Winter heating costs seen up 10 percent
October 9, 2007 04:21 PM - Tom Doggett, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumers will pay 10 percent more to warm their homes this winter, with the seasonal cost for all heating fuels averaging $997, or $88 more, than last year, the government said on Tuesday.
Heating oil will be the most expensive fuel, followed by propane, natural gas and electricity, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its annual winter forecast, which runs from October 1 through March 31.
Government weather experts say this winter will be colder than last year's, but warmer than the average winter over the last 30 years.
Clean air settlement to cost AEP over $4.6 billion
October 9, 2007 10:03 AM -
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It will cost giant utility American Electric Power more than $4.6 billion to comply with a settlement with the U.S. government to reduce harmful air pollution from 16 coal-burning power plants, the Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday.
In what the EPA called the single biggest environmental enforcement settlement in U.S. history, Ohio-based AEP agreed to end an 8-year lawsuit brought by the federal government.
Boston Irish Hotel Goes Green with Constellation NewEnergy
October 9, 2007 07:32 AM - , Green Progress
BOSTON - Constellation Energy today announced that its subsidiary, Constellation NewEnergy, has entered into a green electricity purchase agreement with the Jurys Boston Hotel. As part of the agreement, Constellation NewEnergy will provide approximately 7 million kilowatt hours of Green-e certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for 100 percent of the hotel's electricity usage, making Jurys one of the first hotels in Boston to match its entire load with green energy sources.
AEP says Settles Long-Running U.S. Acid Rain Suit
October 9, 2007 07:17 AM - Reuters
LOS ANGELES - U.S. power generator American Electric Power has settled an eight-year legal battle over acid rain with the U.S. government and other plaintiffs, but the agreement will not change the company's 2007 earnings, a spokesman said on Monday. It agreed to pay $15 million in civil penalties and $60 million in pollution cleanup costs to end the long-running dispute about whether AEP illegally modified power plants and spewed acid rain producing chemicals across the northeastern United States
Global warming may aggravate Argentine energy woes
October 8, 2007 06:25 PM - Hilary Burke, reuters
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - The effects of global warming could worsen Argentina's energy crunch in the coming years as water levels fall at some dams, and renewable options are costly and scarce, government officials said on Monday.
Less precipitation has been falling in some areas along the Andes mountain range in Argentina, lowering water levels at key hydroelectric plants in the Comahue region of Patagonia, for example.
This phenomenon could continue with average temperatures expected to rise by one degree during the 2020-2040 period, according to a study on climate change that Argentina will submit to the United Nations.
France unlikely to meet CO2 emissions target: report
October 8, 2007 04:54 PM - Reuters
The report into French energy perspectives up to 2050, due to be published this week, will say the best that can be expected is a reduction by 2.1 or 2.4 times, La Tribune said in an article from its Tuesday edition issued ahead of publication.
The report comes shortly before a major meeting of representatives from government, industry, environmental associations, agriculture and the public later this month.
Futuristic car makes reversing obsolete
October 8, 2007 02:42 PM - Reuters
TOKYO (Reuters) - For all those drivers that hate parallel parking and anything else that requires the reverse gear, Nissan could one day have the car for you.
The leading Japanese carmaker recently unveiled the Pivo 2, a battery-powered concept car with a fully rotating cabin that makes going backwards obsolete, since the driver can turn to face the direction they need to go.
Its wheels also turn 90 degrees, making parking easier.
"With this easy-to-handle car, you can feel comfortable while driving," said Masahiko Tabe, senior manager of the advanced vehicle development group at Nissan Motors.
Obama blames U.S. energy woes on timid politicians
October 8, 2007 02:34 PM - Steve Holland, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Monday blamed America's energy problems on timid Washington politicians and said if elected he would pursue bold proposals to fight global warming.
Obama, in excerpts from a speech he was to deliver in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, later in the day, said he would lead an effort to impose Kyoto-style caps on carbon emissions and prompt U.S. automakers to build cars that use less oil if elected in November 2008.
"Now, some of these policies are difficult politically," Obama said. "They aren't easy. But being president of the United States isn't about doing what's easy. It's about doing what's hard."
Better Than Corn? Algae Set to Beat Out Other Biofuel Feedstocks
October 8, 2007 11:26 AM - Alana Herro, Worldwatch Institute
Forget corn, sugar cane, and even switchgrass. Some experts believe that algae is set to eclipse all other biofuel feedstocks as the cheapest, easiest, and most environmentally friendly way to produce liquid fuel, reports Kiplinger’s Biofuels Market Alert. “It is easy to get excited about algae,” says Worldwatch Institute biofuels expert Raya Widenoja. “It looks like such a promising fuel source, especially if it’s combined with advances in biodiesel processing.”