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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  May 7, 2015 2:30am-3:01am EDT

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it hurts business, and that will help push society a little faster closer to its destination. thank you for joining us. see you next time. i'm ray suarez. >> on "america tonight". what keeps a dream deferred. >> kids who group in low income distressed neighborhoods on average had lower levels of completed scoring, lower status jobs and lower earnings as young adults. >> "america tonight's" adam may with a close are look at the challenges facing baltimore's poor neighborhoods and what really holds them back. >> it sounds like what you're describing is white privilege. >> we call it
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white privilege in fact. >> and who's running against the wind? >> they hired families at explore wages superior wages. >> "america tonight"'s michael okwu on who's trying to stay the air out of it. thanks for joining us, i'm joie chen. there's nothing like lower gas prices to make us forget at least for a bit of the need to form new and cleaner forms of energy. it's still a problem you might be surprised that one of the big players in alternative energy sources is also the home of big oil. yes, texas where "america tonight's" michael okwu found winds of change try to take the air out of the new player in the energy business. >> reporter: you've probably heard the saying, everything's big inner texas.
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big trucks, big hats and big oil. you might not know that texas is also home to this: big wind. the bottom line is when people think about texas they don't think about wind energy. >> right, and we've been the leader since basically 2006. this county put us over spain and over california and made texas a leader and made the u.s. a world leader. >> reporter: texas accounts for 20% of the nation's wind power energy, at its heart nolan county, a 300 mile stretch of the lone star state and giants, 1300 wind turbines each liberty. >> this is a spectacle. >> there's nothing like it in the world. >> the former mayor ever sweetwater temp, now heads the temp wind energy clearinghouse and he's watched wind transform
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the city of sweetwater. >> it came along, ranches and farms were having a really tough time. >> in 1999 texas was bullish on wind, clean around affordable, in order to entice individuals, legislators passed a bill renewable portfolio standard that would produce subsidies for wind industry. the man behind the bill was state senator troy fraser but in an about-face today he is pushing legislation that would end the very subsidies he wund once championed. that would supply the central cities with power from west texas wind. >> it's a political thing. >> what do you mean, political thing? >> senator fraser doesn't want to support wind, never did. >> he questions the senators's motives.
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>> hiring families at superior wages. >> we wanted to know why senator fraser would want to end a program that's been by most accounts a big success. senator fraiz fraiz fraser did not apply mri to multiple requests for an interview. >> tom has been a supporter of wind from the beginning. >> fundamentally, oil and gas people are being threatened by wind energy because it's cheaper than they are. >> texas blew past all its el goals for producing renewable energy. wind energy is a mature industry in texas and can stand on its own today. >> bill peacock says wind energy
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has received enough help. >> why can't wind energy survive on its own and compete like everybody else, in a level playing field? >> but he says the playing field isn't level, it's received tax breaks, heavily discounted fuel and lacks pollution control requirements. the industry that's behind foundation he like bill peacock's. texas public policy foundation receives funding from groups long associated with big oil gas and coal. >> how do you respond to people that say the temp public policy foundation is essentially omouth piece for fossil fuel industry ? >> we're pro market, we're trying to make the markets work and so the consumers can get out there ant make the best bargains for themselves. >> so you're not pro-any one particular industry that's what you're saying? >> we want the noorkt market to decide
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and the market is primarily producers getting together, we want them to figure out what the best mix ever sources for the industry. >> why do you still need subsidies? >> these are not subsidies, they are incentives in place. >> you like to say subsidies nevins when incentives when i say subsidies. >> incentive is a good american thing that needs an incentive, a good pat on the back, subs city bad. >> wind supporters fear that will cause a ripple effect through nolan county. >> you have law firms that are wind energy law firms and you have oil companies.
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>> what's the worst case scenario? >> the worst case scenario is we lose billions of dollars of investment. we lose people that have good high paying jobs we lose something that revitalizes not just this region of texas but all up and down the great plain, the most forgotten part of the country falls back to where it was and why? because a couple of people in oil and gas and politics and political support will feel better about themselves and have more billions to put in the bank. >> and people who are working to maintain those wind plants, a generation ago people didn't want to move there. >> you would have to be living under a rock not to understand that texas prides itself having a pro-business sensibility. if this went through wouldn't it cause a major economic disruption to the state? >> ending renewable subsidies in temp won't cause a problem in
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the state. economicking being some companies will be losers out of the deal but people generally will be winners because what will happen is that money will stay in people's pockets and they will take it and they'll go out and invest it or they'll go out and spend it and l it it will be used much more efficiently. >> 250 miles from the capital, greg spends time with his machines. >> these things are bigger when you are standing right next to them. >> this wing span big are than a 747. >> he's still angry and worried that the winds of change will wreak havoc from awrch to austin to sweetwater. >> they don't have kids in schools out here. they don't go through normal life with the rest of us. >> reporter: the bill to pull
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the plug on all this passed in the texas senate 21-10. it now goes to the state house. where it's also expected to pass pass. heaving the fate of big wind in texas and perhaps sweetwater be. >> "america tonight's" michael okwu back with us now. ow michael looking at the pictures you all took on your story it doesn't exactly look like sweetwater is a boom town by any means. what were your impressions, what did you see? >> i think you're right about that. to say this is a sleepy town in the rolling hills of texas or the rolling plains of texas would not be overstating things at all joie. it's the kind of place where you walk the sidewalk, people say hi to you. we saw small businesses restaurants insurance companies. just on the outskirts you'll see cement factories and power plants and at that time for
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example isat&t is a majorplayer there. it might look sleepy but it's certainly humming. the former mayor likes to say that nolan county has a $5 billion tax base which is up from the $5 million it was before the wind industry existed. and his worry is a real one. he's worried that if you take the wind industry out of nolan coined and out of sweetwater what looks like a sleepy town today over the course of town may essentially be a depressed one. >> just dry up and go bap let's talk this a true partisan issue today, red and blue? >> well, in a word, yes. if you are a, generally speaking on the left, you don't support this bill. if you are on the right, you do. essentially the critics of the bill will say very rich conservative organizations with big ties to gas and oil have
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essentially made this particular issue a test about whether or not you are really republican. >> so michael what happens now? where does that bill stand? >> well, curiously enough, the bill has not had a hearing. so it's a bit of a mystery as to why that's going on. whether or not the grass roots effort to kill it has succeeded or there's just been a regular normal legislative logjam is anybody's guess. but at this point nobody's betting against this bill, joie. >> "america tonight's" michael okwu. next on shaken ground. two weeks after nepal's devastating quake, our correspondent finds the toll is far worse than first thought. baltimore faces the gap faced by poor americans, and why
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it's difficult to bridge it. what's hot on "america tonight's" website right now, a man and marijuana strains and why he's not living the high life.
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>> across one of the great est in the world, nepal, after two weeks from the greatest earthquake, 7600 people, and the number keeps rising, as help is reaching the country. >> i think one of the most striking things about a disaster of this size, has been the resilience of the people, their extraordinary bravery. because they've tried against
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all the odds to keep going. so many of them in mourning. so many of them really with no homes, incorporate to go. and such an appalling lack of aid. many reasons for this. i won't go into them now. we've done our level best as journalists to project the issues as hand, international ones. local ones. and national ones. that has been a frustration, conveying the level of frustration and the enormity of the situation here. it's too big for a camera, it's also too big to convey in words. not just grief. but also, a multi-layered impacts on every facet of life really. we traveled east to air area in the hills. where we saw so many people just
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utterly december pated by utterly decimated by the situation. we heard the after-shocks, the boulders rolling down mountain sides, really quite extraordinary. you realize why these people are living outside keeping away from any form of building, because they are absolutely terrified by the prospect of another earthquake. who can blame them? having been there and gone through it, i fully understand and i have to say now, here, up in the mountain side, it's a different feeling. there's fresh air, the stench of the funeral pyres, the smell of bodies buried in earth, masses of rubble, dust, that's all gone. but still you look around and the massive need is overwhelming. >> and al jazeera's tells us that the earthquake has reshaped
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communities that do remain. about one-third of kathmandu's population has now left the capital city. for those who stayed and weather id the quake engineers are going door to door to assess whether those homes are safe. next, no way out baltimore's inequities in poorest neighborhoods but why is it so hard to get out? and bittersweet. be thursday, offend "america tonight" cmentd florida's , florida's deal with big sugar, thursday on "america tonight". >> compass with sheila macvicar >> compass will challenge the way you look at the world >> a different look at foreign affairs >> talking about big subjects >> first hand... >> telling human stories >> giving you a real look
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at the world today. desperate, hungry and risking it all... >> these people wanna get as far away as they can >> the migrant crisis sweeping europe, are governments turning their backs on those that need help the most? >> compass with sheila macvicar only on al jazeera america
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>> what happened in baltimore, the death of freddy gray after he was apparently injured in police custody and the riots that followed exposed the injustice and inquts inequities of those living if poverty. researchers found it is a cycle almost impossible to escape. ing dreams deferred from adam may. >> drug dealing shooting poverty. >> kwan finch is talking about his childhood home. >> what's baltimore?
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the corner, was pretty much my neighborhood write where i grew up on. >> the corner was an hbo mini series, of a west baltimore neighborhood, plagued by open air drug dealing and violence. >> i hate to say it, i wouldn't raise a dog in that town. >> ed kline grew up in pig town, which for decades had some of the highest crime and poverty rates in the city. >> my mother was a single mother on welfare. we had no money. >> you lived on welfare? >> my mother never worked, the only job she had was selling dope. that was it. the things my mom let me do -- >> what was that? >> sold dope at the age of eight. >> eight years old? >> we sold it right out of our house. that's how we made our living. >> as an adults, you look back being raised in that
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environment, how do you think that impacted you as a kid? >> complete product of my environment, to always want better for my children. i would never look down on my upbringing because it taught me a lot, showed me a lot. it made me more determined in life. it showed me that life was short. there's no guarantees, there's no promises. >> boat kwan and ed were part of a landmark study that started back in 1982 when they were in the first grade. now three decades later the long shadow has been published. a dismal view of the chances of escaping urban poverty. >> when i started out they were all so cute and cuddly. you'd want each and every one to kind of own the world. and but you know sadly that that's not going to happen. >> professor carl alexander and a team from johns hopkins university tracked almost 800 baltimore children surveying them through their school years
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and following them into adulthood into age 28. more than half were considered urban disadvantaged, living at or near the poverty line. and they kept following with you year after year? >> every year. i thought it was really cool. i never had anybody send me letters in the mail. they would call me and send me cards at my birthday. that was pretty cool. >> i didn't mind it, somebody concerned about how i was doing, concerned with what i wanted to do in life, goals and aspirations. >> what did you say your goals and aspirations were when you were -- >> i was strong headed on law enforcement. >> despite the goals expressed 50 children the research concluded that only 4% of urban disadvantaged students went to college and completed a four year degree. the strass majorities
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vast majority of students returned to their being neighborhoods. >> they had lower lower level of education around lower earnings as adults. >> there was a big difference between races. >> sounds like what you are describing is white privilege. >> we call it whiting privilege, it is descriptive, not an evaluative for us. it's what we see. >> 45% of whites found trade jobs like plumbing or construction compared to just 15% of blacks. and the white males made twice as much money. >> this is most lucrative sector of blue collar work, the high skill, high wage, industrial and construction crafts and there are social network advantages generations are convinced.
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>> kwan finch who coaches high school football never finished college and never got that police officer job. even though he has a clean record you might say he's in jail. >> i do corrections. >> how do you like it? >> i still like it. >> how is the pay? >> it could be better but it's's good. >> finch's salary is well below the state average . he and his wife live here in the baltimore inner city row house that shares a wall with a boarded up home, in a dangerous neighborhood. >> you an impoverished area, you're stilling still living in an area that has a long way to go. >> right. >> your kids, where do you want them to end up? >> where they want. >> where they want? >> where they want. my sons always talk big.
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they have out of this world aspirations. my son says he wants mansions with ten rooms bathrooms. >> they want the extreme >> exactly. >> do you feel you're living the american dream right now? >> yes, and that's what it is. it's a dream. you got to be able to take that dream and make it a reality . >> ed kline ended up on a completely different path in life. he and his wife are raising four children in the suburbs. they have four wheelers, rv, season tickets to the new york jets. >> we've already got it baby. >> ed said he made it big even though he never made it to college and he served time for drug dealing in prison. >> how did you replace that income you used to make, making drugs? >> i always had an interest in computers.
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i learned how to build computers, fix computers, i knew that was something i could do. i could take spend an hour on a computer and make $200. that's the closest thing oselling dope. it's sad to say but it is. >> reporter: in the research group ed kline is a rare exception. only one in ten children raised in poverty see this kind of financial success. we've been told in this country that if you work hard and go to school that you could achieve the american dream. is that really possible. >> well, it is frustrating. it's the boot straps logic. you can pull yourself up by your boot straps, and you know the world is available for you. anything is possible. and in some an tract sense anything is possible but on the ground in terms of the here and now it doesn't work that way. the prospects for moving up in the united states in relationship to where you started in life in terms of your family circumstances is much more limited here in the united
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states than in most of the industrialized countries throughout world. >> alexander says his research shows children who receive early childhood education and achieve year round school have much better odds but breaking out of poverty vofers involves forces beyond control. >> its i.t. doesn't go away. we can't -- it doesn't go away. >> we can fix schools. >> but it's asking schools to fix problems that originate beyond schools. it's a big difficult set of issues here that aren't going to be resolved quickly or easily. >> the finches may not have achieved their american dream but they haven't given up. their children are now making the honor roll. kwan's wife has taken two jobs
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as a hairstylist and a home nurse. they hope some day they can move into a better safer neighborhood. >> to me my kids are my everything. you know. it makes me a little -- just for them, whatever do i, i do it for them. >> adam may, al jazeera. >> living life and community even against the odds. that's "america tonight". tell us what you think at talk to us on twitter or facebook and come back. we'll have more of "america tonight" tomorrow. >> "inside story" takes you beyond the headlines, beyond the quick cuts, beyond the sound bites. we're giving you a deeper dive
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>> ray suarez hosts "inside story". weeknights, 11:30 eastern. on al jazeera america. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ yemen's government, in exsill, calls for the u.n. to send in grounded forces against houthi rebels. welcome to al jazera live, also ahead benjamin netanyahu forms a last-minute deal to form a government. britain goes to the polls in what is expected to be one of the