Yesterday was a great day to be in Colorado. First, I toured a Federal Railroad Administration facility–the work the FRA crew is doing there really deserves its own blog post, so stay tuned for that one next week.
Using lighter colors for rooftops and streets worldwide could help reduce global temperatures and offset the heat from as much as two years of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study. After examining the results from a global land surface model from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (more…)
(Reuters) – Democrats in the U.S. Senate aim to debate in late July a bill clamping down on offshore oil drilling practices and fostering more alternative energy use, but no decision has been made on whether to include controversial climate change provisions, aides said on Friday.
As the Gulf of Mexico oil spill entered its 81st day with BP still unable to plug its leaking undersea well, the Senate was planning a two-week debate on an energy and environmental bill that could start as early as July 19. (more…)
The reporting of greenhouse gas emissions by major sources of these pollutants is gaining momentum.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing requirements under its national mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting program for underground coal mines, industrial wastewater treatment systems, industrial waste landfills and magnesium (more…)
Many energy experts contend natural gas is the ideal fuel as the world makes the transition to renewable energy. But since much of that gas will come from underground shale, potentially at high environmental cost, it would be far better to skip the natural gas phase and move straight to massive deployment of solar and wind power.
For several years, many voices, including Texas energy baron T. Boone Pickens, have been touting natural gas as the best energy source to form a bridge between the current fossil-fuel economy and a renewable energy (more…)
Natural gas will play an increasingly important role in powering the U.S., doubling its share of the energy market from 20 percent to 40 percent within several decades, according to a report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A key reason behind the rise of natural gas is the increasing extraction of gas from underground shale deposits, a controversial practice that poses significant environmental risks. (more…)
(Reuters) – California environmentalists opened fire on Wednesday on a measure approved for the state’s November ballot that would roll back a landmark law regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
Linking the measure to the historic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Sierra Club and other environmental groups lambasted the measure, noting in a statement that Texas-based oil companies Valero and Tesoro have put money behind it.
The measure, certified by California’s top elections official for the ballot on Tuesday, would suspend the law until the unemployment rate in the most populous U.S. state, currently more than 12 percent, drops to 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the law, AB32, in 2006 (more…)
(Reuters) – Taiwan aims to transform several of its outlying islands into models of green energy production as part of a 10-year effort to cut its overall greenhouse gas emissions, the government said on Monday.
Industrialized Taiwan, a major semiconductor, chemicals and steelmaker, will invest heavily in wind power on the Penghu islands in the Taiwan Strait. The aim is to raise renewable energy production to half total consumption of the 90,000 population, officials said.
On the Kinmen islets, also known as Quemoy, T$3 billion ($90 million) will be spent to develop solar power, recycle water and push eco-friendly architecture for the 70,000 people who live there, the Environmental Protection Administration said.
The agency said it was hoped the investments could deliver a rapid transformation of the energy supply on the islands and help drive efforts on the more industrialized main island, with a population of 23 million. (more…)
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, tax fraud is the carbon trading market’s most egregious form of cheating, affecting about seven percent of this $125 billion market in 2009.
In August 2009, seven people were arrested near London for not paying tax on the sale of carbon permits, for a total of £38 million (about U.S. $63 million). The taxes were levied as part of the European Union Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading System, created in January 2005 and based on Directive 2003/87/EC, which was enforced beginning Oct. 25, 2003.
Carbon emissions trading, or cap-and-trade, is a system whereby governments tell industry how much carbon dioxide a particular factory or operation can emit. If the factory or operation manages to emit less than the mandate allows, it can sell its excess on the open market, but either it or its designated seller is required to report the transaction and pay taxes on it, as on any financial gain. (more…)
Once upon a time a trip around the world made major headlines. Now it is a commonplace and a convenient way to measure air quality around the world by plane. A plane outfitted to measure greenhouse gases has taken off from Colorado on the first leg of a 24 day mission that will take it back and forth across the Pacific Ocean from the Arctic to the Antarctic.
The mission is part of a three year project designed to determine when and where the gases enter and leave the atmosphere. That in turn could help policymakers as well as scientists on how to handle and measure climate change.
The scientific questions that this study is focused on are (1) understanding the global sources and sinks for CO2, CH4, and other carbon cycle gases, and more broadly (2) determining large scale rates of tracer transport in the atmosphere. In other words what are the seasonal ups and downs of these gases and where do they increase (sources) and where do they decrease (sinks). (more…)