Last year Swiss researchers demonstrated that European countries release more of the potent greenhouse gas trifluoromethane than they report. It was just the latest in a growing number of case studies showing that polluters and governments might be under-estimating their climate change impact, but it served to highlight the science and technology that can reveal such cheating Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by pfairley on July 19, 2012
Posted by pfairley on June 4, 2012
New science confirms that burning trees to produce power instead of coal may be a losing strategy for combatting climate change.
In my April 2012 Spectrum news article on the questionable carbon benefits of largescale biomass power generation, I identified a boom in exports of wood pellets from the U.S. Southeast to Europe, where they are fast becoming a crucial energy supply for power firms seeking to meet the European Union’s renewable energy and carbon reduction mandates.
Forbes Magazine greentech columnist (and friend) Erica Gies noted my analysis in a May 22 blog post, Massachusetts Addresses “Biomass Loophole” and Limits Subsidies, about recently-issued regulations that set higher standards for biomass power plants seeking state-issued renewable energy certificates. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by pfairley on November 14, 2011
Late last week President Barack Obama deferred consideration of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, designed to ship Alberta petroleum to the Gulf Coast, until after next year’s U.S. elections. Obama’s move immediately sparked vows in Canada to redirect crude exports to Asian markets less angst-ridden by the environmental impacts associated with tapping Alberta’s tough, tarry petroleum. A smarter strategy would be to reduce those impacts, starting with the black mark that brought Keystone XL to national attention: oil sands crude’s bloated carbon footprint. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Carbon taxes, Carbon trading, Energy politics, Fuels, Petroleum, Tarsands | Tagged: Alberta, Barack Obama, bitumen, Calgary, canada, carbon pricing, carbon tax, Cenovus, Climate Change, Keystone II, N-Solv, oil sands, petroleum, president obama, tar sands, TransCanada, water, water consumption | 1 Comment »
Posted by pfairley on November 10, 2011
Fracking for natural gas, whereby gas-trapping rock formations are blasted open with high-pressure water and chemicals, has prompted serious concerns over the safety of groundwater supplies. But another risk is gaining profile: the potential for inducing nerve-rattling microseismicity or, potentially, unleashing a quake of truly destructive magnitude. Like the magnitude-5.6 quake that rocked Oklahoma last weekend.