Wednesday, December 23, 2009
EPA will soon publish a Federal Register notice approving MOVES2010 for meeting official state implementation plan and transportation conformity requirements. The MOVES2010 model replaces EPA’s MOBILE6.2 emissions factor model.
Under the Clean Air Act, EPA is required to update regularly the way it calculates mobile source emissions. EPA is continuously collecting data and conducting emissions studies to assess the air quality impacts of on-road vehicles. As a result of using data collected from millions of cars and trucks gathered since MOBILE6.2 was released in 2004, MOVES2010 provides increased accuracy in emissions inventory results.
For the first time, the model can estimate emissions on a range of scales from national emissions impacts down to the impacts of individual transportation projects. Another improvement is the ability to express output as either total mass (in tons, pounds, kilograms, or grams) or as emissions factors (grams-per-mile, and in some cases, grams-per-vehicle). These changes to how EPA approaches mobile source emissions modeling are based, in part, upon recommendations made to the agency by the National Academy of Sciences.
More information on the MOVES2010 model
Friday, December 18, 2009
The vast majority of people are on fixed electricity meters, which simply measure how much electricity has been used. These are used by the utility company to calculate how much you owe them for the electricity you have consumed.
During the day there are peak times when many people are using a lot of electricity - for example, in the early evening when many lights, tv's, and computers are switched on, and ovens and kettles are being used to prepare meals. In the middle of the night demands drops right off.
A smart meter offers two way communication between the utility company (electricity supplier) and the consumer. When demand is high (and therefore wholesale electricity prices are very expensive) the utility company can pass high costs onto the consumer. When demand is low (and therefore wholesale electricity prices are very cheap) the utility company can pass savings to the consumer. This motivates consumers to use electricity when demand is least so that they can save money.
This video shows the 'In Home Energy Display' by General Electric
In February 2009, LIPA officials announced the results of a competitive procurement process to install photovoltaic arrays, selecting BP Solar and enXco Development Corp. to provide LIPA with capacity, energy and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) from solar arrays to meet LIPA’s renewable energy goals. Both PPAs require the companies to construct, operate and maintain the project and achieve full operation by mid 2011.
BP Solar will construct its ground-mounted solar system at a cost of $298 million over the contracted 20-year term. enXco will install solar systems on car ports within existing parking lots, at railroad stations and other facilities owned by Suffolk County owned parking lots at a cost of $125 million over the contracted 20-year term.
The effect of the costs of The Long Island Solar Energy Project to LIPA customers is equivalent to approximately .83 cents per month per customer. To defray some of the costs of the solar project, LIPA is actively pursuing funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in the amount of $15 million dollars and has already secured federal appropriations in the amount of $1.75 million. (RenewableEnergyWorld.com, 12/18/09)
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The 2009 New York State Energy Plan (Plan or Energy Plan) sets forth a vision for a robust and innovative clean energy economy that will stimulate investment, create jobs and meet the energy needs of residents and businesses over its 10-year planning horizon. To that end, the Plan provides the framework within which the State will try to meet its future energy needs in a cost-effective and sustainable manner, establishes policy objectives to guide State agencies and authorities as they address energyrelated issues and sets forth strategies and recommendations to achieve these objectives.
The Plan‘s strategies and recommendations have been designed to meet five policy objectives:
Assure that New York has reliable energy and transportation systems;
Support energy and transportation systems that enable the State to significantly reduce
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, both to do the State‘s part in responding to the dangers posed
by climate change and to position the State to compete in a national and global carbonconstrained economy;
Address affordability concerns of residents and businesses caused by rising energy bills, and
improve the State‘s economic competitiveness;
Reduce health and environmental risks associated with the production and use of energy across all sectors; and
Improve the State‘s energy independence and fuel diversity by developing in-state energy supply resources.
Five strategies are outlined in the Plan, which simultaneously achieve these multiple policy objectives. The strategies are: (1) produce, deliver and use energy more efficiently; (2) support development of instate energy supplies; (3) invest in energy and transportation infrastructure; (4) stimulate innovation in a clean energy economy; and (5) engage others in achieving the State‘s policy objectives.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
The New York City Offshore Wind Collaborative (OWC), a group of utilities and government agencies, is requesting proposals next year from developers for a 350-megawatt wind farm near the Rockaway Peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean 13 miles from Queens. It is estimated that the project could cost more than $1 billion and involve more than 100 turbines. The OWC wants developers to finance the project and recoup their costs selling power to nearby utilities, beginning in 2015.
The Center supports the project. (WSJ, 12/9/09)
Monday, December 7, 2009
Mayor Bloomberg has appointed Caswell F. Holloway IV, left, as the new commissioner of the New York Department of Environmental Protection. The position has a salary of $205,000. Caswell F. Holloway IV, 36, served as chief of staff to Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler since 2006, Mr. Holloway pushed through a plan for a citywide waste management system, oversaw the collection of human remains found at ground zero years after the attack; and drew up plans to revive the unsightly Gowanus Canal.
The Department of Environmental Protection has a budget of $1 billion, a work force of 6,000 and is responsible for maintaining the safety of the city’s air and water supply and collecting sewage. The agency does not develop environmental policy, a task handled by the mayor’s sustainability office. But the agency plays a crucial role in shaping and enforcing those policies. (NYT, 11/30/09)
Friday, December 4, 2009
2012 Vintage Allowances Sold at $1.86
Proceeds Support Weatherization of Buildings and Other Consumer Benefit Programs
The states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) today announced the results of the sixth regional auction of carbon dioxide (CO2) allowances, held Wednesday, December 2nd. The auction yielded $61,587,120.90, increasing the total amount of proceeds from RGGI auctions to more than $494.4 million. All of the 28,591,698 allowances for the 2009 vintage offered in Wednesday’s auction sold at a price of $2.05.
In a parallel offering, the RGGI states also auctioned allowances for the second three-year control period beginning January 1, 2012. A total of 1,599,000 of the 2,172,540 allowances for the 2012 vintage sold at a price of $1.86. Unsold allowances for the 2012 vintage year may be sold in future auctions according to each state’s regulations.
RGGI is showing that cap-and-trade works: six successful auctions, more than 100 bidders and $494 million for green energy and green jobs. States have chosen to auction nearly all allowances and to invest the proceeds in a variety of programs that reduce emissions, save consumers money, create jobs, and build the clean energy economy. The approach of winter highlights investments states are making to improve heating energy efficiency in homes and businesses. Across the region states are investing in programs to upgrade inefficient heating equipment, improve insulation, and replace old windows and doors.
To learn more about how each state is investing RGGI auction proceeds, please visit:
Additional details about RGGI Auction 6 may be found in the Market Monitor Report for Auction 6
About the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
The 10 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states participating in RGGI (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) have designed and implemented the first market-based, mandatory cap-and-trade program in the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Power sector CO2 emissions are capped at 188 million short tons per year through 2014. The cap will then be reduced by 2.5 percent in each of the four years 2015 through 2018, for a total reduction of 10 percent. A CO2 allowance represents a limited authorization to emit one ton of CO2, as issued by a respective participating state. A regulated power plant must hold CO2 allowances equal to its emissions to demonstrate compliance at the end of each three-year control period.
The first control period for fossil fuel-fired electric generators under each state’s CO2 Budget Trading Program took effect on January 1, 2009 and extends through December 31, 2011. Allowances issued by any participating state are usable across all state programs, so that the ten individual state CO2 Budget Trading Programs, in aggregate, form one regional compliance market for CO2 emissions.
RGGI, Inc. was created to provide technical and administrative services to the states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. RGGI, Inc. is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. The RGGI auctions are administered by RGGI, Inc. and run on an on-line platform provided by World Energy Solutions, Inc. (TSX: XWE).
Monday, November 23, 2009
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Inc. (RGGI, Inc.) today announced the election of new members to the Executive Committee of its Board of Directors. The new members will serve a one-year term from November 1, 2009. The Executive Committee acts on behalf of the Board of Directors to oversee the activities of RGGI, Inc. The Committee draws upon commissioners of environmental and energy agencies from across the RGGI region.
For 2009-2010 the Executive Committee will comprise:
David Littell, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection will serve as Chair;
Pete Grannis, Commissioner of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation will serve as a Vice Chair;
Clifton Below of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission will also serve as a Vice Chair;
Susanne Brogan, Commissioner of the Maryland Public Service Commission, will serve as Treasurer;
Michael Sullivan, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, will serve as Secretary;
Laurie Burt, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection will serve as a Member at Large of the Executive Committee;
Mark Mauriello, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, will also serve as a Member at Large of the Executive Committee.
Biographies of Executive Committee & Board of Directors
About the Regional Greenhouse Gas InitiativeThe 10 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states participating in RGGI (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) have designed and implemented the first market-based, mandatory cap-and-trade program in the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Power sector CO2 emissions are capped at 188 million short tons per year through 2014. The cap will then be reduced by 2.5 percent in each of the four years 2015 through 2018, for a total reduction of 10 percent.
A CO2 allowance represents a limited authorization to emit one ton of CO2, as issued by a respective participating state. A regulated power plant must hold CO2 allowances equal to its emissions to demonstrate compliance at the end of each three-year control period. The first control period for fossil fuel-fired electric generators under each state’s CO2 Budget Trading Program took effect on January 1, 2009 and extends through December 31, 2011. Allowances issued by any participating state are usable across all state programs, so that the ten individual state CO2 Budget Trading Programs, in aggregate, form one regional compliance market for CO2 emissions.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Chesapeake is the largest leaseholder in the Marcellus Shale, a subterranean layer of shale rock that runs from New York to Tennessee. The shale is believed to hold substantial natural gas reserves.
But extracting gas from shale relies on a method called hydraulic fracturing that has stirred broad concerns. Water, laced with chemicals, is blasted down gas wells at high pressure to break the rock and allow gas to flow out more easily. The technology has vigorously expanded in recent years, allowing for enormous growth in the nation’s natural gas reserves.
But the concerns include the use of chemicals, the disposal of wastewater and the danger of leaks and spills into groundwater and deep aquifers. There also has been a string of explosions from Wyoming to Pennsylvania.
Under energy legislation passed in 2005, the industry won an exemption from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Chesapeake acquired 5,000 acres in the watershed when it bought Columbia Natural Resources a few years ago, and it is currently the only leaseholder in the area. (NYT, 11/27/09)
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
EPA released a report showing that more than 103 million Americans breathe cleaner air thanks to a cap and trade program that reduces smog-forming emission of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx). The 2008 NOx Budget Trading Program Annual Report, covering 20 eastern states and the District of Columbia, shows the summertime NOx emissions from power plants and large industrial sources were down by 62 percent compared to year 2000 levels and 75 percent lower than in 1990.
Highlights of the report show that:
The reduction of NOx has helped reduce smog levels by 10 to 14 percent in the NBP region – largely in the eastern parts of the country;
There is a strong association between areas with the greatest reductions in NOx emissions and downwind sites that show the greatest improvements in smog; and
The program contributed to improvements in air quality in 97 percent of nonattainment areas in the east, with 85 percent of these areas now below the smog standard.
The NOx Budget Trading Program is a partnership between federal and state governments to reduce the regional transport of NOx from power plants and industry in the eastern U.S. This market-based cap and trade program was created to cost-effectively reduce NOx emissions during the ozone season. This program provides facilities flexibility to choose their control options including installing control technologies, replacing existing controls with more advanced technologies, optimizing existing controls, and switching fuels. This flexibility and an active NOx allowance market have led to near perfect compliance since the start of the program in 2003.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The prime time for murder is summertime. There were more homicides in September than in any other month in 2008: 52. Next highest was August, with 51. Variations, of course, exist. There were 48 homicides last March. September Saturdays around 10 p.m. were the most likely moments for a murder in the city. The link above provides an analysis by The New York Times of multiyear homicide trends. The information — detailing homicides during the years 2003 to 2008 — was compiled mainly from open-records requests with the New York Police Department.
Women, for instance, are less likely to be either victims or killers. Those who were killed — at least 73 women were in 2008 — were almost always murdered by someone they knew — boyfriends, husbands or relatives. From 2003 to 2008, the number of women killed each year by strangers was in the single digits — excluding cases in which the police do not know if the killer knew the victim. Last year, as few as eight women died at the hands of strangers.
Brooklyn — as it has since at least 2003 — led all boroughs in the number of homicides last year, with 213. Last year, the 73rd Precinct, which includes the neighborhoods of Ocean Hill and Brownsville, had the largest death toll, 31. The bloodiest block in Brooklyn was in the 77th Precinct, in Crown Heights, bounded by Schenectady Avenue, Sterling Place, Troy Avenue and St. Johns Place. But the borough with the most homicides per capita was the Bronx.
The weapon of choice is a firearm and each year the percentage of people killed by firearms hovers around 60 percent. Though slightly less than in recent years, at least 56 percent of last year’s homicides were committed with these weapons.
Summer is when people get together. More specifically, casual drinkers and drug users are more likely to go to bars or parties on weekends and evenings, as opposed to a Tuesday morning. These people in the social mix, flooding the city’s streets and neighborhood bars, feed the peak times for murder. (NYT, 9/1/09)
Saturday, July 11, 2009
The court did not hold that Indian Point’s cooling water system causes adverse environmental impact. The opinion recognizes that Indian Point currently operates under a valid SPDES permit. The opinion says the draft SPDES permit, which states that the intake structures cause an adverse environmental impact and establishes cooling towers as the best technology available, are non-final agency action. Therefore, there is currently no valid BTA determination and the contents of the final SPDES permit (including whether AEI exists or whether cooling towers are the best technology available) are uncertain until the completion of the pending administrative process.
New York Supreme Court Decision
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Entergy believes that coal plants aren't going away anytime soon because they provide inexpensive sources of baseload electricity both in the United States and abroad. If the U.S. ignores coal in its efforts to curb global warming, the nation's efforts will be rendered useless because China is building more coal plants and needs a technological solution to make coal burn cleaner.
MIT organized the conference, selected participants and published the report. The goal was to find out what's technologically feasible, how low coal emissions can potentially go, and what it would cost to reach these goals. Coal emissions can be reduced by improving the efficiency of existing coal plants, capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide, using bio-mass to supplement coal as a fuel or rebuilding existing coal plants.
The MIT report says that the government needs to spend $12 billion to $15 billion over the next decade to "dramatically expand" programs to demonstrate large-scale, sustained carbon capture and storage technology for existing plants, plus $1 billion annually for ten years to create other options. (NOLA.com)
As most pet owners know, fleas are often unwanted companions that cause a number of health hazards to both you and your pet. While health risks rung bigger for your pet, flea bites on humans can still transmit other parasites such as worms. Fleas are also notorious for finding niches in your home and will get into any area where your pet sleeps or plays. Normally, the tell-tale sign of a flea infestation is when you see gnat like critters in your home or on your pet. But if you're unsure, run a fine tooth comb and groom your dog or cat. If you find little black knits that look like dirt, then you have fleas; the little black speckles are actually flea excrement stuck to your pet's fur.
Most pet owners revert to flea treatments to solve this problem. However, many flea treatments have toxic elements that are harmful to your pets. There are natural effective ways to eliminate fleas without polluting your environment or poisoning your pet.
While many pet owners thing grooming pets regularly is an adequate way to control fleas, the fact is that fleas are notoriously hard to detect and exist in stages that go beyond just their final adult stage - at which point they become detected. For effective flea control, consider two battlefronts: indoor and outdoor.
Scientific Studies Show Vacuuming Kills Fleas
Fleas have multiple life stage, while adult fleas mate and feed off of their initial host animal, females lay eggs on the floor, furniture, and bedding. After about fourteen days these insects then go through three larval stages before they reach the adult stage.
Recent scientific studies have shown that by merely vacuuming, fleas in all stages of their lives can be eliminated anywhere between 96 to 100 percent, through the combination of brushes, fans and powerful air currents. The flea's journey into a vacuum is a one-way trip that begins when the vacuum brushes rapidly wear away the cuticle, a waxy out layer found on most insects that help them stay hydrated. Minus this protection, adult fleas, larvae and pupae have a tendency to die of dehydration. While often seen as a just a mediocre household tip, vacuuming fleas have now been proven to work quickly quietly and effectively.
The same goes for the unhatched eggs, which also cannot survive the stress of a vacuum. Focus your efforts to the areas where your pet spends most of his time. The problem with this, however, is that although your pet might spend 23 hours a day sleeping in one nook of the room, the other 1 hour a day is spent running around your whole house. Logic dictates that anyplace your pet goes the fleas can (and will) follow. So unless an area is absolutely off limits to your pet (and your pet actually obeys these rules), it will need to be vacuumed just as much as anyplace else. Remember, the goal is total eradication of your fleas; there are no acceptable levels of infestation.
Vacuuming is a great strategy because it involves no chemicals and physically removes the problem. If you are in the market for a new one, try to find a bagless model; this makes it a lot cheaper and easier to use for flea control. Any extra hoses or attachments it might have are good because they will let you get into the nooks and crannies a little easier.
Diatomaceous Earth is the Natural Solution to Outdoor Flea Control
While pets play and roam outdoors, they're walking flea magnets. If you have pets, you definitely have fleas lurking in your yard, which is why this is one area that has to be target for effective flea control. However, this becomes difficult since you can't exactly vacuum your yard. There are options you can consider if you choose to take control of fleas both indoors and outdoors. One of the the best natural method to kill outdoor fleas is by using diatomaceous earth.
Diatomaceous earth is soil that is essentially crushed up sea-shells. It's an all natural product made from tiny fossilized water plants. These plants have been part of the earth's ecology since prehistoric times. About 30 million years ago, the diatoms built up into deep chalky deposits of diatomite - which are mined and group up to a powder much like talcum powder. The material won't seem that much different to you -it will, however, make a big difference to the fleas.
This type of soil has microscopic, jagged edges that will make tiny cuts on the outside of insects that crawl over it. You and your pets won't notice it, but the soil will cut fleas and cause them to leak water; they will gradually dehydrate and die. Diatomaceous earth is a safe, environmentally friendly way to kill the fleas and other pests that are living in your backyard. You won't do any permanent damage because no chemicals are involved - however, if you have some other insect that you want to live in your back yard for some reason, you shouldn't put this out there.
This lets us breathe a sigh of relief as we no longer have to rely on chemicals or toxins and instead have a simple, easy and efficient way to remove fleas. This is especially reassuring as effectiveness of insecticides has been shown to diminish as time goes on and insects develop a strong immunity to the chemicals.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
The agency is required by Congress to recover for the U.S. Treasury most of its annual appropriated budget through two types of fees. One is for specific NRC services, such as licensing and inspection activities. This fee is calculated using the current hourly rate multiplied by the time spent by staff performing a service. The other is an annual fee paid by licensees, which recovers generic regulatory expenses and other costs not recovered through fees for specific services. These fees are contained in NRC regulations 10 CFR Part 170 (fees for license-specific services) and 10 CFR Part 171 (annual fees). These fees are paid to the NRC and transferred to the U.S. Treasury’s general fund.
By law, the NRC must recover, through fees to applicants and licensees, 90 percent of its budget authority for FY 2009 (Oct. 1, 2008 - Sept. 30, 2009), less the amounts appropriated from the Nuclear Waste Fund for high-level radioactive waste activities and from general funds for waste-incidental-to-reprocessing and generic homeland security activities. The total amount of fees to be recovered by Sept. 30 is approximately $870.6 million, about $91.5 million more than in FY 2008.
The FY 2009 fee rule, published today in the Federal Register, includes fees based upon the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009. Approximately one third of the fees will be billed for specific services (Part 170) and the remaining two thirds will be billed to annual fees (Part 171). The hourly rate for Part 170 activities increases about 8 percent from $238 to $257 per hour. The increase in FY 2009 fees is due primarily to an increase in reactor license renewals and new uranium enrichment and recovery licensing activities. The NRC decreased fees for small entities in FY 2009.
The FY 2009 annual fees are categorized by types of licensees/applicants and include the following:
Class/Category FY 2009 Annual Fee
Operating Power Reactors
(including Spent Fuel Storage/Reactor Decommissioning annual fee) . . $4,625,000Spent Fuel Storage/Reactor Decommissioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $122,000
Test and Research Reactors (Non-power Reactors) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $87,600
High-Enriched Uranium Fuel Facility . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $4,691,000
Low-Enriched Uranium Fuel Facility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,649,000
UF6 Conversion Facility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .... . . . . . . . . . . $969,000
Conventional Mills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $31,200
Typical Materials Users:Radiographers . . .. . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $22,700Well Loggers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $9,700
Industrial Gauges (Category 1C) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .... . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . $2,700
Broad Scope Medical (Category 7B) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .... . . . . . . . . ... . . . $36,300
NRC estimates that the FY 2009 annual fees will be paid by 104 nuclear power plant licensees, 4 non-power reactors, 19 spent fuel storage/reactor-in-decommissioning facilities, 11 fuel cycle facilities, 7 uranium recovery facilities and approximately 3,800 material licensees. (NRC)
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Inc. (RGGI, Inc.) has contracted with Perrin Quarles Associates to administer RGGI COATS. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a cooperative effort by participating states to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas that causes global warming. More information RGGI, Inc. is a non-profit corporation created to provide technical and administrative services to the CO2 Budget Trading Programs of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
President Barack Obama has nominated Ignacia S. Moreno, right, to be Assistant Attorney for the Environment and Natural Resources Division in the Department of Justice. Moreno is currently the corporate environmental counsel for General Electric.
She was general counsel for that Justice Department during the Clinton administration from 1994 until 2001 . Prior to joining GE in 2006, Moreno worked at the Washington law firm Spriggs & Hollingsworth, where she specialized in environmental and mass tort litigation. She began her career at Hogan & Hartson LLP, where she practiced with the firm's environmental and litigation groups.
The Center supports the nomination.
Friday, May 15, 2009
While the Superfund site itself is 197 miles long, stretching from Hudson Falls, N.Y., to the southern tip of Manhattan, the initial phase involves spots along a six-mile segment south of Fort Edward, the hamlet across the river from this industrial site. G.E. is supervising and paying for the cleanup, which federal officials have estimated could cost more than $750 million. Industry experts say the ultimate cost could be many times than that, however. (G.E. declines to give an estimate.)
While most of the chemicals were dumped when such practices were legal, the Superfund law requires the responsible polluting party, when one can be pinpointed, to foot the cleanup bill.
Yet G.E has reserved the right, after a review of the operation in 2010, to reject the project’s much larger second phase. Federal environmental officials have said that if it did that, they would most likely order the cleanup to proceed and levy enormous penalties against the company.
The decision by the E.P. A. in 2002 to require dredging was a mix of politics and science, with a variety of expert panels split on the efficacy of dredging, but also on the perils of leaving so much contamination in sediments that might be disturbed by powerful floods or other factors. The hope now is that dredging 98 percent of the PCBs out of hot spots in the river will greatly speed what has been a slow natural decline in levels of the chemicals in striped bass and other fish species. After the PCB-tainted sediment is extracted, it will be replaced by clean fill along with plants native to the river. The contiminated mud will be taken by barges to a nearby $100 million treatment plant and transport hub built by General Electric for that purpose. (NYT, 5/15/09) photo: Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
The increase comes just over a year after Consolidated Edison won a $425 million increase from the commission in March 2008. That increase resulted in an increase of $4.25 in the monthly bill for a typical residential customer in New York City and an increase of $5.60 in the monthly bill for a typical residential customer in Westchester.
The factors driving Con Edison’s need for additional revenue are real property taxes, state assessment changes, addition to utility plant, increases in pensions and other retirement benefits, and a change in return on equity, or profit for Con Edison, to 10 percent, up from 9.1 percent. (NYT, 4/21/09)
H.R. 957 is a bill:
To authorize higher education curriculum development and graduate training in advanced energy and green building technologies.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘Green Energy Education Act of 2009’.
SEC. 2. DEFINITION.
For the purposes of this Act:
(1) DIRECTOR- The term ‘Director’ means the Director of the National Science Foundation.
(2) HIGH PERFORMANCE BUILDING- The term ‘high performance building’ has the meaning given that term in section 914(a) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16194(a)).
(3) SECRETARY- The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of Energy.
SEC. 3. GRADUATE TRAINING IN ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.
(a) Funding- In carrying out research, development, demonstration, and commercial application activities authorized for the Department of Energy, the Secretary may contribute funds to the National Science Foundation for the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program to support projects that enable graduate education related to such activities.
(b) Consultation- The Director shall consult with the Secretary when preparing solicitations and awarding grants for projects described in subsection (a).
SEC. 4. CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE BUILDING DESIGN.
(a) Funding- In carrying out advanced energy technology research, development, demonstration, and commercial application activities authorized for the Department of Energy related to high performance buildings, the Secretary may contribute funds to curriculum development activities at the National Science Foundation for the purpose of improving undergraduate or graduate interdisciplinary engineering and architecture education related to the design and construction of high performance buildings, including development of curricula, of laboratory activities, of training practicums, or of design projects. A primary goal of curriculum development activities supported under this section shall be to improve the ability of engineers, architects, landscape architects, and planners to work together on the incorporation of advanced energy technologies during the design and construction of high performance buildings.
(b) Consultation- The Director shall consult with the Secretary when preparing solicitations and awarding grants for projects described in subsection (a).
(c) Priority- In awarding grants with respect to which the Secretary has contributed funds under this section, the Director shall give priority to applications from departments, programs, or centers of a school of engineering that are partnered with schools, departments, or programs of design, architecture, landscape architecture, and city, regional, or urban planning.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
The June auction will be the second held since compliance obligations under the 10-state RGGI CO2 Budget Trading Programs took effect on January 1, 2009and the second to offer allowances from current (2009-2011) and future (2012-2014) control periods. States will offer for sale 30,887,620 million current control period allowances (all for the 2009 vintage) and 2,172,540 million allowances for the future control period (all for the 2012 vintage).
Given the early stage of the RGGI CO2 allowance market, the Participating States (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) will continue to use a reserveprice of $1.86 for all allowances. Before CO2 Allowance Auction 5, the Participating States will consider whether there is enough data available tojustify the calculation of a current market reserve price.
As summarized in the Auction Notice, potential bidders must successfully complete the qualification process to participate in the June CO2 allowance auction. The ten RGGI states urge prospective bidders to apply to qualify for, and participatein, the auction by downloading the auction documents from the RGGI website. Potential bidders are also encouraged to participate in a free webinar hostedfrom 2:00 PM ET to 4:00 PM ET on Wednesday, April 15, 2009. The webinar, open to all parties interested in participating in Auction 4, will review the auction format, forms that need to be submitted and the complete qualification process. Instructions to participate in the webinar.
Auction History: The June 17th auction will be the second held since compliance obligations underthe 10-state RGGI CO2 Budget Trading Programs took effect on January 1, 2009. Inaddition to the first compliance auction, held March 18, 2009, RGGI's ParticipatingStates also held two "pre-compliance" auctions in the fall of 2008. In each auction all allowances offered were sold and demand for allowances exceeded supply. Clearingprices of $3.07 in September, $3.38 in December, and $3.51 in March led the independent market monitor to describe all auctions as "robust."
The March auction was the first to offer allowances from the second three-year control period beginning in 2012. All of 2012 vintage allowances cleared at aprice of $3.05, providing a first-look at future market prices for RGGI CO2 allowances. By the end of 2009, the RGGI states will have offered for sale5% of the total supply of 2012 vintage allowances. Webinar DetailsMore information about the auction will be available through a webinar to be heldfrom 2:00 PM ET to 4:00 PM ET on Wednesday, April 15, 2009. To access the webinar audio, call the teleconference access number, (888) 875-4624and enter the participant code, 555661#. To access the webinar slides, go to theAuction Website and download them. The slides for the webinar will be posted on theAuction Website no later than 8:00 AM ET on Tuesday, April 14, 2009. [View the slides as they are presented in real time-Select the participant option and then enter participant code 555661 and the following information: name, company, email address, and title.]
About the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: The 10 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states participating in RGGI (Connecticut,Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, RhodeIsland and Vermont) have designed the first market-based, mandatory cap-and-trade program in the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The participating states haveregulations in place to cap and then reduce the amount of CO2 that power plants intheir region are allowed to emit, limiting the region’s total contribution to atmosphericgreenhouse gas levels. Power sector CO2 emissions are capped at current levels through2014. The cap will then be reduced by 2.5 percent in each of the four years 2015 through2018, for a total reduction of 10 percent.
A CO2 allowance represents a permit to emit one ton of CO2, as issued by a respective participating state. A regulated power plant must hold CO2 allowances equal to itsemissions to demonstrate compliance at the end of each compliance period. Because CO2 allowances issued by any participating state will be usable across all state programs,the ten individual state CO2 Budget Trading Programs, in aggregate, will form one regional compliance market for CO2 emissions.
About Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Inc: RGGI, Inc. was created in September 2007 to provide technical and administrativeservices to the states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. RGGI, Inc.is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization.
This auction is the first time New York sold CO2 allowances for 2012 and it marks the second time New York has sold allowances in the RGGI auction, which includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont. New York had 776,385 CO2 allowances for 2012 up for auction.
In collaboration with New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Public Service Commission, proceeds from the RGGI auctions will be used for energy efficiency and conservations programs throughout the state. (NYAREA)
More on the RGGI auction
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Developers said denying NYRI's request created an unacceptable financial risk for NYRI's investors. Even if the NYRI project were to be sited by the PSC, NYRI would face the prospect of being unable to recover transmission costs from the ratepayers who would benefit from the project. This is really a blow for not only New York City power customers and city leaders who are demanding renewable power, but also for renewable energy in general – which now has no way to get from source to consumer. So much for the entire message of green transmission and building out the grid to meet the significant renewable power needs of our cleantech economy. (Source: Frank Maisano)
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
The Center-NY supports the U.S. Supreme Court decision.
The Supreme Court's decision is a victory for global warming mitigation because nuclear power plants do not emit any greenhouse gases and some traditional environmental groups are trying to use water permits as a way to shut them down. Although some fish eggs are destroyed by all power plant intakes, unreasonable expenses that would close plants and lead to rate shock to customers should be considered. The Supreme Court made the right decision. Morever, current Ristroph Screens provide sufficient protection at these intake areas. A negative ruling could have required hundreds of power plants to install super expensive cooling towers. Companies would shut down older plants before building cooling towers. Center President Norris McDonald, pictured above right, attended the December 2, 2008 hearing. (AP, Reuters)
Friday, March 20, 2009
In a parallel offering, the RGGI states also auctioned allowances for the second three-year control period beginning in 2012, providing a first-look at future marketprices for RGGI CO2 allowances. The 2,175,513 allowances for the 2012 vintage clearedat a price of $3.05 per allowance. By the end of 2009, the RGGI states will have offered for sale 5% of the total supply of 2012 vintage allowances. The auction raised $117,248,629.80 for energy efficiency, renewable energy and other consumer benefit programs in the ten RGGI states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont).
Potomac Economics, RGGI, Inc.’s independent market monitor, observed the auction and confirmed that it was fair and consistent with noticed auction procedures. In its"Auction Report," Potomac found that there was "no material evidence of collusion ormanipulation by bidders" and that the results were "consistent with competitiveexpectations." 50 separate entities submitted bids to purchase 2.5 times the availablesupply of 2009 allowances, and 20 entities submitted bids to purchase 2.3 times theavailable supply of 2012 allowances. A total of 42 entities won allowances for the 2009 offering, in which bid prices ranged from $1.86 (the minimum bid allowed) to$10.00. 12 bidders won allowances for the 2012 offering, in which bid prices ranged from $1.86 to $4.40.
The Auction Report, issued by the market monitor following each RGGI auction, includes data on the dispersion of bids, provides summaries of purchased allowances, allowances won by bidders and bid prices, and, in accord with the Auction Notice forAuction 3, a list of Potential Bidders for Auction 3. Potential bidders are definedas "each Applicant that has been qualified and submitted a complete Intent to Bid."The list of 63 potential bidders demonstrates broad participation from compliance entities, financial institutions, and environmental organizations. According to Potomac, compliance entities and their affiliates won 78 percent of the2009 allowances and 93 percent of 2012 allowances. The high percentage of allowances won by compliance entities at auction continues a trend established in the two"pre-compliance" auctions held in September and December 2008 in which compliance entities won 80 percent and 85 percent of allowances, respectively.
Compliance obligations for fossil fuel-fired electric generators under the 10-state CO2 Budget Trading Programs took effect on January 1, 2009. RGGI's participating states held two "pre-compliance" auctions in September and December 2008, at which the clearing prices were $3.07 and $3.38, respectively. The RGGI participating states will holdquarterly auctions ensuring bidders ample opportunity to obtain the CO2 allowances they need for compliance across the entire 10-state region. The next auction is scheduled for June 17, 2009. Auction Report for the RGGI CO2 Allowance Auction 3
Thursday, March 12, 2009
· Empire State Building
· Citigroup Center
· Coca-Cola Billboard in Times Square
· New York Life
· Time Warner Center
· The New York Public Library
· 7 World Trade Center and the other Silverstein Properties buildings
· The Helmsley Building and other Monday Properties buildings
· Grand Hyatt New York
Joining these properties are top New York City organizations and institutions including Columbia University, PACE University, the Building Owners and Managers Association of New York, the U.S. Green Building Council New York, Fall Out Boy Pete Wentz’s Angels + Kings, and many more.
Around the world, icons committed to Earth Hour include:
· The Las Vegas Strip
· Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
· Sears Tower in Chicago
· Eiffel Tower in Paris
· Notre Dame in Paris
· Sydney Opera House
· Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro
· Niagara Falls
· Stockholm Castle
· Burj Dubai
Oscar nominated actor and New York City resident Edward Norton is the official ambassador for Earth Hour 2009 with support from Nobel Prize Laurite Archbishop Desmond Tutu, actresses Janeane Garofalo and Jennette McCurdy, fashionistas Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, as well as musicians Linkin Park, Alanis Morissette, Coldplay, Jo Dee Messina, Big Kenny (Big & Rich), Gavin DeGraw, KT Tunstall, Mary Mary, Dierks Bently, Wynonna Judd, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Lady Antebellum, SHeDAISY, Finger Eleven, Simple Plan, Justin Nozuka, The Veronicas and Rise Against.
WWF officials stressed the importance of safety during Earth Hour, noting that all lighting related to public safety will remain on.
More information about Earth Hour and ways to get involved can be found at http://www.earthhourus.org/ and www.EarthHourUS.org/newyork
National partners for WWF's Earth Hour 2009 are Esurance, Cox Enterprises, The Coca-Cola Company, Wells Fargo and Hewlett-Packard.
Note to Editors: B-roll and Earth Hour still images can be found at http://www.earthhourus.org/broll.php
About World Wildlife Fund and Earth Hour
Earth Hour (http://www.earthhourus.org/) is a global initiative of WWF in which millions of people around the world will cast a vote in favor of action on climate change by turning off their lights for one hour on March 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm local time. By voting with their light switches, Earth Hour participants will send a powerful, visual message to their leaders demanding immediate action on climate change. WWF is the world’s leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries for nearly half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, stop the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit http://www.worldwildlife.org/ to learn more.
Public Relations Manager
World Wildlife Fund
1250 24th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037-1193
Earth Hour 2009 / March 28th, 8:30pm / www.EarthHourUS.org - Turn Out Take Action
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
The "Report on the Secondary Market for RGGI CO2 Allowances," which addresses the period from August 2008 to January 2009, was prepared by Potomac Economics, RGGI, Inc.'s independent market monitor. Potomac's other key findings include:
• Although trading volumes remain light compared to the number of allowances sold in auctions, the average volume of allowance futures trading grew from 155,000 allowances per day in September 2008 to 330,000 per day in January 2009.
• Despite continued fluctuations in market price, overall market volatility has declined over the period of study.
• A substantial number of firms (at least 25) have participated in the trading of standard futures and options contracts on public exchanges, which is a positive sign for the competitiveness of the secondary market at this early stage. Potomac's conclusions were based on the analysis of data reported to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Chicago Climate Futures Exchange and other data.
The complete Report on the Secondary Market for RGGI CO2 Allowances. Contact: Emilee Pierce - 212-417-3179
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Norris McDonald and John McCormick presented testimony on behalf of the Center.
Center staff also toured Indian Point nuclear power plant the next day. Tour participants included Dan Durett, Director-New York, Derry Bigby, Vice President and Norris McDonald, President.
Norris McDonald Video
Monday, January 19, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
The island will be constructed in an open area of the ocean between the Ambrose-to-Nantucket and Hudson Canyon-to-Ambrose international shipping lanes. This project location allows LNG tankers to use established shipping lanes to access the facility, while minimizing interference with commercial shipping and recreational users. The project location, at approximately 40° 23' 19" N and 73° 36' 35" W, is in water depth of approximately 60 to 70 feet. The island will be constructed of natural sand, gravel, and rock materials, surrounded by armored breakwaters, consisting of prefabricated caissons, prefabricated armor units and rock, and capable of withstanding a 200-year storm.