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  • Aftermath of Supreme Court’s Exxon decision

    Estimated time for full ecological recovery by affected species from the Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill: 15 - 30 years.

    Estimated time for full financial recovery by Exxon Mobil Corp. from yesterday's Supreme Court decision: 4.5 days.

    As written in yesterday's opinion:

    The real problem, it seems, is the stark unpredictability of punitive awards.

  • Listing polar bears as endangered species could … harm polar bears?

    Via an email from The National Center for Public Policy Research:

    The ad is being released in conjunction with a National Center for Public Policy Research policy paper, "Listing the Polar Bear Under the Endangered Species Act Because of Projected Future Global Warming Could Harm Bears and Humans Alike," by Peyton Knight and Amy Ridenour.

    The paper questions the wisdom of listing the polar bear as threatened based on environmentalist organizations' projections of future global warming because:
    • Listing the polar bear could have adverse affects on bear conservation efforts.

    Now that we know irony is dead, let's check parody's vital signs:

  • Seeing through the EPA’s BS

    Looking back at seven years of ever-looming -- yet constantly narrowly-averted -- GHG emissions regulations, it seems like it might have been a lot less painful to industry and damaging to the economy if the Bushies would have laid out a simple set of expectations early on and then just let us handle it from there. Even if the resultant regulations wouldn't have been nearly as stringent as most of us would have liked, industry might have benefited from the certainty.

    Preferring to keep us all waiting just a little longer, however, last Thursday Bush's EPA put off any possible whining about regulations until well into the next administration:

    ... Last year the Supreme Court ruled, contrary to the Bush administration's wishes, that greenhouse gases were a pollutant that came under the jurisdiction of the EPA. So the EPA's scientists took a look, and they concluded that, yes, greenhouse gases contributed to global warming and ought to be regulated under the Clean Air Act. The White House, of course, was not happy about this, so on Thursday EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson deep-sixed the scientific findings and opened up a "lengthy public comment period" to give corporate contributors the public a chance to weigh in on this.

    To which Rep. Markey (D-Mass.) adds:

    This cynical step by EPA to announce an "Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" in the coming months should be seen for what it is: an "Aspirational Notice of Procrastinational Rulemaking."

  • Mood in the hood

    John Hofmeister, President of Shell Oil Company, was on Charlie Rose Tuesday night.

    About 22 minutes into the segment, he says the following [my own transcription]:

    If we don't drill more in this country, I am quite concerned about civil disturbances in our urban areas because of the price of fuel.

    ...

    I was meeting in Los Angeles with mayor Villaraigosa and I asked him a specific question because I lived there during the Rodney King civil disturbances. [I] said, "How is the mood in the hood based upon the price of gasoline compared to the mood in the hood at the time of the Rodney King disturbances?" He said it's threshold.

    Let us drill or those people will act all crazy again! You know how they can be when it comes to things like this.

    And they say environmentalists are alarmist.