The folks over at the non-profit Sandler Foundation-bankrolled investigative reporting site ProPublica have established a terrific project that ought to be of great interest to green-minded folks: Adopt a Stimulus Project.
The adoption project is the first assignment for ProPublica’s Reporting Network. In charge is Amanda Michel, previously the editor of OfftheBus at the HuffingtonPost.
| ...people will dedicate themselves to following a local road or bridge reconstruction project funded by the stimulus and to monitor it through its completion. These reporters will be looking to see what is getting repaired, how highly trafficked the road or bridge is, whether companies that receive funds are following environmental and labor laws, how many people are employed by the project, and so on.
"This is precisely the kind of nitty-gritty investigative work that will reveal some surprising facts, but takes time and patience to do well," said Michel. "In the process of working with our network members, we’ll take investigative journalism into a new collaborative sphere and help the American people determine where the stimulus program is succeeding and where it’s falling short."
ProPublica has so far only taken on the monitoring of $27 billion in bridge and road construction repairs. That’s a big chew by itself. But if enough interested people join the network, some specifically green stimulus projects might be added to that collaborative effort.
For instance, there is the $4.24 billion in stimulus money that the General Services Administration will be devoting to full and partial modernizations of federal buildings under the High Performance Green Building Program. Every state has projects under that program.
To sign up for the network, send an e-mail to Amanda@ProPublica.org or visit ProPublica’s Special Reporting Network to register.
Of interest to those pondering this project, the White House released its report on stimulus spending Wednesday, Recovery Report:100 Days 100 Projects.
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The rescue begins below and continues in the jump.
The climate and energy bill is nowhere near what it could and should be A Siegel opined in WTF are you?: "Do you win by saying 'this ain't what I want but YEAH, everyone, support it'? And, then, painfully watch it watered down even further by attacks from anti-science suffering global warming deniers and influence from fossil-foolish lobbyists inserting themselves into the legislative process? Or, do we get a stronger bill by reminding (STRONGLY) that this bill has tremendous shortfalls and does not even live up to basic principles? Principles ... Principles matter. The three principles proposed: Scientifically Sound; Polluters Pay; Socially Equitable. These three seem to provide a keystone of what should be at the core of the legislation and core words that could enable describing this to the overall American public to build support for what might well be the most important single piece and most far-reaching legislative activity in American history. We should return to these principles as we consider the ACES and paths forward ... We should fight to bring the final legislation in line with these principles."
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The Overnight News Digest is posted and includes the story, Multiracial people become fastest-growing US group.
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h/t for Adopt a Stimulus Project to Marty Durlin at High Country News
Teryn Norris at the Breakthrough Institute wrote The Catch-22 of Waxman-Markey: Is Offsetting Inevitable?: "Every climate bill, in the U.S. and abroad, contains provisions limiting how high carbon prices established by the policy can rise. The Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) is no different. As the Breakthrough Institute previously reported, ACES would allow polluters to purchase up to 2 billion tons per year of relatively cheap carbon "offsets," which could allow emissions in supposedly "capped" U.S. sectors to rise by up to 9% between 2005 and 2030. The EPA predicts that, largely due to the extensive use of offsets, carbon prices will remain less than $20 per ton of CO2 for the next decade."
Detroit Mark reported that Gov. Granholm Declared Michigan to be Green Belt & EV Central: "What an odd paradox. During a time when the entire world is watching to see whether General Motors will file for Chapter 11 restructuring, leaving an even deeper hole left by bad business decisions and poor product design ... Governor Jennifer Granholm gives Michigan and the US an exact opposite message. Michigan, the state that has been cursed with the nickname ‘Rustbelt’ ... is also the state that's going to completely turn this huge industry completely on its ear."
newpapyrus explained how we can Fuel our Nuclear Future: "One frequent argument against the expansion of commercial nuclear power is the claim that our planet is simply running out of the nuclear material to power the world's nuclear reactors. So any future expansion of the commercial nuclear power industry would simply be out of the question. ... it is estimated that there are approximately 5.5 million tonnes of proven uranium reserves at a cost below $130 per kilogram. With the resurgence of nuclear power, however, it is estimated that the exploration for new uranium sources would increase total reserves to more than 16 million tonnes. The current world demand for uranium is 65,000 tonnes per year. So there should be enough uranium to supply current global nuclear power facilities for 246 years."
Are The Lobbyists Writing the Food Safety Laws? inquired Jill Richardson: "A quick look at lobbying reports found that in the first quarter, the following companies alone spent over $6 million on lobbying. ... It doesn't help that one of the Republicans on the committee, Roy Blunt, is married to Kraft's top lobbyist. And what did consumer advocacy groups spend during the same period of time? $112,983 for lobbying on all issues (not just food safety). ... What are they lobbying for? Surprisingly enough, they are FOR a food safety bill. So I don't think the question is whether or not a food safety bill is going to pass. The question is how good the bill will be. How much will it represent our interests vs. how much will it represent the lobbyists' interests?"
Stranded Wind got a chance to take an Ethanol Plant Tour a few days before it goes into production, and he posted numerous photos. "The facility is a hundred million gallon a year plant built by Fagen for One Earth Energy in Gibson City, Illinois."
Nuisance Industry took note that Van Jones, Hilda Solis, Joe Biden announced a $4 billion upgrade of public housing: "Jones, in a comment before the announcement at the Denver Science Museum, said ‘This president is committed to literally millions of jobs in this sector over the course of his term,’ and that the renovations of public housing stock would account for about 40% of the funds set aside by Obama to improve energy use in government buildings. Also at the Denver announcement was HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan [who with Labor Secretary Hilda] Solis announced that HUD and Labor are working together to make it easier for public housing residents to find training programs or a green job, again in keeping with Jones's recommendations for sustainable development."
chondrally offered a highly technical look at Why extreme climate model predictions above 5 Celsius increase may be unrealistic.