Baltimore students rally against giant waste incinerator

Yesterday, we joined the high school students in Baltimore for their excellent 100-strong march/rally against a plan for the nation's largest waste incinerator, planned by Energy Answers within a mile of their school in one of the nation's most polluted zip codes. It would burn 4,000 tons/day of trash, tires, shredded cars and wood waste, not far from the nation's largest medical waste incinerator and in the same city as the largest of three trash incinerators that already exist in Maryland.

We were joined by 16-year old Kaya Banton (on right in bottom photo) from Chester, PA, home to the largest existing trash incinerator in the U.S. (burning 3,400 tons/day of waste right across the tracks from residential homes).

Solar Catches on in Iowa

Workers install solar panels on a hog farm near Grinell, Iowa earlier this year. (Photo by Moxie Solar, used with permission)

By Karen Uhlenhuth

December 18, 2013

Midwest Energy News

Iowa is well established as a national leader in wind energy and biofuels. And now the state is poised for serious growth in solar as well.

“The market is exploding in Iowa,” says Tim Dwight, a former Iowa Hawkeye and NFL star who has become one of his home state’s most visible solar energy advocates.

Homeowners, farmers, businesses and at least one school district in Iowa are going solar. Also, over the past year, several municipal utilities and rural electric co-ops have put up solar arrays, inviting customers to buy a share of the power generated.

Battle for Arctic Energy


By Reuters

December 10, 2013

Predisdent Vladimir Putin ordered Russia's Military to increase its focus on the Arctic and finish plans by the end of the year to upgrade military bases in the resource-rich region where world powers jostle for control.

Speaking to Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Putin praised the military's work in the Arctic, where Canada said on Monday it was claiming the North Pole as part of an broader claim on the region.

Strip, Chip, and Ship: Exporting Our Forests [The Biomass Monitor - December 2013]

December 2013 issue of THE BIOMASS MONITOR newsletter: “Strip, Chip, and Ship: Exporting Our Forests”

In the December 2013 issue of The Biomass Monitor (the world's leading publication tracking the health & environmental impacts of "biomass" energy):

-"West Coast Wood Exports Undercut Economy and Environment"

-"Biomass Thermal: The Logs that Break the Forest's Back”

-"Outsourcing Forests Costs Thousands of Jobs”

-"Biomass: The Chain of Destruction”

...and much more!!!

West Coast Wood Exports Undercut Economy and Environment [The Biomass Monitor]

West Coast Wood Exports Undercut Economy and Environment

- by Samantha Chirillo, Energy Justice Network

Since the European Union (EU) countries set high carbon reduction standards and counted biomass energy as carbon neutral and renewable, biomass exports from the southeastern U.S. have skyrocketed.

Now, as Japan looks for an alternative to nuclear energy, as U.S. corporations get tax breaks to relocate facilities to the countries of least regulation, as trans-Pacific trade agreements give these corporations power over governments, and as Oregon’s Congressional delegation plans to log more public forest, west coast ports are preparing for log and biomass export expansion. In 2013 alone, log and chip exports from the northwestern U.S. already doubled, according to Public Interest Forester Roy Keene. Exports are the surest path to forest decline, as history has shown, says Keene.  

AUDIO: "Exporting Our Forests and Economy" ANTI-BIOMASS INCINERATION CAMPAIGN CALL (December 2013)

Anti-Biomass Incineration Campaign - National Conference Call 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

TOPIC: "Exporting Our Forests and Economy"

RECORDING: Biomass Incinerator Noise – December 2013

We discuss the economic and environmental impacts of shipping logs, wood pellets, and other forest products overseas from the West and East coasts in the U.S.

Guest speakers:

-Roy Keene, Public Interest Forester
-Greg Pallesen, Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers
- Rachel Smolker, Biofuelwatch

Facilitator: Josh Schlossberg, Energy Justice Network

Notes: Samantha Chirillo, Energy Justice Network

Wind is Successfully Competing


Midwest Wind Cost-Competitive With Gas and Coal
Conway Irwin
December 7, 2013

Morgan Stanley is seeing “vicious competition” between coal plants and wind farms in resource-rich regions.

More efficient technologies, combined with low costs and strong wind resources, are making wind cost-competitive with some of the cheapest forms of fossil energy in the Midwest.

“In the Midwest, we’re now seeing power agreements being signed with wind farms at as low as $25 per megawatt-hour,” said Stephen Byrd, Morgan Stanley’s Head of North American Equity Research for Power & Utilities and Clean Energy, at the Columbia Energy Symposium in late November. “Compare that to the variable cost of a gas plant at $30 per megawatt-hour. The all-in cost to justify the construction of a new gas plant would be above $60 per megawatt-hour.”

How Deep Do Property Lines Extend

Published: December 5, 2013
The New York Times

A case involving the disposal of industrial wastewater pits two interests that are dear to many Texans against each other: oil and gas resources versus private property rights.

A decision by the state’s highest civil court could have major implications for both. The Texas Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on Jan. 7 in a dispute between a company that operates injection wells in Liberty County and a nearby rice farm that says wastewater from those wells has migrated into a saltwater aquifer below its land. It calls the migration trespassing, for which it should be compensated. Among several smaller questions, the court will weigh a broad one: Just how far below the earth’s surface do property lines extend?

Solar Jobs Could Brighten the Economy

Los Angeles County could create tens of thousands of new jobs and reduce global-warming-causing carbon emissions if solar-voltaic panels are installed on just 5% of available rooftops, says a just-issued report.

The study by the Environmental Defense Fund and the Luskin Center for Innovation at UCLA, released Wednesday, predicts that 29,000 installer jobs would open up. Carbon emissions would be reduced by 1.25 million tons, the equivalent of taking a quarter of a million cars off the roads each year.

There Is Hope For Energy Efficiency!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 2013_westvillage009-bike.jpgBy Ralph Cavanagh

November 26th, 2013

Switchboard NRDC Blog

In the global competition for appealing clean energy solutions, a leading entry is the new West Village at the University of California at Davis (UC Davis), which today celebrated significant progress toward its goal of becoming the largest planned “zero-net energy” community in the United States.

Seven years ago, I was one of nine jurors who selected the winner in a competition to establish the nation’s first university-based center on energy efficiency (and yes, it’s hard to believe that this didn’t happen until 2006!). UC Davis finished first in a distinguished field, and it has more than justified expectations in the years since. 


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