EJToday: Top Headlines
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More immediate than the Gulf oil spill to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection are the gushers, spills, and accidents from the gas drilling boom in the state.
"As it works to reshape the oil industry's image, American Petroleum Institute's media shop has nabbed a former spokesman for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce."
"Ethanol and other renewable fuels must account for 7.95 percent of total gasoline sales in 2011 to meet Congress' mandate for 13.95 billion gallons of renewable fuels expected to be produced next year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday."
"The Army Corps of Engineers wants to use ash cast off from coal-fired electrical generation to shore up dozens of miles of Mississippi River levees, drawing fire from environmentalists worried that heavy metals from the filler might make their way into the river."
"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued revised rules on Monday for a six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, replacing an earlier one that had been declared invalid by federal courts."
"Plane powered entirely by the sun lands safely in Switzerland after completing its first 24-hour test flight, proving that aircraft can stay airborne during the night using energy gathered from the sun by day."
"The incandescent light bulb’s days are numbered. Under federal law, the 100-watt bulbs are supposed to be taken off the shelf next year, followed later by the more common 40- and 60-watt models. But guess who’s still using them? The Department of Energy."
"A federal appeals court on Thursday turned down the Obama administration’s effort to enforce a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico."
"OTTAWA - Federal politicians from the government and opposition benches have mysteriously cancelled an 18-month investigation into oilsands pollution in water and opted to destroy draft copies of their final report."
"Less than four months after President Barack Obama took office, his new administration received a forceful warning about the dangers of offshore oil drilling."
Just as harmful to the Gulf of Mexico as the BP oil spill is the annual "dead zone" whose increase in recent years has been driven by nitrogen fertilizer used to produce corn ethanol in the U.S. heartland.
"More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one — not industry, not government — is checking to see if they are leaking, an Associated Press investigation shows."
Proposals afloat in Congress would raise taxes on the oil industry to help pay for spill cleanup. The industry objects, claiming the burden would harm not only companies, but the country. But the oil industry already gets tens or hundreds of billions in tax breaks and outright subsidies from the federal government.
"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."