EJToday: Top Headlines
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China is showing none of the hesitancy that marks the U.S. effort to train people for clean-energy jobs. One result is that China is poised to beat the U.S. in the contest for developing a clean-energy economy.
Heavy metal-laden coal ash currently can escape EPA regulation if it goes to some "beneficial use." But residents of LaBelle, Pa., are finding that what may be beneficial for utility and mining companies may be harmful to the townspeople's health and environment.
"The president's deficit commission proposed slashing energy tax breaks yesterday, a move that could make renewable power more competitive and help chisel down greenhouse gas emissions. But the plan is brimming with political pitfalls and vagueness around whether clean power subsidies might also be axed to curb the nation's rising debt."
"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's announcement about a 'cautious' approach to offshore oil development opens the door to leasing new waters in the Arctic after 2012 and clears the way for full review of a proposed new exploratory well in the Beaufort Sea as early as next summer."
"The Obama administration on Wednesday reversed its plans to expand offshore drilling along the Atlantic coast and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico in a retreat prompted by last summer's oil spill."
"Oil and gas operators could economically capture nearly half their flared or vented natural gas on federal land to boost government royalties and reduce heat-trapping emissions, the Government Accountability Office said in a report released yesterday."
"Subsidies and tariffs to promote domestic ethanol production are “fiscally irresponsible and environmentally unwise” and should be ended, a bipartisan group of United States senators declared in a letter to the chamber’s leaders on Tuesday."
"The New York State Assembly voted 93 to 43 Monday night to place a temporary moratorium on a controversial type of natural gas exploration that combines hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling."
Over the past decade, coal-burning electric power plants have been increasingly replaced by gas-burning plants. While this has helped the environment, the utility companies are motivated largely by the chance to save money. Meanwhile, 10,000 congregations in 38 states, joined through Interfaith Power & Light, are acting to shift the nation toward cleaner power because they think it is the moral thing to do.
"The U.S. is losing its edge in energy innovation to China, and it's time to reclaim it for the sake of future economic prosperity, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a speech on Monday."
Some transnational technology corporations see billions of dollars of business opportunity in China's rollout of a "smart grid" energy infrastructure in the next five years. No plans of comparable scale exist in the U.S.
"The United Nations' cultural arm UNESCO has appealed to Congolese President Joseph Kabila to guarantee there will be no oil exploration in the forest home of rare gorillas where two UK-listed firms hold drilling rights."
"Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a broad-based initiative on Tuesday aimed at accelerating the development of offshore wind power projects on the Outer Continental Shelf along the nation’s Atlantic coast."
"The Nissan Leaf, an electric car aimed at attracting environmentally conscious motorists, will get the equivalent of 99 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, based on government testing."