The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.

Energy Panel Wants Answers On Gas ‘Fracking’

“A Department of Energy panel hopes new recommendations — if implemented — will restore the public’s trust in hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” for natural gas.

In the last few years, fracking has brought new life to old gas fields around the country. Most of the increasing production comes from dense layers of shale deep underground. By pumping huge deep underground amounts of water, along with smaller amounts of chemicals and sand, drillers can force gas out of shale.”

See Also: Report for Obama Questions Effectiveness of Gas Drilling Regulations
See Also: New Yorkers want fracking, but see consequences

Clean Energy Is Booming And Creating Jobs

“Clean energy is now creating more jobs for the energy produced than coal or natural gas, and solar energy is the fastest growing industry in the United States, according to industry and academic sources.

Solar energy alone employed 93,502 American jobs in 2010 and could grow from 25,000-50,000 this year, economy willing.

Solar also is producing more jobs than any other energy source, and could generate four million jobs by 2030.”

Probing the Role of the Sun In an Era of Global Warming

“Some skeptics have suggested the real culprit behind rising temperatures is increased solar activity. But a wide variety of data and experiments still provide no solid evidence to refute the scientific consensus that greenhouse gas emissions are the major reason the planet is heating up.”

Predicting Climate ‘Tipping Points’ Within Reach, Study Suggests

“New research finds that early warning of some impending global warming tipping points may already be possible”

See Also: Speeding glacier barrels through valley
See Also: Bear that mauled British teen was starving

Canadian government accused of ‘unprecedented’ tar sands lobbying

“Friends of the Earth Europe claims ministers have attempted to undermine European fuel legislation that would affect exportsThe Canadian government has been accused of an “unprecedented” lobbying effort involving 110 meetings in less than two years in Britain and Europe in a bid to derail new fuel legislation that could hit exports from its tar sands.The allegation comes from Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE), which claims Ottawa ministers have attempted to mislead European decision-makers by underplaying the carbon-heavy nature of their crude in assessing new petrol standards. Canada is worried that proposed European legislation would penalise imports of oil derived from its tar sands and so restrict access to the European market for Canadian oil.”

See Also: Puerto Rico’s Battle Over the Via Verde Natural Gas Pipeline: The Right Choice for the Island’s Energy Future?

New Report: CO2 Emissions Cost Way More Than You Think

“Since the Bush years, government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, Council on Economic Advisers, and Department of Transportation have been calculating the economic costs of the damage caused by carbon dioxide emissions and the resulting climate change. Depending on who’s running the calculation and their methodology (economic modeling based on projected growth, climate behavior, and related physical damages), these estimates currently range from $5.50 and $72 per ton of CO2.”

See Also: Rising CO2 Levels Could Offset Drying Effects of Higher Temperatures

Gulf ‘Dead Zone’ Expanding to New Areas as Increased Flooding Makes the Problem Worse

“This year’s survey of the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico was just completed. And although it didn’t shatter record size as previously thought, the findings still show the problem worsening. The dead zone is caused by a phenomenon known has hypoxia. When nutrients from farming fertilizers run into rivers and pour into the ocean, massive amounts of phytoplankton grow. As the excess phytoplankton get consumed by bacteria, the decomposition process depletes oxygen and creates an uninhabitable area. According to a 2008 study, there are 400 dead zones around the world making up an area about half the size of California.”

White House Announces First Ever Oil Savings Standards for Heavy Duty Trucks, Buses/Saving $50 billion in fuel costs and over 500 million barrels of oil

“Today, President Obama will meet with industry officials to discuss the first-of-their-kind fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas pollution standards for work trucks, buses, and other heavy duty vehicles and to thank them for their leadership in finalizing a successful national program for these vehicles. This meeting marks the administration’s announcement of the standards, which will save American businesses that operate and own these commercial vehicles approximately $50 billion in fuel costs over the life of the program. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the standards in close coordination with the companies that met with the president today as well as other stakeholders, following requests from companies to develop this program. “

Small Hydro Has Strong Bipartisan Support. So Why Can’t We Get Our Act Together?

“Most people don’t realize that we have a lot of hydropower potential left in this country — particularly small hydro.

Amidst all the talk about increasing offshore drilling in the arctic, permitting massive renewable energy projects in remote areas, and building out expensive transmission lines around the country, we often forget about the simple things.”

See Also: UK approves two new Drax biomass plants

Roundup herbicide research shows plant, soil problems

“(Reuters) – The heavy use of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide appears to be causing harmful changes in soil and potentially hindering yields of the genetically modified crops that farmers are cultivating, a government scientist said on Friday.”

Slippery Banana Peels Could Be A Savior For Polluted Water

“Banana peels don’t get a lot of respect. Though we here at Shots have never actually heard of anyone slipping on one, it seems they’re stuck in the cultural lore as a nuisance, or even a hazard.

But a Brazilian researcher, who also happens to be a banana lover, has taken an interest in the lowly banana peel and is helping to remake its image. The banana peel, it turns out, can take water dirtied by heavy metals from mining operations or other activities and turn it to clean drinking water.”

NPR has a page of Science News which includes links on environment and energy.
Reuters has a page on Green Business and their Science page has additional stories as do the Science and Environment pages at the Guardian.

Here are some other links you may find worthwhile:
Climate Change News Digest
Climate Progress from Center for American Progress
Rocky Mountain Institute “an independent, entrepreneurial nonprofit think-and-do tank™ that drives the efficient and restorative use of resources.”

At BPI Campus our Progressive Agenda is:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.


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