Another Earth Day, and still no Cabinet status for leading U.S. enviro agency
President George H.W. Bush in 1990 asked Congress to send him a bill elevating the U.S. EPA chief to Cabinet level by Earth Day. Two dozen Earth Days later, it still hasn't happened.
One man's obsession with EPA and toxic waste in his neighborhood leads all the way to the Supreme Court
ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- You could call congressional candidate Tate MacQueen the anti-U.S. EPA environmentalist. For nearly a decade, MacQueen has dedicated himself to getting toxic waste left by a former electroplating facility here cleaned up. Industrial solvents, including known carcinogens, are suspected to have contaminated the groundwater, and some nearby families have suffered serious illnesses including brain tumors and cancers. MacQueen isn't just angry with the former owner of the facility, CTS Corp. The main focus of his ire is EPA, which he says has criminally mismanaged the site. He is calling for investigations and prosecutions. And tomorrow, his legal efforts against CTS will be heard by the Supreme Court.
New $5M prize gives towns and cities more incentives to promote energy efficiency
Georgetown University will open a new contest tomorrow, dangling a $5 million prize for cities across America to improve their efficiency. Open to almost 9,000 communities with populations between 5,000 and 250,000 residents, the program will track entrants over a two-year period and grant the award in 2017.
De Blasio's first resiliency report focuses on homebuilding, not adaptation
NEW YORK -- Mayor Bill de Blasio's first major policy statement on climate change resiliency may dwell mostly on how to fix rotted homes destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, but administration officials insist that short-term emphasis will shift in due course.
Why aren't Southern utilities jumping into the solar business?
The debate over how rooftop solar panels can be paid for in some Southeastern states will stay around until the laws change to something utilities and solar advocates can live with. That may take a while.
Oil-by-rail loophole keeps U.S. emergency response plans in the dark
U.S. transportation officials don't review how railroads would handle worst-case oil train disasters like last summer's derailment in Quebec, which killed 47 people in a fiery explosion.
Some Republicans vote to cut LWCF -- but quietly ask for the money
In February 2011, Rep. Robert Hurt (R-Va.) voted for an amendment by Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) to slash funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund by 90 percent in the House's spending bill. But the next year, Hurt urged the Forest Service to use LWCF money to acquire a 292-acre tract of privately owned forest in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, a proposal he said was strongly backed by hikers on the Appalachian Trail. Over the past five years, Hurt and more than a dozen other Republicans have privately lobbied federal land management agencies to support LWCF projects in their districts, according to a records request to the agencies from Greenwire. It's a break from conventional GOP wisdom that land acquisitions and other conservation spending are an unnecessary luxury for a nation mired in $17 trillion in debt.
Obama admin calculations spared developers millions in loan guarantee fees for Ga. nuclear project, documents show
The Obama administration finalized $6.5 billion worth of loan guarantees for the country's first U.S. reactors in decades without requiring developers to pay a "credit subsidy fee" -- money that protects taxpayers should the developers default, according to documents obtained by Greenwire.
China is spreading the use of insurance to cope with climate change damage
Weeks before the harvest started last summer, Li Ping's rice paddies were hit by extreme weather. Temperatures of 95 degrees Fahrenheit baked Longtan village in north China for over a month, and Li's rice yields decreased by 20 percent compared with normal years. But Li did not struggle to raise money for his next planting, which he did after previous crop failures. Instead, the 51-year-old farmer waited at home for the money to come.
Study casts doubts on GHG savings of fuels made from corn stover, cobs
The loss of soil carbon that results from removing corn field wastes to make biofuels could negate their value as a low-carbon fuel ingredient, a recent paper suggests.