Pollution

Californians to pay $600 mln for green think tank
April 10, 2008 07:16 PM - Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California electricity and natural gas customers will be charged $600 million over the next 10 years to fund a green think tank, the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously voted on Thursday. A surcharge to monthly power and gas bills will fund the California Institute for Climate Solutions, linked to the University of California. The surcharge will be tacked on customer bills of investor-owned utilities and not of municipal utilities in Los Angeles and Sacramento.

The noose tightens: Waxman subpoenas EPA documents over dirty decision
April 10, 2008 09:42 AM - , Clean Air Watch

The plot continues to thicken over the obviously White House-directed EPA decision to reject California’s greenhouse gas standards for motor vehicles. Today, Rep. Henry Waxman issued a subpoena to compel EPA to provided “unredacted” copies of documents that have been withheld from Waxman’s oversight committee. See below.

Record beach litter threatens marine wildlife
April 9, 2008 07:21 PM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Plastic litter on Britain's beaches has reached record levels, endangering whales, dolphins and seabirds, an environmental charity survey said on Thursday. The Marine Conservation Society, which campaigns for cleaner beaches and seas, said plastic litter has increased by 126 percent since its first survey in 1994.

Climate assumptions 'optimistic at best'
April 9, 2008 09:29 AM - , SciDevNet

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has seriously underestimated the technological advances needed to stem carbon dioxide emissions, say Roger Pielke Jr, Tom Wigley and Christopher Green in Nature. They describe the IPCC's assumption that the majority of future emission reductions will occur spontaneously, in the absence of climate policies, as "optimistic at best and unachievable at worst".

Car companies lobby Congress to kill California global warming authority
April 9, 2008 09:07 AM - , Clean Air Watch

Yes, they are at it again. The car companies and car dealers are once again trying to kneecap California and other states by taking away their rights to set better global warming emission standards for motor vehicles. Yes, the Bush administration did reject California's bid, but EPA's attorneys believe California will prevail in court. Hence the new push by the car crowd to build a fire wall in Congress.

Expert foresees 10 more years of R&D to make solar energy competitive
April 8, 2008 09:38 AM - American Chemical Society

NEW ORLEANS, April 7, 2008 — Despite oil prices that hover around $100 a barrel, it may take at least 10 or more years of intensive research and development to reduce the cost of solar energy to levels competitive with petroleum, according to an authority on the topic. “Solar can potentially provide all the electricity and fuel we need to power the planet,” Harry Gray, Ph.D., scheduled to speak here today at the 235th national meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). His presentation, “Powering the Planet with Solar Energy,” is part of a special symposium arranged by Bruce Bursten, Ph.D., president of the ACS, the world’s largest scientific society celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Beckman Scholars Program.

Summer gasoline use down first time in 17 years
April 8, 2008 09:31 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Record gasoline prices and a contracting U.S. economy will reduce summer gasoline demand for the first time in 17 years, the government's top energy forecasting agency said Tuesday. U.S. gasoline prices will hit a monthly peak of just over $3.60 per gallon in June, helping to reduce motor fuel demand by 0.4 percent this busy driving season compared to last summer, said the federal Energy Information Administration.

Spain nuclear plant leak below legal limit: watchdog
April 8, 2008 06:38 AM - Reuters

MADRID (Reuters) - Radioactivity from a leak detected at Spain's Asco I nuclear power plant during refueling last November was below legal limits, Spain's nuclear watchdog said on Tuesday. The Nuclear Safety Commission sent inspectors to the plant after being told on Friday that a routine inspection had detected radioactive particles on the outside of buildings at Asco I, in the northeast Catalonia region.

Haze could worsen this year: ASEAN ministers
April 8, 2008 03:40 AM - Reuters

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (Reuters) - Smog from forest fires, which costs Southeast Asian economies billions in lost tourist dollars, could worsen as changing weather patterns cause an unusually dry spell, the region's environment ministers warned on Tuesday. The effects of the La Nina weather phenomenon are expected to wear off in the third quarter of 2008, which could result in arid conditions, the ministers said, quoting a forecast from the ASEAN Meteorological Centre.

IOC head: Beijing air no danger to athletes
April 5, 2008 01:24 AM - Reuters

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The head of the International Olympic Committee said on Saturday that Beijing's poor air quality will not endanger the health of athletes competing in the games in August, but it may affect their performance. "The health of the athletes is absolutely not in danger," Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee said in Singapore.

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