In the wake of Japan’s nuclear emergency, the White House remains committed to nukes
(March 16, 2011) / (March 14, 2011)
Washington Post / Politico
While still dealing with the devastation of the recent earthquake and tsunami, the threat of nuclear meltdown looms now as the primary threat to Japan. An additional summary and update of the problem is provided by Grist: What exactly is happening with the Japanese nuclear reactors?
White House press secretary Jay Carney stated that “nuclear remains a part of the president’s overall energy plan” and deflected questions on whether Obama would support a freeze on new US nuclear plant permits until more was known about the causes of the current disaster in Japan.
(March 14, 2011)
Mexico has begun a new program to track its climate and emissions progress in a move that it hopes will provide more transparency, gain international credibility, and eventually help secure the funding necessary for it to meet its long-term reduction goals. In conjunction with a US consulting firm, they have developed a simpler, more accurate, internet-based system that can track progress in any economic sector, geographic region, or even specific project, and can provide a complete report on the country’s climate progress every 2 months.
(March 14, 2011)
A new, industry- funded report out of Scotland finds evidence that sea-water filled rock formations could have immense potential for storing carbon. According to the study, a sandstone formation east of the Moray Firth known as Captain sandstone could eventually store up to 100 years of Scottish power plant CO2 emissions using carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. Emissions would be pumped back into existing gas reservoirs in the rock formation. Environmental campaigners are skeptical about the reports claims and assumptions about Scotland’s role in CCS technologies, and investment bankers are skeptical about finding the massive amount of funds necessary to build these plants and technologies.
(March 13, 2011)
After two weeks of stalemate, Senate and House leaders are expected to pass yet another short-term spending bill, funding the government through April 8th. Negotiations will then continue for another short-term spending bill. Larger problems loom as lawmakers face a considerable challenge in either reducing the nation’s debt, or raising the nation’s debt limit. Meanwhile, the planning challenges and uncertain future conditions for the EPA and other federal environmental programs operating under yet another stopgap CR are highlighted in this New York Times article: Three-Week Stopgap Measure Likely, but Long-Term Budget in Doubt.
(March 3, 2011)
Wall Street Journal
AB 32, California’s landmark effort to limit greenhouse gas emissions through cap and trade trading, faces challenges as it is opposed by local residents and environmental justice organizations. Several groups and individuals have sued state regulators, claiming that the climate plan wont reduce pollution. They say that industries should focus on reducing emissions instead of trading them. At a January 27th ruling, Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith agreed with the plaintiffs, placing doubt on the future of the program. He said that the “Air Resources Board, which is tasked with lowering air pollution, hadn’t conducted an adequate environmental review before it approved the plan”. A final ruling is scheduled for the next few weeks.