Used Cooking Oil Helps Heat Juneau, Alaska's Westmark Baranof Hotel
December 24, 2007 08:18 PM - Glen Hasak, Green Lodging News

Juneau, Alaska — After eating an evening meal of fish and chips, tourists in Juneau who retire for the night at the Westmark Baranof Hotel may find themselves warming their toes in a room partially heated by the oil used to cook their food. The Baranof collects the town’s used vegetable oil to help heat the hotel.

Report: Safety and Security Risks Undercut Nuclear Power's Role in Minimizing Global Warming
December 24, 2007 08:11 PM - , Environmental Health News

WASHINGTON — An expansion of nuclear power capacity in the United States could help reduce global warming pollution, but could also increase threats to public safety and national security, according to a report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Survey: Coal-Fired Power Plant Freeze Favored
December 22, 2007 06:34 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

DES MOINES, Iowa - Sending a clear message to state officials and presidential candidates, nearly four out of five Iowans (79 percent) -- including 69 percent of Republicans, 86 percent of Democrats and 79 percent of Independents -- think that "Iowa should focus on increased (energy) conservation steps and more fuel efficiency to reduce demand for electricity before it constructs new coal-fired power plants," according to a major new Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) survey commissioned by Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, Iowa Farmers Union and Plains Justice.

Economists: extreme cold weather costly, deadly
December 20, 2007 06:44 PM - UC Berkeley Newswire

BERKELEY -- Fatalities in the continental United States tend to climb for several weeks after severe cold spells, ultimately numbering 360 per chilly day and 14,380 per year, according to a new study co-authored by a University of California, Berkeley, economist. Deaths linked to extreme cold account for 0.8 percent of the nation's annual death rate and outnumber those attributed to leukemia, murder and chronic liver disease combined, the study reports. Cold-related deaths also reduce the average life expectancy of Americans by at least a decade, it says.

California to sue U.S. for denying emissions waiver
December 20, 2007 04:39 PM - Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Thursday that he would sue the U.S. government for not granting a waiver that would allow his state to enforce new standards on motor vehicle emissions. California needs the waiver from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement a state law requiring automakers to cut tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent on 2009 model cars. Sixteen other states either have adopted or are considering rules similar to California's standard. "I am extremely disappointed by EPA's decision to block the will of millions of people in California and 16 other states who want us to take tough action against global warming," Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

USDA's Conner: Crop supplies "dicey" in 2008
December 20, 2007 02:38 PM - Charles Abbott, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. farmers will win the race to grow enough corn, wheat and soybeans to satisfy food, feed and biofuel needs although 2008 will be "very dicey," said acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner on Thursday. "I would never bet against our farmers on this issue," Conner said in looking ahead to 2008 crops. For the second year in a row, zooming demand for U.S. crops will require a huge harvest to avoid shortfalls. "We have said it is going to be very dicey."

EPA Denies States the Right to Fight Global Warming
December 20, 2007 12:10 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stunned the nation today by denying California and 17 other states the right to proceed with regulations that would reduce global warming pollution from new automobiles. "EPA is not following science or the law," said Jim Tripp, general counsel for Environmental Defense. "This decision is like pulling over the fire trucks on their way to the blaze," said Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense "For 40 years, EPA administrators have recognized the important role that California plays in innovating new standards to fight pollution."

City of Pasadena Greenlights The Pasadena EcoHouse
December 20, 2007 12:00 PM -

PASADENA, Calif. - The Pasadena EcoHouse is a step closer to reality today, after the City of Pasadena approved the homeowners' hillside building permit at last night's meeting. When completed, The Pasadena EcoHouse will be the first single-family, structural concrete insulated panel (SCIP) home in the nation to earn the coveted Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes Green Building Rating System(TM), as well as the first LEED Platinum home in Pasadena. To earn the Platinum rating, The Pasadena EcoHouse will score points in several categories, including design, location, site impact, water and energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and green building awareness and education.

Plant Debris may be hazardous to global health
December 19, 2007 03:57 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL - A new study looks at a poorly understood process with potentially critical consequences for climate change. Emma Sayer, postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Jennifer Powers, an assistant professor in the University of Minnesota's department of ecology, Evolution and Behavior, and Edmund Tanner, researcher at Cambridge University, published the findings of their long-term study on the effects of increased plant litter on soil carbon and nutrient cycling in the Dec. 12 edition of PLoS ONE.

Experts: Pricy Oil Will Push Renewable Fuels Development
December 19, 2007 03:02 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL - researchers at the University of Minnesota has discovered a silver lining in the increasing cost of oil. Midwest experts in research, government, business and nonprofit sectors who attended the university’s E3 conference last month were surveyed on what they think will promote sustainable energy research within their geographic domain. Forty percent of the respondents said the cost of oil is the primary driver.

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