greenhouse gas emissions

Tue, 2012-07-17 01:08Steve Horn
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Does Red Leaf's "EcoShale" Technology Greenwash Oil Shale Extraction?

At the Clinton Global Initiative in 2008, former Vice President Al Gore called the possibility of fossil fuel corporations extracting oil shaleutter insanity.” 

Insanity, though, doesn't serve as a hinderance for deeply entrenched and powerful fossil fuel interests.

Oil shale, also known as kerogen, should not be confused with shale gas or shale oil, two fossil fuels best known from Josh Fox's “Gasland.” As explained in a report by the Checks and Balances Project,

Oil shale itself is a misnomer. It is actually rock containing an organic substance called kerogen. The rocks haven’t been in the ground for enough time or under enough pressure to become oil. Oil companies need to recreate geological forces to produce any energy from it. Ideas for developing oil shale have included baking acres of land at 700 degrees for three to four years and even detonating an atomic bomb underground.

The really “insane” part of the equation: oil shale production, which has yet to begin, would be ecologically destructive to the extreme.

“Because oil shale is a rock, commercial production would release 25% to 75% more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil,” wrote the Western Resource Advocates. Furthermore, like tar sands production and shale oil/gas production, oil shale production is a water-intensive process.

Adding insult to injury, in the 100 years of attempted commercial production of oil shale, the fossil fuel industry has yet to seal the deal, motivating an April 2012 report by Checks and Balances titled “A Century of Failure.”

Tue, 2011-10-04 13:43Brendan DeMelle
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Government Watchdog Report Confirms Canada's Failures on Tar Sands Monitoring and Climate Action

Canada's top environmental watchdog official released a damning report today acknowledging the federal government's complete failure to account for the cumulative impacts of Alberta tar sands development. The report from Environment Commissioner Scott Vaughan also confirmed that information about Canada's greenhouse gas emissions is so poorly collected that the country really has no idea whether it is on track to meet its pollution reduction targets - targets which Canada has repeatedly scaled back despite its legally-binding international commitment to action dating back 20 years. 
 
According to the report, “The government has not put in place management systems and tools needed to achieve, measure and report on greenhouse gas emission reductions.” 
 
Vaughan describes the government's current climate action plan as “disjointed, confused, non-transparent.”
“I think it's next to impossible that Canada is going to be able to reach its Kyoto target, that's a given. The gap is so wide now, but I think what we've said as well is the basic problems that we've seen now, and the overall federal-wide co-ordinaton of these climate change programs really needs to get its act together. And if they don't, then we have some doubts on whether or not they are going to be able to meet any target, Vaughan said at a news conference today.
The report also slammed Canada's oversight of the filthy Alberta tar sands industry. By failing to collect baseline data prior to the industrialization of the area - and then adding insult to injury by failing to conduct regular monitoring of impacts from tar sands development - Canada has dropped the ball on its responsibilities to protect the health of local communities and the environment in northern Alberta and beyond. 
Tue, 2011-03-01 11:47Ashley Braun
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Are U.S. House Republicans confusing "Americans" with the "American Petroleum Institute" by cutting pollution protections?

Kids love clean air and support EPA

Recent polls confirm that Americans across the country and political spectrum actually do agree on at least one thing: that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should keep doing its job – and even do more – to set limits on air pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, two influential groups feel differently than nearly seven in ten Americans on this issue: Republicans in the House of Representatives and the American Petroleum Institute, a powerful lobbying group representing the oil and gas industry.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the National Lung Association, who represent environmentalists and American lungs, respectively, each released public polls asking whether EPA scientists or Congress should make decisions about pollution limits. A key finding of the National Lung Association poll was that “voters overwhelmingly oppose Congressional action that impedes EPA from updating clean air standards [PPT].

At the same time, Congressional Republicans are claiming a mandate to cut funding for government programs like the EPA. House Republicans almost unanimously voted to prevent the EPA from doing its job – and specifically from enacting regulations on carbon emissions this year - by cutting EPA’s 2011 budget by $3 billion in the spending bill which passed the U.S. House on February 19, 2011. 

”This is about listening to our country, listening to the people who just elected this Congress to restore discipline with respect to our spending,” Frank Guinta (R-New Hampshire) said during the debate on the budget legislation. But to whom Republicans are listening should perhaps be up for debate.

Wed, 2009-04-15 18:00Richard Littlemore
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New study finds emissions cuts can still tame most serious of global warming effects

A new report released by National Center for Atmospheric Research today reports that the worst effect of global warming could still be reversed if aggressive measures are implemented quickly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Candace Lombardi at Greentech reports that:

“The computer simulation showed that if greenhouse gas emissions can be held at 450ppm–the target labeled as reasonably achievable by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, if the world reduces emissions by 70 percent–the global temperature would rise by about .6 degrees Celsius (about 1 degree Fahrenheit) by the year 2100. If human-made emissions are left unchecked, the model predicted that greenhouse gas levels would rise to 750ppm by 2100, causing a global temperature increase of 2.2 Celsius (about 4 degrees Fahrenheit).” (my emphasis)

Wed, 2009-04-01 12:46Mitchell Anderson
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Our Friend CO2

One of the stupider arguments making the rounds in the media is that “carbon-dioxide-is-not-pollution– it’s life”.

In fact, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) produced a hilarious commercial saying just that.

Friendly footage shows how CO2 comes from little girls blowing dandelion seeds, and prancing gazelles. Then cue the ominous music: “now some politicians want to label carbon dioxide a pollutant – imagine if they succeed. What would our lives be like then?

Perhaps a bit of back-story is in order. The CEI has received a whopping $2,005,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. Their point person on climate change is the notorious Myron Ebell who is so pathologically pro-oil he once claimed that good gas mileage is a mass killer.

So what are the CEI (and their funders in the fossil fuel industry) so worried about? After decades of the atmosphere being used as a free dumping ground for astronomical amounts of carbon dioxide, the federal government is finally considering putting some regulations on our friend CO2.

It is no surprise that this proposed policy is about as popular with Big Oil as a fart in a diving bell.

Read more: Our Friend CO2
Mon, 2008-06-02 11:13Kevin Grandia
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The 'Carbon Belch Day' Conundrum

We have received a lot of emails asking our thoughts on the so-called “Carbon Belch Day” being pushed by a right-wing grassroots organizer named Steve Elliot and his website Grassfire.

Normally we try not to stray too far into the left vs. right side of the global warming argument, however in this case it is hard to ignore. To say Elliot is “right-wing” is an understatement - according to his bio, Elliot “has rallied citizens on a host of grassroots issues, including border security, tax reform, abortion, traditional marriage, supporting our troops, exposing media bias and defending the Pledge of Allegiance.”

Thu, 2008-03-27 15:31Kevin Grandia
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100,000 Wells Needed to Store US Carbon Emissions

Even if carbon capture storage technology was not a myth on par with flying cars, the reality is that in order to store the amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gas produced by the United States, “100,800 new wells would be needed by 2030 in America if Washington commits to meeting the Kyoto Protocol emission requirement and keeping total carbon emissions at 2005 levels.”

H/T to our friends at SolveClimate.com.
Thu, 2007-12-13 10:18Kevin Grandia
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Automakers Lose California Global Warming Lawsuit - A Short-Lived Victory?

And just like that it's over, kind of.

After years of effectively blocking California's 2002 law calling for strict new greenhouse gas emissions standards for all new vehicles, a lawsuit filed against the State by major automakers was thrown out of court yesterday.

Federal district court Judge Anthony Ishii issued a strong rebuke to the automobile industry’s attempt to derail the California Clean Car program that would reduce global warming pollution from motor vehicles.

Tue, 2007-10-16 06:23Ross Gelbspan
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Bush: "Read My Lips! No New Caps!"

President George W. Bush said on Monday his administration's approach of emphasizing voluntary approaches to address climate change was working and he denounced Kyoto-style mandatory caps as “bad policy.”

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