As President Obama laid out his vision for domestic energy production in the future, calling for a drop of one-third in our oil imports, it's worth noting where we're starting from.
President Obama only mentioned "coal" once in his speech, but last year, it made up the largest share of domestic energy production at 45 percent, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Only one percent of domestic energy production came from petroleum, 24 percent was natural gas, and nuclear made up 20 percent of domestic energy.
Hours before Obama's scheduled arrival at a $30,800-a-plate fundraiser at the Red Rooster restaurant, neighborhood residents still gathered early in hopes of catching a glimpse of the president.
On President Obama's agenda today is dedicating a new building at the city's United Nations complex, sitting down with the big three broadcast TV networks, and raising campaign cash.
The Census numbers show a continuing change in the racial geography of New York City in the last decade. According to a WNYC analysis of the numbers, the Asian population increased 32 percent in the city and now makes up 13 percent of the total city population. Hispanic residents grew by 8.1 percent in the city.
New York City grew by 2.1 percent according to 2010 Census numbers released today — but the mayor thinks that's a serious undercount. "We don't quite understand the numbers," Bloomberg said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo hung the responsibility of passing a budget squarely on the shoulders of lawmakers in a video message to New Yorkers on Wednesday. “Either the legislature will pass, or will fail to pass, the state budget that I have proposed,” Cuomo said in a video on his website. “The budget that I proposed does what you sent me here to do. It closes a $10 billion deficit with no new taxes.”
That’s no new taxes at the state level. But with cuts to municipal and county budgets in the offing, some of those costs may be passed straight to local property tax bills, which are already among the highest in the nation.
One year ago today, President Obama signed the federal health care legislation into law. “Today we are affirming that essential truth, a truth every generation is called to rediscover for itself, that we are not a nation that scales back its aspirations,” Obama said at the bill signing.
But in the twelve months after its passage, "scale back" has been the name of the game in the rhetoric around the new law, whether in GOP-led efforts to the bill, in two pivotal court decisions, or in the president's own support for giving states more flexibility. But through it all, the health insurance overhaul remains intact and continues to incrementally roll out into the lives of Americans.
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is scheduled to announce at 3pm on Monday that he's forming a exploratory committee for a run for president. The official word will be available exclusively on Facebook, and to get to see it, you have to 'like' him.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said he's concerned over a report that one of the nuclear reactors at the Indian Point power plant along the Hudson River is on an earthquake fault line, and is checking into the matter.
Cuomo said it was a "surprise" to him that a federal study, first reported on MSNBC, finds Indian Point may be the nuclear plant most susceptible to possible damage from a massive earthquake in the nation.
One of the reactors is built very near an earthquake fault line.
At a hearing on Capitol Hill, Energy Secretary Steven Chu reaffirmed the Obama administration's support for U.S. nuclear energy development in the shadow of Japan's radiation fears.
"That position has not been changed," Chu said when pushed by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) about whether President Obama still supports new domestic nuclear energy development. "That's a yes."
"That's what I wanted you to say," Barton said.
Stocks of GE declined in early trading on Tuesday because of concerns about the company’s connection to the nuclear reactors that are at risk of meltdown in the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan.
GE designed the six reactors at the Fukushima Dalichi nuclear power plant, where a third explosion erupted on Tuesday morning, which may have breached a reactor's inner containment vessels.
Now, nuclear experts are watching closely to see how well the earthquake-battered containment systems are containing radiation.
While nuclear power has enjoyed a resurgence of bipartisan support in Washington — like in this 2009 op-ed from Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC) — the local politics around nuclear energy have remained charged. In both New Jersey and New York, leaders have been looking for exit plans for their decades-old nuclear plants.
Last year, President Obama was calling investment in new nuclear power plants “a necessity.” He reiterated his call for nuclear investment in his State of the Union this year and in his budget proposal, which calls for $36 billion in loan guarantees for new nuclear construction.
Then, in the last 72 hours, two hydrogen explosions rocked Japan in the aftermath of the devastating tsunami and earthquake.
Now, Washington is readying its response, with key lawmakers urging caution, rather than a reconsideration, of domestic nuclear policy.
On the morning of the gubernatorial primary in Connecticut last August, Democrat Dannel Malloy stopped by a picket line to campaign, visiting nurses who had been striking for months.
The visit came back to haunt him in the general election, when his Republican opponent Tom Foley seized on the stop to show Malloy was “in the pocket" of unions, and cornered Malloy into insisting to voters that he hadn’t made any promises to public employees.
Malloy eked out a win, the first for a Democrat in Connecticut in twenty years, with a margin of about a half a percentage point.
“I thanked them for their support, but I also pointed out that one of the reasons it was as close as it was was because of their support,” Malloy said this week in his Capitol office. “And they know that.”
Standing next to one president, real estate mogul Donald Trump criticized another. Appearing today at a press conference to announce plans to build two luxury properties in the Republic of Georgia, Trump took a very campaign-worthy shot at President Barack Obama.
First comes census numbers, then comes the redistricting battle. In New Jersey, a tiebreaker’s been brought in to settle the scuffle between jockeying Republicans and Democrats, while in New York, New York lawmakers in Albany and Washington are preparing for the fight.
Donald Trump's continuing to lay the groundwork for a presidential run, and talking big about his grassroots outreach.
"I will meet many, many people, maybe all of people," Trump told The Des Moines Register. "If I decide to run, I will be shaking hands with everybody."
Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich is announcing today that he's launching an “exploratory phase” to test the waters for a presidential run in 2012. His spokesperson told an Georgia radio host on Thursday that he’s launching a website, NewtExplore2012.com, but Gingrich is not forming a formal federal exploratory committee yet.
The rumors of Gingrich’s yen to take the oval office after a single Obama term have been swirling for over a year. He has been planting seeds in Iowa, a state whose early caucus is often a soothsayer for winning the Republican primary. For that reason, Gingrich has visited Iowa nine times in the past two years.
If he's going to get pension reform out of Albany, he doesn't want to have the unions, which support Albany lawmakers with huge contributions...as his enemies. He doesn't want that.
—Joyce Purnick, Bloomberg biographer and WNYC political analyst, talking about Michael Bloomberg's relationship with unions on The Brian Lehrer Show.
Former Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin did nothing to tamp down speculation about her 2012 plans during a speech in Long Island on Thursday.
When asked who would make the ideal Republican challenger, she said she couldn't offer any names, before adding, “What I would look for is a mom, somebody who's administered locally, state, interstate with energy issues, so maybe a mayor, a governor, an oil commissioner, maybe somebody who's already run for something, vice president. I don't know!”
“It's going to be a blast to see who does offer themselves up,” Palin said.