Category Archives: Energy

Dirtball’s ‘Green’ Jeans Are Made In U.S. From Recycled Water Bottles

I’m always pleased when I see any article about things being made in the USA again.  It’s even nicer when it’s something leveraging “Green” technology and being headquartered in North Carolina.  North Carolina can use all the positive publicity it can get these days as the Governor and his cronies in Raleigh try to drag us back to the days of Jesse Helms….

I’m also glad someone has found a positive use for all those water bottles Americans, most of whom only walk about 3 feet a day, seem to always carry with them.  I guess they are afraid of dehydrating walking to the car to drive to McDonalds….

Anyway, here is an excerpt from  interesting article from the Huffington Post.  I encourage you to clink the link and read more…

 

How do you get more American than blue jeans? How about making them in America, for starters. That\’s what the eco-friendly fashion company Dirtball is doing with its new line of denim, which will be made entirely in the USA.

The blue jean has a green twist, as well. Dirtball CEO Joe Fox brags that the jeans are eco-friendly since they\’re made out of recycled water bottles (and cotton). The Green Jean just hit its $40,000 funding target on Kickstarter.

Here\’s a quick preview from the company\’s website:

More:    Dirtball’s ‘Green’ Jeans Are Made In U.S. From Recycled Water Bottles.

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How Pelosi Saved Boehner’s You-Know-What | Mother Jones

The GOP just can’t lead- or govern.

And they demonize Nancy Pelosi because she can do both so well.

From David Corn at MotherJones.com:

When the voting began on the controversial—and ugly—debt ceiling bill in the House of Representatives on Monday, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the Democratic leader, did not know how many votes House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had for the measure that had been crafted by President Barack Obama and the Republicans. Boehner had not reached out to her to make certain that the crucial legislation designed to prevent a potentially disastrous US default would be approved. When Boehner “went to the table”—brought the bill to a vote—he “had no idea” how many votes he had, Pelosi says.

Want to learn more about the debt ceiling fight? Read the editors on the real problem with John Boehner, review our detailed, updated explainer on how we got to this point, and learn why Kevin Drum thinks the deal sucks. Still hungry? David Corn has a great story on the Obama administration’s political strategy.

The speaker, as it turned out, did not have enough Republican votes to pass the bill—only 174—and he had made no arrangement to guarantee its success. When there were minutes left for the vote, and it became apparent that Boehner would fall far short of the 216 votes necessary for passage, Pelosi’s Democrats began voting in favor of the measure. “We were not going to let it go down,” she told a small group of journalists on Wednesday morning.

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In past years, a House speaker and the leader of the opposition would probably confer before such a crucial vote and figure out how to move the legislation through the chamber. (Boehner and Pelosi both were supporting this bill, albeit Pelosi quite reluctantly.)  And many outside observers assumed that Boehner and Pelosi had indeed convened prior to this vote, that a conversation such as this had occurred: Nancy, I can get up to 170 or so votes, but not all those tea party guys. John, I can tell you that at least 50 Democrats are going to hold their noses and vote for this stinker. Yet when the final dramatic vote arrived, Pelosi was surprised that Boehner was so short of the magic 216. “When they didn’t come to us for votes,” Pelosi recalls, “we thought they had the votes on their own.”

But Boehner didn’t. So the Democrats, having waited to see how many Republicans would back the measure, started filling in the gap. Pelosi didn’t have to send any signal. Her Democrats, she says, are a “sophisticated” group, and they could see that without Democratic support the bill would fail.

In a routine situation, if the House speaker were to bring a bill to the floor and only obtain 174 votes of his or her own party, he or she would pull the legislation and then talk to the other side, which would expect concessions or sweeteners in return for the votes necessary to assemble a majority. In this case, Pelosi maintains, there was no time for further bargaining. The measure had to be approved and kicked over to the Senate, for the possibility of default loomed. “I don’t know nobody [in the Democratic caucus] who wanted to vote for it,” Pelosi notes. But Democrats were committed to forestalling default. In the end, half of her caucus supported the measure, far more than necessary to put it over the top.

via How Pelosi Saved Boehner’s You-Know-What | Mother Jones.

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An Average American Pays A Higher Income Tax Rate Than ExxonMobil

An interesting fact that I’ve pointed out before…

Bears repeating…

All around the country, Americans are feeling the pinch of high gas prices. Yet one group that is not only not feeling the pain of these prices but is profiting off of them are the big oil companies.

In fact, ExxonMobil, “the largest American oil company,” raked in $30.5 billion in profit in 2010, “making it the most profitable Fortune 500 company for the eighth year in a row.”

The Center for American Progress’s Valeri Vasquez has put out a new report titled “Exxon Mobil Dodges the Tax Man,” which finds that the effective income tax rate for the average American is higher than the effective rate for the oil giant over the past few years. The effective tax rate for the average American in 2007, the last year for which data is available, was 20.4 percent. The annual Exxon federal effective rate between 2008 and 2010, meanwhile, was 17.6 percent:

via ThinkProgress » GRAPH: An Average American Pays A Higher Income Tax Rate Than ExxonMobil.

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Renewable energies could supply 80 percent of world’s demand by 2050: UN report

If the Oil Companies didn’t own our government, we would be moving faster to recognize this and prepare for the future….

Our oil dependency is rapidly making us a third world country….

Think of all the jobs we could create if we really dedicated ourselves to oil independence and clean energy…

Governments approved on Monday a U.N. report projecting that renewable energies such as solar, wind or hydropower could leap to supply almost 80 percent of the world’s demand by 2050, with the right policies.

The study broadly matched a draft written by scientists before the meeting, but environmental group Greenpeace said some findings were watered down due to opposition by OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia and also by Brazil.

The report by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also said that a shift to cleaner energies would help cut greenhouse gas emissions, which it blamed for climate change including floods, droughts, heat waves and rising sea levels.

“Close to 80 percent of the world energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies,” it said in a statement after government delegates approved a special report at talks in Abu Dhabi.

“This will be the standard book for renewables,” said Sven Teske of Greenpeace, one of the authors.

He said he was happy with the overall report but that the summary for policymakers had toned down, for instance, formerly clear statements that renewable energies were often already cost effective.

“Parts have been watered down,” he said of the report, which was agreed at the IPCC meeting in Abu Dhabi which began on May 5. The final session lasted through the night.

via Renewable energies could supply 80 percent of world’s demand by 2050: UN report | The Raw Story.

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Dems To Force Vote On Ending Oil Subsidies

This should be interesting…

I hope the Dems can continue to “out” the Republicans and their true agenda of supporting the Corporations and the Rich at the expense of the Middle Class…

Or what’ left of the Middle Class after the GOP policies of the Bush Administration….

From the Huffington Post:

Eager to prove that Republicans don’t want to end oil subsidies despite public GOP opposition, House Democrats plan to force a vote Thursday on a measure that would block a major tax break for the five largest oil companies.

As Republicans call for major cuts to domestic spending, Democrats are pushing for tax code changes that would allow the government to bring in more money, particularly from high-profit industries Democrats say do not pay their fair share. President Barack Obama and key Democrats have called for an end to some oil and gas subsidies, arguing gas prices are high enough to sustain industry investment in the United States.

John Hofmeister, the former president of Shell Oil, said in February that major oil companies do not need government help given the high price of gas.

Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) made a similar point at a Tuesday briefing with reporters, shooting down questions about whether ending oil subsidies could increase the price of gas.

“The gas companies are making record profits,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a credible argument that reducing the subsidy on a product that is now getting record prices…will lead to higher [gas] prices.”

House Speaker John Boehner indicated some support for reconsidering those subsidies last week, telling ABC News that they “ought to be paying their fair share.” Obama quickly jumped on the statement, sending a letter to Congress urging an end to the tax breaks.

Boehner quickly walked back the statement, and last Thursday turned down a request by Democrats to vote on legislation to eliminate billions of dollars of oil subsidies.

via Dems To Force Vote On Oil Subsidies.

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Infrastructure Improvements ‘Key To Recovery,’ Report Says

This is what really scares me about the short sighted group in Washington today…

If we don’t start making infrastructure investments, not only will the economy stall, but we won’t be positioned to move forward and compete with other nations…

Another example of where we are heading toward becoming a Third World Country if we don’t start investing in infrastructure and our future…

Slaughter wrote that modernization efforts like high-speed rail development are vital to economic growth — and helped make the U.S. a leading economy in the first place: “High-quality infrastructure has helped boost U.S. productivity and standards of living, in part by encouraging global companies to create high-paying jobs here. Today, however, America’s infrastructure is deteriorating — both in absolute terms and relative to other countries that are rapidly bolstering their infrastructure.”

The nation’s aging infrastructure was thrown into sharp relief in August 2007 when an interstate bridge jammed with rush hour traffic suddenly collapsed, pitching dozens of cars into the Mississippi River below and killing 13 people.

via Infrastructure Improvements ‘Key To Recovery,’ Report Says.

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Ann Coulter: ‘Radiation is Actually Good For You’ | TPMDC

This woman isn’t as dumb as she seems.

She knows that saying insane things like this will get her publicity.

She’s not dumb, just evil….

And insensitive…

And a totally self-absorbed, self-promoting opportunist…

I can’t stand the sight of her…

According to conservative columnist Ann Coulter, this whole Japanese nuclear crisis is overblown and “radiation is actually good for you” and the media isn’t reporting its benefits enough.

On The O’Reilly Factor last night, Coulter spoke about her recent column that cites a number of articles in the New York Times and “a stunning number of physicists” showing radiation has a positive effect on cancer patients.

A skeptical O’Reilly retorted Coulter’s evidence with this, “by your account we should all be heading for the nuclear reactor leaking and kind of sunbathing out there in front of — come on.”

Coulter responded by citing a study, mentioned by the Times , held in Canada finding that tuberculosis patients subjected to multiple chest X-rays had much lower rates of breast cancer than the general population. “There may be some doses of radiation in the human body can ward off infection,” she said.

Joking aside, O’Reilly wanted Coulter to be “responsible” and admit that “some radiation will kill you.” Coulter refused.

via Ann Coulter: ‘Radiation is Actually Good For You’ (Video) | TPMDC.

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Sanders introduces millionaire surtax to slash deficit | The Raw Story

Okay…81% of Americans favor this, but it doesn’t have a chance in hell of passing in Congress…

So much for representative democracy for anyone except the Rich and the Oil Companies….

WASHINGTON – As Democrats and Republicans battle over how much spending should be cut to bridge the budget shortfall, one senator is focusing on the other side of the equation: revenues.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Thursday afternoon introduced a bill (pdf) that would establish a surtax on millionaires and strip tax deductions for oil companies — a proposal he claims would cut the deficit by about $50 billion.

The Emergency Deficit Reduction Act would accomplish this by raising taxes by 5.4 percent on annual income over $1 million.

Congress has yet to pass a budget to fund the government for fiscal 2011, approving three continuing resolutions to avoid a shutdown. The latest expires March 18. The Senate rejected the Democratic and Republican proposals Wednesday.

A NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found late February that 81 percent of Americans believe a surtax on millionaires is an acceptable way to close the budget shortfall.

Yet in Congress, the quest is a lonely one. Though leaders of both parties admit the deficit is a pressing problem, none have advanced tax increases to trim the gap. And the outspoken Vermonter isn’t pulling any punches.

Republicans, Sanders fumed, want to balance the budget “solely on the backs of the middle class and some of the most vulnerable people in this country.” Democrats, he added, aren’t “serious” about deficits if they ignore revenues.

via Sanders introduces millionaire surtax to slash deficit | The Raw Story.

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Use It Up, Wear It Out – Consumers Hold On to Stuff Longer – NYTimes.com

Some positive news on the environmental front…

I hope this becomes long term behavior and we move away from being such a disposable society…

Of course, in a Consumer driven economy, this is a mixed blessing to the economy…

Throw away the cellphone after two years? Not so fast. Ditch the flat-panel TV for an even thinner model? Maybe next year. Replace the blouse with the hole? Darn it!

Walt Truelson of Portland, Ore., has stopped replacing his car as frequently as he used to and has switched to paying for cellphone minutes as he uses them, rather than subscribing to a monthly plan.

Consumer spending has picked up, but for some Americans the recession has left something behind: a greater interest in making stuff last.

For a number of products — cars, phones, computers, even shampoo and toothpaste — the data shows a slowing of product life cycles and consumption. In many cases the difference is mere months, but economists and consumers say the approach just may outlast a full recovery and the return of easy credit, because of the strong impression the downturn made on consumers.

It is hardly the stuff of generations past, those stung by the Great Depression, who held onto antediluvian dishware and stored canned goods until rust formed on the lids. But for the moment, many citizens of a throwaway society are making fewer visits to the trash and recycling bins.

via Use It Up, Wear It Out – Consumers Hold On to Stuff Longer – NYTimes.com.

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ThinkProgress » House GOP Says ‘So Be It’ To Taxpayers, Votes Unanimously to Protect Big Oil Subsidies

Anyone still doubt the GOP- and most of Congress- is bought and paid for by special interests?

House Republicans voted in lockstep this afternoon to protect corporate welfare for Big Oil, even as they call for draconian cuts to programs that everyday Americans depend on each day.  As the House of Representatives moved toward approving a stopgap resolution to avert a government shutdown for another two weeks, Democrats offered a motion to recommit that would have stripped the five largest oil companies of taxpayer subsidies, saving tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer funds.  The motion failed on a vote of 176-249, with all Republicans voting against (approximately a dozen Democrats joined the GOP). A similar vote two weeks ago to recoup $53 billion in taxpayer funds from Big Oil was also voted down, largely along party lines. The former CEO of Shell Oil, John Hoffmeister, recently said Big Oil doesn’t need subsidies “in face of sustained high oil prices.”  From 2005 to 2009, the largest oil companies have made a combined $485 billion in profits.

via ThinkProgress » House GOP Says ‘So Be It’ To Taxpayers, Votes Unanimously to Protect Big Oil Subsidies.

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