Award-winning Investigative Journalist Robert Parry (1949-2018)

Award-winning investigative journalist and founder/editor of, Robert Parry has passed away. His ground-breaking work uncovering Reagan-era dirty wars in Central America and many other illegal and immoral policies conducted by successive administrations and U.S. intelligence agencies, stands as an inspiration to all in journalists working in the public interest.

Robert had been a regular guest on our Between The Lines and Counterpoint radio shows -- and many other progressive outlets across the U.S. over four decades.

His penetrating analysis of U.S. foreign policy and international conflicts will be sorely missed, and not easily replaced. His son Nat Parry writes a tribute to his father: Robert Parry’s Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews.

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The Resistance Starts Now!

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SPECIAL REPORT: "The Resistance - Women's March 2018 - Hartford, Connecticut" Jan. 20, 2018

Selected speeches from the Women's March in Hartford, Connecticut 2018, recorded and produced by Scott Harris

SPECIAL REPORT: "No Fracking Waste in CT!" Jan. 14, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: "Resistance Round Table: The Unraveling Continues..." Jan. 13, 2018

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SPECIAL REPORT: Nina Turner's address, Working Families Party Awards Banquet, Dec. 14, 2017

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SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Resisting U.S. JeJu Island military base in South Korea, Oct. 24, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: John Allen, Out in New Haven

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who helped make our 25th anniversary with Jeremy Scahill a success!

For those who missed the event, or were there and really wanted to fully absorb its import, here it is in video

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 1 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 2 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

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Between The Lines Presentation at the Left Forum 2016

"How Do We Build A Mass Movement to Reverse Runaway Inequality?" with Les Leopold, author of "Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice,"May 22, 2016, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, 860 11th Ave. (Between 58th and 59th), New York City. Between The Lines' Scott Harris and Richard Hill moderated this workshop. Listen to the audio/slideshows and more from this workshop.

Listen to audio of the plenary sessions from the weekend.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker "Dirty Wars"

Listen to the full interview (30:33) with Jeremy Scahill, an award-winning investigative journalist with the Nation Magazine, correspondent for Democracy Now! and author of the bestselling book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," about America's outsourcing of its military. In an exclusive interview with Counterpoint's Scott Harris on Sept. 16, 2013, Scahill talks about his latest book, "Dirty Wars, The World is a Battlefield," also made into a documentary film under the same title, and was nominated Dec. 5, 2013 for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Feature category.

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Bloomberg Philanthropies' $50 Million Gift to Sierra Club Expands Group's "Beyond Coal" Campaign

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Posted Aug. 3, 2011

Interview with Bruce Nilles, deputy conservation director at Sierra Club, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


On July 21, Bloomberg Philanthropies, funded by New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg, announced a gift of $50 million to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, an effort which has succesfully blocked the building of 153 proposed coal-fired power plants in the U.S. since 2002. With Bloomberg’s gift, the Sierra Club will be able to double their staff to almost 200 employees – and expand their campaign from 15 to 45 states, including the District of Columbia.

The environmental group’s next phase in their campaign will focus on shutting down existing coal plants while proposing cleaner alternatives. The main thrust of the Sierra Club’s drive is to reduce the impact on climate change from burning coal, which produces large amounts of carbon dioxide. The campaign will also focus on public education on how coal is destroying the communities where it's mined as well as the health hazards to those living downwind of operating coal plants. Coal currently provides 45 percent of the electricity used in the U.S., and produces more than a third of the greenhouse gases.

Like many environmental groups, the Sierra Club is targeting their grassroots organizing on local state campaigns, given the fact that the GOP-controlled House of Representatives’ is staunchly opposed to federal legislation limiting greenhouse gases. Between the Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Bruce Nilles, deputy conservation director of the Sierra Club, who talks about how the campaign will put Bloomberg's gift to work.

BRUCE NILLES: The work really began in 2002, 2003, responding to a rush to build new coal-fired power plants. That work is largely over, and we've stopped to date 153 proposed – i.e., new coal plants. Only one new plant has broken ground since November 2008, and we're basically down to a handful of states where there's any new (coal plants) proposed. Beginning in 2010, we began switching our efforts to retiring existing coal plants – there's about 520 existing coal plants – and really digging into and supporting at the community level folks who've been suffering from the consequences of these old coal plants, whether it's air pollution, or families in Kentucky who are getting coal ash blowing all over their houses and their kids having acute asthma problems, and helping, community by community, plant by plant, retire and replace those coal plants with clean energy. So with Bloomberg Philanthropies' major gift, we'll be able to expand this work from Washington to Florida and California to Maine. We get regular requests from local community members who are suffering from their neighboring coal plant or their neighboring coal ash plant or nearby coal mining projects. This gift allows us to support them, to help empower them and elevate and demand something be done to address the problems they're facing from coal. And that allows us to have the discussion about it's time to get these coal plants retired. And we have a very aggressive goal over the next ten years of retiring one-third of the coal fleet.

BETWEEN THE LINES: When you say replace them with clean energy, what does that mean? Is part of your project to get clean energy sources up and running?

BRUCE NILLES: Exactly. And it's in large part a recognition that these coal plants are not going to be able to retire unless we actually have enough electricity coming from alternate sources. And so that requires us to make sure and be advocating for secure major investments in clean energy. We'd like the bulk of it to be wind and solar, with some geothermal, and large amounts of energy efficiency.

BETWEEN THE LINES: You didn't mention natural gas. Does that mean that's not part of the mix that you're promoting?

BRUCE NILLES: We are cognizant that natural gas needs around at least for the next ten or 20 years while we're scaling up, renewables will be a part of the picture. Our goal is to minimize natural gas as much as possible.

BETWEEN THE LINES: What about gas from horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which is more problematic than the old vertical gas wells?

BRUCE NILLES: That's exactly why we want to see as little natural gas as possible.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Bruce Nilles, can you say more about how your campaign actually promotes clean energy?

BRUCE NILLES: They're actually two sides of the same coin, because the regulators who are charged with ensuring reliability of our electricity grid are not going to allow coal plants to go offline unless we have something else producing electricity. And so there are a variety of venues and ways to secure large amounts of clean energy. There's been a lot of work in the past with dozens of states that have renewable energy standards, which mandate clean energy getting to scale. You have states like California, with a 33 percent requirement; Colorado, 30 percent, Minnesota, 25 percent, aggressive standards up and down the East Coast. So pushing and getting in place policies requiring a certain percentage come from clean energy is one way. The other is, as we are engaged in the various regulatory proceedings around retiring a coal plant, there is the opportunity to both engage with the regulative and the owner of an old coal plant to talk about what the alternatives could be and to shape what those alternatives will be so they don't turn around and propose a new coal plant, but they in fact are proposing something we like.

So there's a variety of different venues, whether it's new state policies; it can be at the city, as you saw, San Antonio just announced it was shutting down its coal plant and building 400 megawatts of solar. That was part of advocacy by a local activist.

BETWEEN THE LINES: They could do it. San Antonio has a lot of sun. And Texas also has a lot of wind.

BRUCE NILLES: Texas has a lot of wind. Every state in the union except for Alaska has huge solar potential. Germany last year installed 9,000 megawatts, which is nine times more than the U.S. installed last year. Germany has less solar potential than any state except in the union except Alaska. So this is not because the technology doesn't work, even in the most northern states, again, Alaska excepted. And so if you look at where we're seeing solar development – obvious place, California. But you're also seeing significant development in N.J., and we're beginning to see some progress in N.Y. Why N.J. and N.Y.? Because N.J. has good solar policies. And so getting the right policies in place, we think is critical. And the other great thing about solar and wind is that the prices continue to come down at the same time the cost of coal continues to skyrocket.

Learn more about the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign at

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