Daily Digest 12/3 - The Gift Of A Sustainable Economy, Carbon Tax Is Win-Win-Win
The Gift of a Sustainable Economy (westcoastjan)
Winsted, Connecticut, where I grew up, once had about a hundred factories and fabricators -- manufacturing such things as appliances, clocks, electrical equipment, clothing and more. They were the town's lifeblood -- the gears that spurred the local economy and provided jobs and goods for the town's 10,000 residents. Almost all the factories are gone now. Someone looking for a well-paying job likely has to commute an hour to Hartford, the nearest major city.
Walmart declined to disclose how many of its roughly 1.4 million U.S. workers are vulnerable to losing medical insurance under its new policy. In an emailed statement, company spokesman David Tovar said Walmart had “made a business decision” not to respond to questions from The Huffington Post and accused the publication of unfair coverage.
While no immediate deaths were reported, it took at least three days for the Fire Department, the National Guard and ambulance crews from around the country to rescue over 4,000 nursing home and 1,500 adult home residents. Without working elevators, many had to be carried down slippery stairwells.
Paying For It (jdargis)
Not long ago, the Congressional Research Service reported that, over the next decade, a relatively modest carbon tax could cut the projected federal deficit in half. Such a tax would be imposed not just on gasoline but on all fossil fuels—from the coal used to generate electricity to the diesel used to run tractors—so it would affect the price of nearly everything, including food and manufactured goods. To counter its regressive effects, the tax could be used as a substitute for other, even more regressive taxes, or, alternatively, some of the proceeds could be returned to low-income families as rebates (although, of course, this would cut down on the amount that could go toward deficit reduction).
Currently platinum, the very precious metal, is used in catalytic convertors on diesel cars, in order to reduce the levels of harmful emissions. Researchers at Nanostellar say they have found a successful, man-made replacement for platinum which not only is much cheaper and easier to produce, but can also reduce the polluting emissions by as much as 45% more than platinum.
In Kern, farmers pushed back after the state granted 16 exemptions in California's richest oil county. Four farmers wrote a letter to the state accusing officials of skirting the law by granting environmental waivers. The letter, sent in August by Irvine lawyer Gregory Sanders, asked regulators to explain "an institutional pattern and practice … in which the requirements of CEQA are disregarded" when considering oil permits.
The commission says that while the goals are laudable, the lack of an overarching plan for meeting them in the most efficient and integrated way possible exposes ratepayers and state government to considerable risk. In the frenzy to make its deadline for renewables, the report notes, consumers may have been locked into decades-long contracts with energy producers “at unnecessarily high prices.”
“This sets the stage for a potential ratepayer revolt,” the report said.
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