Along with the Affordable Care Act, the Clean Power Plan may end up being one of President Obama’s signature accomplishments. We learned recently, though, about the US Supreme Court’s potential role in determining the fate of the plan. This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise speaks with two journalists who have been covering other aspects of the plan. First, Mother Jones journalist Tim McDonnell joins us to talk about methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas that is not targeted in the Clean Power Plan or the Paris Agreement, and whose emissions from the oil and gas industry are largely unknown. We discuss the Aliso Canyon leak, efforts to monitor methane, and how much of the methane problem is cows. Then, Washington Post reporter Steven Mufson provides a who’s who in the efforts to obstruct the implementation of the Clean Power Plan.
Are you interested in knowing the facts about the Keystone XL pipeline? Well, depending on the source, the “facts” vary wildly. Proponents tout the Alberta tar sands as the new Saudi Arabia, claim that the Keystone pipeline will bring 100,000 jobs and help get the US off of foreign oil. Critics, on the other hand, say the jobs are more like under 50, that all the oil will be exported, that tar sands crude is highly prone to spills, and that this project would endanger pristine wildlife habitats. So who is right? This week on Sea Change Radio we hear from longtime Washington Post energy correspondent Steven Mufson who has recently completed a book on the topic. Based on meticulous, hands-on research, Mufson’s work reminds us that when two competing interests have conflicting sets of facts, someone’s facts are fiction.
As the climate heats up, the press treatment of climate change is cooling down. Karl Frisch of Media Matters says it used to be that the press treated climate change as a debate between 2 equal partners — on the one hand, the overwhelming majority of scientists who said climate change was happening–and on the other, the miniscule minority of climate change deniers. That’s gone by now, Frisch says — but the press is still dropping the ball on covering solutions to climate change. Frisch discusses why. He also talks about a column by George Will in the Washington Post that sparked a storm of protest from environmentalists. Andy Revkin of the the DotEarth blog at the New York Times — a reporter who usually gets climate change right — compared Will to Al Gore, embroiling him in controversy.
CWR co-hosts Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon speak with investigative journalist Greg Palast, who notes the coincidental timing of revelations of Eliot Spitzer’s hiring of a prostitute on the eve of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s $200 billion bailout of banks implicated in the subprime meltdown. The former New York Governor was set to unveil plans to pursue prosecution of the banks for predatory lending that is illegal under New York State law, where most of the banks are headquartered, according to Palast. So instead of being busted by Spitzer, the banks behind the subprime mess were rewarded with a fifth of a trillion dollars, printed by the US government.