• U.S. ethanol rush may harm water supplies: report

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. ethanol rush could drain drinking water supplies in parts of the country because corn -- a key source of the country's alternative fuel -- requires vast quantities of water for irrigation, the National Research Council reported on Wednesday.

    U.S. President George W. Bush has called for production of 35 billion gallons per year of alternative motor fuels including ethanol by 2017, as part of an effort to wean the country from foreign oil. U.S. capacity to make the fuel, believed to emit low levels of greenhouse gases, has spiked about 28 percent this year to nearly 7 billion gallons.

    But the use of more corn to make ethanol could drain water supplies like the Ogallala, or High Plains, aquifer, which extends from west Texas up into South Dakota and Wyoming.

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  • IAEA chief in India as worries rise on nuclear deal

    The U.N. nuclear watchdog's head arrived on Wednesday in India's capital for talks with government leaders, as concern grew a prolonged row with communists could scupper a nuclear deal with the United States or spark snap elections.

    Mohamed ElBaradei, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief, will meet Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee as part of a long-scheduled trip coinciding with threats from the leftists to withdraw crucial parliamentary support if the deal moves ahead.

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  • Shell says has key to cleaner coal

    LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell's technology to turn coal into gas to fuel power plants could allow developing countries to meet surging energy demand without a matching rise in emissions, Shell executives said on Tuesday.

    Power plants fuelled by gas made from coal using Shell's proven technology could have 9 percent lower costs than conventional coal-fired boilers if both types of generation involve carbon capture and storage, the executives said.

    There are various projects to fight climate change by developing commercial-scale capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) and storage underground but none has yet been proved to work in practice.

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  • Winter heating costs seen up 10 percent

    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.

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  • Clean air settlement to cost AEP over $4.6 billion

    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.

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  • Boston Irish Hotel Goes Green with Constellation NewEnergy

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • AEP says Settles Long-Running U.S. Acid Rain Suit

    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

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  • Global warming may aggravate Argentine energy woes

    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.

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  • France unlikely to meet CO2 emissions target: report

    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.

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  • Futuristic car makes reversing obsolete

    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.

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