August 1, 2013 |
Hydroelectric dams may be known as a relatively clean and low-cost energy source, but a new study says that the sediment trapped behind them makes them hot spots for greenhouse gas emissions. A team of European scientists found that methane, which is produced by organic matter in the sediment that collects behind the impoundments, bubbles up through the water and contributes more of the greenhouse gases driving climate change than previously thought. The scientists studied six small dams on the River Saar in Germany and found “hot spot emission zones” of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is many times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.
July 15, 2013 |
Nine companies have been fined for filing late or inadequate reports about their greenhouse gas emissions as required by the state, California air regulators announced. The companies included Exxon Mobil Corp., which was fined $120,000 for filing late and inaccurate data on its Torrance refinery and Pacific Gas & Electric Co., which agreed to pay $20,000 for delays in reporting emissions it generates as a natural gas supplier. Cement manufacturers, oil companies and gas plant operators were among the other companies whose fines were made public last week by the California Air Resources Board.
July 10, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Power plants in the United States are burning coal more often to generate electricity, reversing the growing use of natural gas and threatening to increase domestic emissions of greenhouse gases after a period of decline, according to a federal report. Coal's share of total domestic power generation in the first four months of 2013 averaged 39.5%, compared with 35.4% during the same period last year, according to the Energy Information Administration, the analytical branch of the Energy Department.
July 6, 2013 |
Customers at the Vapor Spot in Los Angeles puff on electronic vaporizers in an environment that looks like a cross between a swanky bar and a pharmacy, with black-shirted staffers tending frosted-glass countertops and hundreds of dropper bottles of "e-juice" lined up on the shelves. The aroma inside is mildly sweet -- not what you might expect from a store full of people indulging in a nicotine habit. Smokers have been banished from most public places, forced to nurse their addiction in private or outdoors.
June 26, 2013 |
President Obama's omnibus proposal to combat global warming addresses the issue in all its many facets - truck emissions, high-level diplomacy, more federal land for solar and wind projects. Think of it as a target covered with water balloons. The president won't be able to keep all of them from bursting as his opponents in Congress and industry start throwing darts. The key is to not let them hit the bull's eye: new emissions standards for coal-fired plants. Power plants produce a third of all the greenhouse gases in the country, and coal plants are the biggest offenders.
June 25, 2013 |
President Obama laid out an ambitious campaign to address climate change Tuesday, mapping a course that would bypass Congress to cut emissions from hundreds of coal-fired electric power plants and setting the stage for a possible rejection of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. The effort could shape Obama's presidential legacy and fulfill a key promise of his 2008 campaign. It also could plunge him into a bruising and potentially costly political battle. His plan, which relies heavily on actions the executive branch can take on its own, would put the U.S. on track to significantly cut its greenhouse gas output by the end of the decade.
June 25, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama set a high bar for approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, declaring for the first time that he would let the project go forward only if it does not “significantly increase” emissions of greenhouse gases. The pledge came in a speech on climate policy in which Obama laid out a series of executive actions his administration will take over the next several years to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that are major causes of climate change.
June 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is considering a sweeping initiative to address climate change, including the first-ever limits on carbon dioxide from power plants, the country's biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, according to people familiar with the discussions. The White House has yet to settle on specific measures, but "we're hearing that existing power plants are definitely in the mix," said a person with knowledge of the deliberations, who, like others, asked not to be identified to talk about White House discussions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 17, 2013 |
A Vernon battery recycler shut by the state in April as a health risk to thousands of nearby residents will be allowed to reopen pending a court hearing next month, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled Monday. Judge Luis A. Lavin said the public interest would not suffer if the plant were to operate in the meantime. The state Department of Toxic Substances Control ordered Exide Technologies, one of the world's largest makers and recyclers of lead acid batteries, to suspend operations April 24, saying the facility's arsenic emissions posed "an unacceptable risk to public health.
June 10, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases are growing at such a rate that the world will probably exceed a safe limit in average global temperatures by the end of the century and veer into a higher temperature zone that would profoundly damage economic growth and most other aspects of life, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency. Emissions of greenhouse gases, mostly carbon dioxide, need to stay below certain levels so that they do not push average global temperatures higher than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit)