Alty News: Solar Power's Best Year; Hatch Wants More Scrutiny on Fed. Reserve Leak | Buzz Blog

Alty News: Solar Power's Best Year; Hatch Wants More Scrutiny on Fed. Reserve Leak

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is demanding more scrutiny into a 2012 leak from the Federal Reserve. Confidential information about key moves in the Fed’s bond-buying program found its way into a financial analyst’s newsletter one day before the scheduled public release of the information.

Top of the Alty World

"Fed Inspector General Reopens Leak Investigation"—ProPublica

Twitter has banned revenge porn, but many question if the company has the means to enforce such a ban.—Wired

The solar industry had its best year ever in 2014 attracting investments and creating new jobs.—Mother Jones

While the Keystone Pipeline proposal was dealt a blow by Obama's veto, another pipeline proposal is gaining ground in Canada and Alaska.—High Country News

Top of Alty Utah

Governor Gary Herbert signed into law the LGBT nondiscrimination/religious liberties bill on the last day of the session.—Q Salt Lake

City Weekly takes a look back at the highs and lows of the seven-year long journey to pass a statewide LGBT nondiscrimination law.—Salt Lake City Weekly

Another bill also passed late in the session, allowing government workers to opt out of performing marriages if it conflicted with their religious beliefs or conscience.—Salt Lake City Weekly

A new study shows Utah as having some of the worst shortages of low-income housing in the nation.—Utah Poverty News

Rantosphere

Blogger and former lawmaker Holly Richardson reflects on the weirdness of the 2015 Utah legislative session.
Some bills passed that are uber-conservative (opt-in sex ed, anyone) and some that are a lot more middle of the road (primary seat belt law?!).

There’s no Becky Lockhart. There’s no Jen Seelig.

The legislature did some incredibly heavy lifting on some bills addressing health care, criminal justice, non-discrimination and religious liberty. The health care heavy lifting still did not result in a new law but got pushed to the interim. —Utah Politico Hub

The Long View

Audubon takes a look at North Carolina's political arguments surrounding climate change and its disappearing coast line.

In 2009 the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission asked a group of scientists to produce a report on the possible impacts of climate change over this century. Much complicated math was done. Then, in 2010, the scientists released a report saying that they felt one meter of sea-level rise by 2100 was a reasonable prediction. It wasn’t a particularly drastic assessment; plenty of other reports have said essentially the same thing. But it meant that significant portions of the Outer Banks would, in the not-too-distant future, be underwater.

That’s when all hell broke loose.

“The development community freaked,” says White, who is actually quite charming when we eventually talk. Some of its members—realtors, builders—formed a group to fight any possible related policy changes. A bill was introduced in the North Carolina House that outlawed using the report’s predictions for planning and policy decisions. And though the original version was altered, a moratorium on climate-change-accounting regulations did pass.

The rest of the country, which considers making fun of Southerners a national pastime, made fun of North Carolinians. On the Internet, in newspapers, on TV. “If your science gives you a result that you don’t like,” Stephen Colbert said on his show, “pass a law saying that the result is illegal. Problem solved.”

In an act bordering on self-parody, the state government ordered a new, shorter-term report. A working draft was released late last December, and it said exactly what insiders predicted: much the same thing that the first one did. Except that it forecast only 30 years into the future—when sea level around the Outer Banks is projected to have risen just 12 inches and before the effects of climate change, which are cumulative and exponential, begin to accelerate intensely. —Audubon

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