Articles filed under Pollution from USA

Climate of Opinion

While everyone concedes that the Earth is about a degree Celsius warmer than it was a century ago, the debate continues over the cause and consequences. We don't deny that carbon emissions may play a role, but we don't believe that the case is sufficiently proven to justify a revolution in global energy use. The economic dislocations of such an abrupt policy change could be far more severe than warming itself, especially if it reduces the growth and innovation that would help the world cope with, say, rising sea levels. There are also other problems -- AIDS, malaria and clean drinking water, for example -- whose claims on scarce resources are at least as urgent as climate change.
5 Feb 2007

Wind energy and the environment

To those who think that the installation of a wind plant, whether it be 4 turbines or 40, in what will become known as “formerly the beautiful seaside resort town of Eastham, Gateway to the Cape Cod National Seashore” will cut down on the carbon dioxide load, please think again. According to an investigation by the New York Times (12/28/06), wind power generates a big problem: it is unpredictable and often fails to blow when electricity is most needed, for example, on the hottest days when there is peak demand for air conditioning. According to Williams Bojorquez, director of system planning at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, “power plants that run on coal or gas must be built along with every megawatt of wind capacity.” That is because, when the winds don’t blow, the grid must buy electricity from the next cheapest source of power, otherwise there would be rolling black-outs. Frank P. Prager, managing director of environmental policy at Xcel Energy, which serves eight states from North Dakota to Texas and states it is the nation’s largest retailer of wind energy, says that the higher the reliance on wind, the more an electricity transmission grid would need to keep conventional generators on stand-by - generally low-efficiency plants that run on natural gas or coal and can be started and stopped quickly. A study by Elfam, Denmark’s largest utilities company, in March, 2005, found that wind plants had not reduced the country’s carbon dioxide emission levels, because it has to be backed-up by conventional energy. A report by the Royal Academy of Engineers in Britain around the same time suggested that a conventional power station produces higher emissions when it is turned down to make room on the grid for wind-derived energy, and then ramps up when the wind power is insufficient.
31 Jan 2007

Power companies endorse emissions cap bill

In a sign that US electricity companies are recognising that the Democratic-controlled Congress will seek to impose aggressive climate change initiatives, six companies, including Exelon, one of the largest utility companies, on Wednesday endorsed a bill that would reduce their projected emissions by 25 per cent below projected levels by 2020.
17 Jan 2007

Do carbon offsets live up to their promise?

In theory, the idea is simple. The consumer pays a third party to remove a quantity of carbon (in the form of a greenhouse gas) equal to what he or she emits. But how voluntary carbon offsets actually work is unclear at best, and potentially fraudulent at worst, say experts. The problem: No current certification or monitoring system has any teeth, and there is no easy way to confirm that offsetting companies are doing what they promise. Now, various organizations are scrambling to provide standards for what experts call a fragmented market with a product of drastically varying quality.
10 Jan 2007

Emissions-Cutting Costs Could Exceed $6 Million

County officials estimated that, in addition to spending $5 million in the next five years to improve energy efficiency in its public buildings, Arlington will spend more than $400,000 in the coming months to plant 1,200 trees, buy more wind-generated power, hand out more than 2,000 fluorescent light bulbs at fairs and other events and provide free energy audits of more than a dozen homes. County officials want to give residents who buy hybrid cars a break on their personal property tax — an unusual perk for a Virginia community. Cost estimates on the tax break are not available. The tax break would require approval from the Arlington County Board, but other elements of the plan, such as distributing light bulbs, can go forward without board permission.
3 Jan 2007

Hype and governance

The importance of finding reliable, clean, and economic solutions to our energy questions is paramount to our economy, our welfare, and our way of life. There are good ideas that are being discussed and others that will likely not see the light of day. Before you become a tool to advance the political agenda of the Carbon Coalition, make sure you know what their agenda is and what the footprint of that agenda might be in your town and our region five and 10 years out. You might find the Coalition has not thoroughly vetted its plan. It is best to know that now, before our political leaders feel pressed and grasp at anything to look like they're "just doing something".
13 Dec 2006

Midwest Generation, Governor Agree On Long-Range Emissions Reduction Plan

Chicago-based independent power producer Midwest Generation announced today that it has reached agreement with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on a comprehensive, long-range plan that will begin reducing mercury emissions from its power plants 18 months ahead of federal regulations, followed by multi-year programs to further cut other emissions at each of the company’s six plants in Illinois.
13 Dec 2006

Hype and governance

The importance of finding reliable, clean, and economic solutions to our energy questions is paramount to our economy, our welfare, and our way of life. There are good ideas that are being discussed and others that will likely not see the light of day. Before you become a tool to advance the political agenda of the Carbon Coalition, make sure you know what their agenda is and what the footprint of that agenda might be in your town and our region five and 10 years out. You might find the Coalition has not thoroughly vetted its plan. It is best to know that now, before our political leaders feel pressed and grasp at anything to look like they're "just doing something".
13 Dec 2006

Alliance joins greenhouse gas action

The federal Environmental Protection Agency’s position that it is not required to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, seen as an element of the toxic brew advancing global warming, was contested at the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday. Among the groups filing a friend-of-the-court brief in support of such regulation was the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.
1 Dec 2006

Grist Interview with Rep. John Dingell

There is no one simple solution to our energy problems. Whether we're talking about transportation or generation of electricity, it's many things -- it's alternative fuels, it's conservation, it's nuclear, it's a whole wide array of things. And in automobiles, we're going to have to explore things like hybrids. We're going to have to go to diesels. I'm trying to push us going to diesels because we get a 20- to 25-percent fuel benefit.
1 Dec 2006

TXU details plan to cut emissions

TXU on Friday revealed the first details of how it plans to cut emissions by 20 percent while building 11 new coal-burning power units. The Dallas-based company filed a permit application with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to add pollution-control equipment to its existing Martin Lake coal plant in Rusk County. That plant has three coal-burning units now and would add a fourth under TXU's plans. The Martin Lake retrofit is the first of three that TXU has promised as part of its new coal strategy. Similar announcements are expected by the year's end for the three-unit Monticello plant in Titus County and the two-unit Big Brown plant in Freestone County. Each of those plants is to add one unit.
18 Nov 2006

Energy's mix depends on market, policy signals

The fate of Wyoming’s energy mix in the next few decades depends a lot on what kind of signals the energy industry receives from either the market and policy-makers. Two experts assembled for the final presentation of the University of Wyoming/Casper College Energy Futures lecture series said how we deal with carbon emissions will have a great deal to do with Wyoming’s energy future.
17 Nov 2006

Combat global warming by developing nuclear power

Just about everyone in the Northwest should be concerned about the potentially devastating effects of climate change. And just about everyone should realize that there is only one way to head off the environmental disaster looming ahead -- an aggressive combination of improvements in energy efficiency and a major increase in the use of energy sources that do not release global-warming gases. With no possibility of increases in our large-scale hydropower projects and now talk of removing some existing dams, that means an increasing use of the only other large-scale, emissions-free source: Nuclear power.
15 Nov 2006

Combat global warming by developing nuclear power

Just about everyone in the Northwest should be concerned about the potentially devastating effects of climate change. And just about everyone should realize that there is only one way to head off the environmental disaster looming ahead -- an aggressive combination of improvements in energy efficiency and a major increase in the use of energy sources that do not release global-warming gases. With no possibility of increases in our large-scale hydropower projects and now talk of removing some existing dams, that means an increasing use of the only other large-scale, emissions-free source: Nuclear power.
15 Nov 2006

What Do Olympia Snowe and Jay Rockefeller Fear?

On October 27, Senators John (Jay) Rockefeller IV and Olympia Snowe sent a letter to ExxonMobil Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rex W. Tillerson demanding that the company cease funding for two dozen or so organizations and individuals they call a "small cadre of global climate change skeptics." Although it is unclear which organizations Snowe and Rockefeller are seeking to defund, one thing is clear: This is an attempt to muzzle groups and individuals with whom the Senators disagree. It is an attempt to stifle free speech and, as such, should be condemned by Americans of all political persuasions - both left and right. The Senators' letter is fundamentally inconsistent with both the process of scientific method and rational public policy formulation. Scientific method isn't about winning popularity contests. It's also not about being with the majority opinion. It isn't supposed be determined by politics. It is about attempting to limit bias or prejudice in the results.
10 Nov 2006

UN talks split on date for climate fight rules

A U.N. conference working to fix long-term rules to fight global warming beyond 2012 "as soon as possible" was split on Tuesday over whether that meant an accord should be struck in 2008, 2009 or even 2010. Industrial investors, weighing options ranging from coal-fired power plants to wind energy, are frustrated at the possibility of years of uncertainty about rules for fossil fuel emissions upon which carbon markets depend.
7 Nov 2006

Is the Answer Blowing in the Wind?

Yet, despite the operation of New Jersey’s small wind project since January, there is uncertainty about whether wind farms, particularly gigantic turbines positioned off the region’s coastline, will be embraced here. On Long Island, a 40-turbine project being considered off the South Shore is facing stiff resistance from opponents who argue that the turbines will damage pristine ocean views, fail to deliver cost-effective electricity and create environmental problems. In New Jersey, powerful local politicians have lined up behind wind power, where up to 80 turbines — rising 380 feet or more above the water along the South Jersey coastline — have been proposed to take advantage of the near-constant breezes.
3 Nov 2006

Is the Answer Blowing in the Wind?

Yet, despite the operation of New Jersey’s small wind project since January, there is uncertainty about whether wind farms, particularly gigantic turbines positioned off the region’s coastline, will be embraced here. On Long Island, a 40-turbine project being considered off the South Shore is facing stiff resistance from opponents who argue that the turbines will damage pristine ocean views, fail to deliver cost-effective electricity and create environmental problems. In New Jersey, powerful local politicians have lined up behind wind power, where up to 80 turbines — rising 380 feet or more above the water along the South Jersey coastline — have been proposed to take advantage of the near-constant breezes.
3 Nov 2006

Is the Answer Blowing in the Wind?

Yet, despite the operation of New Jersey’s small wind project since January, there is uncertainty about whether wind farms, particularly gigantic turbines positioned off the region’s coastline, will be embraced here. On Long Island, a 40-turbine project being considered off the South Shore is facing stiff resistance from opponents who argue that the turbines will damage pristine ocean views, fail to deliver cost-effective electricity and create environmental problems. In New Jersey, powerful local politicians have lined up behind wind power, where up to 80 turbines — rising 380 feet or more above the water along the South Jersey coastline — have been proposed to take advantage of the near-constant breezes.
3 Nov 2006

View from the Top: Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO of General Electric

FINANCIAL TIMES: There has been some recent legislation on Co2 reduction. I wonder if you see that as one of the big developments of late, and what its significance is. JEFFREY IMMELT: Yes. I think if you look at what some of the states are doing, California for instance, or even what's happening around the world, what's talked about in the UK, I think that's going to change the way people look at technology and it's going to change the way people look at energy policy in the future. It tends to be the way change starts. I would say in many ways some of the things that have happened in Europe over time have tended to drive technology. For instance, when Europe said it was going to have 10 per cent renewables that's what really opened up the world of wind energy and solar and things like that, so I think it's very meaningful.
3 Nov 2006

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=USA&p=4&topic=Pollution&type=Article
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