Archive for May, 2011

Five Energy Articles We’re Reading Today (5/30/11)

Posted By Lowell F. on May 31st, 2011

Here are five recommended reads for today (5/30/11).

  1. UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres said on Monday that record 2010 carbon emissions pose a “stark warning to governments to provide strong new progress this year towards global solutions to climate change.”  Figueres added, “Countries, including the biggest economies, are moving forward with new policies that promote low-carbon prosperous growth, even if they donít always attach climate labels to these policies.”
  2. Desmog Blog writes about a new study by the Bull Moose Sportsmen Alliance in Colorado, which “highlights the damage that the dirty energy industry has done to their hunting and fishing grounds for years.”
  3. The Oil Drum explains “The Fundamental Problem with Oil Prices.”  In sum, “the prevailing trends in rising [oil] prices and rising price volatility will continue… unless, of course, the trend in rising global demand suddenly reverses – an outcome which is highly unlikely given the subsidies that oil exporting nations provide for domestic consumers.”
  4. The new Think Progress Green is up and running, and according to Brad Johnson, the blog “will be reporting on the efforts of this generation of humanity, and of the great democratic experiment of the United States of America, to build this new [climate and clean energy] framework.”
  5. According to the Wall Street Journal, “While India’s solar mission to generate at least 1,100 megawatt of power by 2013 is on track now, private players feel the government needs to accelerate the pace of growth in the coming years to meet the eventual goal of generating 7% of the nation’s power needs.”
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Bull Moose Sportsmen Alliance Calls Out Dirty Energy Industry

Posted By Lowell F. on May 30th, 2011

Farron Cousins writes at DeSmog Blog about a new report by the Bull Moose Sportsmen Alliance. According to Cousins:

…the hunting and fishing group highlights the damage that the dirty energy industry has done to their hunting and fishing grounds for years. Among the more damning findings are the fact that there are over 100 oil spills every year in just three counties in Colorado – Garfield, Mesa, and Rio Blanco. The state of Colorado has confirmed that no fewer than 77 of these spills managed to taint water supplies of the three counties. These spills combined have leaked more than 5.6 million gallons of oil into the lands that the Bull Moose Sportsmen Alliance works to preserve.

As the Alliance points out, the hunting and fishing industry in Colorado brings in more than $1.2 billion a year, making it more profitable than the sports industry in the state, which includes NFL, NBA, and MLB teams. But thanks to the reckless oil and gas industry, the ecosystems and habitat that hunters and fishermen spend that billion-plus dollars to enjoy are threatened.

The question is, why aren’t the enormous damages to public lands, water, peoples’ livelihoods, and everyone’s quality of life ever mentioned when the dirty energy industry brags about how “cheap” coal, oil, and “fracked” natural gas are?  Here’s one hint.

Posted in Fossil Fuels
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UN Climate Chief: Strong Progress on Climate Change Essential in 2011

Posted By Lowell F. on May 30th, 2011

When it comes to climate change and the need for strong, immediate action to combat it, you can’t get much clearer than this statement today by UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres.

Latest estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA) showing that greenhouse gas emissions from world energy generation reached record levels in 2010 are a stark warning to governments to provide strong new progress this year towards global solutions to climate change, UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres said on Monday.

“This is the inconvenient truth of where human-generated greenhouse gas emissions are projected to go without much stronger international action now…and into the future,” said the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“Governments are meeting next week in Bonn to prepare for the next major international climate conference to be held in Durban at the end of the year. It is clear that they need to push the world further down the right track to avoid dangerous climate change,” the UN’s top climate change official said.  ”I won’t hear that this is impossible. Governments must make it possible for society, business and science to get this job done,” she added.

On a positive note, Figueres points to “two very encouraging trends”: 1) “Countries, including the biggest economies, are moving forward with new policies that promote low-carbon prosperous growth;” and 2) “the private sector continues to increase its investment in low-carbon business and renewable energy and wants to do more.” In addition, as a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded, “the availability of renewable sources like the wind and sun was virtually unlimited, and could provide up to 77 percent of the world’s energy needs by mid-century.” The only question is, how aggressively will government and the private sector turn this potential into reality?

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ExxonMobil Launches Pro-Fracking Campaign

Posted By Lowell F. on May 27th, 2011

From the same people who brought us junk science, and who help bring us the Big Lie “Energy Tomorrow” propaganda campaign, now comes this:

ExxonMobil Corp. is planning an advertising campaign to defend natural-gas drilling techniques that landowners and environmental groups say are contaminating drinking water.

Overzealous regulation of hydraulic fracturing is impeding development of gas fields “vital to America’s economic success,” Exxon chief executive Rex Tillerson told reporters Wednesday after the company’s annual meeting in Dallas.

[...]

The marketing campaign will involve town-hall style meetings in areas where gas exploration is accelerating, as well as advertisements, Tillerson said. Focus groups will be polled to hone the message the company wants to communicate, he said.

The company’s budget for the campaign was not available, said Alan Jeffers, an Exxon spokesman.

While the campaign’s budget “was not available,” keep in mind that Exxon Mobil just reported profits of $10.7 billion in the first quarter of 2011.  In other words, get ready to hear all about the joys of “fracking,” coming soon to a television, newspaper, radio station, and billboard near you!

Posted in Fossil Fuels
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Five Energy Articles We’re Reading Today (5/27/11)

Posted By Lowell F. on May 27th, 2011

Here are five recommended reads for today (5/27/11).

  1. At Grist, David Roberts explains “how to get to a fully renewable power system.”  On suggestion: “The answer is to stop thinking in terms of swapping one source out for another and start thinking about how to construct a new system.”
  2. Energy Boom writes that “U.S. Vice President Joe Biden made a far-reaching promise on May 24. He said that the U.S. is slated to again lead the clean-energy revolution.”
  3. According to Renewable Energy World, “Germany’s huge research community intends to play a greater role in driving innovation in the country’s budding wind power sector.”
  4. Yale’s Environment 360 blog warns that “lackluster recycling of metals…could jeopardize the emerging green technology sector.”
  5. Spiegel Online reports that the “Arab Spring” is boosting the “dream of desert power.” For instance, “Desertec is a multi-billion-dollar energy initiative that hopes to meet Europe’s energy needs with solar power from the Sahara.
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