After nearly three years, the White House began installing solar panels on the First Family's residence this week, a White House official confirmed Thursday.
The Obama administration had pledged in October 2010 to put solar panels on the White House as a sign of the president's commitment to renewable energy.
The White House official, who asked not to be identified because the installation is in process, wrote in an e-mail the project is "a part of an energy retrofit that will improve the overall energy efficiency of the building."
At the time of the 2010 announcement, then-Energy Secretary Steven Chu and White House Council on Environmental Quality chair Nancy Sutley said the administration would conduct a competitive bidding process to buy between 20 and 50 solar panels.
Arkansas Rep. Tim Griffin Wednesday released three key documents about ExxonMobil's 1940s-era Pegasus pipeline, which dumped 200,000-plus gallons of heavy Canadian crude oil into his district on March 29. Griffin got the data from the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Wednesday morning. He then posted links to the data on his website, even though both PHMSA and ExxonMobil have refused to make the documents public.
Two of the documents are 2010 in-line inspection reports on the segment of the Pegasus that runs from Doniphan, Mo., to Conway, Ark., and from Conway to Corsicana, Texas. The third is preliminary data from an in-line inspection Exxon ran between Conway and Foreman, Texas, just weeks before the spill forced the evacuation of 22 homes in the town of Mayflower, which is in the Second District that Griffin represents. The pipeline also passes through the watershed of Lake Maumelle, Little Rock’s primary water supply.
"As I told PHMSA officials when I met with them earlier this month, information from the pre-spill inspections should be accessible to everyone," Griffin said in a statement. "While I am still going through the reports' findings, I plan to cover all of this information with technical experts soon, and will continue to do everything I can to make sure the victims of this tragedy are made whole and the drinking water for 400,000 Arkansans remains safe."
Griffin is a second-term Republican who has supported the pipeline industry and also the building of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would run from Alberta, Canada, to the Texas Gulf Coast and carry the same type of oil the Pegasus was carrying.
Environmental activists have launched a suit in the Federal Court of Canada to overturn federal legislation that limits their ability to oppose proposed pipeline projects at regulatory hearings.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, ForestEthics Advocacy and an activist named Donna Sinclair have asked the court to strike down provisions of the National Energy Board Act – passed as amendments in last year's omnibus budget bill – that they say unreasonably restrict public comment on project proposals.
The activists are taking aim at Enbridge Inc.'s plan to reverse a pipeline, Line 9B, that now runs from Montreal to southwestern Ontario, to connect with existing lines and ship western oil to refineries in Quebec.
The suit comes as TransCanada Corp. is gearing up for another major project – the $12-billion Energy East plan to pipe 1.1 million barrels per day of crude to Eastern Canadian refineries and export terminals.
A public debate between Keystone XL pipeline foe Tom Steyer and the CEO of pipeline developer TransCanada Corp. isn't in the cards.
Steyer, a billionaire former hedge fund chief, wrote an open letter Tuesday to CEO Russ Girling that alleges Keystone would cause "irrevocable" environmental harm and requests a debate at an oil sands mining site.
But TransCanada Corp., in a statement, said Steyer has other avenues to express his views and noted TransCanada has "respect" for the State Department review process.
More than 20 groups are calling for a public inquiry into the safety of oilsands extraction techniques that use steam.
Carolyn Campbell of the Alberta Wilderness Association says 80 percent of the oilsands may eventually be accessed by pumping steam underground, rather than open-pit mining, so it's important to get it right.
The organizations made their demand to the Alberta Energy Regulator as bitumen continues to ooze out of the ground at Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s Primrose East oilsands project.
At Primrose, Canadian Natural uses a technology called cyclic steam stimulation to soften the tarry bitumen so it can flow to the surface.
More than 700,00 barrels per day of new rail terminal oil capacity is expected to be built by 2015, rivaling the 850,000 bpd being proposed by TransCanada Corp. for the Keystone XL pipeline, according to an Arc Financial Corp. report.
A number of companies including Gibson Energy Inc., Altex Energy Ltd. and Tundra Energy Marketing Ltd. have set up joint ventures with rail operators and producers to build new terminals and transport landlocked Western Canadian crude to markets across North America. Once dismissed as an expensive alternative to pipelines, the rail industry has stepped up to meet the rising needs of Alberta producers as new pipeline proposals are entangled in intense regulatory and environmental scrutiny.
More than 100 Keystone XL pipeline critics protested outside the State Department for the first time today, arguing that the government's analysis of the project is biased and flawed.
The protestors were among 70,000 people who pledged online to conduct civil disobedience to stop the $5.3 billion pipeline by TransCanada Corp., according to the environmental group Credo, which organized the demonstration against the project from the oil sands of Alberta to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico.
The complaints focused in part on ERM Group Inc., the contractor hired by the State Department for an environmental impact statement, and its work on a joint venture that included TransCanada as a partner.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's ringing enthusiasm for the Energy East pipeline is raising concerns about the integrity of the review process that his government must conduct to ensure the project does not pose an undue environmental or safety risk.
In Saint John on Thursday, Mr. Harper joined Premier David Alward and Arthur Irving at the Irving refinery for a photo op and apparent endorsement of the $12-billion proposal, in which TransCanada plans to ship crude from Alberta to Quebec and New Brunswick for use in eastern refineries and for export. If the project wins approval, TransCanada will convert existing natural-gas pipeline capacity to oil from Alberta through Ontario, and build a new line in Quebec and New Brunswick.
Ten workers at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant were exposed to radiation from contaminated mist used to cool temperatures near a quake-proof building, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501) said.
The workers were waiting for a bus when they were sprayed, according to Tepco, as the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant's operator is known. It was unknown how the mist became contaminated, Tepco said in an e-mailed statement.
The workers' exposure above the neck was found to be as much as 10 becquerels per square centimeter. They were ordered to receive full body scans, which can detect exposure to their inner organs.
The contamination is the latest complication to arise as part of the cleanup of the Dai-Ichi plant, which suffered meltdowns as a result of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Government officials said last week that at least 300 tons of radiated water was flowing from the plant into the ocean each day.
President Obama’s environmental policies are likely to play a prominent role in defining his second term, even as the budget, immigration and health care still dominate the current political debate.
When Gina McCarthy first met with Obama in the Oval Office on Jan. 10 to discuss the prospect of heading the Environmental Protection Agency, she recalled, "the first words out of his mouth was the need for EPA to focus on climate."
"He sees this as a necessary part of his legacy," she said in a recent interview.