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Artificial cooling tricky topic for climate panel

April 10, 2014 5:19 pm | by Karl Ritter, Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.N.'s expert panel on climate change is under pressure this week as it considers whether geoengineering should be part of the tool-kit that governments use to keep global warming in check. Drafts leaked before the conference only mentioned one of the proposed options, removing carbon dioxide from the air and storing it underground. But some countries support solar radiation management as well.

 

U.S. clean-air efforts stay on target

March 28, 2014 11:28 am | News | Comments

National efforts in the last decade to clear the air of dangerous particulate matter have been...

Nuclear dump leak raises questions about cleanup

February 28, 2014 2:56 pm | by Jeri Clausing, Associated Press | News | Comments

For 15 years trucks have been hauling decades...

Japan dials back climate change emissions target

November 15, 2013 11:22 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Activists taking part in U.N. climate talks say Japan's decision to drastically scale back its...

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Next generation of biofuels is still years away

November 14, 2013 12:54 pm | by Jonathan Fahey, Associated Press | News | Comments

The first trickle of fuels made from agricultural waste is finally winding its way into the nation's energy supply. But the full benefits of this fuel source remain many years away, and ethanol, which was meant to be a stop-gap until non-food sources of fuel were found, has been far more damaging to the environment than the government predicted.

Updating building energy codes: How much can your state save?

November 7, 2013 7:00 am | News | Comments

How much in energy and cost savings would your state realize if it updated its commercial building energy codes? You can find out in a new online publication from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The state-by-state reports were the product of a new building energy efficiency analysis tool developed by NIST.

Clean Air Act has improved water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

November 7, 2013 7:00 am | News | Comments

A new study shows that the reduction of pollution emissions from power plants in the mid-Atlantic is making an impact on the quality of the water that ends up in the Chesapeake Bay. The study confirms a decreased amount of emissions of nitrogen oxide from coal-fired power plants.

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Appeals court to review approval of BP settlement

November 3, 2013 10:02 am | by MICHAEL KUNZELMAN - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

A year ago, lawyers for BP and Gulf Coast residents and businesses took turns urging a federal judge to approve their settlement for compensating victims of the company's massive 2010 oil spill. However, the one-time allies will be at odds when an appeals court hears objections to the multibillion-dollar deal.

Calif. finds more instances of offshore fracking

October 21, 2013 7:56 am | by Alicia Chang and Jason Dearen, Associated Press | News | Comments

In waters off Long Beach, Seal Beach and Huntington Beach—some of the region's most popular surfing strands and tourist attractions—oil companies have used fracking at least 203 times at six sites in the past two decades. This discovery made from drilling records and interviews shows that offshore fracking is more widespread and frequent that state officials believed.

Obama moves to limit power-plant carbon pollution

September 20, 2013 3:40 pm | by DINA CAPPIELLO - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

Linking global warming to public health, disease and extreme weather, the Obama administration pressed ahead Friday with tough requirements to limit carbon pollution from new power plants, despite protests from industry and Republicans that it would dim coal's future. The proposal, which would set the first national limits on heat-trapping pollution from future power plants, is intended to help reshape where Americans get electricity.

Web tool expands access to scientific, regulatory chemical information

September 9, 2013 12:54 pm | News | Comments

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a web-based tool, called ChemView, to significantly improve access to chemical specific regulatory information developed by EPA and data submitted under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The tool displays key health and safety data in an online format that allows comparison of chemicals by use and by health or environmental effects.

A new approach to making climate treaties work

August 21, 2013 7:58 am | by Rob Jordan, Stanford University | News | Comments

Why can’t global leaders agree on a broad, effective climate change pact? More than 20 years after they began, international negotiations based on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change have resulted in only one legally binding treaty. That agreement, the Kyoto Protocol, has not been ratified by the U.S., historically the world’s largest carbon emitter. 

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For Obama's climate plan, devil is in the details

July 15, 2013 10:24 pm | by Josh Lederman, Associated Press | News | Comments

Three weeks after giving an ambitious speech to outline his climate change proposal, President Obama begins the arduous task of executing it. His plan is a complicated mix of rulemaking and federal permitting that's tough to encapsulate in a neat sales pitch—and may be even tougher to put into action.

Policy issues plague hydropower as wind power backup

June 27, 2013 2:11 pm | by A'ndrea Elyse Messer, Penn State University | News | Comments

Theoretically, hydropower can step in when wind turbines go still, but barriers to this non-polluting resource serving as a backup are largely policy- and regulation-based, according to recent research. Hydroelectric dams are controlled by guide curves that account for drinking water and droughts. They cannot simply release water to meet some electricity demand or hold back water when electricity is in low demand.

Global warming talk heats up, revisits carbon tax

November 13, 2012 7:01 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

As climate change begins to take the spotlight again as a political issue in the U.S., a once radical idea has resurfaced among both Republicans and Democrats: a carbon tax. On Tuesday, a conservative think tank held discussions about it while a more liberal think tank released a paper on it. And the Congressional Budget Office issued a 19-page report on the different ways to make a carbon tax less burdensome on lower income people.

Food vs. fuel: Is there surplus land for bioenergy?

October 18, 2012 8:37 am | News | Comments

Increasing demand for bioenergy feedstock is generating land-use conflicts and food vs. fuel controversies. An team of 11 scientists from seven European countries and the United States have recently published a study that gives scientific background to the debate. It supports a reassessment of the land available for bioenergy feedstock production.

Experts: Some fracking critics use bad science

July 23, 2012 4:58 am | by Kevin Begos, Associated Press | News | Comments

Shale gas drilling has attracted national attention because advances in technology have unlocked billions of dollars of gas reserves, leading to a boom in production, jobs, and profits, as well as concerns about pollution and public health. In the debate over natural gas drilling, the companies are often the ones accused of twisting the facts. But scientists say opponents sometimes mislead the public, too.

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Can fracking pollute water? Study tries to answer

July 13, 2012 3:51 am | by Kevin Begos, Associated Press | News | Comments

A drilling company in southwestern Pennsylvania has given researchers at National Energy Technology Laboratory access to a commercial drilling site, a move that may provide some of the first solid answers to a controversial question: Can gas drilling fluids migrate and pose a threat to drinking water?

Report: Diesel technologies drastically cut emissions

April 18, 2012 5:34 am | News | Comments

New research from North Carolina State University shows that federal requirements governing diesel engines of new tractor trailer trucks have resulted in major cuts in emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides—pollutants that have significant human health and environmental impacts.

FDA rejects call to ban BPA from food packaging

April 3, 2012 10:27 am | by Matthew Perrone, AP Health Writer | News | Comments

Despite concern from some scientists who believe exposure to BPA can harm the reproductive and nervous systems of humans, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has turned down a petition from environmentalists that would have banned the plastic-hardening chemical bisphenol-A from all food and drink packaging, including plastic bottles and canned food.

Report: Oil sands pollution comparable to large power plant

February 23, 2012 6:22 am | News | Comments

Drillers require a lot of energy to recover and refine heavy, viscous bitumen from Canada’s oil sands. In the first look at the effect of air pollution from the excavation of oil sands, also called tar sands, scientists used satellites to measure nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide. The effects, they say, are equivalent of a large power plant or a medium-sized city.

Climate conference approves landmark deal

December 12, 2011 8:10 am | by Arthur Max, Associated Press | News | Comments

A U.N. climate conference reached a hard-fought agreement Sunday on a complex and far-reaching program meant to set a new course for the global fight against climate change for the coming decades. The United States was a reluctant supporter, concerned about agreeing to join an international climate system that likely would find much opposition in the U.S. Congress.

Talk of treaty ban on mercury concerns scientists

October 21, 2011 8:20 am | by Maria Cheng, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

At the end of October, the United Nations Environment Programme, or UNEP, will conduct the third of five meetings to hammer out a treaty that may involve the comprehensive ban on mercury. The problem, says many health experts, is that a proposed ban might include thiomersal, a mercury compound used to prevent contamination and extend the shelf life of vaccines.

California adopts extensive 'cap-and-trade' plan

October 21, 2011 8:13 am | by Jason Dearen, Associated Press | News | Comments

On Thursday, California formally adopted the nation's most comprehensive so-called "cap-and-trade" system. The system will be an experiment by the world's eighth-largest economy to provide financial incentives for polluters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some businesses claim it will hurt job growth and increase electricity costs; proponents say it will do the opposite.

Report: EPA cut corners on climate finding

September 28, 2011 1:36 pm | by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press | News | Comments

According to an internal government watchdog, the Obama administration cut corners before concluding that climate-change pollution can endanger human health. This key finding underpins costly new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Spin overtaking facts in Marcellus Shale debate

September 27, 2011 8:44 am | by Kevin Begos, Associated Press | News | Comments

For some, Marcellus Shale natural gas represents a economic boon for America. For others, it’s an ongoing ecological disaster. Scientists worry that as advocates on both sides spin every shred of research to fit their own views, they will ignore the bigger picture.

Natural gas extracted from shale, the green way

September 1, 2011 6:15 am | by Louis Bergeron | News | Comments

More and more natural gas is being extracted from underground shale deposits, but environmental concerns have been raised. Stanford geophysicist Mark Zoback, who recently served on a Department of Energy panel of experts, says it can be done safely.

U.S. nuke regulators weaken safety rules

June 20, 2011 8:26 am | by Jeff Donn, AP National Writer | News | Comments

According to an extensive investigation by the Associated Press, federal regulators have been working closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation's aging reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening those standards. The report claims that nuclear regulatory officials have often decided original regulations are too strict and has argued that safety margins could be eased without peril.

Shale gas: a short history from NETL

May 25, 2011 6:39 am | News | Comments

After lying dormant for hundreds of millions of years, shale gas was tapped for the first time in a natural gas well in 1821. Since then, oil has taken the spotlight, but now shale gas is looked to as the energy resource of the present and future. The National Energy Technology Laboratory, which helped pioneer hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, tracks some of the technological developments in shale gas extraction.

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