May 28, 2012
by Regina Cline
Draft assessments of current and future climate change impacts on the United States are expected to be turned in by 30 teams of expert authors by June 1 to the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee.
The assessments will make up the next National Climate Assessment, which is due to Congress every four years under the Global Change Research Act of 1990. However, only two reports have been completed since the law passed--in 2000 and 2009.
May 25, 2012
by Ari Natter
Legislation in both chambers of Congress would limit the Department of Defense’s ability to buy alternative fuels, reflecting some congressional Republicans' criticism of Pentagon efforts to green the military.
May 21, 2012
PepsiCo and Wal-mart have entered into a partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development and several nonprofit groups to protect Brazil's Amazon rain forest and other ecosystems. ...
The Environmental Protection Agency will hold two public hearings May 24 in Washington, D.C., and Chicago on Clean Air Act new source performance standards that would limit carbon dioxide...
May 16, 2012
Similar to the way a slather of sunscreen can help prevent sunburn, one of its ingredients—titanium oxide—could be injected into the stratosphere to help keep the Earth from overheating,...
May 15, 2012
The Department of Energy would continue to be barred from enforcing new energy efficiency standards for incandescent light bulbs under a planned House amendment that pits bulb manufacturers against the tea party movement. The amendment, which Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) has vowed to introduce to an upcoming appropriations bill, would prohibit funding to enforce standards that require the 100-watt light bulb, and eventually other bulbs, to be about 30 percent more efficient. Bulb manufacturers, who say they have spent millions of dollars retooling factories to comply with the standards, oppose measures such as Burgess's, saying they open the door for imports of cheaper, less efficient bulbs.
May 14, 2012
In Congress, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing Thursday on the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 (S. 2146), which would promote a range of low- and zero-carbon electricity generation sources. The bill would require utilities to obtain 24 percent of electricity from "clean" sources starting in 2015, increasing 3 percent per year through 2035.
May 10, 2012
The Coca-Cola Co., Nike, and more than 30 other companies have cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 100 million metric tons since 1999 under a partnership agreement with the World Wildlife Fund, according to a new report. The reductions are equal to double the current annual emissions of Switzerland.
May 8, 2012
Electronics manufacturers are threatening to drop out of Energy Star, saying recent changes have made participation in the federal government's voluntary energy efficiency labeling program too costly.
Among the chief complaints is a requirement that companies seeking an Energy Star label have their products' energy usage tested in third-party labs. Previously, companies were allowed to conduct the tests themselves after signing an agreement "committing" that their products met Energy Star specifications.
May 4, 2012
A water and energy spending bill could come to the House floor this week. The measure would provide nearly $1.4 billion for the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for fiscal year 2013.
In the courts, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit is scheduled to hear argument Friday on motions to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to require the federal government to place an immediate cap on greenhouse gas emissions.
May 2, 2012
Could Congress pass legislation to speed up rare earth mining here in the U.S.?
According to the April issue of the Materials Research Society Bulletin, a bill may be enacted if mitigating risk of supply chain interruptions remains a priority for Congress.
Concern over the supply chain of rare earth minerals—which are not rare, but are found in small concentrations—heated up when China, which accounts for 97 percent of the world’s production, curtailed exports in 2010.
For the growing green tech industry, the 17 rare earth minerals on the periodic table are vital in the production of wind turbines, electric vehicle batteries, fuel cells, and energy-efficient lighting. They are also important in the production of dozens of other high-tech products, like computers, cell phones, and medical equipment.
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