The Evening Blues - 12-3-20
Hey! Good Evening!
This evening's music features blues piano player Johnnie Johnson. Enjoy!
Johnnie Johnson - Johnnie's boogie
"Being part of the US-led liberal world order means that anyone, regardless of their race, gender or sexual orientation, is free to serve the globe-spanning murder machine in any way they choose."
-- Caitlin Johnstone
News and Opinion
Humanity is facing a new war, unprecedented in history, the secretary general of the UN has warned, which is in danger of destroying our future before we have fully understood the risk. The stark message from António Guterres follows a year of global upheaval, with the coronavirus pandemic causing governments to shut down whole countries for months at a time, while wildfires, hurricanes and powerful storms have scarred the globe.
Guterres said: “Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal. Nature always strikes back – and it is already doing so with growing force and fury. Biodiversity is collapsing. One million species are at risk of extinction. Ecosystems are disappearing before our eyes … Human activities are at the root of our descent toward chaos. But that means human action can help to solve it.”
He listed the human-inflicted wounds on the natural world: the spread of deserts; wetlands lost; forests cut down; oceans overfished and choked with plastic; dying coral reefs; air pollution killing 9 million people a year, more than the current pandemic; and the fact that 75% of new and emerging human infectious diseases have, like Covid-19, come from animals.
Though Guterres, like his two predecessors, has frequently spoken on the dangers of the climate crisis, this was his strongest language yet. The UN was founded 75 years ago at the end of the second world war to try to promote world peace after two devastating global conflicts. Guterres made a deliberate invocation of that original mission, applying it to the climate and biodiversity crises. ...
He said future generations would face ruin from our actions today. “This is an epic policy test. But ultimately this is a moral test … We cannot use [our] resources to lock in policies that burden [future generations] with a mountain of debt on a broken planet.”
An island of sanity:
New Zealand has declared a climate emergency and committed to a carbon-neutral government by 2025, in what the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, called 'one of the greatest challenges of our time'.
Speaking in parliament after its introduction, Ardern said the country must 'act with urgency'. Wednesday’s declaration also said the government would 'demonstrate what is possible to other sectors of the economy by reducing the government’s own emissions and becoming a carbon-neutral government by 2025'.
Despite Trump Efforts to Foment War With Iran, Experts Say Biden Has Chance to Restore Needed Diplomacy
Progressive experts on US-Iranian relations on Wednesday urged caution—and expressed hope for renewed diplomatic efforts from the incoming Biden administration—following news that Iran's parliament voted to increase uranium enrichment just days after the nation's top nuclear scientist was gunned down in an assassination plot endorsed by President Donald Trump and which many believe was carried out by the Israeli government.
Iran's response to the November 27 murder of nuclear physicist Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh came on Tuesday in the form of a bill in the Majlis, or parliament, that would suspend United Nations inspections of the country's nuclear facilities and compel the government to increase uranium enrichment if Euoprean nations that signed the landmark 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) don't provide relief from deadly U.S.-led economic sanctions.
Iranian state media reported that 251 of 260 Majlis members voted to approve a draft of the bill, even as President Hassan Rouhani opposed the measure, believing it to be "harmful to the trend of diplomatic activities" in service of saving the JCPOA, commonly called the Iran nuclear deal. Under pressure from hardliners in the U.S. and Israel, President Donald Trump unilaterally abrogated the six-nation agreement in May 2018—even after certifying Tehran regime's compliance with its terms.
Rouhani's opposition to parliament's move is likely aimed at President-elect Joe Biden, who repeated his intention to re-engage Iran and rejoin the JCPOA in an interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman published Wednesday.
As it has periodically done over the past two decades, the U.S. intelligence community last year affirmed that Iran is not trying to build nuclear weapons and that Tehran remained in compliance with the JCPOA even after the U.S. reneged on the deal.
Faced with such inconvenient reality, neoconservatives and others hostile to Iran have resorted to either misinformation or shifting the goal posts regarding Tehran's intentions or military capabilities.
Now, say hawkish U.S. voices like Friedman, it's not about nuclear weapons, but rather long-range missiles and even its drones.
"Look," Biden told Friedman, "there's a lot of talk about precision missiles and all range of other things that are destabilizing the region. [But] the best way to achieve getting some stability in the region" involves dealing "with the nuclear program."
Biden's willingness to re-engage the Iranian regime and Rouhani's opposition to the Majlis bill were welcomed by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), whose policy director, Ryan Costello, on Wednesday condemned what he called the Trump administration's "outrageous and illegal actions" that he said are "aimed at closing the door on diplomacy" and making any Biden-era rapprochement more difficult.
Israel’s parliament has passed a preliminary bill to dissolve itself, a move that threatens to break apart an already fractured coalition government and trigger a fourth election in less than two years.
Wednesday’s vote, which is not final and requires further readings, was largely seen as a gambit by Benny Gantz, the former head of the opposition who reluctantly joined Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition this year to assert his authority.
The bill passed 61 to 54, with the potential for further legislation to formally dissolve the house as soon as next week, which would lead to an election in the spring. Gantz’s Blue and White party pushed through Wednesday’s bill with support from smaller opposition parties.
In a televised speech on Tuesday night, Gantz, who serves as defence minister, accused the country’s longest-serving leader of lying and sidelining his demands, in particular, a proposed budget.
“Netanyahu likes to compare us to the most progressive and successful countries in the world,” Gantz said. “Show me one other country where a prime minister sabotages his own country’s budget.” However, he added elections could be avoided if the prime minister agreed to the budget. He said: “Netanyahu, the burden of proof is on you.”
Britain’s hopes of securing an early trade deal with the US have been dashed by a warning from Joe Biden, the president-elect, that America will not sign a trade deal with anyone until the US has sorted out its competitiveness. Britain had been closing in on a trade deal with the administration of Donald Trump, a fierce opponent of the European Union, but Biden has said in a New York Times interview that his priorities will be to improve investment in US manufacturing and the protection of American workers.
“I’m not going to enter any new trade agreement with anybody until we have made major investments here at home and in our workers and in education,” he said.
Some supporters of Brexit had touted a US trade deal as one of the early benefits of leaving the EU and its customs union, although the economic value of such a deal had been questioned. Biden told the New York Times: “I want to make sure we’re going to fight like hell by investing in America first.” He named energy, biotech, advanced materials and artificial intelligence as areas ripe for large-scale government investment in research.
The remarks underline the extent to which leading Democrats have retreated from a wholesale embrace of globalisation, and insist US foreign policy must give greater priority to America’s domestic interests.
The UK has become the first western country to license a vaccine against Covid, opening the way for mass immunisation with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to begin next week for those most at risk.
The vaccine has been authorised for emergency use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), before decisions by the US and Europe. The MHRA was given power to approve the vaccine by the government under special regulations before 1 January, when it will become fully responsible for medicines authorisation in the UK after Brexit.
The first doses of the vaccine would arrive in the coming days, said the company. The UK has bought 40m doses of the vaccine, which has been shown to have 95% efficacy in its final trials. ...
The health secretary, Matt Hancock, said the first doses would be issued to the most vulnerable people. The UK would have 800,000 doses available next week, he said.
Critics Smell 'Economic Sabotage' as McConnell Unveils Covid Plan With $0 for Unemployment Boost, Direct Payments
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday began circulating a coronavirus relief proposal whose contents offer so little assistance to the tens of millions of jobless, hungry, and eviction-prone Americans that critics warned the Kentucky Republican is actively working to ensure the U.S. economy remains mired in deep recession as Biden administration takes charge next month.
Described as a "targeted" relief proposal, McConnell's plan is heavily geared toward providing corporations with immunity from coronavirus-related lawsuits; the offer includes a liability shield that Public Citizen's Remington Gregg described as "breathtakingly broad." The Kentucky Republican's plan also contains a 100% tax deduction for business meals.
Meanwhile, McConnell's proposed relief measure does not include a boost to federal unemployment insurance, instead calling for a mere one-month extension of existing programs and stricter requirements for applicants in the name of preventing "fraud." The Republican's proposal also omits another round of direct stimulus payments and aid to cash-strapped state and local governments.
"Leave it to Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump to propose a bill that creates tax write-offs for fancy lunches and gives the middle finger to working families and 20 million unemployed Americans," said Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.). "This is not a serious proposal, it is a slap in the face to people who need help."
In the months ahead of the November election and in the weeks since, analysts have cautioned that if McConnell maintains his stranglehold on the Senate, the Kentucky Republican could attempt to impose devastating economic austerity with the goal of undermining Biden's presidency and gaining GOP seats in 2022 and beyond. McConnell's new relief proposal only bolstered those concerns.
"McConnell is making it pretty clear that if Dems don't win the Georgia Senate races, he will cripple the American economy, hoping it will let the GOP win the midterm," tweeted journalist Jon Walker. ...
Ahead of the introduction of the bipartisan proposal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday sent a relief offer of their own to McConnell but declined to provide specifics.
"I'm not going to get in the details," Schumer said Tuesday. "It was a private proposal to help us move the ball forward."
With an estimated 12 million Americans set to lose unemployment benefits on the day after Christmas without action from Congress, a group of five senators—including Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Schumer—introduced legislation that would retroactively extend the lapsed $600-per-week federal boost to unemployment insurance through October 2021.
ACLU Sues to Find Out How and Why Federal Agencies Are Accessing Americans' Cell Phone Location Data
After a series of news reports that have alarmed civil liberties advocates and progressive lawmakers, the ACLU sued on Wednesday to find out how and why federal agencies are buying access to bulk databases of Americans' cell phone location information and effectively bypassing the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement.
"We're suing to bring some much-needed transparency to these disturbing practices," Nathan Freed Wessler, a staff attorney with the ACLU's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, explains in a blog post about the new lawsuit. "Transparency is the first step to accountability."
As the complaint details, the legal group filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to force the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and two agencies it oversees, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), "to release records about their purchases of cell phone location data for immigration enforcement and other purposes."
It’s critical we uncover how federal agencies are accessing bulk databases of location data and why. There can’t be accountability without transparency.
If the government can buy its way around the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement, our privacy rights will be in danger.
— ACLU (@ACLU) December 2, 2020
Freed Wessler notes that "more than nine months after we submitted a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act, DHS, CBP, and ICE have yet to provide us with a single responsive record. DHS has even refused to provide its legal memorandum about these practices to U.S. senators who have requested it."
Earlier this year, Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) requested an inspector general investigation into CBP's warrantless use of commercial databases containing Americans' cell phone location information—including by paying nearly half a million dollars to the government contractor Venntel.
In a statement Wednesday, those same senators announced that DHS will launch the requested probe, with Wyden declaring that "the public deserves answers and accountability," and vowing that he "won't accept anything less than a thorough and swift inspector general investigation."
"Americans are increasingly concerned that they cannot travel, move, or go about their daily lives without being tracked. Information about where we are and where we have been is highly sensitive, and it's time for answers about exactly how the Department of Homeland Security is accessing this type of data," noted Markey. "The right to privacy must not become a thing of the past."
Google violated US labor laws when it surveilled and terminated workers who organized employee protests, according to a complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
The complaint was filed on Wednesday following a year-long investigation launched by terminated employees who filed a petition with the board in 2019, after hundreds of Google employees carried out internal protests and public demonstrations against Google’s work with US Customs and Border Protection. This came after a huge walkout in 2018 over the company’s handling of sexual harassment allegations. The Communications Workers of America union helped author the workers’ charges.
The NLRB complaint absolved two fired employees of any wrongdoing and found Google repeatedly violated US labor law by using “terminations and intimidation in order to quell workplace activism”. It also found Google’s accessing of worker calendars and other internal documents constituted unlawful surveillance.
One of the fired workers, Laurence Berland, described the NLRB’s move as significant “at a time when we’re seeing the power of a handful of tech billionaires consolidate control over our lives and our society”. Berland was fired while organizing to expose and counter Google’s continuing efforts to work with the union-busting firm IRI Consultants.
'Bye-Bye, Betsy DeVos. You Won't Be Missed,' Says Sanders as Billionaire Education Secretary Attacks Push for Tuition-Free College
Sen. Bernie Sanders late Tuesday called Betsy DeVos "the worst education secretary in the history of America" and made abundantly clear that he's not mourning her imminent departure after the billionaire school privatization zealot lashed out at popular proposals to cancel student loan debt and make public colleges and universities tuition-free.
"What do you call a billionaire who registered a $40 million, 164-foot yacht in the Cayman Islands to avoid $2.4 million in U.S. taxes, while undermining public schools? The worst education secretary in the history of America," tweeted the Vermont senator, a leading proponent of student debt cancellation and tuition-free higher education. "Bye-bye, Betsy DeVos. You won't be missed."
Hmm. What do you call a billionaire who registered a $40 million, 164-foot yacht in the Cayman Islands to avoid $2.4 million in U.S. taxes, while undermining public schools? The worst Education Secretary in the history of America. Bye-bye, Betsy DeVos. You won't be missed. https://t.co/KCbsTs4aCY
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 2, 2020
In a speech at an Education Department financial aid conference on Tuesday, the outgoing education secretary dismissed as "government gift-giving" proposals to forgive crippling student loan debt and eliminate tuition for public colleges and universities.
"We've heard shrill calls to cancel, to forgive, to make it all free. Any innocuous label out there can't obfuscate what it really is: Wrong," said DeVos, who last year proposed handing the federal government's $1.6 trillion student loan portfolio over to a "stand-alone government corporation." Critics slammed the proposal as an attempt to prevent the next president from canceling any of the debt.
President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to forgive a portion of the student debt held by tens of millions of Americans and make public colleges and universities tuition-free for families with incomes below $125,000 a year. The former vice president has not yet announced his pick to succeed DeVos.
A top adviser to President-elect Joe Biden, Cynthia Hogan, worked as a lead lobbyist for Apple as it helped push through President Donald Trump’s corporate tax cut, a giveaway that resulted in a massive windfall for the Cupertino, California-based tech giant.
Biden has resisted calls to bar registered lobbyists from his administration, a looser policy than employed by former President Barack Obama. The policy is a boon to his close adviser and sometimes lobbyist Steve Ricchetti, but also to Hogan, who converted her history of helping Biden write the Violence Against Women Act into a prime lobbying gig for the NFL as it came under fire for its handling of its own domestic violence scandal, when video of Ray Rice’s assault of his wife was published by TMZ.
The 2017 Republican tax law slashed the previous 35 percent corporate tax rate and passed a range of provisions that mostly benefited the wealthiest 1 percent. Apple stock quickly hit record highs and enriched shareholders, including 43 GOP lawmakers who championed the law while holding all sorts of individual stocks, a Center for Public Integrity analysis found. At the time, Apple had stashed at least $250 billion in profits overseas, more than any other American company. The tech giant also spent more than $7.4 million on government lobbying throughout 2017, a significant jump from previous years, disclosures showed.
Lobbying disclosures show that Hogan was one of a team of Apple lobbyists who lobbied the House, Senate, and Treasury Department on “corporate tax reform,” “international tax reform and issues related to foreign regulatory actions,” as well as “issues related to state sales tax, mobile workforce, and taxation of digital goods.” The lobbying came throughout 2017, including during the third and fourth quarter of that year, as Trump’s tax cut was being finalized and passed. For all of 2017, Apple registered spending nearly $7 million lobbying Congress and the administration directly. In 2018, still under Hogan’s guidance, the company continued lobbying on “corporate tax reform” as the law’s regulations were being implemented, increasing their spending in the first quarter of that year to $2.14 million, the documents show.
Hogan has been one of Biden’s most loyal aides, serving as an adviser to the president-elect throughout his career in the Senate and the Obama administration, first joining his Senate Judiciary Committee staff in 1991. She left the public sector at the end of Obama’s first term and went on to spend several years in the corporate world. She’s one of a handful of Silicon Valley insiders, including former Facebook executives, involved in the transition. Hogan left Apple earlier this year to join Biden’s presidential campaign and helped select his running mate, as a member of the four-person vetting panel that ultimately picked Kamala Harris.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has presided over one of the deadliest COVID outbreaks in the country — and new documents obtained by The Daily Poster detail how she helped nursing home lobbyists shield health care companies from coronavirus-related lawsuits.
Now, Raimondo — a former Wall Street executive — is reportedly being considered for the nation’s top health care policy job in the incoming Biden administration.
Politico reported last week that Raimondo, who made her name slashing state workers’ pensions, is one of the finalists to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President-elect Joe Biden. Raimondo was also previously considered for Treasury Secretary, according to the American Prospect.
As governor, Raimondo has slammed proposals to expand Medicare to cover everyone. Amid the pandemic in August, her administration approved health insurance companies’ steep premium increases that were criticized by the state’s Democratic attorney general as “unnecessary and ill-advised.” Health insurers have been raking in record profits, with fewer people seeking care because of the pandemic.
Raimondo has also pushed for Medicaid cuts that nursing home workers warned would result in unsafe staffing levels — and in April, she issued an executive order sought by health care industry lobbyists that shielded nursing homes from lawsuits when their business decisions injure or kill people. The order was later expanded to shield nursing homes, hospitals, and other health care providers.
A report into the death of an 80-year-old woman hit by a teargas grenade during a gilets jaunes demonstration in 2018 has suggested the police officer fired directly at her apartment.
Zineb Redouane was closing the shutters of her fourth floor flat in central Marseille when she was struck by the canister. Ballistic experts say it would have been travelling at more than 97 km/h when it smashed into her chest and face, causing devastating injuries. Redouane died in hospital two years ago on Wednesday.
A subsequent French report cleared the police of any wrongdoing, concluding the incident had been an accident. However, an investigation by the NGO Disclose, using reconstructions carried out by Forensic Architecture, a research group based at the University of London, contradicts the official report and suggests the officer who fired the canister had targeted residential homes.
The victim’s daughter has now lodged a legal complaint against Christophe Castaner, the interior minister at the time of her mother’s death. ...
Yassine Bouzrou, lawyer for the Redouane family told the Guardian he believed the police officer had deliberately targeted the 80-year-old. “She was at the window talking to her daughter on the phone via the loudspeaker while the police were confronting Gilets Jaunes down below and being violent. I believe the officer fired the tear gas at her directly because he thought she was filming them,” Bouzrou said.
Trump backers, including Flynn, edge toward a call to 'suspend' Constitution to head off Biden taking office
Even as prominent Republicans, including Mitch McConnell, began to grudgingly acknowledge that Joe Biden will be the next president, a noisy grassroots movement devoted to keeping Donald Trump in office seemed to be edging closer to advocating seizing power in what would amount to a coup d’état.
The day after a group run by a local Ohio tea party leader took out a full-page ad in the Washington Times calling on Trump to declare martial law and have the military oversee a redo of the presidential election using only paper ballots — a call echoed in a tweet by Gen. Michael Flynn — a raucous “Stop the Steal” rally in suburban Atlanta urged Trump supporters to descend on the statehouse on Thursday and demand the resignations of Georgia’s governor and secretary of state. In a press release announcing the ad published Tuesday by We the People Convention, the group’s president, Tom Zawistowski, said, “We wanted to express our concerns to the President, to the legislators, courts and Congress that We the People will NOT cede our exclusive Constitutional right to elect our Representatives to judges, lawyers, courts, Governors, Secretary’s of State, Congress, corrupt election officials and local politicians, the corrupt media — or Leftist threats of violence!”
“I will see you tomorrow at the state Capitol,” attorney and Trump ally L. Lin Wood told the crowd who had gathered to hear him and former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell speak in Alpharetta, Ga., on Wednesday. “Stay mad as hell! We’re not going to take it anymore!” ...
The ad published by We the People Convention in Tuesday’s Washington Times highlights some of the extreme executive measures used by Abraham Lincoln at the start of the Civil War and suggests that Trump must take similarly drastic actions, arguing that “today, the current threat to the United States by the international and domestic socialist/communist left is much more serious than anything Lincoln or our nation has faced in its history — including the civil war.”
Later on, the letter returns to the divide over the election results and cites recent reports of record gun sales in the U.S., stating that, “without a fair vote, we fear, with good reason, the threat of a shooting civil war is imminent.” ...
Around the same time, the White House released a 46-minute video of what Trump called “maybe the most important speech I’ve ever made,” in which he rehashed all his unproven or disproven theories about election fraud. He did not, however, echo the call for martial law. He has said he will leave office on Jan. 20 if he is the loser after all the “legal” votes have been counted.
It's worth a click to see the photos in this article:
When TJ Watt first stood at the base of a towering western red cedar on Canada’s Pacific coast, the ancient giant was surrounded by thick moss and ferns, and the sounds of a vibrant forest ecosystem.
When he returned a few months later, all that remained was a massive stump, set against a landscape that was unrecognizable. “To come back and see a place that was so magnificent and complex just completely and utterly destroyed is just gut-wrenching,” he said.
Watt’s photographs of the forest – and the grim aftermath of logging – are now the centrepiece of a campaign by the Ancient Forest Alliance to capture the impact of clearcutting old growth trees in British Columbia. Despite recent efforts by the province to protect these fragile forests, conservationists say far more is needed to prevent the collapse of ecosystems.
Watt has photographed clearcuts in the province for more than a decade with the AFA, but said the “graveyard of stumps” in the Caycuse watershed remains a jarring sight.
“We’re in the midst of a global climate environmental crisis yet here in Canada, a first world country, we’re allowing the destruction of some of the most highly endangered old growth forests on the planet,” he said. “A lot of people are shocked that that’s still happening here. It’s not illegal. The government sanctions it.”
A coalition of over 100 groups on Tuesday told U.S. senators that nuclear power is a false solution to the climate crisis as they urged lawmakers to reject proposed legislation that would "put short-sighted economic interests ahead of human lives, racial justice, the health of our environment, and safe drinking water."
The measure in question is the American Nuclear Infrastructure Act of 2020. Introduced in November by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) along with Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), the legislation seeks to "eestablish United States global leadership in nuclear energy, revitalize domestic nuclear energy supply chain infrastructure, support the licensing of advanced nuclear technologies, and improve the regulation of nuclear energy, and for other purposes."
The proposed legislation, S. 4897, advanced at a Senate Environment and Public Works hearing Wednesday.
According to Mitch Jones, policy director at Food & Water Watch, "This bill misdirects our investment away from technologies that will speed the deployment of renewables and into an industry that is already being propped up by rate-payer subsidies"
"Instead of propping up the nuclear energy industry," Jones continued, "Congress should be driving the transition to truly renewable energy.”
Food & Water Watch is among the signatories to the new letter that outlines the groups' opposition to S. 4897, including that it fails to address multiple long-standing problems with nuclear technology and stands to worsen already existing crises.
The letter cites as one example the mandate for the establishment of a national uranium reserve, which means more uranium mining. But the groups say the legislation would not require mitigation of the environmental harms of uranium mining, and, while "the bill does restrict procurement of uranium for the reserve from mines that are not located on Indigenous peoples' lands, it does not prohibit mining on those lands entirely."
"Neither does the bill prohibit procurement of uranium for the reserve quota from mines and mills that impact other environmental justice communities," the letter says.
The letter further notes that there are already 15,000 abandoned uranium mines—a situation the groups declare a "national crisis"—and while legislation includes $1 billion for cleanup on Indigenous land, that amount doesn't adequately match the scale of the problem.
"We need to invest in a transition to efficient, renewable, clean energy technologies that can scale up as rapidly as possible, as affordably as possible, to reduce emissions as aggressively as possible. Nuclear energy does not meet any of these criteria," the letter adds, pointing to the fact that there have been dozens of canceled or shelved new nuclear reactors over the past several decades.
The groups also said the legislation's "provisions to curtail environmental and licensing reviews are short-sighted, reducing up-front costs while short-circuiting democratic protections against nuclear safety and environmental impacts. "
The directive for the Treasury to give an economic lifeline to reactors also came in for criticism, as taxpayers could be "fleeced to pay uneconomical subsidies when cheaper alternatives and more strategic investments are available."
Additional problems are that S. 4897 would contribute to nuclear weapons proliferation "by commercializing technologies for higher-grade enrichment and plutonium processing" and amplify nuclear disaster risks.
The "Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has adopted regulations making it optional—not required—to address verified vulnerabilities to flooding and earthquakes," the groups wrote, and accused the commission of having "canceled hundreds of required, scheduled safety inspections, security drills, and emergency preparedness exercises, for up to two years."
Also of Interest
Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.
A Little Night Music
Johnnie Johnson - Blues Shuffle
Chuck Berry and Johnnie Johnson - House of Blue Lights
Johnnie Johnson - Movin' Out
Johnnie Johnson - Everyday I Have The Blues
Johnnie Johnson - Kansas City
Eric Clapton, Johnnie Johnson, and Chuck Leavell - Mean Old World
Johnnie Johnson - Honky Tonk Train Blues
Johnnie Johnson & Eric Clapton - Blues #572
Johnnie Johnson & Keith Richards - Key To The Highway
Johnnie Johnson & Eric Clapton - Creek Mud