User: flenvcenter Topic: Energy-Independent
Category: Fossil Fuels :: Coal
Last updated: Jan 31 2015 06:39 IST RSS 2.0
 
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China Nears Peak Coal, But Its Rustbelt Pays the Price 31.1.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
China’s great coal boom is grinding to a halt, and the consequences for both the global climate and hundreds of millions of Chinese factory workers could be dramatic. Three trends have dominated the debate over China and climate change for the past decade: China’s economy will grow by double digits, the country will burn more coal every year, and global emissions will continue to climb with no end in sight. China has grown to be the world’s second largest economy and the No. 1 emitter of greenhouse gases, consuming nearly as much coal as the rest of the world combined. But preliminary data from 2014 show that China’s coal production just declined 2.5 percent , the first drop since the year 2000. Analysts are now predicting what was almost unimaginable just a few years ago: China’s coal use could peak and begin to decline by 2020. That dramatic shift would put China on track to meet its treaty pledge of peaking total emissions in 2030. Falling demand for coal reflects strict new pollution controls, ...
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Mitch McConnell's Misguided Coal Crusade 30.1.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Flush from victory last November, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell threw down the gauntlet. "What the administration has done to the coal industry is a true outrage," he said , referring to the loss of mining jobs in his home state of Kentucky. President Obama, he continued, is conducting "a war on coal and, honestly, I'm going to war with him over coal." Of course, McConnell is not alone. Politicians from major coal-producing states -- particularly Kentucky, West Virginia and Wyoming -- routinely fulminate against what they've dubbed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) "war on coal," and they have vowed to block the agency's new carbon emission rules for coal-fired power plants. But with the Republican takeover of the Senate, McConnell -- in his new role as majority leader -- now has a lot more leverage. For him, coal's threat to the climate, public health and the environment is inconsequential; and to hear him talk, one would think that curbing carbon emissions will throw millions of people out ...
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Bernie Sanders Shows How Reagan Helped Destroy The Middle Class 30.1.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- President Ronald Reagan remains a venerated figure in American politics, even as folks on the left have been taking a more critical look at his economic legacy in recent years. So perhaps it's not a surprise that Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders would not think well of the Gipper. But when Sanders took to the Senate floor Thursday evening to offer a broad vision for how to do something to help the declining middle class, he offered a stunning chart that showed just how poorly most Americans have fared during economic recoveries since the advent of Reaganomics. The chart starts by showing that in the decades after World War II, the bottom 90 percent of the country captured most of the growth in income during rebounds from tough times. But then came the Reagan era, and what George H. W. Bush once dubbed "voodoo economics." After Reagan implemented his policies, the top 10 percent grabbed nearly 80 percent of the growth in incomes coming out of the oil crises of the late '70s. "Whoa! ...
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On Overseas Coal, Will the World Bank and U.S. Government Pass Their Own Tests? 29.1.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Co-authored with Visar Azemi, coordinator for the Kosovo Civil Society Consortium for Sustainable Development (KOSID) In June 2013, President Obama announced that the U.S. Government would stop financing new coal plants overseas unless equipped with technologies that reduce emissions or if there are no other viable options for the host country to generate electricity. In July 2013, the World Bank Group took a similar stance through a Board report which indicated an end to financial support from the World Bank Group for greenfield coal power generation except in "rare circumstances," such as cases with a lack of feasible alternatives to coal. This stance has also been adopted by the Nordic Countries , the United Kingdom , and, most recently, by France . This year, the U.S. Government and World Bank Group will likely be presented with a test case that will show whether these new safeguards from coal pollution are serious or just empty words: Kosovo. Photo courtesy of KOSID Kosovo C, a 600 megawatt ...
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Alaska Republican Wants Gun Control For EPA Agents 29.1.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- The first legislative act by Alaska's new senator, Dan Sullivan (R), turns out to be a gun control measure -- but one that will only affect federal agents. Sullivan, who ousted Democratic Sen. Mark Begich last fall, is hoping to get a vote this week on an amendment to the Keystone XL pipeline bill that would ban police officers who work for the Environmental Protection Agency from carrying firearms. "When the EPA initially was stood up, it didn't have employees who were armed," Sullivan said at a Monday news conference when asked about the measure. The Alaska Republican is framing his amendment as a first step toward reducing the scope of the federal government. In particular, Sullivan said, members of the EPA's Criminal Investigation Division have shown a tendency to overstep their authority. He pointed to a clean water inspection at a remote Alaskan gold-mining settlement a year and a half ago, in which EPA agents angered a group of miners by showing up armed and wearing body armor. "We ...
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China's coal production falls for first time this century 28.1.2015 TreeHugger
There are so many signs that China's shift to cleaner energy sources is just getting started, and it won't be derailed.
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Ohio’s Anti-Green Suicide 23.1.2015 Commondreams.org Views
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Ohioans Stand Up in Force to Oppose Bailing out Old, Dirty Power Plants 23.1.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
As coal plants around the U.S. become increasingly filthy and decrepit with old age, some utilities want ratepayers to pay billions of dollars to keep them running. We're already paying with our health, our air, and our water - plus, Americans want clean energy like wind and solar. Why should we shell out billions to prop up harmful fossil fuels, when we could instead create thousands of good clean energy jobs that will protect the health and livelihoods of workers and communities? Well, Ohioans have recently come out in force to three public hearings to ask just that question. Right now Ohio utility FirstEnergy is embattled in a high-profile case before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. The company is requesting, along with other Ohio utilities, sweeping bailouts for its aging coal and nuclear power plants -- to the tune of $3 billion! Instead of competing in the open market where clean energy and efficiency are driving down prices, FirstEnergy wants customers to be stuck paying the bill to bail ...
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The solar industry is creating jobs 20x faster than the rest of the US economy! 23.1.2015 TreeHugger
There are now 173,807 solar workers in the US, 80,000 jobs created just since 2010!
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Wiind reps. are full of hot air! (fossilised) 23.1.2015 Earth Times
How sure are you that your nation is following the best energy advice from the recognised experts? Lobbying has spread recently to become a load of cobblers! (lies)
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Republicans Really Don't Like Obama Taking Credit For Anything 22.1.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- After spending the past six years laying the blame for most of the nation's ills on President Barack Obama and his policies, Republicans sure weren't happy that he offered some new proposals and claimed some credit for the country's rebounding economy Tuesday night in his State of the Union address. Obama touted millions of new jobs added on his watch, an economy that's finally growing and a deficit that's shrinking. But Republicans did not want to hear about the successes of what they've derided for years as the "Obama economy." Even before the president spoke, potential 2016 GOP candidate Carly Fiorina declared in an interview that Obama deserves only blame, not credit. "He will apparently declare victory on the economy tonight, but of course, whatever life there is in the economy is not due to his policies, it's in spite of his policies," the former Hewlett-Packard head honcho told Newsmax . Not longer after, another possible 2016 contender, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), went even further, ...
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U.S. Coal Declines, Bucks Global Trend 22.1.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
This story originally appeared on Climate Central. Technological progress has been brutal to the yellow pages and compact discs. Coal may be headed the same way in the U.S., partly because of the market and partly because of national climate change policy. Coal-fired power plants are the nation’s largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions and driver of climate change, and an old technology slowly being replaced by newer, cleaner sources of energy. With solar, wind and natural gas gaining ground on the electric grid, change is in the air. A coal-fired power plant in Wisconsin. Coal demand increased slightly in the U.S. in 2013 and 2014 becuase of higher natural gas prices. Demand is expected to drop in the coming years, however. Signs of coal’s decline are written all over the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s annual coal report released this week, showing that despite a slight increase in coal consumption in 2013, coal production is down and coal mining jobs are down even more. The EIA’s ...
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Bernie Sanders: Obama Won't Propose Chained CPI To Cut Entitlements 16.1.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama will not renew his pursuit of a stealthy cut to Social Security and other entitlement programs by proposing a cheaper way to measure inflation, according to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Many budget-cutters on both sides of the aisle have proposed stemming the growth of entitlement programs by changing the government's standard measure of inflation, the consumer price index, to one that grows more slowly, known as the chained consumer price index. Obama included chained CPI in his budget two years ago as a concession to get Republicans on board, but he dropped it last year. Sanders, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, said Friday he expects the proposal will not make a return. "It is my understanding that the chained CPI will not be in the president's budget," Sanders said in a Capitol Hill press conference. Sanders called the conference to emphasize that he would aggressively oppose any Republican budget proposals that failed to acknowledge the ...
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RNC Censures Michigan Member David Agema Over Comments On Gays And Muslims 15.1.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com

CORONADO, Calif. (AP) — The Republican National Committee's executive committee voted Wednesday to censure Michigan Republican Dave Agema and seek his resignation after he linked to a racist article from Facebook.


At the outset of the RNC's winter meeting near San Diego, Chairman Reince Preibus said the committeeman's "history of harmful and offensive rhetoric" has no place in the party.


The committee also called for Michigan Republicans to explore disciplining Agema.


Agema refused to resign a year ago after criticizing Muslims and gays. The article Agema recently shared includes a purported public defender saying blacks are different and can't "control their impulses as well."


Agema's detractors say he must go. Preibus says the executive committee used "all available tools" to remove him.


Agema says he isn't racist and doesn't support the article's contents.

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Texas Coal Plants Are Polluting the Air Across Several States 14.1.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
The Big Bend National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park in west Texas are places people visit when they want to reconnect with nature and visit rugged landscapes that remind them of what the western United States was like before our massive cities and miles of highways. The dry air in these special lands sits on top of vibrant ecosystems and allows nighttime visitors to often get views of the Milky Way that are without competition anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, in the 1970s and 1980s utilities in Texas started burning more and more coal to make electricity. In 2014 coal plants in Texas emitted more pollution than coal plants in any other state, and this pollution affects not only the health of local communities and the climate but also the million dollar views at American landmarks like the Big Bend. Tragically, this "haze" pollution also blows across state lines and it impacts wilderness areas in nearby states, like the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma and the Caney ...
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House Tries To Stop All New Government Rules 14.1.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- The House passed a measure Tuesday to dramatically restrict the government's ability to enact any significant new regulations or safety standards, potentially hamstringing the efforts of every federal agency, from financial regulators to safety watchdogs. The measure, called the Regulatory Accountability Act , has been passed by the House before, but stood no chance in the Senate when it was controlled by Democrats. With the GOP in the majority, it is at least likely to get a vote in the upper chamber. The White House has threatened to veto it. Opponents dub the measure a "stealth attack" because it targets obscure parts of the regulatory process that very few people understand, but has such broad scope that it would affect all agencies, from independent regulators such as the Securities and Exchange Commission to executive branch agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency. "This is using that arcane process to basically undermine the entire regulatory system of the United ...
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Sundarbans Oil Spill: An Urgent Wake Up Call for the Bangladeshi Government 13.1.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Another day, another calamity wrought by the fossil fuels industry. The latest? Over 75,000 gallons of oil spilled out of a downed tanker and into the Sundarban Delta straddling Bangladesh and India. A UNESCO-protected world heritage site, the Sundarbans are the world's largest tidal mangrove forest, and, as home to hundreds of endangered Bengal tigers and riverine Irrawaddy and Ganges dolphins, it is one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth. Transporting tens of thousands of gallons of oil through one of the most fragile and magnificent ecosystems on Earth -- what could go wrong? It seems that no one at the Padma Oil Company bothered to ask. In the absence of any concerted government clean-up effort, the post-atrocity game plan, so far, has desperate, unprotected, and ill-equipped villagers sponging, spooning, and netting oil out of the water. That they are more or less fishing for oil carries a bitter irony when you consider that these same villagers are forbidden from fishing in the Sundarbans, ...
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3 eco-friendly norms in Poland 12.1.2015 TreeHugger
I’ve been living in Poland for about 6½ years. I think it's about time that I write about some of the cool green norms of Polish people.
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Flood Tide for the Climate Movement 11.1.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, And we must take the current when it serves, Or lose our ventures. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar Washington headlines bickering about the Keystone XL Pipeline, and acrimonious Republican sniping at EPA's proposed initiatives to clean up U.S. power plant carbon pollution shouldn't obscure the exhilarating new reality: The climate battle has moved to a new phase, one in which the scale of the solutions being debated is, for the first time, approaching the scale of the problem. Look at two events 12,000 miles and two days apart. On January 3, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had already pledged rooftop solar for 40 million off-grid houses in five years, and quintupled India's renewable energy program, tripled those goals again. By 2022 India intends to construct 100 GW of solar generating capacity, the ...
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Did My Piece on Coal Baron Murray v. Fracker McClendon Suit Lead To Sealing of Court Documents? 10.1.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
On December 12, Magistrate Judge Mark R. Abel issued an order for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to place five sets of court records under seal for the ongoing case pitting coal baron Robert E. Murray against Aubrey McClendon , one of the godfathers of the  hydraulic fracturing ("fracking")  boom. DeSmogBlog published parts of two sets of the five sets of documents ordered under seal by Abel in an October 2014 article  about the Murray v. McClendon case. The documents we published  revealed a lease for McClendon's new venture -- American Energy Partners  -- for the first time.   Bob Murray, owner of American Energy Corporation Century Mine in Ohio,  sued Aubrey McClendon for allegedly infringing upon his company's copyright  in August 2013. He claimed McClendon commandeered the "American Energy" brand. Both sides have now gone back-and-forth over discovery related issues for months. The dispute has shaken loose many newsworthy documents revealing much about McClendon's new ...
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