24
Sat, Feb

  • Maldives 'tourism boom' putting manta rays at risk

    Giant manta rays could be driven away from world-famous feeding site in five years because of disruption from tourist industry, warns leading marine biologist. Since being awarded MPA status in 2009 and receiving increased media interest, Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll has seen its tourism trade triple. >> Read the Full Article
  • EPA: Blowing Big Coal’s Top on Mountaintop Coal Mining

    If it were ever possible or even realistic to put the words Appalachia and victory in the same sentence, this might be one of those rare times: the Environmental Protection Agency's Region 3 Administrator Shawn Garvin has recommended the withdrawal of the mining permit for the nation's largest proposed mountaintop removal coal mine site, the Spruce No. 1 Mine in Logan County, West Virginia. >> Read the Full Article
  • White House Lifts Ban On Offshore Drilling

    The Obama administration announced this week that companies able to meet new safety standards will be allowed to drill in the Gulf of Mexico, ending a six-month moratorium that had been scheduled to end next month. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the new rules imposed after the BP spill — the worst environmental disaster in the country's history — have strengthened safety measures and reduced the risk of another catastrophic blowout. "Operators who play by the rules and clear the higher bar can be allowed to resume" drilling, Salazar said at a Washington news conference. He added: "The oil and gas industry will be operating under tighter rules, stronger oversight, and in a regulatory environment that will remain dynamic as we continue to build on the reforms we have already implemented." >> Read the Full Article
  • Striking Balance in the Arctic

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • Haiti Quakes

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • Ending Hunger in Africa

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • Solar Power to Return to the White House

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • US Department of Interior Allows First-Ever Solar Energy Projects on Public Lands

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • The Future of Aviation: Confusion or Sanity

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • BP Texas City Aftermath

    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. >> Read the Full Article