Environmental Policy

Striking Balance in the Arctic
October 16, 2010 10:04 AM - Wildlife Conservation Society

The Department of Interior is planning to assess Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve for energy development. Spanning 37,000 square miles across western Alaska, the NPR-A is the biggest piece of public land in the United States. For now, this Arctic landscape is mostly undeveloped and home to caribou, grizzly bears, wolves, and a wide variety of birds, among other northern wildlife. Sending public comments to the Bureau of Land Management, WCS has asked the government to permanently protect certain places within the NPR-A that are vital to wildlife. WCS also urged the BLM to form a scientific advisory panel for evaluating how to manage the land in the face of energy development and climate change.

Haiti Quakes
October 15, 2010 11:41 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake that caused more than 200,000 casualties and devastated Haiti's economy in January 2010 resulted not from the Enriquillo fault, as previously believed, but from slip on multiple faults as well as primarily on a previously unknown, subsurface fault - according to a study published online this week in Nature Geoscience. In addition, because the earthquake did not involve a slip near the Earth's surface, the study suggests that it did not release all of the strain that has built up on faults in the area over the past two centuries, meaning that future surface rupturing earthquakes in this region are likely.

Ending Hunger in Africa
October 14, 2010 11:55 AM - Danielle Nierenberg, Worldwatch Institute

As hunger and drought spread across Africa, there's a huge focus on increasing yields of staple crops, such as maize, wheat, cassava, and rice. Although these crops are important for improving food security, they cannot cure malnutrition alone. There is no one-size fits all or single crop solution to solving global hunger, alleviating poverty, or protecting the environment and mitigating climate change. But the good news is that there is a multi-crop solution and it's already being spear-headed by farmers on the ground: vegetables.

Solar Power to Return to the White House
October 7, 2010 10:02 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Coinciding with its push for more renewable energy development, the executive branch of the US federal government has decided to install solar panels on the White House. This is a quarter century after President Reagan took down the previous solar panels installed by his predecessor, President Carter. The Obama Administration will install new solar panels as a way of promoting its clean energy program.

US Department of Interior Allows First-Ever Solar Energy Projects on Public Lands
October 6, 2010 10:28 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Yesterday, the Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar approved the nation's first-ever large-scale solar energy plants to be built on public lands. Both plants, located in California, are first in a series of clean energy projects under final review by the Department of Interior (DOI) that are to be built on public lands. The California projects will have access to 6,800 acres that could produce up to 754 megawatts, enough to power up to 566,000 typical homes.

The Future of Aviation: Confusion or Sanity
October 4, 2010 12:58 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

All industries across the world face the same regulatory maze and misdirection. In some cases it has led to industry leaving and going to China where laws are more permissive, That is not an option for the aviation industry which flies everywhere. All aviation stakeholders, including manufacturers, airlines, airports and navigation service providers, have issued a joint call for governments to agree a global plan to address aviation emissions at December's United Nations climate summit in Cancun.

BP Texas City Aftermath
October 1, 2010 01:44 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Accidents happen. Unfortunately, for BP, they have been in the news often for some major incidents. Besides the Gulf of Mexico spill this year, there was the March 23, 2005 incident. This was a fire and explosion that occurred at BP's Texas City Refinery in Texas City, Texas, killing 15 workers and injuring more than 170 others. BP was charged with criminal violations of federal environmental laws and has been subject to lawsuits from the victim's families. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration slapped BP with a then-record fine for hundreds of safety violations, and subsequently imposed an even larger fine after claiming that BP had failed to implement safety improvements following the disaster. BP has now been agreed to pay a $15 million penalty that resolves federal civil claims stemming from the two fires, leak, and reporting violations at the refinery that occurred in the same time frame.

Turkmenistan Oil and Gas
October 1, 2010 10:12 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

Oil and gas supplies and their future use is a major variable for the 21st. century. On the one hand there is a demand to go to renewable sources. On the other hand is that oil and gas will be used for many years to come. Turkmenistan's president said on September 3oth. that his country had the capacity to almost quadruple its natural gas exports in the next 20 years and was ready to meet demand from Europe. The discovery of a major gas field was announced three days ago.

Texan Flexible Air Permits
September 27, 2010 01:43 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently announced its voluntary Audit Program to help companies with Flexible Permits obtain air quality permits that meet state and federal requirements and the protections of the Clean Air Act (CAA). The Texas Flexible Permits program was never approved by EPA into the state implementation plan (SIP). This has been an issue of controversy since the early 1990's between EPA and the state of Texas.

Is the EPA America’s Secret Economic Weapon?
September 27, 2010 11:40 AM - RP Siegel, Triple Pundit

Do you remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? The tortoise won the race because he ran the whole race, taking the long view, seeing the big picture, unlike the rabbit who, given his speed, didn’t see the need. While China seems to be roaring ahead right now with unchecked economic expansion, the significant environmental challenges they are accumulating will eventually catch up with them. The International Fund for China’s Environment estimates that the cleanup of this mess will cost well over $100 billion annually, more than 2% of their GDP. In fact, the Academy for Environmental Planning estimates that back in 2004 China spent over 3% of their GDP on environmentally related costs and in 2007, according to the World Bank, that number was 6%

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