out twice, popped up and hit into a double play in four at-bats, dropping the Oakland slugger to 0 for 15 this season.“I’ve said all along that leashes can be a little bit shorter when you struggle in 60 games,” Melvin said. “It’s like being in August right now. Some of the guys who have track records deserve a little bit of a longer leash. He’s been really good for us over the years.”The game marked the 356th for Davis as the A’s DH, moving him past Mitchell Page on the franchise list. Davis will have to wait until next season to break Dave Kingman’s mark of 428.TRAINER’S ROOM Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditOAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Sam Hilliard homered for the first time this season, Antonio Senzatela pitched out of an early jam on his way to a rare road win, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Oakland Athletics 8-3 Tuesday night.Charlie Blackmon had two hits, David Dahl drove in a pair of runs and Nolan Arenado made up for an uncharacteristic fielding error with a single and sacrifice fly to help the Rockies to their third straight win following an opening day loss to Texas.“We’ve got a good pitching staff always and this year we’ve been doing good,” Senzatela said. “We were just working for that in the offseason, even through the quarantine. I think we deserve this.”center_img Hilliard was hitless going into the day before doubling off A’s starter Daniel Mengden in the second and then homering in the fourth. Hilliard, who homered in his major league debut last August, laced a 2-2 pitch into the right-field stands after Raimel Tapia singled.“Sam’s blast, the breaking ball in the seats was a great swing,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “I like the double the other way. We saw Sam do that a number of times last year, take pitches away from him, hit them to left field. The home run gave us a big lift.”Senzatela worked himself into an early jam but got Oakland slugger Khris Davis to pop out with the bases loaded in the first on the way to his first win on the road since July 5, 2019. The right-hander had dropped five straight away from home since then.Senzatela (1-0) allowed two runs (one earned) and six hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out three.“I threw too many pitches in the first inning but I just put on myself, ‘I need to make it through five to give the team a chance to win,’ and I did it,” Senzatela said. Rockies keep rolling behind Hilliard, Senzatela to beat A’s Associated Press last_img read more