December 27, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said Thursday she was stepping down from the Cabinet-level post after four years in which she won new federal regulations for carbon dioxide emissions but also sparred often with Republican lawmakers and industry executives. The first African American to hold the position and a chemical engineer by training, Jackson gave no signal on what she planned to do next. But sources close to Jackson, 50, hinted that she might be headed back to her former home in New Jersey, either for a chance to become president of Princeton University or to run for governor.
December 8, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - On election night, President Obama uttered a phrase that thrilled environmentalists. "We want our children to live in an America that isn't burdened by debt, that isn't weakened by inequality," Obama said, "that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. " Environmental optimists run the risk, however, of ending up like a kid who expected a puppy for Christmas and got socks instead. Those in industry who think that Obama's frequent campaign talk about the benefits of oil and gas could mean opening more land to drilling may also be disappointed.
December 2, 2012 |
Considering President Obama has long championed the environment, it might have been a surprise that he signed a bill last week to protect U.S. airlines from complying with a European emissions-cutting effort. The European Union plan calls for fines on international airlines that exceed emission limits when flying in and out of Europe. The U.S. airline industry, which has loudly opposed the plan, cheered Obama's support for legislation to protect them from paying the fines. Environmentalists were not so happy.
November 28, 2012 |
Scientists have reported the largest blast of energy ever recorded from a far-off quasar, some two trillion times more energetic than the sun. The discovery may explain confusing discrepancies between the observed and predicted masses of black holes. Quasars are extremely bright galaxy cores, at the center of which sits a black hole. Their light is generated when material is sucked into that black hole, creating large amounts of energy. But quasars are also capable of emitting that energy back out, away from the black hole, and one of those emissions is what the researchers, led by Nahum Arav of Virginia Tech, observed.
November 27, 2012 |
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire on Tuesday ordered state agencies to take initial steps to combat ocean acidification, making it the first state to address problematic changes in ocean chemistry that threaten shellfish farms, wild-caught fish and other marine life. Gregoire signed the executive order based on the recommendation of a blue ribbon panel of experts that pointed out how increasingly acidified waters pose a direct threat to the state's $270 million shellfish industry. “A healthy ocean is critical to our health and our coastal economies,” Gregoire said in a statement.
November 16, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - California voters strongly support the state's ambitious program to limit emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that cause global warming, according to a new post-election poll. At the same time, the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll of 1,520 registered voters showed that they are sharply divided over whether it is a good idea for the state to relax requirements for environmental reviews of proposed new developments. The two environmental findings were part of a wide-ranging telephone poll conducted from Nov. 7 to 12. In each case, voters were read a description of the issues involved and asked whether they agreed or disagreed.
November 6, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO — After six years of preparation, California is poised to become the first state to combat global warming by capping greenhouse gas emissions and making major polluters pay to release more of these gases into the atmosphere. It's part of a landmark law approved in 2006 that seeks to cut the state's production of carbon dioxide, methane and related gases to 1990 levels — about 17% lower than current amounts — by 2020. Starting next week, big polluters will be required to buy pollution credits if they plan to emit greenhouse gases above their allotted levels.
October 9, 2012 |
Climate scientists are creating a three-dimensional carbon dioxide emissions map of the city of Los Angeles that will detail greenhouse gas emissions for individual buildings, road segments and power generators over time. The mapping project is part of an effort by Arizona State University researchers to eventually map all major cities in the United States to help guide climate policymakers. In a report published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, atmospheric scientist Kevin Gurney and colleagues described how they recently completed a similar map for the city of Indianapolis.
October 3, 2012 |
Centuries before the Industrial Revolution or the recognition of global warming, the ancient Roman and Chinese empires were already producing powerful greenhouse gases through their daily toil, according to a new study. The burning of plant matter to cook food, clear cropland and process metals released millions of tons of methane gas into the atmosphere each year during several periods of pre-industrial history, according to the study, published Thursday in the journal Nature. Although the quantity of methane produced back then pales in comparison with the emissions released today - the total amount is roughly 70 times greater now - the findings suggest that man's footprint on the climate is larger than previously realized.
September 11, 2012 |
The amount of carbon dioxide emitted from energy production declined in the U.S. in 2011 -- the third time in four years and the fourth time in the last six years that has happened, the Energy Department said Tuesday. As has been the case in previous years, there wasn't necessarily a lot of good economic news behind the positive result of reduced emissions. The Energy Department, for example, cited slower economic growth as one factor in the 2.4% drop in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions last year.