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Political donations from fossil fuel/nuclear companies did not pay off, in USA elections

French contributors include nuclear firm Areva and gas giant GDF-Suez. As one French website explains, GDF-Suez and Lafarge, a corporation dealing in natural resources, contributed largely to climate skeptics and members of the Tea Party.

Overall, donors to the most ultraconservative politicians have lost a lot more than meets the eye at first glance.

Conventional energy loses US elections, Renewables International, 22 Nov 12 The general tenor of analyses of the US elections this week, both within the US and in Europe, can be summed up as: “all that effort, and nothing has changed.” But a closer look reveals that Americans rebuffed some of those who doubt climate change and oppose renewables.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney received a lot of money from the conventional energy sector for his campaign, but the funding was by no means limited to US firms, as the website Open Secrets shows in its list of foreign companies that contributed to political action committees (PACs). Overall, British firms contributed the most, followed by the Swiss and the Germans, with the French coming in fourth. The list includes contributions not only to Republicans, but to all presidential candidates, though most of the funding from the conventional energy sector went to Republicans. Continue reading


November 23, 2012 Posted by | USA elections 2012 | Leave a comment

Climate Change was a winning issue in USA election

Voters Chose Leaders Who Will Confront Climate Change
Peter Lehner Executive Director, Natural Resources Defense Council  11/09/2012  This election was a resounding victory for climate action. Americans were presented with the clearest choice yet on global warming, and they chose the presidential candidate who confronted the climate threat, not the one who turned it into a punch line. Voters made the same choice in Congressional races across the country. They overwhelmingly favored leaders who called for more clean energy and other climate solutions.

Let’s be clear here. The issue of climate change appeared throughout this election. President Obama talked about it on the campaign trail, in his convention speech, and in his victory speech. And every time he discussed clean energy and energy efficiency, he was addressing climate change, because the way we power our economy will decide the fate of our climate.

Energy played a central role in this year’s campaigns. Candidates mentioned it frequently on the stump and it was among the top three topics discussed in ads . President Obama took these opportunities to talk about energy efficiency, renewable power, clean cars, and other low-carbon solutions that will defuse climate change and lead our country forward. Governor Romney simply offered more oil and gas drilling and coal-fired power.

Voters chose the clean energy future over the dirty past. Continue reading

November 10, 2012 Posted by | politics, USA, USA elections 2012 | Leave a comment

Obama – the “least worst” President – or perhaps something better?

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

For those looking from outside USA, American politics are weird. Supposedly democratic, but in fact, no hope of anyone ever getting to be President, without the backing of some hefty money.  And that means big corporations.  And that means fossil fuel interests, nuclear interests, along with other interests of dubious connection with the public good.

And so it is with Barack Obama – helped along by the nuke industry, among others.

The other weirdness about American politics –  the supreme negativity, by which the Republicans will block just about anything – that’s the purpose – opposition – never mind if it’s a good idea or not. ( And it seems that must be blocked if it helps someone else, particularly the great unwashed, blocked even if blocking harms Republicans themselves)

Perhaps, just perhaps, Obama in a second term will be permitted to do some constructive things, for USA and the world. It is pretty sure that Romney would not know how, so we can all breathe a little easier – America has chosen the least worst.

We all live in hope.

November 7, 2012 Posted by | Christina's notes, USA elections 2012 | Leave a comment

Increased danger of nuclear war under a President Romney

Foreign Policy: What’s at Stake The Nation Robert Dreyfuss on November 5, 2012 “……..tomorrow I’ll be voting for Obama as if my life depended on it. But on foreign policy, make no mistake: on virtually every issue related to national security, Mitt Romney’s attitude is: “I’ll see your bet, and raise you.”

Many—not all, but many—of his foreign policy advisers are neoconservatives, hawks and pro-defense ideologues. Like George W. Bush, not all of Romney’s appointed national security officials will be neocons. Just as Bush put people such as Colin Powell and CondiRice in positions of power, Romney will do that same with so-called moderates. But neoconservatives operate like Bolsheviks, in a tightly coordinated phalanx, and they will work their will. In the next crisis—say, a flare-up between China and Taiwan—they’ll be the ones calling for aggressive military action. And who’ll trust Romney to turn to moderates such as Richard Haass and Robert Zoellick, rather than to Dan Senor and John Bolton? Not me.

Let’s go down a short list: On Iran, Romney and Co. will be far more likely to join Israel in a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s dozens of nuclear research and production sites, reactors, enrichment facilities and the like, along with secondary strikes at air defense systems, Iran’s Gulf naval forces, command and control centers, and infrastructure.

In Asia, Romney—who’s attacked Obama for failing to expand the US Navy—is almost certain to accelerate America’s Asian air and naval buildup in Asia and the Pacific far beyond what the Obama administration has planned. Imagine Japan tilting right, in a
confrontation with China over disputed islands, not far-fetched at all.

On Afghanistan, though he’s endorsed the 2014 drawdown timetable, a Romney administration is likely to respond far more aggressively than Obama might, in a second term, if Afghanistan starts to fall apart in 2014–15—as it probably will. ….

On Russia, Obama has already signaled to President Putin that he’ll seek deals over arms reduction, Iran, Syria and other issues in his second term. Romney has called Russia our “number-one geopolitical foe.” If Romney is elected, expect stepped-up efforts to expand NATO into Georgia and other former parts of the USSR, high-tech missile
defense and radar systems in Eastern Europe, pressure on Western Europe to isolate Russia economically, and worse.

On China, as noted above, Romney isn’t likely to squeeze China economically, despite his campaign rhetoric in Ohio. He’ll go along with his corporate cronies, for the most part, and in any case the United States can’t afford to alienate its chief creditor. But China’s
new leadership, which will be installed days after the US election, is closely tied to the military, and it can be counted on to be more assertive in Asia and beyond, resisting US hegemony there. President Obama seems to understand the need for a US-China accommodation. Romney doesn’t.

In the Middle East, expect Romney to blindly side with Israel on virtually everything. In 2009, Obama began to challenge Israel on issues from Iran to settlements, and then caved in. But the Israeli far right knows that Obama is less likely to cave in during a second
term. Romney, on the other hand, will side with Israel across the board. And Romney’s team is far more likely to see the rise of multifaceted Islamist movements in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Turkey and elsewhere—one result of the Arab Spring—as a dangerous
threat to US (and Israeli) interests. Needless to say, alienating Islamists, bashing Islam, attacking the Muslim Brotherhood, etc. will not only lose points across the Middle East but will create more radicals, jihadists and Al Qaeda types from Pakistan to Morocco and Mali.

Feel free to add to this list, too. But vote.

November 6, 2012 Posted by | USA elections 2012 | 2 Comments

Speculation on who will be USA’s next Dept of Energy chief

Det of Energfy chiefThe department has a broad portfolio, from securing nuclear material to funding research into carbon capture and sequestration

If Republican nominee Mitt Romney wins the election, observers expect his DOE would be led by someone with ties to the oil, natural gas or coal industries.

DOE: Expected Chu departure sparks second-term speculation EE News, Nick Juliano, November 1, 2012 No matter who wins the White House next week, Steven Chu is widely expected to soon book a one-way ticket back to California, sparking heightened speculation over who may be tapped to take over after his embattled term leading the Department of Energy if President Obama is re-elected….

. Chu’s background as a Nobel Prize-winning physicist made him one of the most credentialed DOE heads….
Obama is likely to tap someone with more of a political background to replace Chu, who is expected to announce his departure before the end of the year, several policy experts said in recent interviews.

Among the top people being mentioned as possible candidates to take over as next Energy secretary are former North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan (D), whose post-congressional activities include an association with the Bipartisan Policy Center, where he has focused on energy policy (Greenwire, Jan. 19); former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D); Center for American Progress President John Podesta, who was President Clinton’s chief of staff and head of Obama’s transition team; and Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, who was a key industry supporter of the Obama administration’s efforts to address climate change and helped lure the 2012 Democratic National Convention to Charlotte, N.C., where Duke’s corporate headquarters is located. Continue reading

November 3, 2012 Posted by | USA elections 2012 | Leave a comment

Climate Change now an election issue in USA, as Bloomberg endorses Obama

Bloomberg brings climate change out of the closet in stunning snub to Romney Mayor’s endorsement could turn climate change into a serious election issue – and it might even embolden Republicans Suzanne Goldenberg US environment correspondent,  1 November 2012 New York City’s mayor Michael Bloomberg took climate change out of the closet on Thursday by invoking the issue in his endorsement of Barack Obama.

“This November, vote for a president who will lead on climate change,” Bloomberg wrote on Twitter.

The stunning snub to Mitt Romney, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, at a stroke turned climate change from liability into a potentially winning political issue in this presidential election.

It might even embolden other Republicans, who do support action on climate change, to come out of the closet as well. At least, that seems to be partly Bloomberg’s intention. Continue reading

November 2, 2012 Posted by | USA elections 2012 | Leave a comment

Insanity of USA politics ignoring Climate Change

what’s lacking in America’s approach to climate change is not the resources to act but the political will to do so. A Pew Research Center poll conducted in October found that two-thirds of Americans say there is “solid evidence” the earth is getting warmer.

It’s Global Warming, Stupid Bloomberg Business Week By  November 01, 2012“…….. the only responsible first step is to put climate change back on the table for discussion. The issue was MIA during the presidential debates and, regardless of who wins on Nov. 6, is unlikely to appear on the near-term congressional calendar. After Sandy, that seems insane.

Mitt Romney has gone from being a supporter years ago of clean energy and emission caps to, more recently, a climate agnostic. On Aug. 30, he belittled his opponent’s vow to arrest climate change, made during the 2008 presidential campaign. “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet,” Romney told the Republican National Convention in storm-tossed Tampa. “My promise is to help you and your family.” Two months later, in the wake of Sandy, submerged families in New Jersey and New York urgently needed some help dealing with that rising-ocean stuff.

Obama and his strategists clearly decided that in a tight race during fragile economic times, he should compete with Romney by promising to mine more coal and drill more oil. On the campaign trail, when Obama refers to the environment, he does so only in the context of spurring “green jobs.” During his time in office, Obama has made modest progress on climate issues. His administration’s fuel-efficiency standards will reduce by half the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and trucks by 2025. His regulations and proposed rules to curb mercury, carbon, and other emissions from coal-fired power plants are forcing utilities to retire some of the dirtiest old facilities. And the country has doubled the generation of energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind. Continue reading

November 2, 2012 Posted by | USA elections 2012 | Leave a comment

USA Green Party’s Jill Stein arrested

Green Party BREAKING NEWS: Green Party Presidential candidate, Jill Stein, was arrested this morning in Winnsboro, Texas, for taking food and water to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline tree sitters. They call themselves the Tar Sands Blockade. The Blockaders at the tree village have been in the trees for over a month now and are refusing to come down until TransCanada stops building the Keystone XL pipeline. Jill’s statement of support: “I’m here to connect the dots between super storm Sandy and the record heat, drought, and fire we’ve seen this year – and this Tar Sands pipeline, which will make all of these problems much worse. And I’m here to connect the dots between climate devastation and pipeline politicians – both Obama and Romney – who are competing, as we saw in the debates, for the role of Puppet In Chief for the fossil fuel industry. Both deserve that title. Obama’s record of “drill baby drill” has gone beyond the harm done by George Bush. Mitt Romney promises more of the same.” Watch video shot by the blockaders :

November 1, 2012 Posted by | USA elections 2012 | Leave a comment

Climate change, clean energy – compare Romney and Obama

Obama vs Romney on energy, climate change and environment Reneweconomy By Zachary Shahan on 29 October 2012 “…..Mitt Romney has promised to roll back basic air and water protections and stop the Environmental Protection Agency from limiting mercury and other toxic power plant emissions. He wants to eliminate federal oversight of oil and gas drilling on federal lands. He opposes new standards that will double our auto mileage and cut our gasoline bills dramatically while simultaneously helping our environment and air quality. He would end support of the dramatic growth we’re making in clean, renewable, made-in-America energy, and instead do whatever possible to expand our dependence on oil, coal and other dirty fuels.  Romney has moved his rhetoric toward the center in the debates – a tacit acknowledgment of where the American public is – but he hasn’t shifted his campaign’s anti-environmental positions at all.
President Obama has pledged to continue clean air and water improvements and address climate change instead of ignoring it. He has made it clear he will keep building on the growth in the clean energy industry, creating jobs, clearing our air and decreasing our dependence on foreign oil along the way. He wants to eliminate billions of dollars in oil and gas subsidies, and keep our public lands in the hands of those who are supposed to control them — the American public.

 Americans support clean energy and the environment. A recent University of Texas poll, for instance, found that 58 percent of Americans are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports expanding investments in renewable energy than those who don’t. Furthermore, poll after poll shows voters prefer President Obama’s plan to move America toward a more sustainable future. An October poll from USA Today/Gallup gave Obama a 13-point advantage of Romney on energy issues. Even Gov. Romney seems to recognize this, as he has tried to portray himself as an advocate of clean energy despite the content of his platform.

Don’t take our word on all of this. Remember what the candidates themselves said on these issues: Continue reading

October 29, 2012 Posted by | USA elections 2012 | 1 Comment

Beholden to fossil fuel lobby, Romney and Obama ignore climate change

Obama, Romney waste debate as builders turn green, SMH, October 25, 2012   James S. Russell The cringe-inducing catfight about oil drilling in the second US presidential debate reminded us how carefully both candidates have avoided the topic of climate change.

Those two words weren’t mentioned once, unlike “gas” (30 times). The candidates touched on oil and gas policy in the third debate, but without voicing any concerns about the fact that fossil fuels produce greenhouse-gas emissions.

That’s because well-financed voices with a big stake in America’s wasteful status quo have successfully stigmatised global warming…..
Dirtiest coal Romney promotes “clean coal,” a product that doesn’t exist. The president, meanwhile, failed to defend his own Environmental Protection Agency, which has taken the belated step of trying to rein-in the dirtiest coal plants…… Continue reading

October 26, 2012 Posted by | USA elections 2012 | Leave a comment

The debate on climate change: killed by oil interests and Tea Party extremists

US elections and environment – the politics and the policy fundamentals, The Conversation, by Barry Naughten, 23 Oct 12 That Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is locked into such an unalloyed pro-oil stance is not so surprising, given the alignment of the core Republican states with oil producers’ interests.

However, in terms of Electoral College votes, influence rests with a relatively few “swing states”. Here, money counts.

The electoral laws allow very large private injections of campaign funds, provided this is done indirectly through PACs. The Koch brothers own the largest independent oil companies in the US They stand to gain from Romney’s policies, and their anti-Obama campaign expenses have been estimated at over $400 million……. Continue reading

October 23, 2012 Posted by | USA elections 2012 | Leave a comment

Both Obama and Romney promoting nuclear power

This article from a uranium-investing website gives a summary of each candidate and nuclear energy: Uranium Investing News  11 Oct 12

*** OBAMA  “The freeze on new reactor approvals hasn’t stopped the Obama administration from pushing forward on nuclear energy research and development. In late September, the US Department of Energy announced $13 million in funding for university-led nuclear innovation projects under the Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP). “The awards … build upon the Obama Administration’s broader efforts to promote a sustainable nuclear industry in the U.S. and cultivate the next generation of scientists and engineers,” the DOE press release states. The funding was awarded to research groups at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Tennessee.”

*** ROMNEY  “Romney has said he would simplify the current lengthy Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing process to fast track the approval of new reactors with approved design or near-existing facilities, thereby allowing projects to be completed in under two years. “By instating shorter approval times and addressing other nuclear power industry problems, Romney’s plans are expected to lead to a more rapid expansion for this industry than is projected under Obama’s policies,” the IBISWorld report states.”

October 22, 2012 Posted by | USA elections 2012 | 2 Comments

Romney and Obama, both in the grip of the nuclear lobby

Fukushima’s Hot Water: Now Fallout in Our Kitchens? On The Issue,   by Kimberly Roberson, 21 Oct 12, “…… “……..The political machines of both President Obama and Mitt Romney serve as destination stops for nuclear lobbyists. Romney’s pick for his running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, is married to a woman who at one time lobbied on behalf of the nuclear industry. President Obama’s former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, lists Exelon Corporation, the largest operator of nuclear plants in the U.S., on his resume.

President Obama called nuclear power “an important part of the energy mix” and pledged billions of dollars for the proposed “nuclear renaissance.” Eight billion dollars have been approved to date. It’s underwritten by taxpayers because Wall Street refuses to back a risky proposition such as nuclear power without subsidized insurance for investors should something go wrong. ,,,,,

October 22, 2012 Posted by | USA elections 2012 | Leave a comment

Romney’s finger on the nuclear trigger – a worrying thought

Half a century later, it still is and, even in the academic colloquy over the Missile Crisis, doubts arise about the fitness of Mitt Romney to follow in JFK’s footsteps.

As Mitt Romney blusters about confrontations with China, Iran and other adversaries, his sound-bite posturing may be effective in debates, campaign ads and comic relief, but how safe would we be if he moved into the Oval Office?

Romney on the Nuclear Trigger: How Safe? Oct 19, 2012 by ROBERT STEIN At Harvard today scholars commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, 13 days when the world held its breath in the shadow of a nuclear war that John F. Kennedy said could have led to “ultimate destruction of the human race.”

In interviews afterward, the President told me, “Too many people want to blow up the world…In Cuba, a lot of people thought we should take more drastic action. I think we did the right thing. More drastic action would have increased the possibility of nuclear exchange. The real question now is to meet conflicts year after year without having to escalate.” Continue reading

October 20, 2012 Posted by | USA elections 2012 | Leave a comment

USA Green Party leaders shackled to keep them away from Presidential Debate

Ninety million voters are predicted to stay home and vote with their feet that neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney represent them. That’s twice as many voters than expected for either of them.”

“Binders Full of Women, and Two Women Bound.” By Amy Goodman

Democracy Now!  Award-winning journalist and Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman records a podcast in conjunction with her weekly column, which you can read here: October 18, 2012

Here is an excerpt of this week’s column by Amy Goodman with Denis Moynihan:

You may have noticed that the Green Party presidential candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, was absent from the “town hall” presidential debate at Hofstra University the other night. That’s because she was shackled to a chair in a nearby New York police facility, along with her running mate, Green Party vice president nominee Cheri Honkala. Their crime: attempting to get to the debate so Stein could participate in it. While Mitt Romney uttered the now-famous line that he was given “whole binders full of women” while seeking staff as newly-elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002, the real binders were handcuffs used to shackle these two women, who are mothers, activists and the Green Party’s presidential ticket for 2012. Continue reading

October 20, 2012 Posted by | USA elections 2012 | Leave a comment