Archive for October, 2010

Bacteria Can Build Better Roads for Our Peak Oil Years


Local jurisdictions in Red state America, increasingly unable to agree to taxes to jointly afford repaving at peak oil prices are simply letting roads decline – in the same way as after the fall of the Roman Empire, in the dark ages there, many roads in Europe returned to mud tracks.

But an innovative new oil-free way of surfacing roads could be on the way to save us from peak oil. This “sandstone” road surface is built by bacteria just using sand, so it’s cheaper. The idea from Thomas Kosbau + Andrew Wetzler is the winning entry in the Korean green design iida awards, announced by designboom.

The idea is to use an abundant resource – sand – and to mix the sand with a solution containing the microbe Bacillus Pasteurii, which cements the sand into a biologically engineered hardened sandstone. Then the sand-and-microbe solution is sprayed onto a layer of sand underneath and hardens the whole thing into a tough road surface made of bio-sandstone.

Currently roads are built of asphalt – a toxic material made of crude oil, that creates heat islands and is subject to peak oil. The advantages of replacing asphalt are both financial and environmental.

It takes 320 barrels of oil to build one kilometer of asphalt roadway.
Made from crude oil, asphalt had a price rise of 222% between 2003 and 2008, which is symptomatic of peak oil and likely to keep happening as we use up the remainder of a finite resource.
Asphalt off-gasses, especially in hot weather, and is carcinogenic, causes birth defects, and is harmful to skin and the immune system.
Asphalt roads contribute to the heat island effect, reaching temperatures of up to 150 degrees, transferring the heat to air.

If their “sandstone” is strong, durable and long-lasting enough, this bio-engineered road would appear to be brilliant solution. Not only does it take less energy to light a light-colored road surface at night, but the reduction in the heat island effect alone could reduce city temperatures up to 3 degrees C, further lowering city needs for air conditioning, which in turn further reduces CO2 emissions.

Susan Kraemer@Twitter


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The U.S. Navy and Biofuels – Part III

Join the forum discussion on this post

This is the concluding installment of my recent interview with Tom Hicks, Deputy Assistant Secretary to the Navy (Energy). Part I discussed the overall goals of the Navy’s biofuel efforts, and in Part II we covered why coal-to-liquids (CTL) is presently off-limits, and why GTL may be as well. Part III picks up with the human cost of moving fuel into the theater of operations.

The editor of Consumer Energy Report, Sam Avro, joined me in this interview and our questions below will be denoted as “RR” or “SA”. Mr. Hicks’ responses are “TH”.

RR: I saw a recent story that once fuel actually makes it to the theater of operations, it can cost $400 per gallon when all the costs are added up. So are you putting any emphasis on producing the fuel locally? For instance, are you funding efforts that could enable you to produce fuel onsite in Afghanistan?

A U.S. Army fuel convoy in Ninawa province, Iraq. (Credit: USMC – Lance Cpl. Kelly R. Chase)

TH: Yes, I can point you to several efforts. In terms of working with say the Afghan population, and looking to them to create alternative fuels; that’s something that the Department of Defense and my understanding is maybe some other federal agencies are working on to create and stimulate those opportunities. And that’s really more their role to do that. What we are looking to do is to make our expeditionary units more efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels, and we are doing that in a number of ways.

One great example of us reducing our fuel tether, if you will, is our experimental forward operating base. This is something that in March the Marine Corps created in Quantico, Virginia – at the Marine Corps Base Quantico; an experimental or mock forward operating base. And the purpose of that was to test a bunch of alternative fuel technologies, renewable energy technologies so that they could reduce the amount of fossil fuels that they use in theater.

And just to give you a sense – and this is based on Army study – but for every 24 fuel convoys that we bring into the theater, we have one casualty. So that’s one soldier, one marine, killed or wounded who is not otherwise fighting the fight or engaged with the local population to build a nation. That’s a big part of what is driving this as well, that there is a human cost to this; a big price to pay and we are very concerned about that. So with that forward operating base, they identified a number of technologies that seem to have a lot of promise, and they further tested those technologies at a war-gaming exercise to see if they could hold up to the rigors of the battlefield.

From there, they took the best ones out of that exercise and trained a Marine Corps brigade that was deployed just over six months after it was initially tested. So those technologies are in theater today, and just six months ago they were just being tested. And that’s all to the point of reducing our dependence on our generator sets which are all using petroleum products, and being able to lighten the load and be more independent; to decrease our dependency on fossil fuels.

SA: When you talk about technology, are you talking about running their energy systems off of solar or things like that? Can you expound upon that?

TH: Yes, that’s a part of it. As well as things like LED lighting in the tents; having shades that serve two purposes; not only making the tents cooler, but they also have PV embedded in them to generate power. Those are a couple of examples. There are some others where we are putting out PV-generated refrigerators; so that all of the meals-ready-to-eat are kept at the appropriate temperature so they don’t spoil so the marines have food to eat when they are in theater. And all of those things would otherwise be tied to a generator that uses petroleum. Each barrel and each gallon we can take out of theater is one more we don’t have to bring in and stretches out the number of fuel convoys we ultimately need.

SA: Are you in a dedicated department where you deal with the Navy’s energy issues? Do you have a staff working under you? Can you explain the organizational structure?

TH: So, my office works under the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for what’s now Energy, Installations, and Environment. In the past it was Assistant Secretary for Installations and the Environment, but now it’s Energy, Installations, and Environment. And that energy piece is not just related to installations, it covers the entire gamut of our energy use, from our tactical, expeditionary to our facilities and our commercial vehicle fleet; our non-tactical vehicle fleet.

In terms of staffing, I have a Director of Operational Energy, who really deals with all the tactical issues; I have a Director of Shore Energy, and I have another gentleman who is really my Chief of Staff and also deals with special projects that we have on energy issues. Below that we have some additional support; some more junior level support for each of those individuals as well. So that’s how we are currently staffed up.

SA: Is the staff comprised of civilians, or does it include naval officers and enlisted personnel too?

Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James T. Conway tours an experimental, self-sustaining forward operating base demonstrated aboard MCB Quantico in March of this year. (Credit: USMC – Cpl. Meloney R. Moses)

TH: My office is entirely civilian, but there is a Marine Corps and Navy uniformed analog to what the Secretary does. So, we have a Secretary of the Navy, but you also have a Commandant of the Marine Corps and a Chief of Naval Operations. So those two uniformed folks work for the secretary. So what we have is the Secretary, we have a Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, there is the Naval Energy Coordination Office, and they head up all the Navy tactical issues. We also have the Marine Corp Expeditionary Energy Office and they head up all of their tactical issues and technical energy issues. We also have installations on both the Navy and Marine Corps, and those are headed up by uniformed side as well. So, kind of think of it as a matrix; there is shore and tactical; Marine Corps and Navy. In each one of those quadrants, there is a uniformed person in the lead, and the Secretary as my role is really to coordinate with all of them, and to work with them in developing policy, issuing policy guidance, tracking progress, establishing strategies, and establishing budgets.

RR: How proactive is your department on these initiatives? Are you out knocking on doors if you see a news story, or are you waiting for companies to come to you in general?

TH: We are doing a little bit of both. We do have a lot of companies coming to us with a whole variety of possibilities; some of which I have never heard of but that are interesting nonetheless. But we are also very active. Prior to my arrival in February, a number of folks from the Assistant Secretary’s office went out to Silicon Valley to really engage with venture capital firms to understand what they are looking at in terms of energy use; what they think are going to be the big winners and where are they putting their money; but also to communicate our goals as well, so they understood where we are going.

Since coming on-board in March, I have gone up to Boston to undertake a similar effort; to meet with venture capital firms out of the Boston area to go through the same process of understanding what they are working on; what technologies and then give them a sense of what our general interest was. That’s one area. We are also looking for small green tech, clean tech companies; so we have talked to a number of them and one of the things we have done recently – and the Secretary announced this last week – is we have released off of our acquisitions website a tool called Green Biz Opps and what this does is really screens through all of the innumerable acquisition opportunities that are on Fed Biz Opps and screens them down to just Navy, energy, and green; and sustainable type of acquisitions. So we list that up on our website and will be updating it on a weekly basis so that companies can come to us; small ones that might not otherwise have the resources; gives them the opportunity to see what kind of opportunities the Navy has. We are also engaged with a number of federal agencies; USDA, DOE, and most recently with the Small Business Administration where we are going to partner together to see how we can get more of these opportunities to these small, green tech, clean tech companies.

Beyond that, we have many of our traditional roads; Navy avenues, whether it is our SBIR program or our STTR program where we can go and get some small businesses that are focused on technologies that are of interest to the Navy. So those continue as well.

RR: When you are talking about opportunities and acquisitions; acquisitions by who? Let’s say you see a promising company, and it passes through your filter, you would acquire that company?

TH: No. The acquisitions are just the opportunities; or procurements; maybe that’s a better way to say it. Procurement opportunities that they have. We don’t acquire other companies.

RR: I wouldn’t have thought so.

TH: These are opportunities that they have, that the Navy is offering them a chance to respond to.

RR: I think that covers all of the questions I have. Will you be available for followups?

TH: Sure. And I would just close by saying that energy security is really critical to our mission’s success. As we look at energy efficiency, we look at that as increasing our mission effectiveness. As we have talked a lot about today, alternative fuels really give the Navy a chance to divest a bit from petroleum to provide some increased insulation from a pretty volatile petroleum market. So that’s a pretty big part of why we are going about this. I just appreciate your time.

(Links to: Part I, Part II, Part III)



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As trial looms, Oracle taking aim at HP’s new CEO
Ellison claims he has proof that HP’s new CEO, Leo Apotheker, oversaw a corporate-espionage scheme at a previous employer, SAP AG, that involved the theft of Oracle software.
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Fashion Editorial Features the Best of London’s Green Fashion Scene (Photos)
fashion me green photo
Photo: Fashion me Green

The first thing I do when I open a magazine–after the contributors page–is flip to the fashion editorial spreads: they capture the essence of a collection, season, trend and/or subject in photos. Greta Eagan, founder and editor of Fashion me Green, gives us just this; she styles each shoot with green fashion and asks “style influencers” to be her muse. In June, the <a href=”http://www.treehugger.c… Read the full story on TreeHugger
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Pike Research forecasts accelerating hybrid locomotive sales from 2015-2020

Hybrid electric locomotive sales will have an increasing presence in global rail markets between 2015 and 2020, according to a new report from Pike Research. During that period, hybrid locomotive sales will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.4% under a baseline forecast scenario, with annual unit sales of 109 locomotives by 2020. Pike Research’s aggressive forecast scenario anticipates that the market could achieve a CAGR of 25.4% during the same period, with annual unit sales of up to 174 vehicles by 2020. This would translate into a need for storage of 116.4 MWh of energy in 2020.

However, says Pike senior analyst Dave Hurst Hurst, growth in hybrid locomotives faces several key challenges. In Europe, track electrification will eliminate the need for either diesel or battery storage in many areas. In North America, a high-profile hybrid locomotive product (Railpower’s Green Goat, earlier post) faced a serious setback in the mid-2000s that still haunts the industry today.

In 2001, Railpower launched the first hybrid electric switching locomotive
in North America, using battery energy storage, called the Green Goat. The Green Goat
was designed for only one shift, but was being used for longer
service, and had resulting quality issues; furthermore, the battery management system that failed to prevent battery shorts. Several Green Goats caught fire and were destroyed. Railpower sold about 55 Green Goats before the company filed for bankruptcy. Several Green Goats are still
being used for light duty service, Pike notes, but the vehicles have not been available since 2007. Toshiba is the only manufacturer to currently have a hybrid locomotive available (a
passenger locomotive for the Japanese market), according to Pike.

Hurst also notes that the market for hybrid locomotives faces stiff competition from newer fuel-efficient locomotives such as diesel gensets, and in many world regions, the locomotive engine does not have to meet strict emissions rules.

However, Pike expects hybrid locomotives to have a strong return on investment (ROI), as a result of the ability to use low-cost batteries. Weight on locomotives is often helpful (particularly
for switching locomotives) because the vehicles need weight to help increase the friction
between the wheel and the track (adhesion) during acceleration. Lead acid batteries cost
less, weigh more, and will be used in many of the first hybrid locomotive applications. The
passenger locomotives that have less space available than a traditional switcher or road
locomotive are more likely to take advantage of lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries’ size and
storage capacity. Advanced lead acid batteries will make inroads as well.

General Electric (GE) has built a plant to manufacture sodium metal halide batteries (earlier post), and is showing a prototype road locomotive using those batteries that it intends to bring to market. Nickel metal hydride (NiMH), a favorite for current hybrid automobiles, is unlikely to move into the locomotive space due to cost and competitiveness from other chemistries, Pike suggests.

The market for hybrid locomotives will likely get a boost from two important forces, according to the report. First, in the middle of the decade, new rules regarding diesel locomotive emissions will come into effect in North America and the European Union. By 2014 in the European Union and
2015 in North America, the current diesel locomotive will require substantial changes or
exhaust treatments to meet emission rules. This will help drive interest in having hybrids
meet these strict new regulations.

In addition, the market will receive a boost from new diesel locomotive emissions regulations scheduled to go into effect in the European Union in 2014 and in North America in 2015, which will require diesel locomotives to receive substantial changes or exhaust treatments. In addition, railroad infrastructure is growing rapidly in India and China, and emissions concerns will drive hybrid demand in those markets as well.

—Dave Hurst

Pike suggests that hybrid locomotives will be seen over the next 3 to 5 years mostly in
demonstration and prototype projects. The sales of these vehicles will likely begin mid-decade
in Western Europe and North America, coinciding with the tighter diesel regulations
(conservatively, their respective compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is 17.2% and
13.5% between 2015 and 2020).

Pike estimates sales growth in China will be strong
(a CAGR of 22.2% between 2015 and 2020) as its locomotive demand grows and urban
areas look to reduce emissions.

Pike Research’s study, “Hybrid Locomotives”, examines opportunities and challenges in the global locomotive market. The report provides an analysis of locomotives and battery technologies, regenerative braking, government emissions regulations, emerging markets, and key drivers of market growth. The report includes detailed forecasts through 2020, segmented by key countries and world regions, for diesel and all-electric locomotives, genset locomotives, hybrid locomotives, and battery storage capacity needs. Key market players are also profiled.


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BG Group sanctions US$15B coal seam gas to LNG project; first such

Qclng
Estimated annual greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetime of the QCLNG project. More than half the emissions come from the LNG facility. Source: QCLNG EIS. Click to enlarge.

BG Group has approved implementation of the first phase of a US$15-billion project to convert coal seam gas (CSG) to LNG—the first major commercial project to do so. The first phase of the Queensland Curtis Liquefied Natural Gas project (QCLNG) project encompasses the development of a two-train liquefaction plant on Curtis Island near Gladstone in Queensland (Australia) together with the associated upstream and pipeline facilities. BG Group will progress development and construction of QCLNG with immediate effect.

QCLNG will be operated by BG Group’s Australian subsidiary, QGC Pty Limited (QGC). QCLNG will involve expanding QGC’s existing coal seam gas production in the Surat Basin of southern Queensland; building a 730 km (454-mile) buried natural gas pipeline network; and constructing the natural gas liquefaction where the gas will be converted to LNG for export.

The first phase of the liquefaction plant will consist of two LNG trains with a combined capacity of 8.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). Over the next four years (2011-2014), BG Group plans to invest approximately US$15 billion in developing the liquefaction plant and related wells, field facilities and pipelines. There is also significant potential to expand QCLNG, with the construction of a third LNG train already covered by existing State and Federal approvals for a total production capacity of 12 mtpa.

First LNG exports are planned to commence from 2014, underpinned by agreements in Chile, China, Japan and Singapore for the purchase of up to 9.5 mtpa of LNG. Total gross discovered coal seam gas reserves and resources presently amount to an estimated 17.3 trillion cubic feet (tcf) – equivalent to more than 2.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent—with 2P (proved plus probable) reserves now estimated at 7 tcf.

In early 2008, we announced our first investment in Australia. Today, less than three years later, we are announcing our decision to develop the world’s first LNG plant to be supplied by coal seam gas and the foundation project at the center of a major new Australian export industry.

—BG Group Chief Executive Frank Chapman

BG Group’s decision to sanction the development of the first phase of QCLNG completes the final condition required for implementation of the Group’s agreements with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), signed in March 2010. Under those agreements, CNOOC will:

  • Purchase 3.6 mtpa of LNG for a period of 20 years from the start-up of QCLNG;
  • Purchase 5% of BG Group’s interests in certain tenements in the Walloons Fairway of the Surat Basin;
  • Jointly participate with BG Group in a consortium to construct two LNG ships in China that would be owned by the consortium; and
  • Become a 10% equity investor in the first LNG train in the initial phase of the liquefaction plant.

Separately, the decision to sanction the project satisfies one of the conditions precedent associated with the proposed agreements with Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd (Tokyo Gas), announced in March 2010, under which Tokyo Gas will:

  • Purchase 1.2 mtpa of LNG for 20 years from 2015;
  • Purchase 1.25% of BG Group’s interests in certain tenements in the Walloons Fairway of the Surat Basin; and
  • Become a 2.5% equity investor in the second LNG train of the liquefaction plant.

BG Group will issue final notices to proceed to the main contractors appointed for the development of the first phase of QCLNG. Those contractors include:

  • Bechtel Oil and Gas, Inc., for the engineering, procurement and construction of the liquefaction plant;
  • WorleyParsons, for gas field facilities and infrastructure development; and
  • MCJV (a joint venture between McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust.) Pty Ltd and Consolidated Contractors Company), for the transmission pipeline network.

Coal seam gas and LNG. Natural gas in coals (coal seam gas) occurs when the coal is formed deep underground by a process of heating and compressing plant matter. The gas is trapped in coal seams (typically 300-600 meters underground) by water pressure. The coal seam gas is extracted via wells which are drilled down through the coal seams. The water is pumped out, and the natural gas is released from the coal. The gas is then processed to remove water and piped to a compression plant for injection into gas transmission pipelines.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG), is natural gas that has been cooled to -162 ºC (-260 °F), at which point it becomes a liquid. In this form it can be transported and stored. Australia is already a leading supplier of LNG through two existing projects (the North West Shelf and Darwin LNG) which export a combined 19.6 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG.

QCLNG project components. QGC will develop five principal components as part of the QCLNG Project:

Gas Field Component: the expansion of QGC’ coal seam gas (CSG)
operations in the Surat Basin. The Gas Field Component comprises:

  • Approximately 6,000 gas production wells over the life of the project with
    initially 1,000 to 1,500 wells across the Gas Field by mid-2014. The
    remaining wells will be phased in over the life of the project (20 to 30
    years) to replace declining wells.
  • Gas- and water-gathering systems and gas processing and compression
    infrastructure.
  • Associated surface equipment, such as wellhead separators, telemetry
    devices and metering stations.
  • Field infrastructure such as access tracks, warehouses, camps
    (both construction and operations), office and telecommunications.
  • The management of Associated Water produced in the CSG extraction
    process on the petroleum tenements.

Pipeline Component: development, construction, operation and
decommissioning of a gas pipeline network of approximately 730 km to link
the Gas Field Component and other nearby CSG resources to the LNG
Facility. The pipeline network includes:

  • A 380 km Export Pipeline from QGC’s Gas Field in the Surat Basin to the
    LNG Facility in Gladstone.
  • Potentially a 150 km Lateral Pipeline which enables the connection of
    additional CSG fields to the Export Pipeline.
  • A 200 km Collection Header—a central pipeline located in an Upstream
    Infrastructure Corridor (UIC) to collect gas from centralized compressor
    facilities for delivery to the Export Pipeline.
  • A pipeline crossing at The Narrows connecting the mainland Export
    Pipeline with the LNG Facility on Curtis island.

LNG Component: development, construction and operation within the
Curtis Island Industry Precinct of the Gladstone State Development Area
(GSDA) of a LNG processing plant (LNG Facility) with production capacity
up to 12 million tonnes per annum, nominally comprising three LNG
processing units (trains) with 4 mtpa production capacity each. The LNG
Component comprises:

  • Onshore gas reception facilities.
  • Gas pre-treatment facilities for the removal of water and impurities from
    the feed gas.
  • Gas refrigeration and liquefaction units sized for 4 mtpa production trains.
  • A nitrogen rejection unit for the removal of nitrogen in the feed gas.
  • Three full containment LNG storage tanks with up to 180,000 m3 capacity
    each, with space for another if required.
  • A full containment propane storage tank with approximately 100,000 m3
    capacity.
  • Jetty and docking facilities with turning basin for the loading of
    LNG carriers and unloading of propane ships to storage.
  • A material offloading facility (MOF) for ferry transportation and
    construction material receiving.
  • Associated onshore mainland facilities.
  • Utility requirements to support the LNG Facility.

Swing Basin and Channel: comprising the development of the following:

  • MOF Channel – a temporary access channel to the MOF for vessel
    access during construction of the Project.
  • Curtis Spur Channel consisting of Berth Pocket, Swing Basin,
    Connecting Channel and upgrade of existing port channels.
  • Consideration of the range of options for disposal or use of dredge
    material from dredging activities undertaken for the above.

Shipping Operations: regular transit of LNG tankers and, potentially,
infrequent transit of ships carrying propane to the LNG Facility for the
‘spiking’ of LNG. Shipping operations will involve three stages: firstly,
loading LNG/unloading propane at the marine jetty; secondly, transit of
ships through Gladstone Harbour; and thirdly, transit of ships through the
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to open ocean.

Greenhouse gases. As part of the required Environmental Impact Statement, QGC calculated greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the construction and operation of the QCLNG project. Emissions were calculated
using the default emissions factors provided in the National Greenhouse and
Energy Reporting System (NGERS), developed and endorsed by the
Australian Government.

Over the operational life of the project, QGC calculated total project GHG emissions of 94,972,214 tCO2-e—the majority of that (51,900,601 tCO2-e) resulting from the liquefaction plant. The majority of remaining emissions result from compression and
processing at the FCSs and CPPs in the Gas Field Component area.

The project design is employing advanced and more efficient technology, including
aero-derivative gas turbines in the LNG Facility. This resulted in a 27% reduction in greenhouse gas-emissions intensity from concept to current design as presented in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

As a result, the LNG facility will be one of the more emissions efficient of its kind, QGC said.

Resources


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MES receives orders for 4 hybrid container cranes

Nikkei. Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. (MES) has received an order for four of its new hybrid container cranes from two harbor-operation companies affiliated with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. This marks MES’s first order for the systems.

The cranes are for moving objects inside the container yard. They are designed with large lithium-ion battery packs that store electricity generated every time a load is lowered by the crane and supply that electricity to a motor that provides supplemental power to move the crane. This reduces the need to run the engine, which in turn helps reduce the crane’s carbon dioxide emissions by 60%.

…The total value of the orders is 600 million yen. The company will provide two cranes each for the harbors in Tokyo and Kobe, with the supply date set for April or May of 2011.


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Vitter of sea-rise-threatened Louisiana: “I do not think the science clearly supports global warming theory”

Louisiana

The state that stands to suffer the most from human-caused climate change has elected leaders who want to stop efforts to avoid its inundation (see “Sea levels may rise 3 times faster than IPCC estimated, could hit 6 feet by 2100“).  That’s true of the Governor and presidential hopeful (see “Jindal tries to block climate change regulation“).  And It’s true of GOP Sen. Vitter who tried to block climate change response centers.

In their final debate on Thursday night, Vitter and his challenger Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-LA) grappled with global warming, which threatens Louisiana with destruction through sea level rise, strengthened storms, heat waves, and droughtBrad Johnson has the story and the video the reveals the sharp contrast between these two candidates on the issue  that should be of greatest importance to Louisiana voters.

“It is not a healthy world,” Melancon said, “and we need to look towards trying to fix this problem.” He concluded, “[a]t the rate we’re going and what we’re doing to it, I am fearful that we won’t leave much of a legacy for our children and grandchildren.” Vitter, by contrast, has long questioned the science in his fealty to Louisiana’s oil industry. “I do not think the science clearly supports global warming theory,” he said:

MELANCON: I believe that after going to Antarctica and seeing the science that is being conducted, and not totally understanding all of it because it’s quite complex, but we have a problem with this world that we live in. It is not a healthy world, and we need to look towards trying to fix this problem. I’m not a doomsday person, but there is a place for us to get green, not tomorrow, over time. But we need to bring a combination of fossil fuels and green to bear so this world we leave will be healthy for all the generations to come. At the rate we’re going and what we’re doing to it, I am fearful that we won’t leave much of a legacy for our children and grandchildren.

Q: Mr. Vitter?

VITTER: This is another honest disagreement between us. I do not think the science clearly supports global warming theory. So I would not support any of that sort of cap and tax legislation.

Watch it:

Like many other Republican science deniers, Vitter is a signatory of the Americans for Prosperity “No Climate Tax” pledge. He has received $527,984 from the oil & gas industry this cycle, including $41,750 from Koch Industries, AFP’s backers.

– Brad Johnson, in a ThinkProgress cross-post (with additions by JR in italics)


Visit the original post at: Environment News

Vitter of sea-rise-threatened Louisiana: “I do not think the science clearly supports global warming theory”

Louisiana

The state that stands to suffer the most from human-caused climate change has elected leaders who want to stop efforts to avoid its inundation (see “Sea levels may rise 3 times faster than IPCC estimated, could hit 6 feet by 2100“).  That’s true of the Governor and presidential hopeful (see “Jindal tries to block climate change regulation“).  And It’s true of GOP Sen. Vitter who tried to block climate change response centers.

In their final debate on Thursday night, Vitter and his challenger Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-LA) grappled with global warming, which threatens Louisiana with destruction through sea level rise, strengthened storms, heat waves, and droughtBrad Johnson has the story and the video the reveals the sharp contrast between these two candidates on the issue  that should be of greatest importance to Louisiana voters.

“It is not a healthy world,” Melancon said, “and we need to look towards trying to fix this problem.” He concluded, “[a]t the rate we’re going and what we’re doing to it, I am fearful that we won’t leave much of a legacy for our children and grandchildren.” Vitter, by contrast, has long questioned the science in his fealty to Louisiana’s oil industry. “I do not think the science clearly supports global warming theory,” he said:

MELANCON: I believe that after going to Antarctica and seeing the science that is being conducted, and not totally understanding all of it because it’s quite complex, but we have a problem with this world that we live in. It is not a healthy world, and we need to look towards trying to fix this problem. I’m not a doomsday person, but there is a place for us to get green, not tomorrow, over time. But we need to bring a combination of fossil fuels and green to bear so this world we leave will be healthy for all the generations to come. At the rate we’re going and what we’re doing to it, I am fearful that we won’t leave much of a legacy for our children and grandchildren.

Q: Mr. Vitter?

VITTER: This is another honest disagreement between us. I do not think the science clearly supports global warming theory. So I would not support any of that sort of cap and tax legislation.

Watch it:

Like many other Republican science deniers, Vitter is a signatory of the Americans for Prosperity “No Climate Tax” pledge. He has received $527,984 from the oil & gas industry this cycle, including $41,750 from Koch Industries, AFP’s backers.

– Brad Johnson, in a ThinkProgress cross-post (with additions by JR in italics)


Visit the original post at: Environment News

A beautiful coalition against dirty energy

Our guest blogger today is Van Jones.

New polls are showing that the majority of Californians reject Proposition 23, a November ballot initiative — funded by Texas oil companies — that would effectively repeal the state’s landmark clean energy and environmental protection laws.

What the polls do not show and what few news outlets are covering, is the striking diversity of voices that are demanding clean energy, and rejecting the false notion that protecting the planet and our public health will hurt the economy.

Last week, the No on Prop 23 campaign experienced a surge of support from groups that included a council of inter-faith leaders, university academics, the wealthiest man in the country (Bill Gates), an award-winning Hollywood director (James Cameron), and even President Obama and former Vice President Al Gore.

They join the rank and file of a coalition that is rarely witnessed in our modern age of ultra-polarizing politics.

This coalition includes social justice organizations of all creeds and colors, whose missions are to empower the voices of the working class and communities of color — including immigrants. These groups understand that less smog means less asthma, fewer trips to the emergency room, and healthier neighborhoods for their children.

The coalition also includes a group of investors who represent more than $421 billion in assets, much of it in the clean tech sector. They make the case that clean energy technology is the next wave of the industrial revolution, and California is poised to become a leader in innovation, job creation, and commercialization of these technologies. However, they also warn that reversing course on policy — precisely what Prop 23 aims to achieve — will cause investment to flow elsewhere (mainly to places like China and parts of Europe), and doom California and the rest of the nation to be left behind during the biggest revolution of the new global economy.

These groups represent just the tip of iceberg in a movement that includes environmentalists, politicians from both parties, students, public health organizations, big and small businesses, labor groups, consumer groups, senior citizens, and public safety organizations.

A vision for the future of green growth

What’s happening in California is truly amazing. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of voices, from literally every political, ethnic, faith, and socio-economic spectrum, all pulling for the same cause. This beautiful coalition gives us a glimpse of the green path forward toward clean energy, a prosperous sustainable economy, and a healthier planet.

In 2008, I wrote a book called The Green Collar Economy, and in it I outlined a vision for a “Green Growth Alliance.” This coalition, I argued, should include labor, social justice activists, environmentalists, students, and faith organizations — along with green business interests. Such an alliance could, in my opinion, “change the face of politics in this country.”

A lot has happened since early 2008 — and the face of politics has begun to change, slowly.

The green movement has suffered setbacks, most notably the failure of comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation in Congress. The deep pockets of the dirty energy lobby, which spent more than $500 million to buy influence among (mostly Republican) lawmakers, along with the rise of Tea Partiers, climate deniers, and conservative TV and radio pundits, turned the protection and preservation of the planet and public health into a political malaise.

But what we see happening in California gives the green movement a reason for continued optimism. This time we are on the defensive, protecting our climate laws already on the books. The fight has unmasked the opponents of clean energy, as well as vetted their arguments — the same tired talking points they have been using for the last four decades.

But more importantly than unmasking our enemies, this fight has revealed our friends and allies. It turns out that given the opportunity, huge swaths of Californians, from all walks of life, can find common value in supporting cleaner air and a commitment to growing the clean technology sector.

The fight is far from over, and with Election Day approaching in less than a week, the stakes are higher than ever. But victory in California can give us a model for the coalition that is needed to achieve a green growth victory in Washington, D.C. and the rest of the nation.

- Van Jones is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and is a co-founder the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and Green For All.


Visit the original post at: Environment News

A beautiful coalition against dirty energy

Our guest blogger today is Van Jones.

New polls are showing that the majority of Californians reject Proposition 23, a November ballot initiative — funded by Texas oil companies — that would effectively repeal the state’s landmark clean energy and environmental protection laws.

What the polls do not show and what few news outlets are covering, is the striking diversity of voices that are demanding clean energy, and rejecting the false notion that protecting the planet and our public health will hurt the economy.

Last week, the No on Prop 23 campaign experienced a surge of support from groups that included a council of inter-faith leaders, university academics, the wealthiest man in the country (Bill Gates), an award-winning Hollywood director (James Cameron), and even President Obama and former Vice President Al Gore.

They join the rank and file of a coalition that is rarely witnessed in our modern age of ultra-polarizing politics.

This coalition includes social justice organizations of all creeds and colors, whose missions are to empower the voices of the working class and communities of color — including immigrants. These groups understand that less smog means less asthma, fewer trips to the emergency room, and healthier neighborhoods for their children.

The coalition also includes a group of investors who represent more than $421 billion in assets, much of it in the clean tech sector. They make the case that clean energy technology is the next wave of the industrial revolution, and California is poised to become a leader in innovation, job creation, and commercialization of these technologies. However, they also warn that reversing course on policy — precisely what Prop 23 aims to achieve — will cause investment to flow elsewhere (mainly to places like China and parts of Europe), and doom California and the rest of the nation to be left behind during the biggest revolution of the new global economy.

These groups represent just the tip of iceberg in a movement that includes environmentalists, politicians from both parties, students, public health organizations, big and small businesses, labor groups, consumer groups, senior citizens, and public safety organizations.

A vision for the future of green growth

What’s happening in California is truly amazing. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of voices, from literally every political, ethnic, faith, and socio-economic spectrum, all pulling for the same cause. This beautiful coalition gives us a glimpse of the green path forward toward clean energy, a prosperous sustainable economy, and a healthier planet.

In 2008, I wrote a book called The Green Collar Economy, and in it I outlined a vision for a “Green Growth Alliance.” This coalition, I argued, should include labor, social justice activists, environmentalists, students, and faith organizations — along with green business interests. Such an alliance could, in my opinion, “change the face of politics in this country.”

A lot has happened since early 2008 — and the face of politics has begun to change, slowly.

The green movement has suffered setbacks, most notably the failure of comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation in Congress. The deep pockets of the dirty energy lobby, which spent more than $500 million to buy influence among (mostly Republican) lawmakers, along with the rise of Tea Partiers, climate deniers, and conservative TV and radio pundits, turned the protection and preservation of the planet and public health into a political malaise.

But what we see happening in California gives the green movement a reason for continued optimism. This time we are on the defensive, protecting our climate laws already on the books. The fight has unmasked the opponents of clean energy, as well as vetted their arguments — the same tired talking points they have been using for the last four decades.

But more importantly than unmasking our enemies, this fight has revealed our friends and allies. It turns out that given the opportunity, huge swaths of Californians, from all walks of life, can find common value in supporting cleaner air and a commitment to growing the clean technology sector.

The fight is far from over, and with Election Day approaching in less than a week, the stakes are higher than ever. But victory in California can give us a model for the coalition that is needed to achieve a green growth victory in Washington, D.C. and the rest of the nation.

- Van Jones is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and is a co-founder the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and Green For All.


Visit the original post at: Environment News

Weekday Vegetarian: Brussels Sprouts with Wild Mushrooms
weekday vegetarian brussels sprouts mushrooms photo
Photo: Kelly Rossiter

If you are one of those people who turns your nose up at Brussels sprouts, then chances are you grew up eating over-cooked, mushy sprouts that made your house smell terrible. Roasting them or sauteeing them in a pan makes them deliciously sweet and nutty flavoured, a fry cry from the boiled mess you might have tried passing to the dog under the table…. Read the full story on TreeHugger
Visit the original post at: TreeHugger

New dioxin rules might force more cleanups

A sign posted along the Tittabawassee River near Midland, Mich., warns anglers to limit fish consumption because of dioxin contamination.The government has spent many millions of dollars in recent decades cleaning up sites contaminated with dioxin and, in extreme cases, relocating residents of entire neighborhoods tainted by the toxin.

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Visit the original post at: MSNBC.com: Environment

New dioxin rules might force more cleanups

A sign posted along the Tittabawassee River near Midland, Mich., warns anglers to limit fish consumption because of dioxin contamination.The government has spent many millions of dollars in recent decades cleaning up sites contaminated with dioxin and, in extreme cases, relocating residents of entire neighborhoods tainted by the toxin.

Email this Article
Add to Newsvine

Visit the original post at: MSNBC.com: Environment