This is the document that leaked. Note: It could change by the time Romney gives his speech. Perhaps the utility of renewable energy and leading in the green space came to Romney in a dream or something. But given how closely this paper hews to our prediction, I think it's a safe bet to take it as final.
This morning the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to put into effect regulations requiring that oil and mining companies report payments to foreign governments. From The Hill (which figured its headline might garner a few extra clicks):
The rules, which were required under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, do not appear to contain several provisions that the oil industry sought, including exemptions from the SEC filing mandate if foreign governments prohibit the disclosure.
The law forces SEC-listed oil, natural gas and mining companies to reveal payments to governments [of $100,000 or more] related to projects in their countries, such as money for production licenses, taxes, royalties and other aspects of energy and mineral projects.
It’s aimed at increasing transparency to help undo the “resource curse,” in which some impoverished countries in Africa and elsewhere are plagued by high levels of corruption and conflict alongside their energy and mineral wealth.
Nationally, West Nile cases are at three times normal levels -- the worst outbreak ever in the U.S. since the disease appeared in 1999.
So far, 1,118 illnesses have been reported, about half of them in Texas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In an average year, fewer than 300 cases are reported by mid-August. There have also been 41 deaths this year. …
Never before have so many illnesses been reported this early, said [Lyle] Petersen, who oversees the CDC’s mosquito-borne illness programs.
Most infections are usually reported in August and September, so it’s too early to say how bad this year will end up, CDC officials said.
As of tomorrow, humanity is operating in the red for 2012.
See, today is the day that the Global Footprint Network estimates that we've exhausted a year's worth of global resources. If you think of how much energy and resources the planet can replenish in a year, we've used up that amount since Jan. 1. Everything from now until New Year's Eve, then, is us putting it on our credit cards. Or, more accurately, using next year's resources. Even more accurately, some year in the 2030s' resources.
Since 1970, we've been using more resources than can be replenished, meaning we keep going deeper and deeper into the hole. Each year, "Earth Overshoot Day" (which isn't really that great a name) comes sooner.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture temporarily closed Hanford-based Central Valley Meat Co. after reviewing video footage from the animal rights group Compassion Over Killing, which said it had captured images of torture and intentional cruelty to cows. …
Federal investigators went to California on Friday to review two videos, one running three hours and the other only three minutes. Compassion Over Killing said the footage -- which it said was taken by one of its contractors who held a job inside the plant in June and July -- captured images of cows being jabbed, hit, electrically shocked and sprayed with hot water.
Gawker has a copy of the video, which I couldn't bear to watch. I also recommend steering clear of the comments there.
Tough luck, Mitt. We happen to have sussed out exactly what your energy plan contains. How'd we get this massive scoop? None of your business. Let's just say that we have our sources.
First and foremost, Romney will call for drilling everywhere. Literally everywhere. He will propose a bill that mandates an exploratory well be drilled within every square mile area of America. Actually two: one for oil and one for natural gas. Actually, three: oil, gas, and coal. And maybe one for kryptonite. The bill is expected to sail through the House.
Romney will also propose a bill that provides a financial incentive for businesses to conduct research and development into additional ways in which to use oil. Can oil replace a fax machine? Maybe. Can you use oil as wiring in an office? Only one way to find out. This bill will be named "The 2013 Anti-Terror Job Creation Act," and will be introduced on the floor by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.). It will simultaneously be introduced in Times Square by Upton's niece, Kate. (She is actually his niece.) It is expected to be passed by the House on party lines and to receive public support broken down on gender lines.
There's another reason to believe a rule is imminent: both pro- and anti-fracking groups have taken to the airwaves along the state's southern border with Pennsylvania. That's the region most likely to be cleared for new drilling, sitting on the northern rim of the natural gas-permeated Marcellus shale.
Two coalitions of landowners and businesses that support hydrofracking began a new advertising campaign last week, arguing that fracking would be an important source of new jobs and economic activity. Those groups are running an advertisement in newspapers in the Southern Tier, as well as 30- and 60-second radio ads in Albany and the Southern Tier, that focus on President Obama’s support for expanding natural gas production; the ads are scheduled to continue for several weeks.
The radio advertisements include Mr. Obama saying, at an appearance in Cincinnati last month, that “there are a lot of folks right now that are engaging in hydraulic fracking who are doing it safely.”
“We agree with you, Mr. President,” a voice says. “Governor Cuomo, please listen to the experts: issue clear, statewide guidelines for safe natural gas development now.”
The Tampa area has been spared a direct hit by a major hurricane in recent years, but it is not a question of "if" a hurricane will hit but "when." While the literature is still emerging on climate change and hurricanes, a recent study by NOAA scientists suggests that as the climate system warms, major hurricanes -- Hurricane Katrina or greater -- may be less frequent but more intense. Ocean temperatures are rising as well, and warm water is the fuel for these storms. Stronger storms coupled with elevated sea level clearly means a greater inland storm-surge hazard.
If, as expected, the new rules reflect draft standards published last year, they foresee a near-doubling of US-made cars’ average fuel efficiency by 2025 from 27.5 miles per US gallon at present to 54.5mpg, under test conditions.
Mr Obama set out the plan in July last year, following an agreement with 13 leading carmakers to support the new standards, which he described as “the single most important step we’ve ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil”.
The official assessment of the environmental impact of the new regulations, published by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last month, shows that the changes could cut the country’s road fuel demand by up to 1.19tn gallons over 2017-60, a reduction of 18 per cent from the level if the rules were not imposed.
When the new standards were announced, auto manufacturers came out in support of the efficiency increase.