From the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on Wednesday, January 28, 2009:
A document submitted as a state energy plan falls short of its mark, while renewable energy projects submitted for funding might go too far, legislators said.
Members of the House Energy Committee, including Rep. Jay Ramras, R-Fairbanks, were critical of the Alaska Energy Authority’s state energy plan as director Steve Haagenson detailed the more than 240-page volume during a hearing Tuesday afternoon.
Rep. Bryce Edgmon, a Democrat from Dillingham and committee co-chairman, said calling the report an energy plan was something of a misnomer. Instead, the report seemed a “first step” toward a state energy plan, he said.
The State of Alaska has published its proposal for grant allocation from the Alaska Renewable Energy Fund. This money will fund the construction of a wide range of alternative energy projects throughout the state. The total proposed expenditure from the State of Alaska is $100 million, with a Federal match of approximately $300 million.
Click here for a link to the Alaska Energy Authority page that outlines the proposal and links to relevant documents.
From the Washington Post on Saturday, January 24, 2009:
Frugality is finally showing up in new home developments.
Although the number of new single-family houses sold this year will probably be down about 68 percent from the peak of almost 1.3 million sold in 2005, there will still be about 420,000 households buying new homes this year, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
From www.thegreenguide.com (sponsored by the National Geographic Society), retrieved on Monday, January 26, 2009. A day-by-day guide to “greening” your life:
You could decide to lose weight—again—or this year you could resolve to lighten the load you leave on the planet. To help, we’ve outlined a series of small changes that add up to big results and divvied them up by time frame—tasks you can complete today, in the next week, during the next month and over the course of the next year. Breaking your efforts into smaller, more manageable tasks isn’t a cop-out: By following this plan, each small step adds up to changes that will benefit the health of the planet—and, yes, even your own health—immediately and in years to come.
From the Washington Post on Monday, January 26, 2009:
President Obama today declared a national goal of ending dependence on foreign oil and promised new U.S. leadership in the fight against global warming as he announced a series of steps aimed at making American cars more fuel efficient and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In remarks at the White House at the start of his second week in office, Obama called on Congress to pass a massive stimulus package that he said would help “create a new American energy economy.” And he directed federal agencies to reexamine two policies that could force automakers to produce more fuel-efficient cars with reduced tailpipe emissions.
With awareness of global warming rising, going “green” and reducing one’s “carbon footprint” have become pop culture catchphrases. But addressing climate change on a global, governmental level is still a matter of heated debate.
With potentially staggering costs involved, are efforts to make major reductions in carbon emissions even worth it? Would the money be better spent elsewhere? Or, does the amount of money involved become less important when considering the possible consequences of climate change?
A panel of experts recently took on these questions in an Oxford-style debate. The motion for the Jan. 13 debate, part of theIntelligence Squared U.S.series, was: “Major Reductions in Carbon Emissions Are Not Worth the Money.”
Click here to read the summary and listen to the broadcast.
From the transcript of a video interview with Carol Browner, proposed assistant to the president on energy and climate, the Washington Post on Thursday, January 15, 2009:
LR: What Bush initiatives do you have your eye on to roll back?
CB: Unfortunately, the list is rather long. . . . The Supreme Court ruled almost two years ago now that the EPA has some authorities to look at greenhouse gas emissions. . . . The current administration declined to do that.
LR: How do you get the American people to change the way they do business?
CB: I don’t doubt that somebody will say, “Oh my gosh, they’re talking about we are never going to be able to drive our cars again.” We are not talking about not driving cars. We are talking about driving different cars . . . cleaner cars. We recognize that, for many Americans, cars are an important part of how they get to work. . . . It’s about figuring out ways to make our lives better. . . . It’s a win-win.
From The Hill, published in May, 2008, and retrieved on Monday, January 11, 2009:
Together, China and the United States produce 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Their actions to curb or expand energy consumption will determine whether efforts to stop global climate change succeed or fail. If these two nations act to curb emissions, the rest of the world can more easily coalesce on a global plan. If either fails to act, the mitigation strategies adopted by the rest of the world will fall far short of averting disaster for large parts of the earth.
These two nations are now joined in what energy analyst Joe Romm has aptly called “a mutual suicide pact.” American leaders point to emissions growth in China and demand that Chinese leaders take responsibility for climate change. Chinese leaders counter that American per capita greenhouse gas emissions are five times theirs and say, “You created this problem, you do something about it.”
From the Washington Post on Tuesday, January 121, 2009:
President-elect Barrack Obama’s nominee for Energy secretary, Steven Chu, walked a fine line today between his strong views on the need to combat climate change and the concern of some senators about Chu’s past criticism of coal use, endorsement of gasoline taxes and tepid embrace of a cap-and-trade system for limiting greenhouse gas emissions.
Chu, who appeared before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, was asked about a comment he once made that “coal is my worst nightmare.” Chu told the committee that “if the world continues to use coal the way it is using it today, not only in the United States but in Russia, India and China, it is a pretty bad dream.” But he added that he does not favor a moratorium on coal and said he would seek and fund research on technologies so that the United States could continue to tap its abundant coal reserves.