Enviro News Wrap: Renewables in California; Coal in Wyoming; the Shine Comes Off Natural Gas, and more…

Environmental New Wrap: the latest environmental storiesGlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has made an abrupt change in their coal portfolio and has decided to close 18 small coal fired power plants. The TVA regulates the same area that had the coal ash flood several years ago that buried several homes.

While BP has brought  a lot of attention to the US government’s regulation of off-shore oil drilling operations, the government has not yet organized itself to effectively prevent such a disaster from happening again.

MotherJones brings us an article that focuses on the dirty aesthetic of energy generation, from wind to coal.

Governor of California governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that increases the mandate for utility companies to increase their renewable energy portfolio to 33 percent by 2020. This is great for solar power and solar companies, which means more jobs in California.

In Wyoming the coal industry is picking up. This is great for job creation and terrible for the environment – making it a touchy subject between the the Wyoming people and the federal government.

Like many industries, the solar industry is bumping up against people that want their land untouched. In these situations compromise and flexibility are often the cure. But it is always a tough conversation when the contested land is claimed to be sacred burial ground by an American tribe.

Natural gas, the “transition” energy source away from coal, is beginning to be uncovered as a fraud. It is just another fossil fuel and it’s costs and risks are finally being revealed to the American public. The New York Times also has a story on the new confirmations of the harm of harvesting natural gas.

The European Union is getting serious about its distressed fish populations. The EU is stepping up regulation to make sure no one catches more than quota in EU waters.

Here it is, yet another break through in solar technology that could lead to super-efficient panels in the future.

The pesky Republicans are at it again, through add-ons to federal spending bills, they could greatly reduce funding for the network of government bureaus that protect our environment and keep us safe from polluting corporations. They are also moving on the state level, reducing funding for environmental bureaus there as well.

The youth Environmental movement is making its voice heard and their main message is that Obama has not done enough of changing the political game. Rather, he has just been playing by the old rules and getting the same results that brought us to our environmental challenges.

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  1. Wow! At first reading this news I was happy the government for once was taking charge of shutting down coal plants but when I thought about it more they are doing the opposite of what they have promised for years…making jobs! By closing down 18 coal plants that provide reliable electric power sources the EPA has arguably put thousands of people out of work and while it helps reduce our carbon foot print it does little to help our struggling economy. Coal is our number 1 energy production in the US but we sell most of it to China as an electric power sources.It doesn’t make since to close plants when your opening new ones like the surry coal plant right by my house of all places. Good article with knowledge and facts but disappointing for those losing their jobs and a safe electric power sources even though it will help out the environment.


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