This is the 599th edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue). Here is the May 11 edition. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.
OUTSTANDING GREEN STORIES
RoyMorrison writes—Bank of the Commons: Ecological Sustainability as the New Gold for Ecological Transformation: “The practical challenge in building an ecological civilization from industrial business and pillage, as usual, is not technical nor legal, but financial. We must recognize that to save ourselves from ecological catastrophe our economic and financial system must value and embrace sustainability and devalue pollution, depletion and ecological damage. At bottom, ecological sustainability must be monetized as the new gold and store of value and capital to help finance the trillions of dollars of productive investment necessary for ecological transformation and the support of social and ecological justice. At the same time, oil, coal, natural gas must become stranded assets, written down and left in the ground and awarded a new non-pollution credit to be monetized by future renewable investment. A trillion dollars of fossil fuel assets can become a trillion dollars of investment in wind and solar hardware installations. Sustainability must be treated legally and financially not as a cost but as a precious value, a hard asset, the new gold whose value is created by economic growth that means ecological improvement.”
ClimateDenierRoundup writes—DOI’s Offshore Oil Regulatory Rollback Relies On Big Oil Doc: “Yesterday, Department of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt testified in front of the House Natural Resources Committee about his leadership of the agency, flanked by swamp monsters in the audience highlighting his corruption. When Rep Huffman asked Bernhardt for specific examples of times when he told former clients ‘no,’ when they asked for a policy change, he struggled to name a single instance. Remember, this is the man with so many conflicts of interest he has to carry them on a card, so he has plenty of former clients to choose from. After being pressed further by Huffman to name something specific, Bernhardt makes a reference to a ‘well control’ rule. That’s really where it gets interesting. Bernhardt’s industry clients actually praised the DOI’s well control rollback. And not only that, but the rule actually relies on the industry’s own guidance, effectively supplanting an Obama-era regulation with an American Petroleum Institute document.”
ColoTim writes—Republicans Force Out Another Democrat (though the Dems will keep the seat): “In Colorado, fracking is a big deal and it has contributed to Colorado’s oil and gas boom (literally as well as figuratively) to the point where Weld county, including the city of Greeley and the area around it is littered with oil and gas fracking pads as far as the eye can see. The industry has brought many jobs to the state and has led to numerous legal battles as the oil and gas industry has been trying to extract every last bit of oil and gas from the shale beneath people’s homes and farmland. The industry has had protections up until recently because the state board that oversees their mining of the resources was entirely composed of interests devoted to development of the resources — not of preserving and protecting people’s land and health. Cities that have grown up north of Denver and east of Boulder, Longmont, Loveland and Fort Collins have especially tried to preserve the health of people by restricting how close to schools and homes the gas drilling could take place, but in every case, even if the cities have won in court, the state has had the authority to over-rule the cities by the way the laws were written. Last year, there were measures on the ballot to try and allow for cities to have larger buffer areas from the drilling and associated pollution in the air and groundwater. They were opposed by a well-funded campaign claiming that Colorado would ruin its whole economy by adopting those measures, including tens if not hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions upon billions of dollars. Well, of course the money won, especially since there was no really organized support for those measures because those people living and breathing the pollution every day weren’t enough to compete against the fossil fuel interests.”