With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 2/10/2011, 1:10pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Bush EPA secretly acknowledged climate change; Saudi Arabia's oil reserves --- overstated?; Obama boosts high-speed rail funding, GOP cuts it ... PLUS: The Republican war on the EPA ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Palm oil giant to halt Indonesia deforestation; Georgia forests worth more than $37 billion annually; Search for wind-related grid problems finds a bigger concern; IBM hunting for lithium-air car battery; Sea lice from salmon farms infect wild salmon; CDC won't study effects of Chinese drywall exposure; Chevron wins restraining order in Ecuador oil pollution case; Fighting for water in CA's arid Imperial Valley; Tribes push OR to adopt strict water pollution rules; Virginia State Water Control Board loses authority over coal mine waste water; NJ Gov. vetoes LNG operation; Stupid Republican budget tricks as insurers get slammed by extreme weather ... PLUS: What Obama should know about ending oil subsidies...

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

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

  • Palm oil giant vows to spare most valuable Indonesian rainforest: Golden Agri-Resources – the world's second highest palm oil producer – bows to pressure from the west (Guardian UK)
  • Georgia's forests are worth more than $37 billion annually, according to study: Privately owned forests provide an array of ecosystem 'services,' including climate control, water safety, recreation and pollination. (Mother Nature Network)
  • Search for wind-related grid problems finds a bigger concern --- conventional generation (ClimateWire):
    A national laboratory report targeted at wind power integration has found unexpected evidence of the electricity grid's vulnerability to potential blackouts due to the current operations of conventional --- not renewable --- generation.

    The study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, issued last month, reports that frequency levels are dropping further than realized on the nation's two largest grid systems, particularly at the start of the day when electricity demand ramps up and when it ramps down in the evening.

  • IBM on the hunt to perfect the lithium-air car battery (ClimateWire):
    As the Obama administration searches for a breakthrough battery, it will have company --- a 100-year-old U.S. company doing the research on its own dime.

    IBM, better known for its computers and mainframes, has spent two and a half years researching lithium-air batteries, a technology that could eliminate the gap between gasoline cars and electric cars, if it works.

  • CDC Won't Study Effects of Chinese Drywall Exposure (CNN):
    An extended study of the long-term effects of exposure to defective Chinese drywall on people whose homes contained it is not necessary, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has determined.
  • Chevron Wins Restraining Order in $113 Billion Pollution Case (GreenWire):
    Chevron Corp.'s fight against plaintiffs seeking damages for crude oil pollution in Ecuador continued yesterday when the oil giant won a temporary restraining order against its opponents."
  • Fighting for Water in CA's Arid Imperial Valley (NPR):
    Southern California's Imperial Valley produces about 80 percent of the nation's winter vegetables. But years of drought, and a population boom in the Southwest, now threaten the water supply in the desert region - and all those cheap winter greens.
  • Sea Lice From Salmon Farms Infect Fraser River Sockeye (Environmental News Service):
    The first link between salmon farms on the British Columbia coast and elevated levels of sea lice on juvenile Fraser River sockeye salmon has been demonstrated by new research published today.

    While there has been speculation that lice from captive salmon has been transferred to wild salmon, the new study is the first to show a potential role of salmon farms in sea lice transmission to juvenile sockeye salmon during their critical early migration to the sea.

  • Tribes Take Aim at Stronger Water Pollution Rules (East Oregonian):
    The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation are leading the drive to push Oregon to adopt the nation's strictest rules against toxic pollution of the state's waters.
  • Virginia State Water Control Board Loses Authority Over Coal Mines (Environmental News Service):
    Virginia is about to limit state regulators' ability to protect public health and the environment from toxic discharges entering state waters from surface coal mines.

    The Virginia Senate today passed legislation (SB 1025) that limits the ability of state regulators to use water quality testing to make permitting and enforcement decisions involving polluted discharges from coal strip mines under the Clean Water Act.

  • NJ Governor Chris Christie vetoes liquefied natural gas operation (The Trentonian):
    "I take very seriously our obligation to protect the environmental health of our coastal waters," Christie said. "Offshore LNG poses unacceptable risks to the state's residents, natural resources, economy and security. We must ensure that our (127) miles of shoreline remain an economic driver for tourism, and that our fishing and shellfish industries remain healthy and productive now and for future generations."
  • Stupid Republican budget tricks: As insurers get slammed by extreme weather and peak oil draws near, the GOP targets the EPA and energy efficiency (Salon):
    House Republicans will release a slate of proposed budget cuts on Thursday. High on their list of priorities, reports the New York Times, is the goal of crippling Obama's energy and environment initiatives. Republicans want to cut $900 million from energy conservation and efficiency programs and $1.8 billion from the EPA.
  • Life is hard, and then you subsidize: What Obama should know about ending oil subsidies (Grist):
    One word of warning to the president: Finding these subsidies is a lot harder than you might think.

    Not long ago, I helped the nice people at the Environmental Law Institute work on a project to identify and quantify federal subsidies to various energy industries. The end result was a very good report and this nifty graphic to go with it...