March 28, 2011

China Industry Ordered to Cut CO2 Intensity by 18 Percent by '15

China's industrial firms will be forced to cut their carbon and energy intensity levels by as much as 18 percent over the next five years, according to mandatory targets announced on Monday.

Merkel Loses Key German State on Nuclear Fears

The Green Party is poised to lead in the state of Baden-Württemberg, where the Christian Democrats have governed since 1953, as voters lash out at Chancellor Merkel's reaction to Japan's crisis.

Radiation in Mass. Rainwater Likely from Japan

Health officials said Sunday that one sample of Massachusetts rainwater has registered very low concentrations of radiation, most likely from the Japanese nuclear power plant.

U.S. Nuclear Plant Says Shielded Against Japan Emergency

A U.S. nuclear plant in Alabama similar in design to the earthquake-hit Fukushima facility in Japan has multiple defenses to prevent and tackle the same kind of emergency, its operator said.

Illinois Lawmaker Shelves Bill to End State’s Nuclear Ban

State Rep. JoAnn Osmond introduced legislation in January that would have lifted the state's 24-year ban on nuclear power plant construction, but said it no longer is on her legislative front burner.

U.N.’s Nuclear Chief Says Japan Is ‘Far From the End’

The world's chief nuclear inspector said that Japan was "still far from the end of the accident" that struck its Fukushima nuclear complex and continues to spew radiation into the air.

Australia to Discuss Carbon Tax Plan with China

Australia's plan to tax major industrial polluters for the carbon gas they produce will be discussed at climate change talks with Chinese officials this week, a minister said.

China Energy Authority Drafting Shale Gas Development Plan: NDRC

China is drawing up a national shale gas development plan and aims for commercial production of the alternative fuel as early as possible as it gears up to reduce reliance on coal.

Statoil: Gulf Costs May Rise 10 Percent After Spill

Additional regulation in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill could boost the cost of drilling new oil and gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico by 10 percent, Norway's Statoil said.

Ohio Poised to Take Center Stage in Natural Gas Drilling Debate

Ohio's new governor has proposed leasing park land for fracking in his biennial budget and both the Ohio House and Senate have bills in the hopper that could authorize the state to do so.

Rift Over Gas Drilling Roils Water in Delaware River Basin

More than a dozen permits for wells have been issued in northeast Pennsylvania in areas where groundwater drains into the Delaware River, and a handful of wells have already been drilled.

Shift In Boreal Forest Has Wide Impact

Boreal forests across the Northern hemisphere are undergoing rapid, transformative shifts as a result of a warming climate that, in some cases, is triggering feedback loops producing even more regional warming, according to several new studies.

2 Mass. Utilities Make Very Different Power Deals

National Grid estimates its deal with the Cape Wind project will cost ratepayers $1.2 billion above the projected market price by the time it's done. Meanwhile, NStar says its contracts with three smaller land wind farms are a total of $111 million below market price.

Money Pours Into Mines

Cash-rich mining companies are investing heavily to increase output of key raw materials but expansion is unlikely to be enough to meet robust demand and tame rising commodity prices.

'Artificial Leaf' Makes Hydrogen from Solar Cell

An MIT professor has presented new research on how to tap a solar cell to split hydrogen from water -- a system that could be used for cheap, clean, distributed energy systems.

March 27, 2011

Alberta Urges EU Not to Blacklist the Oil Sands

Alberta's government is continuing to try and convince European lawmakers to not single out the oilsands with new environmental standards.

Oil and Gas Industry Sitting on 7,200 Drilling Permits

The oil and gas industry has nearly 7,200 permits to drill on public lands that it has yet to use, according to Bureau of Land Management data obtained by Greenwire.

EU Wants Worldwide Nuclear Plant Tests

EU leaders called for worldwide stress testing of nuclear plants on Friday and committed to putting their 143 reactors through the toughest security checks possible.

Minuscule Amounts of Radiation from Japan Detected in Nevada

Nevada has joined several western states in reporting that minuscule amounts of radiation from Japan's damaged nuclear plant are showing up. But scientists say there is no health risk.

Experts Blame Fukushima 1 Explosions and Radiation on Failed Venting System

The explosions that shattered the reactor buildings at the Fukushima nuclear complex followed the venting of hydrogen and steam by plant operators desperate to prevent a greater disaster.

Some 200,000 in Germany Protest Nuclear Power

Tens of thousands of people on Saturday turned out in Germany's largest cities to protest the use of nuclear power in the wake of Japan's Fukushima reactor disaster, police and organizers said.

NJ, Home to Oldest U.S. Nuke Plant, Reviewing Safety

New Jersey, home to the nation's oldest nuclear power plant, created a task force Friday to review safety and emergency response plans at nuclear plants.

Northwest Utilities on Quest for Renewable Energy

Northwest utilities are on a quest for renewable energy. Wind turbines are sprouting around the region. Dams are being upgraded. And utilities are buying renewable energy credits.

Brazil Needs to Unblock Climate Talks: Bill Clinton

U.S. ex-president Bill Clinton urged Brazil to push to get global climate change talks unblocked by getting key trade partners, the United States and China, to curb greenhouse gas emissions.


Five Countries Sign for 'European Amazon' Reserve

Five central European countries signed an accord to launch a cross-border nature reserve in an area known as Europe's Amazon at a meeting of environmental ministers that ended Saturday.

German Bank Dumps Palm Oil Company Stock

DWS, a fund management company run by Deutsche Bank, has dropped all Wilmar International stock from its financial products over concerns that the palm oil giant has failed to produce palm oil in a responsible manner.

Joshua Trees Nearly Wiped Out by 2100?

An icon of the Mojave Desert, the Joshua tree may be found only at its highest or most northerly outposts by the end of the century. A new study suggests its range may shrink by 90% in the next 60 to 90 years as a consequence of warming.

California Clean Energy: 'No on 23' Is Back

A successful alliance between cleantech businesses and environmental groups that defeated Prop. 23 last year has been resurrected. "Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs" will support the rollout of new regulations under the state's global warming law.

March 25, 2011

Japan Raises Possibility of Breach in Reactor Vessel

Japan's effort to contain the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant suffered a setback, an official said on Friday, citing evidence that a reactor vessel may have been damaged.

Japan Disaster Raises Questions About Backup Power at U.S. Nuclear Plants

The batteries that back up power at most U.S. nuclear plants are required to last about as long as the average cellphone battery -- four hours. Critics say that's not enough.

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