IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Battle lines drawn in contentious U.S. Senate hearing on Keystone XL; Hottest winter on record for California; China is declaring war --- on pollution; Drilling boom creating huge drilling waste problem; PLUS: Secretary of Energy Moniz cites a boom in solar and wind ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Texas: 'cheapest solar power deal ever seen'; Utility death spiral accelerates in Germany; US risks national blackout even in small-scale attack; NJ moves to shut down Tesla; Officials shut down fracking wells due to quakes; 18 Ohio coal plants operating without permits; Is this plant the future of 'clean coal'?; Asian carp eggs found as far north as Wisconsin; State Dept vastly overestimated oil-by-rail in Keystone XL report ... PLUS: Climate science predicted California drought ten years ago ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson Says Science Is Real: (The Colbert Report)
- It's Official: Hottest Winter on Record in California:
- California Just Had Its Warmest Winter on Record (Mother Jones):
This winter has been a tale of two Americas: The Midwest is just beginning to thaw out from a battery of epic cold snaps, while Californians might feel that they pretty much skipped winter altogether. In fact, new NOAA data reveal that California's winter (December through February) was the warmest in the 119-year record, 4.4 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average.
- Analysis: Climate Change and the California Drought: (Open Mind) [emphasis in original]:
One of the saddest aspects of this is that the present situation was predicted. The prediction was stunningly accurate but I do realize that its possible to make a prediction which is stunningly accurate because you got lucky. Nonetheless, a stunningly accurate prediction is powerful evidence, and if correct, it means that man-made global warming was actually the cause of the present California drought, because man-made global warming certainly did cause the disappearance of Arctic sea ice. According to the scientists who made the prediction, prospects for the future are not good. I'd go so far as to say grim.
- VIDEO: New Video: California Drought – Natural, Man Made, or Both? (Climate Crocks)
- Arctic Sea Ice is NOT 'Recovering':
- February Sea Ice Fourth Lowest in Sat Record (Climate Crocks)
- February Arctic sea ice extent fourth lowest since 1979 (Nunatsiaq Online): Ice cover last month was 910,000 square kilometres less than same month in 1979.
- Contentious Senate Hearing on Keystone XL and US Energy Policy:
- VIDEO: Keystone XL and the National Interest Determination (U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations)
- VIDEO CLIP: Keystone XL hearing heats up 8 mins. (Washington Post)
- Senate Committee Debates Whether Keystone XL Is In The U.S. National Interest (Kate Sheppard, Huffington Post Green)
- General James Jones Didn't Disclose Industry Ties Before Testimony at Keystone XL Hearing (DeSmog Blog)
- US State Dept expects massive climate failure from President Obama, America and world (Vancouver Observer):
The only future this State Department study expects will occur is one in which:
•America fails to meet President Obama’s Copenhagen Accord target
•America emits even more CO2 in 2040 than it does today
•American CO2 levels are consistent with the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) scenario for +6C of global warming.
- Canada Oil-By-Rail Deliveries in 2013 Lagged U.S. Estimate (Reuters)
- Drilling Boom Creates Massive Drilling Waste in ND:
- Radioactive ‘Oil Socks’ Found Illegally Stockpiled In Abandoned North Dakota Gas Station (Climate Progress):
A heaping mound of black trash bags stuffed with radioactive nets that strain liquids during the oil production process — commonly known as “oil filter socks” — has been found in an abandoned North Dakota gas station, state officials confirmed Wednesday, in what may be the biggest instance of illegal oil socks dumping the state has ever seen.
- VIDEO: Oil companies dumping radioactive waste in ND (The Rachel Maddow Show): Don Morrison, of the Dakota Resource Council, talks with Rachel Maddow about the challenge of holding oil companies responsible for pollution in North Dakota.
- North Dakota oil boom's negative impacts on local towns: American Dream On Ice (BBC):
"But the men here are 100% worse. It's horrible. They're animals.
- Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz: 30-40% Renewable by 2030 in U.S.:
- AUDIO: Energy Sec. Predicts 30-40 Pct. Renewable Energy By 2030 (WBUR Boston) [emphasis added]:
MONIZ: The growth has been very dramatic, really. In the last four or five years, we have seen a doubling of wind and solar. We expect another doubling over the next several years. ...Now obviously, in both cases, we’re talking with relatively small market share today — a few percent for wind and still less than 1 percent, I believe, for solar. But the rate of growth is very dramatic. I mean, we are looking by 2030 to having a very very large fraction of our capacity in wind, solar and other renewables… 30 percent, 40 percent.
- IEA: Renewables to surpass gas by 2016 in the global power mix (International Energy Agency)
- IEA: Any country can reach high shares of wind, solar power cost-effectively (International Energy Agency)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Austin Energy close to signing ‘cheapest’ solar power deal experts have seen (Austin American-Statesman):
“It’s the cheapest I’ve seen,” said Raj Prabhu, the CEO of Mercom Capital Group, an Austin-based energy consulting group that monitors the industry nationally. He said he isn’t familiar with the details but added, “This seems to be new territory.”
- Canada Oil-By-Rail Deliveries in 2013 Lagged U.S. Estimate (Reuters)
- Ohio looks at whether fracking led to 2 quakes: (NY Times):
Ohio officials said Tuesday that an oil and gas well near the site of two small earthquakes was undergoing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, when the quakes occurred.
- More on Utility Death Spiral in Germany (Climate Crocks):
According to the Wall Street Journal, 16 percent of German companies are now energy self-sufficient — a 50 percent increase from just a year ago. Another 23 percent of businesses say they plan to become energy self-sufficient in the near future.
- US risks national blackout from small-scale attack: (Wall St. Journal):
The U.S. could suffer a coast-to-coast blackout if saboteurs knocked out just nine of the country's 55,000 electric-transmission substations on a scorching summer day, according to a previously unreported federal analysis.
- WSJ article on power grid vulnerability outrages federal regulator, lawmaker (SNL Financial)
- New Jersey moves to shut down Tesla sales despite protests: (Motoramic):
Oh sure, the Tesla Model S may be the 'best car sold in America' per Consumer Reports, and it may be a Wall Street darling and perhaps the only electric vehicles for which demand exceeds supply. But that didn't stop regulators in New Jersey from ordering Tesla to shut down its stores by April 1 because the company doesn't use dealers like every other automaker.
- Wyoming high court questions ruling against fracking chemical disclosure: (Huffington Post Green):
The Wyoming Supreme Court is telling a lower court to reconsider whether the public has the right to know the ingredients in the chemical products used to facilitate hydraulic fracturing.
- Is this coal plant the future of 'clean coal'?: (Guardian UK):
A $5-billion facility to capture carbon and pump it underground could provide a lifeline for the dirtiest of fossil fuels, but many remain unconvinced.
- 18 coal permits at Ohio EPA (AP):
Eighteen coal facilities in Ohio are operating with expired pollution-discharge permits under an agency where allegations of coal-industry influence arose during a personnel flap last year, an Associated Press review has found.
- States fight chemical industry over proposed rules: (Washington Post):
An effort in Congress to modernize a patchwork system of state and federal laws governing chemical safety is generating debate between a bipartisan group of state legislators who say the update would rob states of the ability to regulate sometimes toxic substances within their own borders and businesses who say they need regulatory certainty to grow jobs and the economy.
- Chesapeake Energy's $5 billion shuffle: (Pro Publica):
The energy giant raised the cash it needed to survive by slashing royalties it paid property owners to drill on their land.
- Asian Carp Eggs Found 250 Miles Upstream on Mississippi River (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
- GAO: Climate change threatens energy infrastructure: (Climate Central):
Oil refineries and drilling platforms in the U.S. are vulnerable to sea level rise and greater storm surge. Fuel pipelines, barges, railways and storage tanks are vulnerable to melting permafrost and severe weather. Warming seas and water shortages put nuclear and other electric power plants at risk. Power lines can be blown away by hurricanes and other extreme weather.
- Climatologist Who Predicted California Drought 10 Years Ago Says It May Soon Be ‘Even More Dire’ (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
All this isn’t “proof” that human caused climate change helped shift and reduce precipitation in California during its record-setting drought. But a prediction this accurate can’t be ignored, either, especially because of its implications for the future.
- New ozone-depleting gases found in atmosphere: (AFP):
Scientists have found four new ozone-destroying gases in the atmosphere, most likely put there by humans in the last 50 years, despite a ban on these dangerous compounds." AFP had the story March 10, 2014.
- Long-Term Warming Likely to Be Significant Despite Recent Slowdown (NASA)
- China Declares War on Pollution as Smog Spreads (Bloomberg):
Pollution is ‘‘nature’s red-light warning against the model of inefficient and blind development,’’ Li said today in his work report at the start of this year’s National People’s Congress in Beijing. ‘‘Fostering a sound ecological environment is vital for people’s lives and the future of our nation.”
- Global Shift to Clean Energy No Longer 'Theoretical' (The Tyee):
These days the data tell a powerful story. Recent price declines for solar energy have been "massive," [Ethan Zindler, Bloomberg New Energy Finance] explained, while merely "substantial" for wind, meaning that a global shift away from fossil fuels is no longer "theoretical."
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page
- Skeptical Science: Database with FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Myths
- Warning: Even in the best-case scenario, climate change will kick our asses (Grist)
- NASA Video: Warming over the last 130 years, and into the next 100 years:
- Video Proof That Global Warming is a 'Hoax'!: NASA Temperature Data 1888-2011 (The BRAD BLOG):
- NASA climate change video: This is the U.S. in 2100 (NASA).