With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 1/25/2011, 1:49pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Getting "Gas"-y at the Oscars; Freakin' Frackin'; Natural disasters are expensive; Catastrophic flooding, drought around the world ... PLUS: The State of the Union ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Texans rebel against TransCanada oil pipeline; McCain: 'Ethanol is a joke'; China leapfrogs past U.S. in wind power industry; Secret EPA study implicates new pesticide in decline of bees; Bloom fuel cell breakthrough (in financing); Is Biomass clean or dirty energy?; Warnings on leaky Alaska pipeline two years ago; Record melt of Greenland Ice Sheet in 2010; House GOP to grill Oil Spill Commission; More battles over mountaintop coal mining projects in Appalachia; Big cleanup questions linger at Hanford Nuclear Superfund site ... PLUS: 10 Common Misconceptions About California's Cap-and-Trade Program ....

STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

  • One Oil Pipeline Too Many For Texas? (LA Times) [emphasis added]:
    TransCanada's plan to pipe in tar sands oil angers Texas landowners who say they resent being pushed around by a foreign company.
    ...
    Warnings that the pipeline could worsen the state's already potent refinery emissions and threaten water supplies have riled up people not normally inclined to cotton to environmentalists; TransCanada's heavy-handed approach to obtaining easements through rural property — a mix of dickering and threats of eminent domain — has populated the Sierra Club's recent meetings with rural residents in denim shirts and silver belt buckles whose political inclinations lean more toward the "tea party" movement than eco-activism.

    "Basically, what you're saying is they're going to shove it down our throat, whether we want it or not?" Charles Crouch, a former refinery worker, said at a meeting on the pipeline last month in Lufkin. "That's hard to do in Texas, I'll tell you. We get riled up, and we're going to figure out a way to stop this thing."

  • McCain: 'Ethanol is a joke' (The Hill)
  • China leapfrogs U.S. wind power industry, American installations halved in 2010 (LA Times):
    Chinese turbines are now harnessing more wind power than machines installed in the U.S., according to a trade group Monday.
    ...
    The association blamed short-lived government subsidies.
    ...
    "Our industry continues to endure a boom-bust cycle because of the lack of long-term, predictable federal policies, in contrast to the permanent entitlements that fossil fuels have enjoyed for 90 years or more," said Denise Bode, the group's chief executive, in a statement
  • Exclusive: Bees facing a poisoned spring: A new kind of pesticide, widely used in UK, may be helping to kill off the world's honeybees (UK Independent):
    A new generation of pesticides is making honeybees far more susceptible to disease, even at tiny doses, and may be a clue to the mysterious colony collapse disorder that has devastated bees across the world, the US government's leading bee researcher has found. Yet the discovery has remained unpublished for nearly two years since it was made by the US Department of Agriculture's Bee Research Laboratory.

    The release of such a finding from the American government's own bee lab would put a major question mark over the use of neonicotinoid insecticides - relatively new compounds which mimic the insect-killing properties of nicotine, and which are increasingly used on crops in the US, Britain and around the world.

  • Bloom Energy announces new fuel cell financing options as industry expands (LA Times Green)
  • Alaska oil line that leaked deemed risky since 2008 (Reuters):
    A risk assessment of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System in 2008 recommended replacing a stretch of line that leaked this month, since a concrete casing made it impossible to inspect for corrosion, operator Alyeska told a U.S. lawmaker this week.
  • Record melt from Greenland icesheet in 2010 (AFP):
    Greenland's icesheet, feared as a major driver of rising sea levels, shed a record amount of melted snow and ice in 2010, scientists reported Friday, a day after the UN said last year was the warmest on record.

    The 2010 runoff was more than twice the average annual loss in Greenland over the previous three decades, surpassing a record set in 2007, said the study, published in the US-based journal Environmental Research Letters.

    Ice melt has now topped this benchmark every year since 1996, according to the paper, derived from long-term satellite and observational data.

  • Is Biomass Clean or Dirty Energy? We Won't Know for 3 Years (Solve Climate):
    The Obama administration put off for another three years a decision on whether to regulate planet-warming gases from biomass power. The surprise delay dealt a blow to green groups' hopes for pollution controls on wood-burning incinerators anytime soon, while industry breathed sighs of relief.
  • Lawmakers Gear Up to Drill Commission on Oil Spill Report's Findings (Greenwire):
    This week the leaders of the presidential commission that investigated last year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will take their case for increased funding and offshore drilling safety reform to Capitol Hill, but their specific legislative recommendations may reach deaf ears.
  • Battles Over Mountaintop Coal Mining Rage in Wake of EPA Veto (Greenwire):
    Before blocking one of Appalachia's largest-ever mountaintop coal-mining projects this month, U.S. EPA agreed to allow blasting to start on a half-a-dozen other mountaintop mines.
  • Big cleanup questions still loom at Hanford Superfund Site (Seattle Times):
    At the Hanford nuclear reservation, the Department of Energy is building a plant to clean up 53 million gallons of radioactive waste. But after a quarter-century of preparation — and cost estimates that have nearly tripled to $12.2 billion — builders still haven't resolved this project's most vexing technical and safety issues.
  • 10 Common Misconceptions About California's Cap-and-Trade Program (Greenbiz.com):
    In the aftermath of the California Air Resources Board's historic vote to adopt the nation's first-of-its kind program to cap global warming pollution across California's economy, understandably there are questions about what the program will accomplish and how it will get us there.