FSRN Weekly Edition – June 6, 2014
- EPA announces proposed limits on CO2 emissions from power plants by 2030
- Senate committee debates proposed constitutional amendment to rein in campaign spending
- Chile considers gender quotas for political slates
- A “blueprint” for community-driven urban renewal
- Indigenous governance system provides a model for community defense in Mexico
For the first time U.S. history, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing pollution limits for power plants. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy kicked off four months of public comment on a state-by-state approach that would result in 30 percent less carbon pollution from the US energy sector in comparison to 2005 levels by 2030. While the proposed new rules would require dramatic cuts in carbon dioxide emissions, they may also drive an increased push toward natural gas, which according to Physicians for Social Responsibility’s Dr. Alan H. Lockwood, poses other threats.
“… and that’s the escape of the gas from wellheads, pipelines, distribution systems in cities. When this methane goes into the atmosphere it’s more than 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a global warming gas.”
Just a day after the US announcement, China took action to set a hard limit on CO2 emissions by 2016. While that won’t stop a net increase in emissions by the world’s worst CO2 polluter, it will limit the growth.
A U.S. Senate committee held a hearing on a proposed constitutional amendment this week that would would reverse a series of Supreme Court decisions equating corporate and high-dollar campaign contributions to free speech. Jessica Desvarieux reports from Washington. D.C.
Palestinian political rivals form unity government
This week marked the inauguration of a unified Palestinian government covering both Gaza and the West Bank. It’s the first time there’s been a single ruling body over both Palestinian territories since Hamas seized power in the Gaza Strip in 2007. Disagreement over filling government posts nearly derailed the inauguration, and tensions – both external and internal – continue. On Thursday, Israel announced plans for thousands more settlement homes. And clashes broke out at a Gaza bank, when municipal workers previously employed by Hamas did not receive their pay under the new government while their Palestinian Authority counterparts did. FSRN’s Rami Almeghari has more.
The Chilean Congress is considering a bill that would institute political gender quotas. Political parties and coalitions would be required to field at least forty percent female candidates. Chilean legislators have tried to introduce quotas before, without success. But women’s rights advocates are confident that, this time, the bill will get a hearing, since it’s part of a series of electoral reforms introduced by President Michelle Bachelet’s majority coalition. From Santiago, Chile, Eilís O’Neill reports
For many years, urban decay affected many cities and towns across the United States. Most notably in Detroit, abandoned or deteriorating housing units are part of the everyday landscape. In many cities, government efforts to reverse this trend and so called “urban renewal” projects have often brought gentrification and displaced low-income families. FSRN’s Dolores M. Bernal brings us this look at a program in three East Coast states that is empowering residents to take back their communities
View a slideshow of Edgemoor Gardens.
Armed self-defense efforts in the Mexican state of Michoacán have opened a debate about about what Mexican citizens can do to protect themselves against violent drug cartels in a country where firearms ownership is heavily restricted. Citizen militias in the states Tierra Caliente region have attracted international media attention and led to the formation of an officially recognized “rural police” force. But in the highlands of the state’s indigenous Purhépecha region, a similar effort has already marked three years of armed, community self-defense, but under a system of traditional indigenous law-enforcement and accountability. Andalusia Knoll has more from Mexico.
Photo credit: Alosh Bennet via Flickr. Music credits: Josh Woodward and David Palmero via Jamendo. Photo and music used under Creative Commons licenses.