Keystone XL Pipeline: Jobs versus the Environment
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A proposed oil pipeline from Canada south to the Gulf Coast of Texas has divided interest groups in both political parties and raised a host of the issues crucial to next year's elections. We update the controversy over the XL pipeline. Also, powerful unions jump aboard the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, and forget the "Big Crunch." This year's Nobel Prize goes to physicists who discovered the "Dark Energy" that's causing the universe to expand.
Banner image: American actress Daryl Hannah (C) sits in front of the White House in Washington, DC, August 30, 2011, during a protest against the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Powerful Unions Jump aboard 'Occupy Wall Street' Movement ()
Even Ben Bernanke says he can't blame Occupy Wall Street, since the financial sector helped create America's current economic crisis. The Fed Chairman acknowledged that people are quite unhappy with the state of the economy and blame, "with some justification," the government's response. Today, a group of powerful unions planned to march from Foley Square near New York City Hall to Zuccotti Park in the Financial District, where a few hundred protesters have been camping out for more than two weeks. Nate Rawlings is covering developments for Time magazine.
- Nate Rawlings: Time Magazine
The Pipeline that Divides America -- in More Ways than One ()
For Democrats, it's environmentalists versus organized labor; for Republicans, the oil industry versus Midwestern farmers and ranchers. For the Obama Administration, it's a momentous decision with Hillary Clinton's State Department facing charges of "crony capitalism." The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline would bring bitumen — a tarry form of oil --1700 miles from the forests of Canada into Montana and all the way south to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas, passing through a source of drinking water for two million people. Public hearings have exposed what one reporter calls "an emotional fault line down the middle of the conservative heartland." What would it mean for jobs, the environment, energy security and election year politics?
- Kim Murphy: Los Angeles Times, @kimmurphy
- Susan Casey-Lefkowitz: Natural Resources Defense Council
- Matt Letourneau: US Chamber of Commerce
- Graham Christensen: Nebraska Farmers Union
Dark Energy and the Nobel Prize in Physics ()
Ever since Albert Einstein, astronomers had wondered if gravity would slow the expansion of the Universe and make it collapse on itself in the so-called "Big Crunch." But in the late 1990's, two groups of scientists discovered that it's working the other way. The Universe is expanding faster and faster, and the cause is "Dark Energy." The latest Nobel Prize in Physics has gone to astronomers Saul Permutter, Brian Schmidt and Adam Riess, who are responsible for that discovery. Jonathan McDowell is an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
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