FROM Abrahm Lustgarten
Drought and the Future of Colorado River's Great Dams The Glen Canyon Dam is an enormous structure located near the Utah-Arizona border about twenty miles north of the Grand Canyon. It was built to harness and store Colorado River water for surrounding states, and to generate clean energy to power the region. It stands as a symbol of twentieth century ingenuity, a feat of engineering that allowed towns to thrive in the desert. But in the reality of today's ongoing drought, with water levels at historic lows, not just at Lake Powell behind Glen Canyon Dam, but in Hoover Dam's Lake Mead as well, there's an effort underway to combine the two dams into one. The end result could save 179 billion gallons of water a year, enough for a large population city like Los Angeles. Aerial view of Glen Canyon Dam and Wahweap Basin of Lake Powell Photo: Bureau of Reclamation
Killing the Colorado Earlier on the show we heard about happens when the Southwest runs out of water through the lens of dystopian fiction form. But in real life, the Colorado River is in fact drying up. It’s not just the drought; it’s also because of the way we’re using the water . For instance, the government has doled out nearly $1 billion over the past 20 years to cotton farmers in Arizona. Cotton is an incredibly thirsty crop that requires 60% more water than a crop like wheat. How else are we responsible for the drying up of the Colorado? Photo: Kimberly Vardeman
Documentary Blames Cost Cutting for BP Oil Spill Even before it was scheduled to air tonight on PBS, Robert Dudley, the new CEO of BP, warned business leaders that his company was about to get another black eye. He said a report by ProPublica and PBS' Frontline would paint an unflattering picture of BP's safety record during its time of dramatic growth. That's according to the documentary scheduled to air tonight on PBS stations, produced by Frontline and ProPublica . ProPublica's Abrahm Lustgarten is the reporter.
BP Attempts to Plug Well: Endless Oil and Endless Blame BP has begun implementing " Top Kill ," to stop the Gulf oil gusher with mud under high pressure. Meantime, there's new evidence of warning signs before the explosion and more testimony that federal rules for deep sea drilling amounted to self-regulation. Pressure is building on the Obama Administration to take more decisive action, but there are doubts that it has the expertise or the technology.
BP Attempts to Plug Well: Endless Oil, Endless Blame BP is preparing for " Top Kill ," using mud to plug the broken oil well, if it concludes that high pressure won't cause new leaks in a weakened system. The company puts the chance of success between 60 and 70%. Meantime, there's new evidence of warning signs before the explosion and more testimony that federal rules for deep sea drilling amounted to self-regulation. Pressure is building on the Obama Administration to take more decisive action, but there are doubts that it has the expertise or the technology. We get a progress report on "Top Kill," update investigative hearings and hear what's happening to the habitats of fish, birds and people.
How the West's Energy Boom Could Threaten Drinking Water Is energy more important than water? That's the question raised by expanded development of oil, natural gas and uranium along the Colorado River. It sounds great for energy independence, but almost 30 million people in seven states drink from the Colorado. Drilling and mining not only use water in vast quantities, but pollute what's left to flow down stream. Abrahm Lustgarten, with the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica, worked this story with David Hasemyer of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.