Civil Disobedience Beats Big Oil in Utah

A few days ago, a young Utah resident, Tim DeChristopher used a bidding paddle as deftly as that David who hurled a rock at Goliath, effectively felling Big Oil companies bidding on ten parcels of land near his home. He might have done more, but oil and gas representatives unleashed police on the 27-year-old. Their basis? They didn’t recognize him as a regular bidder. Plainclothes officers, requested in advance by the BLM, removed him from the auction and held him for questioning, stopping him from bidding on any more of the 149,000 acres of our land that the BLM had offered up for oil leases that day.
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Mammoth Toxic Coal Ash Spill Near Knoxville

The largest environmental disaster of its kind has over 5 million cubic yards of toxic coal ash flooding an area of eastern Tennessee about 40 miles east of Knoxville. Although initially reported at 1.7 million cubic yards, it seems the wet coal ash , which poured out through a broken retaining wall from an unlined area, is actually more like three times that — enough to cover more than 3000 acres a foot deep in the sludge. Authorities claim the pond’s capacity was only 2.6 million cubic yards, leaving everyone wondering how they didn’t know that it was actually over twice that volume.

Tennessee Valley Authority, a Federally owned corporation put into existence in 1933 by F.D.R., owns the electric generating plant. Read more

Hybrid Boats for Sakana Banare (Flight From Fish)

Fishermen all across the globe have been hit hard by the increase in fuel prices. Their vessels suck down tremendous amounts of diesel, which now makes up 20-30 percent of their costs in Japan, for example, which is double from what it was 3 years ago. This has led to protests, including one day strikes. While such strikes may not mean so much to people in the States, Japan’s primary traditional diet is fish. Increases in costs have been causing the Sakana Banare, or “flight from fish.” Fishermen fear that people will switch to the less expensive burgers and chicken instead. Recently, the Japanese government has responded with 700 million in funding, promising to pay the most recent of increases themselves — but only to those fishermen who do something to reduce their costs. (Would that the U.S. government put the same conditions on the bailout money to GM and Chrysler.)
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