The Week in Review in Business and Industry, February 14-18

The world reacted to the beginning of the Kyoto era this week.

The world reacted to the beginning of the Kyoto era this week, most markedly by the non-participation of the US. President George Bush cited the economic cost as the primary factor for American absence from the pact: Bush Puts Jobs Ahead of Climate Treaty Targets. Overshadowed by this story -- though ENN readers knew about it -- was the reluctance on the part of the president's Republican counterpart, Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggar of California, to scuttle business regulations, including many environmental regulations. After scrutiny, his administration has left intact the vast majority of these rules, which affect businesses in the nation's most populous state. The in-depth story is here: Governor's Crusade Against Business Rules has Found No Villains.

Businesses continued the pursuit of alternative forms of energy, in the signatory countries as well as those in nations who've not signed on (the US in particular).

This spring, underwater turbines in New York City's East River will power a food market on Roosevelt Island, which is between Manhattan and Queens. This is one an example of efforts among many US cities to harness water power. Read the full story: U.S. Cities Eye Ocean Waves for Power Supplies. Also, a Sheraton hotel in San Diego announced that it will rely on fuel-cell technology for most of its electricity by the end of the year. The full story: Fuel Cells to Supply Electricity at Sheraton.

Florida Power & Light eyed solar energy, giving its customers the opportunity to opt for the purchase of power produced from sources other than fossil fuels, by paying a little more each month in their bill. The alternative energy is supplied by Austin-based Green Mountain Energy. (A similar program is available to municipal electricity customers in Austin as well.) Here's the full story: FPL to Build Solar Panels Thanks to Green Customers. The city of Victoria, Texas, looked to reclamation of methane from landfills as an alternative source of energy.

Meanwhile, debate continued over fuel economy standards for US automobiles at the federal and lowers levels of government. Fuel efficiency expectations could rise as the US considers changing the definition of a truck: More Trucks Likely to Come Under New CAFÉ Umbrella.

At the state level, Maryland considers imposing a new tax on gas-guzzlers, which doesn't sit well with local automobile dealerships, who profit from the popular, high-margin vehicles. Read about it here: Maryland Proposal Would Slap Annual $750 Registration Surcharge on Hummers, other Mammoth SUVs

ENN this week covered various instances where businesses and communities grappled over how to deal with pollution:
City Asked to Pick Sides on Toxics
Frenchville Residents Get Update on Odorous Manure
Groups Oppose Ethanol Proposal
Economic Development Officials Battling Air-Pollution Designations

Two stories illustrated the fragility of ocean ecosystems, and how that has affected the health of local fishing and shellfishing business in both New England and the Gulf Coast area:
Rampant Lobster Disease Mystifies Scientists
Gulf States Talk about Reducing the Shrimp Fleet to Aid Struggling Shrimpers

Check in regularly to ENN for coverage of business and industry as it relates to the environment. The scope of our stories is local, national, and worldwide, and includes the latest in regulatory issues; conservation efforts; new environmentally friendly products, services, and business practices; and much more.