On Wednesday, President Obama will meet with a bipartisan group of Senators to discuss the need for comprehensive energy and climate legislation this year. Following that meeting, Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, will host a live chat on WhiteHouse.gov to take your questions on energy and climate change legislation.
(Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday pledged to do all he could to contain the BP Plc oil spill and help the Gulf Coast recover.
“We will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused,” Obama said in a televised address.
Obama also said he was happy to take ideas from Democrats and Republicans on broad energy legislation but said the United States could not afford to avoid changes in its energy use.
The high-stakes address to the nation is seen as an attempt to restore public confidence in his handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and drive forward his ambitious plans to cut U.S. dependence on fossil fuels.
BP’s efforts to curb the flow of oil into the sea suffered another setback when a fire aboard a ship collecting the gushing crude forced suspension of siphoning from the ruptured underwater well. But operations were restarted before Obama spoke. (more…)
(Reuters) – President Barack Obama will press BP executives this week to set up an escrow account to pay damage claims by individuals and businesses hurt by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster.
The move comes as Obama, who will address the nation about the spill on Tuesday night, faces questions on his handling of the disaster, which was in its 55th day. Millions of gallons of oil have poured into the Gulf since an April 20 offshore rig blast killed 11 workers and blew out the well. (more…)
With longstanding support from the Department of Energy, and under the direction of Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi , this Center at Georgia Tech has become a premier site for silicon photovoltaic (PV) research in the U.S. The company that evolved from this work –- Suniva –- is an American success story. (more…)
Despite strong evidence that growing food crops to produce ethanol is harmful to the environment and the world’s poor, the Obama administration is backing subsidies and programs that will ensure that half of the U.S.’s corn crop will soon go to biofuel production. It’s time to recognize that biofuels are anything but green.
In light of the strong evidence that growing corn, soybeans, and other food crops to produce ethanol takes a heavy toll on the environment and is hurting the world’s poor through higher food prices, consider this astonishing fact: This year, more than a third of the U.S.’s record corn harvest of 335 million metric tons will be used to produce corn ethanol. What’s more, within five years fully 50 percent of the U.S. corn crop is expected to wind up as biofuels.
Here’s another sobering fact. Despite the record deficits facing the U.S., and notwithstanding President Obama’s embrace of some truly sustainable renewable energy policies, the president and his administration have wholeheartedly embraced corn ethanol and the tangle of government subsidies, price supports, and tariffs that underpin the entire dubious enterprise of using corn to power our cars. In early February, the president threw his weight behind new and existing initiatives to boost ethanol production from both food and nonfood sources, including supporting Congressional mandates that would triple biofuel production to 36 billion gallons by 2022.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama outlined a strategy to boost biofuels production on Wednesday, seeking to nudge the country toward energy independence while balancing the environmental costs of grain-based motor fuels.
The move is part of the administration’s effort to gain more votes for a climate bill stalled in the Senate that will seek to boost production of clean, low-carbon energy and help the country reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuels.
The climate bill faces further hurdles after the election last month in Massachusetts that gave Republicans a Senate seat long held by Democrats, depriving the president’s party of 60 votes that could overcome procedural hurdles.
Here’s a list of environmental stories which had high impact during the last decade.
This is is in no particular order admittedly subjective and seen from an American perspective.
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Saying that “the time for talk is over,” President Obama called on the 193 nations at the Copenhagen climate summit to put aside divisions and agree on a treaty to tackle the threat of global warming. “We are running short of time, and at this point the question is whether we will move forward together or split apart. Whether we prefer posturing to action. We can choose delay, falling back into the same divisions that have stood in the way of action for years. And we will be back having the same stale arguments month after month, year after year — all while the danger of climate change grows until it is irreversible… We are ready to get this done today, but there has to be movement on all sides.”
Clearly frustrated by the lack of action as the 12-day conference drew to a close, Obama said a successful accord must contain three elements: a commitment from all major economies to make significant emissions reductions, the creation of a mechanism to verify that nations adhere to those commitments, and the establishment of a fund to help countries most vulnerable to climate change. Read the text of Obama’s speech and watch the video.
Denmark, host of the upcoming climate summit, is proposing that global greenhouse gas emissions be cut by 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, with emissions peaking by 2020, according to Reuters.
A draft of the Danish proposal, now being circulated, said that to meet the 2050 target industrialized nations will have to slash emissions by 80 percent in the next 40 years.
Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said he hopes that the 192 nations at the climate summit will approve a five- to eight-page “politically binding” agreement that spells out emissions reduction commitments for each nation.
April 16, 2009 was the high-water mark for high-speed rail in the United States. The leader of the free world stepped up to the podium and delivered the pitch. It was for a system of high-speed trains that would give citizens an affordable, fast and comfortable intercity travel option.
President Obama’s speech hit all the right notes. It outlined the need for high-speed rail, pointed out examples of international success and expressed the shortcomings of America’s infrastructure. The press corps covering the event seemed genuinely inspired, laughing at the president’s jokes and engaging him actively. (more…)