I watched the returns from Tuesday’s primaries and special elections with a special glee. It seems that Republicans under Trump are hoping to keep a coalition stitched together that consists of white nationalists, plain old racists, and older less educated white people. This seems like a recipe for failure when the head cheese puff is not on the ballot.
It is hard to imagine that the same people who would wear a shirt declaring “I would rather be Russian than a Democrat” are going to go to the polls in the midterms to vote for an establishment Republican if their spirit animal in an ill-fitting suit is not headlining the ballot.
Needless to say, Democrats and their allies on the left need to remain energized, get allies to the polls, and pull across the finish line strong. America may literally depend on it.
On to the links…
The Whole Republican Party Seems to Be Going to Jail Now—The Republican Party under Donald Trump is nothing more than a country club for corruption that happens to be located in Washington D.C. If these guys were all based in Hoboken, N.J. there would be a major racketeering investigation happening.
Bribery Trial Reveals Jeff Sessions’ Role in Blocking EPA Action Targeting One of His Biggest Donors—It is going to take years to unpack all of the corruption done by these people in the name of making America “great” again.
Coal Industry on Steady Decline under Trump’s Leadership—This is what you get with Donald Trump. A few guys will make a lot of money—probably people like Robert Murray—while everyone else gets screwed—usually the employees who actually need the jobs. Coal will be no different.
We’ve Been Talking About a National Grid for Years. It Might be Time to Do It.—All this talk of energy storage like batteries or pumped hydro misses the biggest “storage” opportunity of all—the gird. Think of the grid as a battery and a national grid as the biggest battery of all. Instead of balancing loads across a region you would have the benefit of balancing loads across the country and maybe even parts of Canada or Mexico.
Negative Electricity Pricing Abounds As Wind, Solar Flood the Grid—This is power so cheap that companies are paying people to take it. This is why we need a national power grid. When California is over producing that power could be “sent” to states where the wind is not blowing or vice versa.
Analysis Reveals That World’s Largest Battery Saved South Australia $8.9 Million In 6 Months—Now, imagine scaling this type of solution. Saving money and greenhouse gas emissions. Win, win.
Permian Decline Rate May be Steeper than Thought—There has been a new school of thought in oil markets that the U.S. is the new swing producer able to bring wells online in places like Texas and North Dakota to ameliorate price increases. It now looks like the modeling behind the production assumptions of the Permian Basin may have been too optimistic.
Lloyd’s Bank to Ditch Financing New Coal Plants—Bankers are a conservative lot and if their peers stop doing something most of the mainline, reputable banks—e.g. the ones not involved with people like Paul Manafort—will generally cease those activities as well. Coal projects may have to start looking at the loan sharks of the finance world.
1st Big US Offshore Wind Farm Scores Record-Low Price—Remember, offshore wind in the U.S. is not a mature industry with established cost estimates, employee knowledge, etc. These costs are likely to come down in the coming years.
Surprise! Electric Buses are Significantly Greener Across the US—I do not know if I would say “surprise” but it is a good outcome nonetheless. Instead of focusing on personal automobiles we should be putting our resources into electrifying public transit and commercial vehicles.
Explore the Largest Coastal Restoration Project Completed In Louisiana’s History—On an Earth where we, humans, have changed every landscape to some degree the conversation needs to pivot from preservation to restoration. How do we restore natural ecosystems that have been damaged by humans?
Postcards from the Edge—The Berkeley Pit in Butte, Montana is what the current administration would like most of America to look like save for the views from Trump’s own golf courses. Remember, solar panels and wind turbines are a blight but toxic open pit mines are tremendous.
Nuclear Wasteland: The Explosive Boom and Long, Painful Bust of American Uranium Mining—If you want to wonder what will become of places like Bear Ears and Grand Escalante Staircase under a Ryan Zinke and Donald Trump regime just look at the history of uranium mining in the western U.S. Many of these landscapes and communities have not recovered from the damage done over thirty years ago.
Meet America’s Elite Farm Subsidy Club—It’s Farm Bill time which means that Republicans are going to whine about cutting SNAP benefits for poor people because we all “know” that food stamps is what is bankrupting the United States. It could not possibly be that we allow rich people to loot America. Not at all.
Fascinating Look at How America Uses its Land—Just take a moment to see how we use land in aggregate in the United States and think about how your personal choices play into this land use. Think of all the opportunities for restoration: