Energy

Toyota Eyes the Plug-in Prius
November 10, 2007 06:10 PM - By Bernie Woodall

TORRANCE, California (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp on Friday detailed plans to study U.S. consumer demand for a version of its hot-selling Prius hybrid that could be recharged at a standard outlet and run on electric power only.

A senior Toyota executive declined to say when a plug-in Prius would be launched or whether it could beat rival General Motors Corp to market with a technology seen as capable of slashing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Bob Carter, who heads the Toyota brand in the United States, said it was more important for Toyota to understand consumer expectations and hone the battery-centered technology behind plug-in cars than to race to bring them to showrooms.

Norway seeks land power for offshore fields
November 9, 2007 12:24 PM - By Wojciech Moskwa

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway's centre-left government pushed ahead on Friday with controversial plans to power some offshore oil and gas platforms by electricity produced on land, in an effort to cut carbon emissions by the oil industry.

The Energy and Petroleum Ministry linked its approval for BP's Skarv field development with pledges by field partners to help develop technology that brings electrical power to offshore platforms or floating production vessels.

Politics of ethanol is to make more, Iowans agree
November 9, 2007 12:21 PM - By Andrew Stern

MUSCATINE, Iowa (Reuters) - For Iowans, ethanol is a home-grown success story few presidential candidates would dare sully in their search for votes as the harvest season ends and campaigns ramp up in earnest.

In stump speeches and position papers, Democratic and Republican hopefuls vying for Iowa's January 3 first-in-the-nation caucuses pay regular homage to the biofuels industry.

The industry has created tens of thousands of jobs in Iowa -- and more than 150,000 across the United States -- and is credited with lifting the prices paid to farmers for their crops, and even eased the pain at the gas pump.

U.S. Government Dumping $100 Million Into Filthy Fuels Project
November 9, 2007 08:37 AM - James Russell, Worldwatch Institute

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently released the final environmental impact statement (EIS) on its proposal to contribute $100 million toward a new plant that will convert coal to liquid fuels. According to the statement, emissions estimates cited in earlier drafts of the EIS were only a small fraction of the expected releases of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the facility. Based on the revised estimates, the plant will directly emit more than 114 million tons of the greenhouse gas over its lifetime. The massive injection of public funds into this major new emissions source stands in stark contrast to growing demands for meaningful U.S. action to mitigate climate change.

 

China attacks "subjective" IEA energy outlook
November 9, 2007 08:34 AM - Emma Graham-Harrison -Reuters

Beijing officials attacked an International Energy Agency report that said China would soon be the world's top energy user and carbon dioxide emitter, calling it subjective and politically ill-judged.

The strong criticism on Friday of the report, which highlights the impact of rapid growth in China and India, followed a warning from the head of the IEA that time is running out to solve the planet's climate and energy challenges

California sues EPA over car emissions
November 8, 2007 04:32 PM - By Adam Tanner, Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, demanding a quick federal decision that would allow the nation's most populous state to limit greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.

"California is ready to implement the nation's cleanest standards for vehicle emissions, but we cannot do that until the federal government grants a waiver allowing us to enforce those standards," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said.

The long-threatened legal action follows a 2005 California law requiring new vehicles to meet tighter standards for emissions, starting with 2009 models introduced next year.

Fuel Cells Gearing Up to Power Auto Industry
November 8, 2007 08:56 AM - , Green Progress

The average price for all types of gasoline is holding steady around $2_95 per gallon nationwide, but the pain at the pump might be short-lived as research from the University of Houston may eliminate one of the biggest hurdles to the wide-scale production of fuel cell-powered vehicles.

Fishermen Caught in Oil Dispute Over African Lake
November 8, 2007 08:20 AM - Reuters

NTOROKO, Uganda - Until this year, Robert Kazini had never given much thought to whether he was fishing in Congolese or Ugandan waters; it didn't matter.

Nor did it matter much to Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo -- until prospectors found oil here.

Now, with crude nearing $100 a barrel and both countries dreaming of billions of petrodollars that could flow from Lake Albert, an ugly and at times deadly dispute over their border is jeopardizing the livelihoods of locals like Kazini.

Maine officials OK 57 megawatt wind farm on Stetson Mountain
November 7, 2007 08:23 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Boston, MA — A 57 megawatt wind generating farm planned for Stetson Mountain received a critical OK today from Maine officials. UPC Wind, a wind power company, received approval from the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission on a rezoning petition and preliminary plan for the company’s proposed (MW) Stetson Wind Project in Washington County, Maine.  The project is expected to boost the local economy and  produce clean energy for Maine. Officials  voted unanimously in favor of rezoning the project’s site.

Oil races to record high above $98 a barrel
November 7, 2007 08:37 AM - Reuters

Oil sped above $98 a barrel for the first time on Wednesday, closing in on the landmark $100 level, driven by a slumping U.S. dollar and worries over a winter fuel supply crunch.

Analysts said it was only a matter of time before oil hit triple digits, with evidence of tightening stocks aiding a nearly 8 percent rise over the past two weeks alone.

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