In recent programs we’ve brought you good news on new energy sources, new drilling technologies and ways in which America’s energy security can be enhanced using these new technologies. The downside may be that the costs to the environment and citizens may be little understood as well as potentially dangerous. This program on clean air and climate change examines these   possible challenges and explores how they can be eliminated, mitigated and better understood.

Clean Air and Climate Change Panelists Include:

  • Cherelle Blazer: formerly with the Environmental Defense Fund, Executive Director of You Can’t live in the Woods
  • Margaret Keliher: former Dallas County judge and Executive Director of Texas Business for Clean Air
  • Tom “Smitty” Smith: Executive Director of Public Citizen Texas Office

Left to Right: Smitty Smith, Kelliher, Blazer

When looking at clean air and climate change, one of the challenges is fracking, a technology that has gained wide acceptance. Yet,   “Smitty” Smith is concerned with fracking as it consumes significant water. The methane emissions challenge that of coal, and exceed the compounds from all of our cars in the Metroplex!

Cherelle Blazer agrees that although fracking would normally be a viable possibility, the methane emissions are a number one concern.  There is danger due to explosions, and chemical concerns such as benzene. It is critical; she says that we make production cleaner, now that this technology is being used right in our own back yards.

The air we breathe and our possible effect on climate change must be considered in the debate over energy choices. There are risks involved with the rewards of more and better energy sources. Those risks are real and the role of public policy is to sort out how to understand, remove and mitigate those risks.

Margaret Keliher, whose experience pre-dates her involvement with Texas Business for Clean Air- when she was a Dallas County judge, believes that some of the concerns with drilling are caused by bad practices and mismanagement. “There is a balance we have to meet to drill responsibly and do the best we can for our citizens. The question is finding that balance.” She asserts, “What is usually good for business is also good for the government.”

Southwest Airlines is given as an example. To cut fuel costs their studies analyzed time spent taxiing, and airplanes and trucks idling.  They made changes and were able to cut their costs as well as improve air quality.

Daniel Yergin, author of The Quest, interviewed previously in the energy series, joins in by tape, addressing some of the concerns we had up until 2008 when the US was challenged with peak gas- and importing enough for our consumption may have cost us $100 billion a year to import. We discovered gas trapped in shale rock could be accessed.  By 2008 hydraulic fracking was recognized as a viable technology.  Still there are issues with air quality and the water produced, and these can be managed with best practices. We must also consider costs as well as regulation- should this technology be regulated by the Fed or State, he asks?

The air we breathe and the effect on climate change must be considered in the debate over energy choices. There are risks involved along with the rewards of better energy sources. What with technology now in our own back yards these risks are very real. We need citizen involvement and awareness as well as public policy that can sort out how to understand, remove and mitigate these risks.

Niki Nicastro McCuistion
Executive producer/ producer
Business performance consultant and coach
nikin@nikimccuistion.com

214-750-5157

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1922 – 03.11.2012

Meeting on Climate Opens With Calls for Urgent Action

COPENHAGEN — A much-anticipated global meeting of nearly 200 nations — all seeking what has so far been elusive common ground on the issue of climate change — got under way here on Monday with an impassioned airing of what leaders here called the political and moral imperatives at hand.

Tightening Fears Send Stock Futures Lower

U.S. stocks rose slightly Monday, as gains in the utilities and health-care sectors were offset by concerns over whether interest-rate increases could come sooner than previously expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 8 points, to 10397 in early trading. American Express was one of its best performers, up 1.3% following an upgrade of credit-card companies by analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. However, Bank of America slipped 1.2%, and General Electric fell 1.1%.

How About a Public Option With Private Insurance?

Here’s an angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin question to kick off the week: If the public option offers private insurance, is it still the public option?

To win the favor of few key centrists wary of creating a government-backed insurance plan, Senate Dems may shift from the pure-play public option — a government-run insurance plan — to a plan more like the one used to cover federal employees. The basic idea: Allow people to choose from an array of private non-profit insurance plans, in a system overseen by a government office. To get some idea of how this might work, check out the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series climate change.  

In this installment of McCuistion Television, Dennis McCuistion is joined by two experts that hold conflicting views regarding climate change politics.  Sterling Burnett, Ph.d. is an economist and Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy AnalysisJames D. Marston is the Director of State Climate Initiatives for the Environmental Defense Fund for the state of Texas.

Burnett holds the opinion that politicians are offering Americans a misguided climate change policy.  He discusses the emissions reductions that are being proposed and contends that global warming has always been political.

Timothy Wirk was the lead climate negotiator in Kyoto and stands by the statement that even if the global warming issue ended up being a non-issue, then it would still be the right thing to move forward with it as that would ensure that the government is being responsible. He continues to explain his view on the reasonable response to climate change.

Marston affirms that there isn’t any scientific doubt regarding global warming and states that the politics are coming together. He further speaks about the best way to go about solving global warming with low cost and minimal affects on American jobs.

The panelists spend the bulk of the segment offering often opposing views on the Kyoto Treaty, green house gas reductions and the economy as it relates to the aforementioned. Using graphics and expert opinion this segment wrestles with the politics behind climate change and whether the Kyoto Treaty is as effective as it could be.

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12.30.07 – 1702

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series climate change.  

In the last several years there have been many allegations that the earth is warming. Some allegations claim that virtually all scientists agree that human activity is the cause of global warming and its effects.  On this episode of McCuistion TV, Dennis McCuistion speaks with the experts and addresses the truth behind global warming, climate science, rising sea levels, hurricanes, sunspots and climate models and the part that mankind actually plays?

James Marston opens up the conversation on climate science and global warming by reading a statement from Texas A&M outlining the risks of climate change, validity of allegations and what must be done. His co-panelist’s quick rebuttal challenges his view noting that at one time Galileo was wrong.

Throughout this heated debate the panelists challenge opposing views with facts, statistics and graphs.

Drew Thorney contends with the methods that are being used by global warming players such as Al Gore. He explains that the scientific method has always been the way that science worked, and it can’t be changed.

The issue of human activity and its effects on the issue of global warming is often brought down to the question of c02 levels.  Many scientists pose that the co2 levels dictate temperatures and are a big player in warming. The experts spend time discusses this, disagreeing and agreeing on various points. Join us as we talk about climate science and global warming.

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1701 – 12.23.07