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.
"Early adopters of battery powered cars say they are satisfied with their purchases, despite some hassles."
"The U.S. solar power sector grew 67 percent in 2010 but still lagged European markets by a wide margin in installing solar systems, the industry's trade group said on Thursday."
"The latest surge in oil prices may help the renewable energy industry reach a turning point after years of boom-and-bust cycles long dictated by the rise and fall in gas prices."
"A new study about the way oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon accident evaporated into the air confirms that cleanup workers were exposed to high levels of airborne pollution, and that the fumes also may have made their way onshore in Louisiana."
"Americans worried about the pain of $100 U.S. oil should worry a lot more. Although $100 oil is the headline in U.S. newspapers, most refineries that supply fuel to service stations are paying the equivalent of a much higher price -- and those costs are already being felt when consumers fill up their vehicles."
The boom in cellulosic ethanol that was predicted four years ago never happened. Or hasn't happened yet. The idea of making ethanol from all manner of plant material other than corn still promises major net environmental benefits -- unlike corn ethanol, which doesn't do much for the environment. But a lot depends on oil prices, electric car sales, financing, and the economies of scale.
"Wyoming, famous for its crisp mountain air and breathtaking, far-as-the-eye-can-see vistas, is looking a little bit like smoggy Los Angeles these days because of a boom in natural gas drilling."
"The Lone Star state is several years ahead of Pennsylvania when it comes to deep natural gas drilling." So the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette went to Texas to see what might be in store, especially as densely settled suburban areas are drilled. For some, such as homeowners, it has meant economic loss; but for drillers, it has meant fortunes.
"The Interior Department will study the potential impacts of a 'very large oil spill' in the Arctic Ocean as part of a court-ordered supplemental review of oil and gas leasing off Alaska's northwest coast, the agency said."
Besides being a keystone of the ocean ecosystem, coral reefs are of huge commercial value. But they are seriously threatened by floods, runoff, rising ocean temperatures and acidity which are all symptoms of our fossil-fuel economy.
"The Obama administration is considering tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in response to rapidly rising gasoline prices brought on by turmoil in the Middle East, the White House chief of staff, William M. Daley, said on Sunday."
Past efforts to regulate toxic and polluting waste from oil and gas drilling operations were thwarted when back-room industry pressure subverted the law and science that justified it. Today, history may be about to repeat itself.
"The Department of Energy said on Thursday it has offered a conditional $102 million loan guarantee to support a wind farm in Maine. The financial aid will support the Record Hill wind project, a 50.1 megawatt wind power plant and transmission line in Maine."