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July 3rd, 2012 Archives
By Juliet Eilperin and Peyton M. Craighill,
Climate change no longer ranks first on the list of what Americans see as the world’s biggest environmental problem, according to a new Washington Post-Stanford University poll.
Just 18 percent of those polled name it as their top environmental concern. That compares with 33 percent who said so in 2007, amid publicity about a major U.N. climate report and Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary about global warming. Today, 29 percent identify water and air pollution as the world’s most pressing environmental issue.
Still, Americans continue to see climate change as a threat, caused in part by human activity, and they think government and businesses should do more to address it. Nearly three-quarters say the Earth is warming, and just as many say they believe that temperatures will continue to rise if nothing is done, according to the poll.
The findings, along with follow-up interviews with some respondents, indicate that Washington’s decision to shelve action on climate policy means that the issue has receded — even though many people link recent dramatic weather events to global warming. And they may help explain why elected officials feel little pressure to impose curbs on greenhouse gas emissions.Share This Post
Literacy Aide, Jane Addams Hull House Association
Posted: 07/01/2012 10:55 am
While one would be hard-pressed to say the Republican Party is in decline while they run the House of Representatives, can prevent vital votes by using the filibuster in the Senate and have a candidate running neck-and-neck with President Obama, the death knell may be sounding soon. Climate change could hasten the end for this powerful mainstream party.
The radicalism now in vogue among Republicans goes beyond small-government Tea Party partisanship. The Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank, was funded by large corporations until its decision to put up billboards in Chicago comparing belief in climate change to terrorism. The ads featured Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, proclaiming his belief in climate change, inviting a comparison to everyday believers in climate change. Many sponsors fled Heartland like a sinking ship in the aftermath.
The Republican attitude toward science is skeptical at best and derisive at worst. The major Republican candidates came out almost uniformly against science during the primaries, from Rick Perry calling evolution just a theory to Mitt Romney declaring he does not know if humans cause climate change. Only Jon Huntsman dared to break from the groupthink.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-vognar/could-climate-change-fry-_b_1635117.html?utm_hp_ref=greenShare This Post
The number of states with clean energy mandates remained constant in 2011
Bill Opalka | Jul 02, 2012
No states were added to the list of those requiring utilities to procure a certain %age of electricity from renewable sources in 2011, but the clean power market could not be described as standing still.Share This Post
Auditor-general eyes claims of carbon-neutrality
By Gordon Hoekstra, Vancouver Sun June 29, 2012
The B.C. auditor-general is examining the controversial carbon trading system the provincial government has used to declare its public sector carbon neutral.
The audit will determine whether the B.C. government has achieved that goal, and also determine whether the greenhouse gas reductions (called carbon offsets) the province purchased to become carbon neutral were “credible,” according to the auditor-general’s website.
Under the province’s rules, carbon offsets are only “credible” if the greenhouse gas reduction projects would not have gone ahead without the cash injection from the province.
Kate Jobling, spokeswoman for the office of the auditor-general, said the office could not comment on the audit because it is in progress, even to say when the carbon-neutral audit had started and when it is expected to be completed.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/resources/controversial+carbon+trading+system+under+review/6858021/story.htmlShare This Post
Posted: 07/02/2012 6:14 pm
President, EarthPeople Anna Clark
Anna Clark is president of EarthPeople and author of Green, American Style. She lives in one of the first residences in Dallas to earn a Platinum-LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
This op ed was written in association with The Op Ed Project
Dallas is back on prime time, and in more ways than one. The black stuff spewing from the gusher in the season premier may be pure fiction -- Texas oil fields are hundreds of miles away from Dallas -- but the TV producers portray at least one truth: Dallas has an abundance of wealth and energy resources. And we're getting smarter about how to use them.
The Lone Star State continues to boom in fossil fuels, but with 10,000 megawatts of wind power capacity and the nation's highest solar potential, we're also one of America's largest producers of renewable energy. This paradox makes our region exceptionally relevant as the country seeks to maximize domestic resources while planning for the transition to a cleaner energy infrastructure.
The City of Dallas has, in fact, led the sustainability push in Texas, purchasing 40 percent of its power from wind energy and becoming one of the first two cities in the U.S. to adopt an all-building green ordinance.
As the nation's fourth-largest metropolitan area and home to approximately 20 Fortune 500s, Dallas-Fort Worth is a sizable market with a unique capacity to commercialize clean technologies. Dallas-based Principal Solar, Inc., the world's first distributed solar utility, is one notable innovator in renewable power.Share This Post
Seattle City Light and energy efficiency: least cost, least risk
Kate Rowland | Jun 28, 2012
Public power has had some critical successes across the board, and in the area of energy efficiency, these utilities are old pros.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.intelligentutility.com/article/12/06/seattle-city-light-and-energy-efficiency-least-cost-least-risk&utm_medium=eNL&utm_campaign=IU_DAILY2&utm_term=Original-MemberShare This Post
By SCOTT SIMPSON, Vancouver Sun June 30, 2012
Big opportunities, big risks, big headaches.
All three loom as gas and oil producers, utilities, politicians, voters and others at all levels wrestle to impose a sense of order on an energy sector boom that’s expected to reshape the economic landscape not only in British Columbia, but around the world.
Over the last five years, sophisticated new methods of drilling for natural gas have opened up vast new reserves in North America, and this technology will lessen the control a handful of non-democratic nations have had on the global gas supply.
Senior analysts are suggesting the emergence of a global trade in liquefied natural gas, or LNG, will even weaken the grip Saudi Arabia and other producers have over the world price of oil, as gas becomes a popular and efficient substitute.
British Columbia could play a role in that shift, but it won’t be easy.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/fp/resources/energy+sector+confronts+opportunities+risks/6861856/story.htmlShare This Post
The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said Monday that it would seek to impose a $3.7 million fine — a record civil penalty — on the pipeline operator Enbridge over an oil spill in the Kalamazoo River in Michigan two years ago.
The spill from the pipeline, which involved at least 800,000 gallons of a form of crude called diluted bitumen, has proved difficult to clean up, and parts of the river remain closed. The pipeline agency, part of the Department of Transportation, found that the company had violated many federal regulations, including failing to follow proper management procedures and using operators without the proper qualifications.
For example, despite alarms indicating a problem with the pipeline, Enbridge employees tried several times to restart the flow, with more oil spilled as a result. “We will hold pipeline operators accountable if they do not follow proper safety procedures to protect the environment and local communities,” the federal transportation secretary, Ray LaHood, said.
To read the entire article go to: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/02/u-s-seeks-record-civil-fine-in-kalamazoo-spill/?ref=energy-environmentShare This Post
Dan Kane - The (Raleigh) News & Observer
Monday, Jul. 02, 2012 | 04:46 AM
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed legislation on Sunday that would have paved the way for North Carolina to drill for natural gas through a water and chemical intensive process known as fracking. It is the Democratic governor’s third veto of major Republican-backed legislation — all in the past four days.
Perdue said in a statement that she did not think the legislation went far enough to protect the environment.
“I support energy policies that create jobs and lower costs for businesses and families,” Perdue said. “Our drinking water and the health and safety of North Carolina’s families are too important; we can’t put them in jeopardy by rushing to allow fracking without proper safeguards.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/07/02/2895727/nc-gov-perdue-vetoes-fracking.htmlShare This Post
By ANDREW C. REVKIN July 2, 2012, 12:26 pm
Here are a couple of reactions to my exchange with "Gasland" filmmaker Josh Fox after signals emerged that New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is poised to end a state moratorium on gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing. (In a related development, North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat who does not flatly oppose hydraulic fracturing, on Sunday vetoed a bill championed by state Republicans that she said was insufficiently protective of water supplies and landowners.)
Below you'll hear from Tom Wilber, the upstate reporter and author of "Under the Surface," an invaluable new book on the gas rush in the Pennsylvania-New York border region. I find Wilber (and his book) to be the closest thing to ground truth that exists in the hype-cloaked arena.
First here's Bill Chameides, the blogging dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, who recently toured a wide swath of Pennsylvania gas country by helicopter with other Duke researchers focused on America's gas rush (slide show here):
To read the entire article go to: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/02/more-views-on-the-gas-rush-and-fracking-debate/?ref=energy-environmentShare This Post
By MATTHEW L. WALD July 3, 2012, 7:50 am
The debate over making post-Fukushima Daichi improvements to American reactors is getting down into the nitty-gritty details, and one focus is pressure relief vents.
The idea behind venting a nuclear plant is that if a reactor overheats, chemical reactions will produce steam and gases that could over-pressurize the containment building. The containment is a major line of defense against the release of radioactive materials, and rather than let it burst like an overfilled balloon, the idea goes, it would be more sensible to let the reactor dump a little bit of slightly radioactive gas into the environment.
Boiling water reactors like the kind used at Fukushima and at many sites around the United States have smaller containment vessels and are therefore more prone to over-pressurization, and they use more metals that can give off gas if exposed to extreme heat.
To read the entire article go to: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/03/nuclear-industry-and-venting-round-2/?ref=energy-environmentShare This Post
Jun 29 - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News - Pam Sohn Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn.
About 100 anti-nuclear activists gathered in Chattanooga on Thursday for a three-day strategy session and to hear "The Dave and Dave Show" at the "Know Nukes Y'all Summit."
To read the entire article go to: http://www.energycentral.com/functional/news/news_detail.cfm?did=25092533Share This Post
David R. Baker
Updated 10:36 p.m., Monday, July 2, 2012
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. asked California regulators on Monday for permission to collect an extra $5.25 billion from its customers over three years to make the company's electricity and natural gas delivery networks safer and more reliable.
If approved, the proposal would raise a typical homeowner's monthly bill 15.6 percent by 2016.
The proposal requires the approval of the California Public Utilities Commission to take effect, and the commission typically doesn't give utilities all the money they request. But this isn't the only rate increase that PG&E is seeking.
The San Francisco company has already asked the commission to approve spending $2.2 billion on upgrades to its natural gas pipeline network in the wake of the deadly 2010 San Bruno explosion, with $1.96 billion of that money coming from customers. And last month, PG&E requested approval to raise $539.5 million more from ratepayers next year, largely to pay the costs of buying more renewable power from wind farms and solar power plants.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/PG-E-rate-plan-would-cost-15-6-more-typically-3680344.phpShare This Post
Mother Nature strikes again, with massive thunderstorms
Phil Carson | Jul 02, 2012
The wildfires that raged across Colorado's Front Range in past weeks and the storms that rocked the Eastern states late last week present challenges to both utilities and end-use customers alike.Share This Post
Posted: 07/02/2012 12:12 pm
Web Editor, United Republic
The Washington, D.C., area experienced incredibly severe storms on Friday night, the kind that, with an unprecedented number of downed trees, can only lead to extensive power disruptions -- 1.5 million were without power for at least part of the weekend. Yet three days later, 25 percent of households and businesses in the area still don't have power -- and some aren't expected to get it back until next Friday (or even later!), a full week after the storm. This is happening amid a record-setting heatwave that isn't just inconvenient and sticky. 100-plus degree days without access to air-conditioning can be deadly.
Pepco is the company that provides most electricity to the area; with what essentially amounts to a natural monopoly on power services to Washington and parts of Virginia and Maryland, consumers don't have a choice in who provides their power. This doesn't mean Pepco necessarily has great service (as most any DC area resident can attest). Yet for the past few years, Pepco has repeatedly lobbied to increase their fares, which DC public advocates dismiss as unfair, given the company's poor track record. Pepco ranks in the bottom 25 percent of utility companies, based on day-to-day reliability.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suzanne-merkelson/pepco-lobbying_b_1643195.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=GreenShare This Post