Coal-fired power plants are the biggest single category of carbon pollution emitters. The EPA wants to tighten coal power emissions standards, and these two groups, one composed of business enterprises and the other a large evangelical group support the EPA’s move. Find out why.
This past week, about 300,000 people in West Virginia got to sample what life is like when you can’t just turn on a tap and draw out a stream of clean water for drinking, cooking or bathing.
In his first major policy address since taking over at the Department of Energy, Dr. Ernest J. Moniz sought to explain the administration’s “all of the above” energy plan and answered critics who accuse Obama supporting natural gas development despite concerns that fracking contaminates air and water.
Concerned about the heavy toll that carbon pollution is taking on the planet, students across the US are petitioning their colleges to divest from fossil fuels….By clicking on the link to their school, students are connected either to a petition they can sign, or a website for their campus group working for fossil fuel divestment.
Beyond that brief mention at the Republican Convention when Mitt Romney won a laugh for quipping that Obama had promised to keep the oceans from rising, it’s impossible to name one other time when climate change dominated even 15 minutes of the daily election news cycle this past year.
Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign has been turning up the heat on coal users, including campuses.
According to Sierra, 60 U.S. universities operate their own coal plants. The environmental group wants them to convert to another source of energy that produces fewer greenhouse gases, which are contributing to rapid climate change. Coal plant emissions also create ground-level pollution and contain mercury and arsenic, which ends up on land and in oceans and lakes.
You know that argument about how the U.S. can’t really impact greenhouse gases because they’re spiraling out of control in other developing nations like China and India?
It’s illogical on its face, but that’s not stopping fossil fuel interests from pushing this idea.
By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now
NV Energy has postponed plans to build a coal-fired power plant in eastern Nevada due to “increasing environmental and economic uncertainties surrounding its development,” the company announced.
Instead, the company will focus on construction of a 250-mile transmission line to link northern and southern Nevada in hopes of transporting energy from “renewable and other energy production facilities,” NV said in a statement. And it will ask the state regulatory agency to approve accelerated construction of the line.
By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now
Don’t know if it’s the financial crisis, the change of seasons or just the usual grumpiness over the incessant despoiling of the mothership, but the green agitators seem especially edgy lately.
Reuters reported Monday that Greenpeace had blockaded palm oil ships leaving an Indonesian port bound for China and Europe. Their point: harvesting palm oil in that region is destroying rainforests and wildlife and contributing to greenhouse gases (remember those warm climate forests are especially valuable carbon sinks).
The activists were reportedly bobbing in rubber boats out in front of the palm oil ships and one Greenpeacer was seen jumping aboard the anchor of a ship, where he or she presumably clung for dear life.
Disturbing reports haunt the news lately, suggesting that the faltering U.S. economy could stall environmental progress or even force a digression on climate change programs.
Two U.S. wind energy companies and several corn ethanol projects have been delayed for lack of financing, The New York Times reported this week in “Alternative Energy Suddenly Faces Headwinds“.
A similarly upbeat piece “Environment will wither whoever wins US election” from The Times in London, notes that “environmental groups are already bracing themselves for delays or disappointment on action to tackle global warming”. The article postulates that post-election political leaders will face opposition to environmental programs from job-starved states in the Rust Belt reliant on coal and other heavy industry. American’s immediate need for cold green cash, it warns, could trump green growth.
Future energy literally rose above fossil fuel-generated power at a site in Pennsylvania where officials celebrated the opening this week of the Casselman Wind Power Project near Garrett, Pa., southeast of Pittsburgh.
Eight of the 23 turbines sit atop the site of a former coal mine.
“Pennsylvania is rapidly becoming a leader among states that are developing renewable and alternative energy sources and implementing advanced energy efficiency and conservation technologies,” said Governor Edward G. Rendell at the opening ceremony.
Rendell noted that the project will help create jobs, reduce dependence on foreign oil and improve the environment.