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June 27th, 2012 Archives
By Renee Schoof | McClatchy Newspapers
last updated: June 26, 2012 06:31:45 PM Posted on Tue, Jun. 26, 2012
WASHINGTON -- ]
A federal appeals court panel ruled Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency had acted properly when it set the nation’s first limits on greenhouse gases.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concluded that the EPA’s 2009 finding that greenhouse gases endanger human health and the environment was based on “an ocean of evidence,” saying the agency’s move to limit those emissions from cars and trucks was “neither arbitrary nor capricious.”
The ruling was a defeat for groups that question evidence that gases from burning coal and other fossil fuels trap heat in the atmosphere. The coalition of groups that brought the complaints against the EPA said restricting the emissions would be too expensive.
The court also ruled that there were no grounds to challenge the agency’s approach to regulating only large amounts of greenhouse gases from large sources. The EPA has said that this approach gets most of the emissions and avoids having to regulate every hospital, restaurant or other relatively small source of greenhouse gas emissions.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/06/26/153958/federal-court-panel-upholds-epa.htmlShare This Post
email@example.com Published Wednesday, Jun. 27, 2012
Mike Florio, a lifelong consumer advocate turned California Public Utilities commissioner, hasn't often found himself aligned with the California Chamber of Commerce, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and major power companies.
But in a very public setting not long ago, he warned about the issue that has exercised business advocates: the bill that is coming due as the state goes about reducing greenhouse gases and combating climate change.
"If we do not contain costs for ratepayers, we risk a potential ratepayer backlash when the costs of these contracts finally come into rates in the middle of this decade. The rate impact bomb is lingering on the horizon, and we cannot allow that bomb to go off," Florio warned at a Public Utilities Commission hearing a month ago.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/27/4591278/turn-cap-and-trade-rate-bomb-into.htmlShare This Post
Jun 26 - Gordon Oliver The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash.
Among its many negative effects, the Great Recession appears to have dramatically eroded the number of green industry jobs in Washington, the Employment Security Department said in a study released Monday.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.energycentral.com/functional/news/news_detail.cfm?did=25044824Share This Post
In “a step backwards,” conservative commissioners say trash-to-gas is as good as sun.
Herman K. Trabish: June 21, 2012
Arizona’s regulatory commission, once a champion of solar in the state, has officially declared a municipal solid-waste-to-biogas project to be an acceptable replacement for solar. It is a signal that the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), until the last election a bastion of bipartisan support for renewables, is shifting.
Arizona’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES) requires ACC-regulated utilities and electric co-ops, which include Arizona Public Service (APS), Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and Mohave Electric Co-operative (MEC), to obtain fifteen percent of their power from renewable sources by 2025. It also specifies that 30 percent of the fifteen percent come from distributed generation (DG).
That RES was instituted by the ACC, which independently regulates electricity for the state, before the five-person commission was reconstituted along more conservative lines in the November 2010 election.
In July 2011, the ACC voted, three Republicans to two Democrats, to allow MEC a waiver to substitute a 13-megawatt trash-to-gas power plant for part of its RES obligation. The waiver passed despite the fact that when the renewables standard was originally set, in 2007, it specifically ruled trash-to-gas as too polluting an electricity source to be a substitute for renewables.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/arizona-regulators-undermine-their-res-kick-off-fight-for-solar/Share This Post
Published: Wednesday, June 27, 2012, 6:00 AM Updated: Wednesday, June 27, 2012, 7:07 AM
By John Funk, The Plain Dealer
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Eight out of 10 Ohio residents think that the development of advanced energy technologies -- everything from hybrid cars to smart buildings to wind, solar and nuclear energy -- are important to the state's economic future, a new poll has found.
And a majority of the state's residents think that Ohio's political leaders ought to further their development, according to the random survey of 705 adults conducted last week by pollster John Zogby's JZ Analytics and has a margin of error of 3.8 percent.
Advanced Energy Economy and its Ohio chapter, groups advocating renewable energy, energy efficiency and high-tech manufacturing, paid for the survey.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2012/06/ohioans_agree_advanced_energy.htmlShare This Post
Senator Rockefeller's Plea to the Industry
Ken Silverstein | Jun 25, 2012
When President Obama ran in the West Virginia Democratic primary, he had some tough competition -- from a prisoner who got around 40 percent of the vote. The contentious issue: coal, and the host of new rules coming down that will put severe limitations on the industry that is vital to the state.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.energybiz.com/article/12/06/coal-regs-lined-queue&utm_medium=eNL&utm_campaign=EB_DAILY2&utm_term=Original-MemberShare This Post
June 26, 2012 | 7:51 pm
A key Senate panel on Tuesday supported legislation that would ban the use of hydraulic fracturing in California until regulators write rules governing the controversial procedure.
In testimony before the state Senate Natural Resources Committee, Assemblywoman Betsy Butler (D-Marina del Rey) pushed a moratorium on "fracking," echoing the concerns of environmentalists and community activists who fear the potential environmental and public health hazards of a procedure that involves injecting chemical-laced water and sand deep into the ground to tap oil.
Representatives from the energy industry told lawmakers that oil companies have used hydraulic fracturing in California for decades without incident.
Much of the anxiety stems from the fact that, unlike other oil-producing states, California does not require oil companies to disclose where they use the procedure or what chemicals they inject into the ground. State regulators asked firms to volunteer that information in March and are now soliciting public comment on fracking, the first step in what is expected to be a lengthy rule-making process.
To read the entire article go to: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2012/06/fracking-moratorium-advances-in-california-legislature.htmlShare This Post
By MIREYA NAVARRO June 25, 2012, 6:31 pm
The natural gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is not taking place in New Jersey. But legislators and environmentalists are concerned about the state’s proximity to Pennsylvania, a shale gas fracking hot spot that sends some drill cuttings and waste water to nearby states, including New York, for processing and treatment. New York is also currently considering allowing fracking upstate.
The New Jersey Assembly passed the ban last week, and the Senate voted for the bill on Monday, sending it to Gov. Chris Christie for his signature.
Officials with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection say that very little waste currently makes it into the state and that regulations are in place to ensure its safe handling. The New Jersey Petroleum Council, which represents oil and gas companies, said the ban only robs companies that treat industrial waste of business opportunities.
To read the entire article go to: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/new-jersey-senate-bans-treatment-of-fracking-waste/Share This Post
By ÁNGEL GONZÁLEZ Updated June 26, 2012, 9:39 p.m. ET
HOUSTON—America will halve its reliance on Middle East oil by the end of this decade and could end it completely by 2035 due to declining demand and the rapid growth of new petroleum sources in the Western Hemisphere, energy analysts now anticipate.
The shift, a result of technological advances that are unlocking new sources of oil in shale-rock formations, oil sands and deep beneath the ocean floor, carries profound consequences for the U.S. economy and energy security. A good portion of this surprising bounty comes from the widespread use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a technique perfected during the last decade in U.S. fields previously deemed not worth tampering with.
By 2020, nearly half of the crude oil America consumes will be produced at home, while 82% will come from this side of the Atlantic, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. By 2035, oil shipments from the Middle East to North America "could almost be nonexistent," the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries recently predicted, partly because more efficient car engines and a growing supply of renewable fuel will help curb demand.
The change achieves a long-sought goal of U.S. policy-making: to draw more oil from nearby, stable sources and less from a volatile region half a world away. "Whereas at one point there were real and serious concerns about the ability to maintain sustainable access of supplies to the United States if there were disruptions in the Middle East, that has changed," Carlos Pascual, the top energy official at the State Department, said in an interview.
To read the entire article go to: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304441404577480952719124264.html?mod=WSJ_Energy_leftHeadlinesShare This Post
By JOHN M. BRODER June 26, 2012, 11:08 am
The Obama administration, moving swiftly on the president’s promise to expedite the southernmost portion of the disputed Keystone XL pipeline, has granted construction permits for part of the route passing through Texas, officials said on Tuesday.
The Army Corps of Engineers on Monday told TransCanada, which wants to build a 1,700-mile pipeline to carry heavy crude from Alberta to the Gulf Coast, that it could begin construction on the portion of the proposed pipeline that would end at the gulf port of Nederland, Tex. The Corps of Engineers is still reviewing permits for a section of the pipeline beginning at a major oil depot in Cushing, Okla., and linking up with the final leg ending at the gulf.
In January, President Obama denied TransCanada permission to build the northern part of the pipeline from Canada to Oklahoma, saying Congress had not given him sufficient time to review the environmental impact. But at a political appearance in March in Oklahoma, he announced he was taking steps to speed approval of the portion of the project running from Cushing to the gulf to relieve a bottleneck in oil supplies at the Oklahoma oil terminal.
The president also invited the company to resubmit its application for the rest of the pipeline. The company did so in early May.
To read the entire article go to: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/26/u-s-grants-a-keystone-pipeline-permit/?ref=energy-environmentShare This Post
Energy producers struggling with decade-low natural-gas prices have been relying on related fuels such as ethane, propane and butane to remain profitable.
But so many companies have increased drilling of wells with the fuels, known as natural-gas liquids, that their prices are falling as well, creating a new supply-glut problem for the industry and threatening to crimp profits.
The U.S. saw record production of natural-gas liquids, or NGLs, in 2011, of about 2.18 million barrels per day, according to the Independent Petroleum Association of America. Natural-gas liquids revenue last year was about $42 billion, close to natural-gas revenue, which was about $48 billion, according to Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. estimates.
Natural-gas liquids, produced from oil and natural-gas wells, are forms of gas that are liquid when they reach the surface or are easily turned into a liquid. They have many uses but are mainly used in making plastics and synthetic rubber.
For a while, NGLs were "the 'good roommate'—paying the rent so gas can live for free, generating little return while eating Doritos and watching 'Price is Right,' " Tudor Pickering analysts joked in a recent report.
To read the entire article go to: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304458604577490562684904168.html?mod=WSJ_Energy_leftHeadlinesShare This Post
By KATE GALBRAITH June 27, 2012
AUSTIN, TEXAS — Kelly Hunka tried out an electric bicycle for the first time last week. Hours later, she was back for another ride.
“These are so cool,” Ms. Hunka, who works for an Austin technology company, said as she paced around an electric-bike store called Rocket Electrics that opened in the city in December. Asked about her impression of riding an electric bike, she responded with a single word: “Easy.”
The concept of electric bicycles, which allow riders to cruise up hills on battery power when they are tired of pedaling, is slowly catching on in cities around the world. China leads the pack, with more than 100 million so-called e-bikes on the road. Demand is growing in Europe, where Germany and the Netherlands are the largest markets. In the United States, e-bike shops have recently sprouted in car-dependent cities like Austin and Houston. An e-bike-sharing project is even getting under way in hilly San Francisco.
“It’s just a massive personal mobility shift,” said Christopher Cherry, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Tennessee, who has studied e-bikes in China.Share This Post
Posted: 06/26/2012 11:00:00 PM MDT
Updated: 06/27/2012 12:30:56 AM MDT
AURORA — A new solar power system is now fueling a good portion of E-470 and officials hope it will cut costs and emissions that come from traditional electricity.
"This is very complex but also very smart," said Richard Dovere, managing partner of Adamas Energy Investments, which installed a solar array consisting of 22 sites at no cost to E-470.
Officials with Adamas and Los Angeles-based Martifer Solar USA, which built and operates the installations, joined E-470 and local leaders in officially dedicating the solar operation Tuesday.
"It makes sense to use solar and take advantage of what we have here," said Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, on a day where temperatures soared to 105-degrees under a cloudless sky.
In all, solar-generated electricity panels will power streetlights, variable message signs, toll collection equipment, toll plazas, maintenance facilities and the E-470 administrative headquarters along a 17-mile stretch between 64th Avenue and Gartrell Road.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_20945099/solar-installations-e-470-will-power-17-mileShare This Post
TIGER is the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, and the allocations are above. Not only does this give rural areas a share of money disproportionate to their population, but rural America's contribution to the economy is even lower than its population share. What's more, as you can see on the map, a number of the rural grants are going to low-unemployment plains states such as North Dakota (3 percent), Nebraska (3.9 percent), Vermont (5.6 percent), Oklahoma (4.8 percent), and New Hampshire (5 percent).
You see this basic dynamic in all kinds of federal grant programs. Typically any kind of rational grant formula would fail to give money to rural areas in a manner that's consistent with rural areas' strength in the U.S. Senate. Therefore you end up with either implicit or explicit special set-asides for rural areas.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/06/22/_25_percent_of_tiger_grants_will_go_to_low_value_rural_projects.html?wpisrc=sl_iphoneShare This Post