texas climate news launches

New resource for those tracking environmental news in Texas: Check out Texas Climate News, “reporting on climate change and sustainability issues,” a project by Bill Dawson and funded through the Houston Advanced Research Center and the Houston Endowment.

Some of you may remember my attempt at something similar after leaving the Houston Press years back. This project looks to have, through a more sober business model, that sticking power that would suggest bookmarking is in order.

Dawson, a former enviro writer at the Houston Chronicle, has been writing about climate change and related issues since the ’80s.

His thoughts on Ike are required reading:

Will Ike, other storms spur new thinking?

Hurricane IkeBesides their dramatic, immediate impacts – the harm to people and property and nature – environmental disasters can exert a profound influence on attitudes and actions, including the policies that governments and businesses adopt.

Think of the toxic waste at Love Canal in New York State. The nuclear plant accident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania. The runaway chemical reaction that killed thousands at Bhopal, India. The mammoth oil spill from the Exxon Valdez in Alaska. Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans and coastal Mississippi. All prompted far-reaching study, debate and policy changes.

Also Ike-motivated this week, I was running a parody shop at the SA Current, with my impressions of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s damned-if-we-don’t approach to regulation and general defense running for the nuke industry.

Check out:

Pushing nukes at the NRC
SA’s power plants skirt pressure test as federal regulators exempt industry from terrorism studies

I spent much of last weekend working on some event vids for work.

First, block-walking with Esperanza’s best for freedom of assembly/freedom of speech:

Second, AGUA’s tinfoil hat party:

Breaking on uranium horizon: URI to shut down production at Kingsville.

URI’s quarterly report (11.10.08):

Falling prices and rising costs have led to a decline in margins to a level that we believe does not justify further wellfield development at any of our projects and, therefore, have deferred all activities for delineating or developing wellfields until a stronger pricing environment is realized …

As of the end of October 2008, one wellfield at Kingsville Dome was shutdown after the depletion of reserves; as was the last wellfield at Vasquez. The Vasquez project has been depleted of economically recoverable reserves.

The Rosita wellfield, where oxygen injection started in June 2008, resulted in low levels of production … and production was suspended in October 2008.

By the end of the first quarter of 2009 we expect all production [for Kingsville Dome, Vasquez and Rosita] will cease until there is a recovery in uranium prices.

Since September, and the rapid descent of uranium prices, we made the recent decisions to produce out the remaining operating wellfields and further reduce costs.   Our near term plans are to operate with a core group of key employees that will focus on reclamation, maintenance and regulatory requirements.

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