EJToday: Top Headlines
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"Michigan regulators dealt a setback Tuesday to proposals for new coal-fired power plants near Rogers City and Bay City, questioning the need for both projects at a time of growing emphasis on cleaner fuels."
"Switching to low-tech drying saves energy but can get residents in hot water with associations, landlords or towns that see clotheslines as eyesores. Now states from Maine to Hawaii are stepping in to override local laws and rules."
"Less than two weeks after the State Department gave the go-ahead for a major new pipeline to carry Alberta oil sands crude into the United States, a network of environmental and Native American groups filed a lawsuit to stop it."
"One company has received more than half of $500 million in the first round of grants from a Recovery Act program that provides cash assistance to renewable energy production companies in place of earned tax credits."
A new study using CFTC data shows that speculators have come to dominate the oil futures market since Congress eased commodity regulations in 2000.
"BP announced on Wednesday the discovery of what it characterized as a giant oil field several miles under the Gulf of Mexico, but it may take years to assess how much crude can actually be recovered."
"Geothermal startup AltaRock Energy Inc on Wednesday said it has suspended its demonstration project in California due to geologic anomalies."
"The Prius hybrid automobile is popular for its fuel efficiency, but its electric motor and battery guzzle rare earth metals, a little-known class of elements .... That makes Toyota's market-leading gasoline-electric hybrid car and other similar vehicles vulnerable to a supply crunch predicted by experts as China, the world's dominant rare earths producer, limits exports while global demand swells."
"Declining industrial electricity demand and an abundance of cheap natural gas will threaten coal's status as the dominant U.S. fuel to generate electric power, even after the economic recession ends" say electric industry executives and analysts.
"A $774 billion plan to power Europe with Sahara sunlight is gaining momentum, even as critics see high risks in a large corporate project using young technology in north African countries with weak rule of law."
Laboratory researchers are pursuing technologies for skipping the burning of coal altogether, and producing electricity directly from carbon via fuel cells.