EJToday: Top Headlines
EJToday is SEJ's selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat. SEJ members are subscribed automatically, but may opt out here. Non-members may subscribe here. EJToday is also available via RSS feed. Please see Editorial Guidelines for EJToday content.
"As the utility industry embarks on a potential $1 trillion-plus expansion in renewable energy transmission and energy-saving smart grid technologies over the next two decades, it must also confront a new and growing fragility while demands on the grid increase. It must be able to protect the grid against so-called "high-impact, low-frequency" threats to the power system."
"Congress on Wednesday took major steps to rein in Big Oil's offshore drilling practices, as one Senate panel voted to lift all caps on liability in oil spills and another moved to deny offshore leases to companies with poor track records."
"The Interior Department, preoccupied with its response to the BP oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, said Wednesday that it was pushing back the date of public hearings on the administration’s plan, announced before the disaster began, to expand offshore drilling."
"Earlier this month, when Ikea announced this will be its last year selling incandescent light bulbs, the retailer billed it as an early, pro-sustainability move before federal law 'bans' the famously inefficient lamps."
"Oil and gas companies have reported almost 1,000 spills to Colorado regulators over the past 2-1/2 years, totaling 5.2 million gallons of drilling liquids and oil."
"As U.S. senators debate some of the most sweeping climate change laws in American history, a powerful lobbying effort led by Canadian officials and huge oil firms may be winning big concessions."
Some oil companies have been drilling in the Gulf and elsewhere at depths far greater than the BP's blown-out Macondo well. That drilling raises unique engineering challenges -- and also raises questions about whether the companies have adequately addressed unique environmental risks.
"Legislation could include a carbon cap on utility companies. Many Democrats hope a summer discussion on energy will establish a strong contrast with Republicans before this fall's election."
"A utility proposal to install smart meters throughout Maryland has been rejected by the state's Public Service Commission, jeopardizing if not ending what had been one of the Obama administration's leading investment commitments to smart grid technologies and consumer energy conservation."
"Canada will phase out older coal-fired power plants to cut the country's greenhouse gas emissions, Environment Minister Jim Prentice said on Wednesday, as it moves to make natural-gas fired plants the new clean-power standard."
"Louisiana is married to the oil and gas business, for better or for worse. The energy industry depends on Louisiana to supply 30 percent of the nation's oil supply, and Louisiana depends on the industry as the state's biggest economic engine. But there is a cost, as the Deepwater Horizon has proven."
A new report makes the myth-busting assertion that the coal industry costs the state of West Virginia more in expenses than it brings in economic benefits.