Nuclear Power Pull Out by Toshiba; A Proof that we need to be careful what we wish for.

With Toshiba/Westinghouse pulling out of the nuclear power plant market, we see further proof about the economic failure of this mode of power generation. To be sure, there are a number of factors that contributed to this event, from Fukushima to regulations as they are applied in the U.S.

This is not about reducing regulatory standards. But the pull out may trigger the law of unintended consequences.

As noted, in the U.S., nuclear power plants must meet stringent safety standards. This is clearly a good thing.

These standards are effectively exported by the large companies that design and build such plants in the U.S. But with this pull out, state owned plants and companies (clearly a bad idea) can and may very well lower their standards for safety in certain parts of the world. That is clearly a bad thing.

Any ideas?

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The Murky Future of Nuclear Power in the United States
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Is it Recycling or Scavenging?

The article in Craines NY Business outlines a young entrepreneur who is getting rich on the labor of the less fortunate while he is probably undermining years of recycling education in the City of New York. There are really two questions here.

The first is that the company its relying on people scavenging (allegedly) through the unseparated garbage of certain commercial and apartment complexes to find redeemable cans and bottles.

gray market recycling operationOn its face, there are problems here. The fact that people are not separating the materials in the first place is a violation of City law. The fact that he is offering property owners a service that essentially says don’t do more to separate your recyclables as required by law is probably a violation of City Law. The fact that he is operating a gray market recycling operation without a Business Integrity Commission License is certainly a violation of the spirit of the law.

I am all for doing what can be done to enhance recycling in all locations. Recycling creates jobs and in many programs helps to employ low skilled laborers in meaningful employment while they perform a valuable service.

Unfortunately, this program relies on people to whom this “entrepreneur” is not offering any job benefits…wages, health benefits,etc…On whose earnings he does not pay any taxes as an employer is required to do. His “employees” make no contributions to their future social security or medicare payments and the company makes limited contributions to the local economy.

In many poor countries scavengers scour landfills and garbage dumps for recyclable materials and sell them to people like this gentleman. Is this really how we want to have recycling work in this country?

Let’s think again.

Read the full article:
Conrad Cutler built an empire on recycling cans. But he’s putting a dent in city revenue

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Mr. Lance again on the wrong side of history

Yet again, Mr. Lance has put party above people. He supported the repeal of a rule that was intended to reduce venting of gas wells on federal land. When one hears the head of the National Mining Association state that “It is a big, fat victory, after all this time.”, we can clearly see whom Mr. Lance represents.

National Mining Association

More importantly, we can see what he stands for. Pollution for all. Money for a few.

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G.O.P. Hurries to Slash Oil and Gas Rules, Ending Industries’ 8-Year Wait
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Representative Lance votes to allow allow coal companies to expose people to pollution

Stream Protection RuleAs noted earlier this month, Congress voted to repeal the Stream Protection Rule that would require coal companies to prevent pollution from their activities from entering drinking water. This vote, supported by Mr. Lance, effectively moves to kill a rule making that the CRS (Congressional Research Service) noted would “reduce human exposure to contaminants in drinking water, and the probability of adverse health effects.”

The CRS also pointed out that there would be a cost of $52 million to the coal industry and that up to 590 people might lose mining jobs. Of course, it is also noted that coal worker jobs would be decreasing by more than 15,000 workers due to lower demand without the rule.

I think that on balance, Ms. Rois of West Virginia said it best…”orange is not the color of water.”

Nice going Mr. Lance. Another vote to help people get sick.

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Republicans Move to Block Rule on Coal Mining Near Streams
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