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.
Trump, the GOP and the rule of law Conservatives — and some Republicans — are criticizing the President for "the mess he made" in firing FBI Director James Comey. We hear about a potential successor, the possibility of "obstruction of justice" and the constitutional separation of powers.
Healthcare debate now shifts to the Senate Both parties are celebrating yesterday's House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. House Republicans are cheering because they were able to pass it. Democrats are happy because they think it's so bad. We look at the details… and the politics.
A New York Times op-ed on climate change sparks uproar The New York Times is embroiled in a public furor over a new columnist, who wrote that scientific uncertainty is reason for debate about climate change. Many conservatives are delighted. Is America's leading liberal newspaper fostering climate denial? This is the latest in our series, "The Emotional States of America."