April 1, 2011

Fears Hit EU Nuclear Plans and Boost Gas Prospects

Japan's nuclear crisis will speed the elimination of nuclear power from some European countries and render many planned projects too risky, ultimately increasing Europe's dependence on gas.

Republicans Press Obama to Approve Keystone XL Pipeline

The policy debate over Alberta's oil sands took center stage Thursday in Congress, with Republican lawmakers claiming Pres. Obama has "failed to act" swiftly enough to ensure a secure long-term supply of Canadian crude.

Governments Face Climate Test of Resolve at Bangkok Talks

Governments face a test of their pledges to fight climate change next week when almost 200 nations meet in Bangkok to try to build on a modest deal reached last year.

House GOP Lawmakers Launch Yucca Mountain Investigation

Top House Republicans are launching an investigation into the Obama administration's decision to abandon plans to store the country's nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

Wind Power in Spain Reaches Historic High

Wind power became Spain's main source of electricity for the first time ever this month, in a country renowned for its focus on renewable energy, the power-generating authority REE said.

Wales Steps Up Bid for Tidal Energy Dominance

The race to install Wales' first tidal energy farm heated up yesterday after the government approved plans for a 1.2MW device in Ramsey Sound off Pembrokeshire.

Indigenous Community Takes Court Ruling Into Own Hands and Seizes Oil Palm Plantation

A community in Malaysian Borneo seized an oil palm plantation belonging to the IOI Group after the palm oil giant failed to respect the terms of a court ruling that the plantation was established on native customary land, reports the Rainforest Action Network (RAN).

Cleantech Officially Less Cool Than Groupon

Cleantech is losing its mojo to upstarts peddling coupons. That's apparently a prevailing sentiment among some tech startup executives and investors these days as they compare cleantech to hot web upstarts like Groupon.

'Super' Salmon Resist Climate Change Better: Study

Toughened by a punishing annual migration in western Canada, a special breed of sockeye salmon has proved better able to survive environmental change than other members of the species, a study said Thursday.


March 31, 2011

Senate Delays Vote on EPA Climate Regulation

Voting has been temporarily postponed in the Senate on proposals to stop, delay or pare back the EPA's regulation of greenhouse gases linked to climate change problems.


Ethanol Makers Seek to Reform $6 Billion U.S. Subsidy

U.S. ethanol makers are working on reforms to replace a 45-cent a gallon tax break that expires this year, said the No. 1 maker on Wed., which could help the U.S. reduce its oil dependence.

Japan Under Pressure to Widen Evacuation

Pressure is mounting on Japan to expand the evacuation zone around the Fukushima plant, as the prime minister says he plans to review the country's nuclear energy policy.

Senators Press U.S. Officials on Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel

A Senate subcommittee pressed federal officials on the safety of long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel in pools, a common practice at reactors in the U.S. and at the stricken Fukushima plant.

Japan Plant Had Barebones Risk Plan

Tokyo Electric Power's disaster plans greatly underestimated the scope of a potential accident at its Fukushima plant, calling for only one stretcher, one satellite phone and 50 protective suits.

Low Levels of Radiation Found in U.S. Milk

Very low levels of radiation turned up in a sample of milk from Washington state, the EPA and the FDA said Wednesday, but federal officials assured consumers not to worry.

Nuclear Curbs Will Hurt Climate, Energy Security Goal, IEA Economist Says

Slowing the expansion of nuclear power will harm efforts to fight climate change, push up energy prices and set back goals to secure power supplies, said Fatih Birol, chief economist at the IEA.

Ruling: California Can Mandate Cleaner Ship Fuels

A federal court has decided California officials have the authority to require ships that stop in the state's ports to use cleaner marine fuels to reduce pollution from engine exhaust.

New Zealand Aims to Halve 1990 Emissions by 2050

New Zealand will target halving its emissions from 1990 levels by 2050, a plan that will require major changes to the economy, the government said on Thursday.

China to Raise Renewable Power Tariffs Within 2 Years

China plans to raise the price of power generated from renewable sources over the next two years in order to stimulate clean energy investment, China's electricity regulator said.

Vestas Surprises with 7 MW Offshore Wind Turbine

Danish wind turbine maker Vestas unveiled a new giant 7-megawatt offshore turbine on Wednesday and said it expected it to be in serial production in early 2015.

Fact-Checking Group Says Bachmann’s 'Pants on Fire' Over Drilling Claim

PolitiFact is criticizing Rep. Bachmann — a Tea Party favorite who might run for president — over her claim that the Obama administration has issued one oil-and-gas drilling permit since taking office.

PetroChina Completes Drilling First Horizontal Shale Gas Well

PetroChina completed last week drilling its first horizontal shale gas well, in Sichuan province in the southwest, parent company CNPC's inhouse newspaper reported on Thursday.

U.S. 2011 Ethanol Exports Seen at 500 Mln Gallons: CHS

U.S. ethanol exports in 2011 should surpass last year's record high as the fuel remains relatively cheaper than Brazilian cane-based ethanol in external markets, a director at the largest U.S. farm co-op, CHS, said.

USGS Finds 2,000-Year-Old Coral Near BP Gulf Well

Federal scientists say they have dated coral living near the site of the busted BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico at 2,000 years old.

China to Cap 2011 Rare Earth Output at 93,800 Tons

Dominant producer China will cap its total output of rare earth oxides at 93,800 tonnes this year, up 5 percent from last year, the country's land and resources ministry said in a statement posted on its website on Thursday.

March 30, 2011

Natural Gas Climbs as Obama Announces Energy Plan

Natural gas prices climbed Wednesday as President Barack Obama said he wanted the U.S. to use more of it instead of foreign oil.

Four Reactors at Fukushima Complex Will Have to Be Scrapped, Utility Chairman Says

The chairman of the utility that runs the crippled Fukushima power plant on Wednesday said the facility's four tsunami-battered reactors would have to be scrapped.

Senate Vote Could Curb EPA's Climate-Change Powers

Environmentalists are trying to defeat a Senate measure that would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases.

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