Connections 2011-09-02

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Saturday Sept. 3rd: Final Sit-in and Rally [Tar Sands Action]
This Saturday, the first Tar Sands Action will conclude with a final sit-in at the White House. The sit-in will convene at the normal time, 10 AM at Lafayette Square Park, just in front of the White House. @tarsands

Pray that naysayers are right about climate change [David Horsey Seattle PI]
There’s a big hole in the environmentalists’ argument, though. If the Canadians cannot ship their oil to Texas, they will find a different customer. Already, the Canadian government is talking about a Plan B — a pipeline to the Pacific to supply another energy consuming giant: China.

In other words, the oil will be extracted, one way or another. In terms of the effects on the global climate, it makes no difference whether that CO2 goes into the atmosphere from cars driven by Americans or Chinese.

EPA starts tracking greenhouse gases this month [Tampa Bay Online]
The registry echoes the agency’s long-established Toxic Release Inventory, which tracks industrial pollution such as lead and mercury.

Congress set up the greenhouse registry as a way to track emissions with an eye toward future limits on the heat-trapping chemicals that scientists say have warmed the planet for the last century or more. Reporting is mandatory for companies that produce more than 25,000 tons of greenhouse gasses in a year.

EPA smog rule rejection stirs anger at White House [Boston.com]
In a letter rejecting the regulation, the White House said it wasn’t necessary to make the change now, that the science it was based on was outdated and that other rules would protect air quality. The administration also defended its record in a blog posting, and the president released a statement appearing to anticipate criticism.

“I want to be clear: my commitment and the commitment of my administration to protecting public health and the environment is unwavering,” he said.

AEP: Lack of climate regulation killed $668m CCS project [Business Green: Clean Coal]
US utility American Electric Power (AEP) has blamed the failure of Congress to advance climate legislation after announcing late last week that it has mothballed its $668m plan to fit commercial-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to a coal-fired power plant in West Virginia.

…with Republicans having consistently opposed all efforts to pass climate change regulations or enable the Environmental Protection Agency to impose tighter restructions on power plant emissions, the company has concluded that it cannot make an adequate financial case for proceeding with the project at this time.

The move marks a major blow to US hopes to develop CCS technologies that would allow it to continue to mine its coal resources while reducing carbon emissions.

US breaks ground on first industrial-scale CCS project [Business Green: Clean Coal]
The US government’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) efforts stepped up a gear this week, with the start of construction on the government’s first industrial-scale scheme and funds worth $41m set aside for another 16 research projects.

Work on the plant in Decatur, Illinois, which received $141m of public money and another $66.5m from private sector sources, started just a few weeks after American Electric Power abandoned plans to build its $668m CCS facility.

When operational in 2013, the Decatur plant will capture and store one million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year generated by ethanol production at the nearby Archer Daniels Midland biofuels plant.

World’s largest tidal array coasts closer to reality [Business Green]
When complete, the 2MW array will supply enough electricity to the French grid to power 4,000 homes, Openhydro said in a statement.

In related news, Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) announced yesterday that its PowerBuoy device recently deployed off the coast of New Jersey successfully withstood the severe conditions experienced during Hurricane Irene.

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