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Biofuel development continues at the algae pond at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

EarthTalk: Progress in Biofuels Development

EarthTalk® is a weekly environmental column made available to our readers from the editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: How far along are we at developing algae-based and other higher yield sources of biofuels?    — Jason McCabe, Tullahoma, TN A few years ago biofuels were all the rage. Environmental advocates to national security hawks alike were extolling the…

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Biomass can be a part of the effort to cut back on fossil fuels, but only if it is harvested and used in ways that reduce pollution, cut emissions and protect forests. Pictured: A biomass-burning power plant.

EarthTalk: Biomass Energy – Hype or Solution?

EarthTalk® is a weekly environmental column made available to our readers from the editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: What is “biomass” and why is it controversial as a potential source of energy?    — Edward White, New Bedford, MA Biomass is plant matter that is burned as a source of energy. Fallen or cut wood that is burned for heat…

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Clear-cutting Indonesian rainforest for a palm oil plantation

The Biofuels Pipedream

First generation biofuels have been widely criticized, but even second, third and fourth generation biofuels have uncertain technical, economic and environmental viability. A full assessment of the environmental costs of biofuels reveals that the vast majority do not make sense. For biofuels to be a truly feasible alternative to oil, life cycle analysis must take into account not only CO2,…

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The Latest Environmental News Headlines

Enviro News Wrap: Rare Earth Metals Deep in the Pacific; France Bans Fracking; Exxon Still Funding Climate Denial, and more…

GlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week: The Tanzanian government is allowing uranium mining in a nature reserve. Profits from the mining are supposed to go into upkeep of the park and the government estimates that the mining will have no effect on the natural or human environment. Modern technology uses a…

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The Weekly Mulch from the Media Consortium: What’s Missing from Obama’s Clean Energy Agenda? (Hint: Wind and Solar)

By Sarah Laskow, Media Consortium Blogger (reposted with Permission) Nuclear power, biofuels, clean coal: These are the Obama administration’s answers to climate change. The 2011 budget, released this week, promised new loans for the construction of nuclear power plants, and on Wednesday the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), White House, and other departments detailed steps to encourage ethanol and clean coal…

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“Leave Ethanol’s Carbon Footprint Alone or Waxman-Markey Gets It”

House Ag committee chair Collin Peterson vows to sink the Waxman-Markey climate change bill.

Just How Clean Can Ethanol Get?

The Obama administration creates the Biofuels Interagency Working Group to help set new standards for the biofuels industry.