With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 1/12/2012, 2:32pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: GOP planning end-run around Obama on Keystone XL pipeline?; 2 years after massive earthquake, Haiti still devastated; Big polluters in your neighborhood? There's a map for that; PLUS: While Obama talks clean energy, Germany actually does it ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Cow (poo) Power for Seattle; Deaths in Nigerian oil subsidy riots; Oil prices rise on Iran tensions; Federal judge reinstates EPA boiler rule; Thomas Edison's revenge?; Improving TV energy efficiency saves money; Lesions on gulf fish linked to BP oil spill; NASA's Hansen: extreme heat in TX, OK, Russia "caused by global warming ... PLUS: "Profound cascading consequences" as Rocky Mountains lose snowpack ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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

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

  • Cow manure to power new King County plant (MyNorthwest.com):
    One of the biggest problems facing dairies trying to stay alive in rural King County is what to do with all the cow manure. But this week, construction began on a new plant in Enumclaw that will convert manure into electricity, cutting environmental costs and helping reduce emissions.
  • Appeals Court Reinstates EPA's Boiler Clean Air Rule (Environment News Service):
    The DC Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's administrative stay on a rule that sets air toxics standards for boilers and commercial solid waste incinerators.
  • Insight: How renewable energy may be Edison's revenge (Reuters):
    At the start of the 20th century, inventors Thomas Alva Edison and Nikola Tesla clashed in the "war of the currents."
    ...
    But today, helped by technological advances and the need to conserve energy, Edison may finally get his revenge.
  • Nigerian oil union threatens to shut down crude output (Chicago Tribune):
    Nigerian oil workers threatened on Wednesday to shut down output in Africa's top crude producer, deepening a national strike over a more than doubling of petrol prices.
  • Can Improving TV Energy Efficiency Take a Big Bite Out of World Electricity Use?: A new prize aims to reduce the electricity used to power televisions by as much as 8 percent globally (ClimateWire)
  • Dauphin Island fish show up with lesions, BP spill link questioned (Birmingham Press-Register):
    More than half the fish caught Monday by Press-Register reporters in the surf off Dauphin Island had bloody red lesions on their bodies.
  • Transocean: No Apology for Gulf Oil Spill: (BusinessWeek):
    From the day its Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, Transocean has denied wrongdoing, deflected blame, and paid dividends, not cleanup costs. So far, its hardball strategy is working.
  • BP Oil Spill: Oil is more toxic than previously thought, study finds (LA Times):
    Bad news for the Gulf of Mexico: a study released this week sheds new light on the toxicity of oil in aquatic environments, and shows that environmental impact studies currently in use may be inadequate. The report is to be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • A Coal-Fired Plant That Is Eager for U.S. Pollution Rules (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
    The company, Constellation Energy, says it is an issue of fairness.
    ...
    Having invested the $885 million
    — nearly as much as it cost to build the two generating units in 1984 and 1991 — Constellation argues that laggard plants should also have to comply with the emission limits or shut down. Otherwise, it argues, the utility will be operating at a big disadvantage: simply running the retrofitted plant requires 40 megawatts of electricity, enough to keep a small town humming.
  • Nature Inspires More Efficient Design For Capturing Solar Energy (RedOrbit.com)
  • The End of Real Maple Syrup?: Acid rain's blind spot (Toledo Blade):
    University of Michigan researchers say future generations of sugar maple trees are at risk unless soft spots in the federal Clean Air Act are strengthened to address an old nemesis: acid rain.

    Precipitation that is highly acidic from burned fossil fuels has been largely under control since the early 1990s. In 1989, the federal government adopted a system to control acid rain through large reductions of sulfur dioxide. Electricity-producing coal-fired power plants were allowed to meet tougher limits through swaps of so-called emission credits.

  • Hansen et al: “Extreme Heat Waves … in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 and Moscow in 2010 Were ‘Caused’ by Global Warming” (Climate Progress):
    “Climate dice,” describing the chance of unusually warm or cool seasons relative to climatology, have become progressively “loaded” in the past 30 years, coincident with rapid global warming. The distribution of seasonal mean temperature anomalies has shifted toward higher temperatures and the range of anomalies has increased. An important change is the emergence of a category of summertime extremely hot outliers, more than three standard deviations (?) warmer than climatology.
  • Global warming: Researchers document profound cascading ecological effects as Rocky Mountain snowpack diminishes (Summit Co. Voice):
    A steady decline in Rocky Mountain snowpack the past few decades has led to a classic cascading ecological effect, with “powerful” shifts in mountainous plant and bird communities, according to scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Montana.

    “This study illustrates that profound impacts of climate change on ecosystems arise over a time span of but two decades through unexplored feedbacks,” said USGS director Marcia McNutt. “The significance lies in the fact that humans and our economy are at the end of the same chain of cascading consequences.”

  • Dramatic Links Found Between Climate Change, Rocky Mtn Elk, Plants, and Birds (Science Daily):
    Climate change in the form of reduced snowfall in mountains is causing powerful and cascading shifts in mountainous plant and bird communities through the increased ability of elk to stay at high elevations over winter and consume plants, according to a groundbreaking study in Nature Climate Change.

    The U.S. Geological Survey and University of Montana study not only showed that the abundance of deciduous trees and their associated songbirds in mountainous Arizona have declined over the last 22 years as snowpack has declined...

  • Essential Climate Science Findings: