Shell Oil is set to tap Alaska's vast oil reserves now that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final air quality permit to allow exploration development north of the Arctic Circle. The permit allows Shell to set up its Noble Discoverer drillship in the Chukchi Sea along with a fleet of support vessels including icebreakers and oil spill response crafts. The company will be allowed to operate them no more than 120 days annually starting in 2012. The permit sets strict air pollution control limits on the drilling equipment.
In a press release, EPA explained the new permits are revised versions of those issued to Shell in 2010. At the time, environmental activist groups challenged them, and EPA's Environmental Appeals Board decided the original permits did not meet Clean Air Act standards. The new ones restrict fleet emissions by more than 50 percent from the levels allowed in 2010. EPA says it granted the new permits based largely on state-of-the-art pollution control equipment recently installed on the Discoverer and on Shell's agreement to further reduce emissions by adding more controls to its drilling fleet.
The Virginia Supreme Court has ruled in favor of an insurance carrier in an unprecedented case involving global warming. The court unanimously held that Steadfast Insurance Company is not obligated to cover court costs for the Virginia-based energy group AES Corporation under its liability policy in another lawsuit before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California.AES is one of 24 companies sued in that case by an Alaskan coastal village for damage to its community from global warming.
The villagers of Kivalina blame greenhouse gas emissions from the defendants' business operations for shoreline erosion they say will force relocation of their town. The ruling for Steadfast sets a precedent that businesses involved in climate change liability lawsuits may not be covered by their liability policies.
We built up the industrial might of China, now the powers that be want to build up Russian industry.
Big oil and big coal are destroying the planet. That was Al Gore's message in 24 Hours of Reality, which he wrapped up last night at 7. The live, day-long webcast told listeners human-generated greenhouse gases (GHGs) are causing cataclysmic weather events worldwide, and corrupt corporate shills are working hard to sow seeds of denial.
"Climate change is not your fault," Gore told his audience. "Big oil and big coal are spending big money to spread doubt about climate change." He aimed his guns at "fossil fuel interests," and much of the 24 hours compared them to tobacco companies that fought regulations in the 1960s when research linked smoking to cancer and lung disease. Big tobacco denied the problems they caused then, and big oil and coal are denying the problems they're causing now, says Gore.
Time ran out before he had a chance to mention the names of the nefarious, clandestine companies at the root of this climate crisis. Which leaves one to wonder what companies he meant.
New regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have many people up in arms, including some unions. Aware that the regulations will be job-killers, the unions and small government advocate have actually discovered some common ground.
The Blaze reports:
A Texas company is suing to block new EPA “cross-state air pollution” rules. If the regulations are not changed, Luminant Energy claims it will be forced to close two plants and fire 500 people. Texas was not initially included in the new EPA rules that target sulphur-dioxin emissions with a mandate requiring a 64% reduction from 2010 levels, but in July the Lone Star state was added to the list.
According to the Titus County Chamber of Commerce Director Faustine Curry, the regulations would have a detrimental impact on the Texas economy.
“This would be devastating to the Northeast Texas economy — not just Titus County. In Titus County, we have the power plant, the mines,” Curry explained.
The federal government’s ban on the incandescent light bulb impacts even the most unexpected items, including the Easy Bake Oven, made by Hasbro, with which many young American girls play. The famous toy, first introduced in 1963, once relied on a heated bulb to bake miniature treats. However, the compact fluorescents, which are becoming the new standard for household use, are so energy efficient that they would be incapable of baking a brownie or any other baked good. Therefore, the makers of the Easy Bake Oven have had to reform the product so as to not necessitate a light bulb.
The Blaze reports:
Initially, news of the death of the 100-watt bulb prompted rumors that the Easy-Bake might be going the same way. Instead, the toy got its 11th redesign, at the heart of which is a new heating element much like that of a traditional oven.
Hasbro touts some benefits of the forced redesign, such as the physical makeover of the product that the company believes gives the product a more realistic look.
By erasing burdensome regulations, the oil industry could create one million jobs by 2018 and more than 1.4 million by 2030, according to an analysis released by the American Petroleum Institute (API). The report, prepared by Wood Mackenzie Research and Consulting and funded by API, also projects that oil production could grow by 10.4 million barrels a day and increase government revenue by $803 billion by 2030.
Lifting regulatory burdens and uncorking key regions of the United States to oil exploration and development would curb gas prices, ease U.S. dependence on hostile nations, and create hundreds of thousands of jobs every year, API noted. Abrogating terrain and coastal restrictions would mean granting access to regions that are currently "off-limits" to drilling, including oil-rich areas in Alaska, the Rocky Mountains, and the Atlanta and Pacific coasts.
The FBI is investigating bankrupt solar-panel maker Solyndra after the company secured more than $500 million in loan guarantees from the federal government. Glorified by President Obama as "the future" of clean energy and a "testament to American ingenuity and dynamism," Solyndra headquarters was raided by FBI agents on Thursday, as allegations were made that executives knowingly misled the government in an attempt to swindle $535 million in federal loan guarantees. FBI spokesman Peter Lee said the investigation commenced following a request by Energy Department inspector general Gregory Friedman, who alleged that the department’s clean-energy loan program lacks "transparency and accountability."
The investigation launched a week after the Silicon Valley solar company filed bankruptcy, which resulted in immediate layoffs for 1,100 workers. The company has gleaned raving reviews from the Obama administration, as the President branded the company as a poster child for clean energy: "Companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future."
When Wolfgang Wagner resigned from Remote Sensing last week regarding controversial climate change research, it provoked curiosity amongst analysts. According to Wagner, there were issues related to the peer review process of published material and as a result, the material “should not have been published.” The research in question reportedly “cast doubt on man-made global warming,” a finding with which Wagner does not seem to agree.
The research, which had been published in July by the University of Alabama, included work by scientists Roy Spencer and William Braswell, which ultimately refuted the climate change models used by the United Nations. The research asserted that the U.N. overestimated how much global warming will occur in the future.
Wagner contends that the review process for the material was questionable, since those who reviewed the work were philosophically skeptical of the notion of manmade climate change. Wagner believes that the selection of such reviewers could have impacted the fairness of the review, but also asserts that it does not necessarily mean that anything unethical took place during the review process, or that any of the published material is necessarily wrong.