Tag: Department of Energy

In an internal memo, the White House considered whether to simply ‘ignore’ federal climate research

CHRIS MOONEY and JULIET EILPERIN – White House officials last year weighed whether to simply “ignore” climate studies produced by government scientists or to instead develop “a coherent, fact-based message about climate science,” according to a memo obtained by The Washington Post. The document, drafted Sept. 18 by Michael Catanzaro, President Trump’s special assistant for domestic energy and environmental policy at the time, highlights the dilemma the administration has faced over climate change since Trump took office. Even as Trump’s deputies have worked methodically to uproot policies aimed at curbing the nation’s carbon output, the administration’s agencies continue to produce reports showing that climate change is happening, is human-driven and is a threat to the United States.

Congressional Budget Office: US Nuclear Forces To Cost $1.2 Trillion over 30 Years

PRESS RELEASE from THE LOS ALAMOS STUDY GROUP – On Oct. 31, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its 73-page [analysis] of the future costs of maintaining and modernizing US nuclear weapons, entitled “Approaches for Managing the Costs of U.S. Nuclear Forces, 2017 to 2046.”[1][1] The total cost estimated by CBO was $1.242 trillion (T), of which $800 billion (B) is estimated as necessary to maintain and operate planned forces. The remainder ($400 B) is CBO’s estimate of the cost to modernize these forces. According to CBO, it will cost $4.6 million (M) per hour, 24/7, to keep US nuclear forces for the next 30 years.

To Protect Our Planet and Revitalize Our Economy, We Need a Climate Conservation Corps

DAVID BAAKE – Although programs like the Clean Power Plan would create hundreds of thousands of jobs, they are not framed as job-creating measures, and are not understood by the public as such. In fact, many people incorrectly assume that regulations lead to reduced employment. The Climate Conservation Corps avoids this pitfall by emphasizing both environmental and employment benefits.

Trump’s Climate Demands Roil U.S. Allies

ANDREW RESTUCCIA – President Donald Trump’s abrupt turnaround on U.S. climate policy is fueling tension with several of America’s closest allies, which are resisting the administration’s demands that they support a bigger role for nuclear power and fossil fuels in the world’s energy supply.

Depleted Uranium Weapons Leave Shameful Legacy of Radioactive Death

BARBARA KOEPPEL – Although the United States and its allies call their newest weapons conventional, which means non-nuclear, the truth is more complicated. Scientists I interviewed here in the United States, and in Canada, Europe, and Lebanon describe this latest generation of weapons as radioactive and chemically poisonous. While not nuclear, they leave high levels of uranium in their wake. And it’s now documented that cancer and birth defects associated with exposure to radiation have soared in countries where the United States and its allies have waged wars since the early 1990s.

Obama Proposes to Boost Spending for Nuclear Armaments

DOUGLAS BIRCH – The Obama administration has proposed to boost spending on the U.S. stockpile of nuclear warheads at a higher rate than for many other military programs, according to White House budget documents published February 2. Arms control advocates call the ambitious program both bloated and wasteful, and based on an outdated view of the importance of nuclear weapons to U.S. security. Meanwhile, nonproliferation efforts have been downplayed.

Why Nonviolent Direct Action?

RALPH HUTCHINSON – [Editor’s Note: In the wake of the sentencing of 3 nonviolent objectors at the Y12 bomb plant in Oak Ridge, TN to long prison terms, this author takes the judge to task for the advice he offered the defendants from the bench. He develops his challenge into an insightful explanation of the way nonviolent direct action works to effect social change.]

‘Hundreds of problems’ at EU nuclear plants

BBC NEWS – Hundreds of problems have been found at European nuclear plants that would cost 25bn euros (£20bn) to fix, says a leaked draft report. The report, commissioned after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, aimed to see how Europe’s nuclear power stations would cope during extreme emergencies. The final report was to be published last Thursday. The draft says nearly all the EU’s 143 nuclear plants need improving.

Nun Breaches Security at N-Weapon Site

ANNIE SNIDER – Armed only with flashlights and bolt cutters, Sister Megan Gillespie Rice, Michael Walli and Gregory Boertje-Obed broke through three fences and painted pacifist slogans on the Y-12 National Security Complex at Oak Ridge, Tenn., before voluntarily surrendering to a guard who had not even seen them, according to a report from the Department of Energy’s inspector general last month.

Catholic Activists Breach Tennessee Nuclear Weapons Plant in Protest

JOSHUA J. MCELWEE – Three Catholics broke into a guarded nuclear weapons complex in Tennessee on Saturday in an act of civil disobedience and made their way outside of its most secure facilities before they were arrested. The three, an 82-year-old religious sister and two middle-aged men connected with the Catholic Worker movement, were able to enter the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge early Saturday before a guard found them outside the complex’s storage facility for bomb-grade uranium.