News 2012:

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February 28, 2012


65% of Republic´s new truck buys likely CNG

Republic Services Inc. expects to continue increasing the number of compressed natural-gas-powered trash trucks it operates around the country, a move that ultimately will help lower transportation costs for the nation´s second largest trash company.


2012: A Breakthrough for Renewable Energy?

2012 could indeed see global investment surpass that for fossil fuels, crossing an important threshold toward a clean energy future.

A big breakthrough for electric vehicle batteries

For years, the electric vehicle industry has been eager to build a better electric car battery: one that extends range while having a longer overall life, is affordable, quick-charging and safe.

An Electromagnetic Pulse Attack would Shut Down the Power Grid, Stall Your Car, and Knock Out our Nation's Defenses

EMP attacks don't kill people and animals directly, but indirectly they could kill up to 90% of humanity.

If you think you don't need this protection, get the book:


APS Testing Energy Storage in Flagstaff

Arizona Public Service Company began testing a new 1.5 megawatt-hour energy storage system that is the size of a shipping container and can generate the equivalent power output of 1,200 hybrid cars or 300,000 cell phone batteries.

Auto Outlook: Hybrid sales may soar

Soaring gasoline prices have become a rite of summer in the 21st century.

With predictions of an imminent return to $4 a gallon gas in much of the nation, will consumers in the market for a new vehicle again take a look at hybrids and all-electric plug-ins?

Manufacturers sure hope so.

Branford may save by adding solar panel field at landfill

Plans are in the works to make the town more energy-efficient, and thus save money, by placing a solar panel field at the landfill.

California Utilities Hit Target: 20% From Renewables

Two of California's largest utilities are now getting 20% of their energy from renewables as required by the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) - 20% by 2010.

Church Ordered to Stop Giving Away Free Water

A Louisiana church was ordered to stop giving away free water along Mardi Gras parade routes because they did not have the proper permits.

“We were given a cease and desist order,” said Matt Tipton, pastor of Hope Church in Metairie, LA. “We had no idea we were breaking the law.”

City wind turbine almost ready to go

The City of Milwaukee's wind turbine is now up and being prepared for connection to the power grid, after contractors completed the installation of the turbine's blades Wednesday.

Coal-fired power plant converted to biomass

Macpherson Energy Co. and DTE Energy Services (DTEES) said the 49.5 MW Mt. Poso cogeneration plant has been completely converted to run 100 percent biomass fuel instead of coal, and is successfully delivering its full capacity of 44 MW of energy to the California grid.

Consumer Support for Clean Energy Has Declined Significantly Since 2009

The clean energy industry is dynamic and evolving, as the future of energy in the United States continues to be a topic of intense focus, particularly in this election year. However, according to a new survey from Pike Research, consumer support for clean energy concepts – ranging from renewable energy to alternative fuel vehicles to smart grid technologies – has declined significantly between 2009 and 2011.

Crocodiles lend green security to power plants

The Department of Homeland Security frets deeply about the security of nuclear power plants but its solutions, as government solutions are wont to be, tend to be unconvincing. A Florida nuclear power plant appears to have stumbled on a security measure that is green, so cheap it's practically free and likely to be bitingly effective.

Dad arrested over daughter's gun drawing

My daughter drew a gun on a piece of paper at school," he said.

Officials told the newspaper the move was necessary to ensure there were no guns accessible by children in the family's home. They also said comments by Sansone's daughter, Neaveh, that the man holding the gun in the picture was her dad and "he uses it to shoot bad guys and monsters," was concerning.

Farmer Faces Possible 3-year Prison Term for Feeding Community

The FDA reign of terror against family farms who are serving the needs of private buying clubs is culminating in one Wisconsin farmer facing federal charges. Citizens deserve the freedom to choose, and are staging an event in support of this principled farmer, Vernon Hershberger. He is being dealt with unjustly, and is standing strong with the support of the families he serves.

Germany: 36 per cent of electricity in to be generated from renewables by 2020

The energy market in Germany will see dramatic changes during the next few years. With the nuclear energy capacity halved, the landscape to 2020 will look very different with renewable energy to account for 36 percent of electricity generated.

Group may sue over trash washing into Alabama river

The Dog River Clearwater Revival environmental group plans to sue the city of Mobile, Ala., and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management because the river fills with garbage whenever it rains.

Harnessing Disruption

It is hard to frame the magnitude of disruption now descending on the world of energy.

In a few years, half of the consumers of America will have new digital eyes installed on their homes in the form of smart meters that will peer closely at their use of energy. Energy companies will have a flood of information that will disrupt the way they normally conduct business in a way it never has before.

Heated Debate in the Heartland

During our school days, the kids who stayed late in the library or the science labs were often sneered at. It’s not much different today, although it now depends on which side of the political aisle one sits. At issue are those who have devoted their lives to study of climate science.

Hey, You in the Headdress! Do You Know What It Means?

I see you are confused about what constitutes cultural appropriation. I would like to provide you with resources and information on the subject so that you can better understand what our concerns are.

Iran: Hopes for Diplomacy Dim as Tehran Lashes Out

The war of words between Iran, Israel, and the West reached fever pitch this week, likely ending hopes for a diplomatic solution to the high-stakes standoff. Isolated and on the ropes, Tehran is antipathetic toward any kind of concessions and seems bent on proving its willingness to employ hostile measures to defy its critics. The question remains: How far will Tehran go to make its point?

Israel Won't Warn US Before Iran Strike

Israeli officials say they won't warn the United States if they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, according to one U.S. intelligence official familiar with the discussions.

Is Shale Gas Good or Bad? Panelists and the Audience at KPMG Summit are Split

"Is the emergence of shale gas a positive or negative development with respect to sustainability?" This was one of the most interesting questions discussed on one of the panels at KPMG's Global Summit last week in New York. Given the growth of both interest and dispute around shale gas, is shale gas is a bridge to a sustainable future or a bridge to nowhere?

Is Soda Making You Sick?

Americans’ intake of sweetened drinks — chief among them, soda — has more than tripled in the last 40 years, and that consumption is taking its toll on our health, says Newsmax Health expert Dr. Russell Blaylock.

'It's Going to Be War': First Nations Battle Canadian Tar Sands

The indigenous First Nations of Canada, along with environmentalists and civil society groups, are gearing up for an epic battle as the oil giant Enbridge continues to press for its 'Northern Gateway' pipeline that would transport tar sands oil from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia.  The fight against the Keystone XL has won at least a temporary victory in the United States, but its Canadian counterpart, despite vocal opposition by environmentalists and community members along its westward route, has been largely championed by the ruling conservative government in Ottawa.

It Starts at Home

It starts at home. We can critique the government all we want, but if we don't start practicing what we preach in our own lives and on the small scale, how will it ever translate into true change? You may not be able to reform the world in a day or even a year, but you can start with yourself and your home.

Japan in a quandary as Iran tensions expose energy vulnerability

Japan faces a dilemma. It has to balance its changed energy needs in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster with the more urgent matter of cutting its imports of Iranian crude oil to avoid being shut out of the US financial system.

Lithuania follows nuclear path

While the meltdown crisis in Fukushima has raised awareness around the world of the dangers of nuclear power, Lithuania, with its limited natural resources, appears to have little choice but to rely on atomic energy to reduce its heavy reliance on natural gas from Russia.

Loss of generating station could cost state $18 billion

ASU research demonstrates critical value of continued operations

Arizona stands to lose approximately $18 billion in gross state product between 2017 and 2044 – including up to 3,400 jobs each year – unless agreements can be reached to keep the Navajo Generating Station in northern Arizona operating beyond 2019, according to a study prepared for Salt River Project and the Navajo Nation...

Macondo trial delay likely indicates sides are close to a settlement: observers

Attorneys and legal experts following the consolidated federal Macondo damages case in New Orleans said Sunday that the one-week delay in the start of the trial that BP and the Plaintiffs Steering Committee announced jointly earlier in the day likely means that the two sides are close to an agreement.

Manure-Fueled Electricity Generator Benefits Tribe and Local Farmers

A renewable energy venture in the Puget Sound area of Washington State virtually turns manure into money. ..In addition to manure, the digester’s “feedstock” consists of out-of-date soda, beer and wine, as well as “oils, greases and fats that come out of restaurant traps,” Williams said.

Many homeowners unaware of rebates of up to $4,000 available for energy-efficiency upgrades

Homeowners who make energy efficient upgrades can earn up to $4,000 in rebate through the Energy Upgrade California program funded by state utilities customers and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Myth buster: State data shows Michigan renewable energy beats coal on cost alone

Renewable energy in Michigan is significantly less expensive than new coal-fired power and will cost ratepayers far less than originally projected, according to a new report from the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) and a revised renewable energy plan filed in February by Consumers Energy.

New device is more effective and safer than FDA-approved treatment for acute stroke patients

A new approach to stroke treatment initially developed by Dr. Jeffrey Saver's group at the UCLA Stroke Center combines the ability to restore circulation and remove clots using only a single device ... and it's showing significant promise in trials. In a study comparing the Covidien Solitaire FR Revascularization Device with the FDA-approved Merci Retriever, the device successfully and safely treated roughly 60 percent of stroke patients, compared to roughly 30 percent when the Merci Retriever was used.

Obama favors long-term strategy for energy needs

President Obama said Thursday that only a long-term energy strategy can help bring down rising gas prices, and he mocked Republicans for seeking to turn higher prices at the pump into an election year issue.

Phone-based scanner detects harmful bacteria

Scientists have created a scanner that can be attached to a mobile phone, to detect the presence of E. coli bacteria in liquid samples

Potential costs for opting out of smart meters are identified

Smart meters, which have stirred controversy, meet health and safety standards, but NV Energy should offer objecting homeowners an alternative, says a proposed decision by the state Public Utilities Commission.

Protecting Home Electronics from EMP

First, we learned that almost anything helps at least a little and is better than nothing.  Second, in order to be protected from a magnetic pulse, the item needs to be insulated from touching any metal.  Third, multiple layers of protection are most effective.

Rating agency says Greece in 'selective default'

Ratings firm Standard & Poor's on Monday declared Greece in "selective default" after banks agreed to write off more than half of their Greek debt holdings in a second EU bailout of the country.

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity

one C-class flare, CME , Neither of these CME's are expected to be geoeffective.The geomagnetic field ranged from quiet to minor storm levels with an isolated period of major storm levels at high latitude. The geomagnetic field is expected to be generally unsettled for the first day (28 February) as effects from the current disturbance persist. Predominantly quiet levels are expected for the second and third days (29 February - 01 March).

Soaring Oil Prices Fuel Fears of Global Recession

A jump in energy prices is jamming the slow-turning cogs of an economic recovery in the West, but that may be nothing compared to the economic shock an Israeli attack on Iran would cause.

Solar bill jolted back to life

State Sen. Buddy Carter revived a bill on Thursday that would allow private property owners in Georgia to buy power generated on their own land by a third party.

Such arrangements are routine in other states but prohibited in Georgia, where the state's main electric supplier, Georgia Power, opposes them.

Solar idea becomes solar reality

Kenny Kingstrom cannot wait to see his energy meter turn the other way.

That's because he has installed a large solar-power array on his three-acre property along U.S. Highway 69. Instead of his meter showing only watts used, it sometimes will turn back, showing the watts generated.

South African Fuel-Free Generator Preparing for Market

Sterling Allan reports on his recent trip to South Africa to visit a company who has developed a 5 kilowatt Fuel Free Generator that will be available beginning March for their existing customers. Sterling will be getting a generator to test and use on his home from that first batch of 200.

Study: Cheaper gas lowered emissions

Fewer emissions from U.S. power plants in 2009 were the result of cheaper prices of natural gas, reducing the industry's reliance on coal, researchers say.

As the United States tumbled into economic recession in that year, CO2 greenhouse gas emissions also fell by 6.59 percent relative to 2008, but the recession was not the main cause, researchers at Harvard University said.

Tester fighting for Montana's wind industry

Senator Jon Tester is pushing to extend the wind production tax credit to keep Montana's wind industry growing and to create more jobs in the Big Sky State.

Montana's wind power capacity was only a single megawatt in 2004, but now Montana wind energy companies generate nearly 400 megawatts of power.

The Price of Oil and the Value of the Dollar Declining Value of the U.S. Dollar Adds to the Price of Oil and Gasoline

Analysts and pundits often cite, correctly or incorrectly, the turmoil in the Middle East, a strengthening global economy, or speculation as the causes for the run up in crude oil prices. What is rarely discussed as an important factor in the rise of the dollar price of oil is the role played by the dollar itself. Oil is an international commodity that trades in dollars. The value of the unit of exchange, in this case the dollar, plays an important role in determining the “headline” price for the underlying commodity.

The Shrinking Value of the Dollar

The CPI inflation calculator uses the average Consumer Price Index for a given calendar year. This data represents changes in prices of all goods and services purchased for consumption by urban households. This index value has been calculated every year since 1913. For the current year, the latest monthly index value is used. In 2008, for example, it took $21.57 to buy what $1 bought in 1913. Note that in 1920, it cost $2.02, and declined in 1925 and through the 1930s, illustrating the effect of the Great Depression, when prices slumped. Prices did not pass $2 again until 1950.

Thousands form human chain in anti-Putin protest

 Thousands of people holding hands formed a 10-mile human chain encircling central Moscow on Sunday in the latest protest against Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Toll on Coal Continues

The toll on coal is continuing. This time it is coming from federal prosecutors who are zeroing in on the executives of the former Massey Energy, which owned the West Virginia mine that exploded and killed 29 people two years ago.

TransCanada to Build Oklahoma-Gulf Coast Section of Keystone XL Pipeline

TransCanada Corporation today informed the U.S. State Department that what had been the Cushing, Oklahoma to U.S. Gulf Coast portion of the Keystone XL pipeline "has its own independent value to the marketplace and will be constructed as a stand-alone Gulf Coast project."

Water Infrastructure Bill To Top $1 Trillion

The cost of repairing and expanding U.S. drinking water infrastructure will top $1 trillion in the next 25 years, an expense that likely will be met primarily through higher water bills and local fees, a groundbreaking study by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) shows.

We Are Being Told On a Daily Basis that We Don't Have the Right to Choose What we Want to Eat

Now that I've finally allowed the mantra to soak in about eating better and looking for natural supplements to help me acquire and retain the energy I need, along comes the federal government with their overreaching laws attempting to legislate away the freedom I have in choosing those very supplements my body is craving

We've Reached an Energy Watershed

Our energy outlook is at a real watershed. Tremendous change has taken place and we haven't quite yet understood its significance, but it is a positive change.

What Are We Really Eating? Reporter Goes Undercover to Reveal the Real Story of Our Broken Food System

From the fields of California's Central Valley to the produce aisle of a Michigan Walmart, and lastly, the kitchen of a Brooklyn Applebee's, McMillan gives a firsthand account of the long hours, lousy wages and difficult conditions that are par for the course in these places.

What Water Scarcity? Israel May Soon Have A Surplus

As warnings increase about the world's dwindling water supply, predictions of a future surplus come from an unlikely source — drought-stricken Israel. The optimistic picture was painted by Israel's national water company, Mekorot..Seawater desalination, according to Mekorot, will allow Israel to rehabilitate of all its freshwater reservoirs and enjoy a substantial surplus within eight years.

Wind projects dependent on federal tax credits

When Congress failed to include a credit for wind energy development in the payroll tax cut bill, the ramifications could be felt around the country, including in central Indiana.

Wind energy proponents are hoping to get the tax credit extension added to another bill or considered as stand-alone legislation before the end of the year.

Wyoming House advances doomsday bill

State representatives on Friday advanced legislation to launch a study into what Wyoming should do in the event of a complete economic or political collapse in the United States.


February 24, 2012


All Energy 2012 preview: how can the oil and gas industry assist the offshore renewables industry?

Oil and gas companies have learned to overcome many offshore difficulties, so what, if anything, can they bring to the renewable energy table?

Al-Qaida Claims Deadly Attacks on Iraqi Cities

Iraq's al-Qaida branch has claimed responsibility for the latest wave of bombings and other attacks that killed dozens in Baghdad and across the country in a single day, raising concerns over the government's ability to provide security after the U.S. troop pullout.

Apple to build largest end user-owned, onsite solar array in the U.S.

Apple's Maiden data center already boasts a white cool-roof and is set to add the largest end user-owned, onsite solar array in the U.S.

APS testing massive battery for energy storage

storage system the size of a shipping container that can generate the equivalent power output of 1,200 hybrid cars or 300,000 cell phone batteries. The two-year battery pilot will study how to decrease equipment stress during high demand and how to provide solar energy after dark.

As Al Qaeda moves fight to Syria, violence in Iraq drops sharply

After Al Qaeda-affiliated fighters left Iraq to join the Syrian rebellion, violence has dropped in Iraq, in some areas by as much as 50 percent in just a few months.

Average US 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Up From All-Time Record Low

Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) yesterday released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS), showing fixed mortgage rates moving off their at- or-near record lows for the first time in three weeks amid recent data showing the housing market continues to improve. 
News Facts

Big Farma Once Again Walking All Over Your Safety—and the Constitution

The agriculture industry is trying to make it a crime to be an undercover investigator at a factory farm. Goodbye, whistleblowers! Farewell, freedom of speech!

BLM scopes land for AZ renewables

"With some of the most significant solar resources in the world, Arizona's renewable energy economy has great potential," Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in a statement.

Chinese Tier-2 Modules Offered Below $1/W

Prices for crystalline-silicon (c-Si) solar photovoltaic (PV) modules fell below the $1/W mark in January 2012, and in some cases well below even that, marking the first time that global average prices have fallen below this milestone, according to IMS Research.

Civilisation faces 'perfect storm of ecological and social problems'

Abuse of the environment has created an 'absolutely unprecedented' emergency, say Blue Planet prizewinners

Celebrated scientists and development thinkers today warn that civilisation is faced with a perfect storm of ecological and social problems driven by overpopulation, overconsumption and environmentally malign technologies.

Clean Vehicle display. Legislator Breakfast and awards to this years Clean Air Champions!!

Arizona Clean Cities Coalitions recognize local National Partners, school districts, and other Clean Air Champions at the annual Arizona Clean Cities Legislative Breakfast-Phoenix and Tucson Clean Cities Coalitions will honor major alternative fuel users in our state at their annual Legislative Breakfast on Tuesday, February 28, 2012, on the south lawn of the Arizona State Capitol. 

Coal-to-gas switching seen rising in West, Texas and Louisiana: Barclays

Low natural gas prices will "for the first time" lead generators in Texas, Louisiana and the western US to begin switching from coal, Barclays Capital analysts are predicting.

Conservatives’ War on Women

If one is pro-life, wouldn’t it be preferable to prevent pregnancy via contraception rather than force women to have unwanted pregnancies, and then face the prospect of abortion, either legally or illegally?

Consumers must value energy efficiency

"Consumers need to understand and believe that there is a value in what you are proposing for them," said Paula Carmody, a consumer regulatory advocate for the state of Maryland.

Don't Cut Off Our Clean Air

The Clean Air Act has a 40-year track record of cutting dangerous pollution—all while providing a net economic benefit to the country. The historic mercury and air toxics standard and soon to be released draft standards that will reduce carbon from power plants will save lives and contribute to a much-needed transition to a clean energy economy.

Earth's Clouds Are Getting Lower, NASA Satellite Finds

Earth's clouds got a little lower -- about one percent on average -- during the first decade of this century, finds a new NASA-funded university study based on NASA satellite data. The results have potential implications for future global climate.

Emp and Faraday Cages

The reality of protecting all electronic equipment against EMP from a nuclear explosion over our shores is becoming imminent. We now live in perilous times.

The information to follow on building "Faraday cages" is timely indeed.

Energy storage: key to renewables

Energy storage is well known in off-grid installations, but how can energy storage be used as a way of accessing the grid for connected renewable energy systems?

Fed: Income Inequality Rose to Record Level in 2010

“The bottom 20 percent of the U.S. population has never done so poorly, relative to the median, during the whole postwar period,” Fabrizio Perri and Joe Steinberg wrote in a paper released Tuesday by the Minneapolis Fed. “Low-earning households have become, during the course of the Great Recession, more vulnerable due to large losses in wealth.”

‘Friends of Syria’ to issue ultimatum to Assad

Western and Arab powers are to push Syria to allow in desperately needed humanitarian aid at an international conference on Friday aimed at boosting pressure on President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

More than 60 nations are gathering in Tunisia for the crucial “Friends of Syria” conference, which will also seek to further isolate Assad’s regime and support the country’s opposition.

Germany Slashes FIT Subsidies in an Effort to Rein in Solar Power Installations

Solar power has grown so massively in Germany that the government now plans to rein in the boom in photovoltaic installations by cutting generous subsidiaries.

Healthy Milk: What Is It?

A report from Harvard suggests that milk from factory farms may be associated with hormone-related cancers because of the industrial agricultural practice of milking a cow throughout her pregnancy. The later in pregnancy a cow is, the more hormones appear in her milk.

Hepatitis C killing more Americans than HIV: studies

Hepatitis C has surpassed HIV as a killer of U.S. adults, and screening all “baby boomers” could be one way to stem the problem, according to two new government studies.

Illinois Researchers Identify Promising New Biofuel

Biofuel production has ratcheted up to become a major part of America's energy and agricultural industries. Corn, or maize, is by far the most widely grown crop to be converted into ethanol. However, the dominance of maize in the biofuel industry is not without its pitfalls. Now, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have identified a temperate-tropical maize hybrid that can potentially revolutionize biofuels in this country. The maize hybrid has the potential to increase ethanol production for each unit of plant material, and minimize the environmental cost of biofuel production.

Increased Manufacturing Across US Drives Up Demand for Freight Transportation

“The demand for freight transportation has been a boon to both the rolling stock and intermodal industries”
Freight tonnage in December 2011 hit a 13-year high, up 10.5 percent compared to December 2010.

Libya: Crisis-Plagued Government Struggles for Control

The failure of Libya’s National Transitional Council to create any real government structure since taking control of the country last November is contributing to a breakdown of order in the country and will complicate upcoming elections. Unless the Council moves quickly to solidify its authority, Libya could lapse into a group of warring independent municipalities with no central government. Or worse.

Low Levels of Fallout from Fukushima Release

There is always concern when something radioactive is released as to what its downwind effects might be. Certainly there are effects at the actual site but thousands of miles away? Fallout from the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power facility in Japan was measured in minimal amounts in precipitation in the United States in about 20 percent of 167 sites sampled in a nationwide study released today.

Mideast Expert Phares: Obama Turns Blind Eye to Iranian Peril

Middle East expert Walid Phares tells Newsmax that the Obama administration is not convinced that the Iranians pose a serious danger — even as a top Iranian official declared that his country is prepared to launch a pre-emptive strike.

My Garden Secret

My garden is still half-frozen, but I already know I'll be enjoying a bumper crop of giant vegetables this fall.

New Front Launched In Battle Against Global Warming

Six nations joined UNEP today in announcing a new international effort to pursue action to limit non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions. In the wake of the Durban negotiations that largely deferred action on an international climate agreement until 2020, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Limit Short-term Pollutants is being initiated to combat non-CO2 emissions responsible for up to a third of global warming.

New method for regrowing blood vessels developed

University of Texas at Austin researchers have developed a method that may speed up the body's ability to grow new blood vessels

New vaccine is effective against all major strains of hepatitis C

Due to the virulence of hepatitis C, which is greater than HIV, it was thought that developing a vaccine effective against the different strains around the world would be impossible.

Next Five Years: 4x the Energy Storage (Maybe)

Energy storage is always an issue, whether it’s storing enough power to run an electric car or storing enough solar-generated electricity to supply power while the sun isn’t shining. KEMA, a global energy consultancy company headquartered in the Netherlands, recently released a report analyzing U.S. energy storage over the next five years. In a nutshell, the market is expected to quadruple.

Next Five Years Crucial to Energy Storage

Energy storage is getting a bump in the president’s proposed 2013 budget. It’s an extra boost that the industry says that it needs to get out of the lab and into market. Just how far off is the concept whereby such stored power is released when the wind dies down or the sun doesn’t shine?

Obama Proposes Tax Reform, Making Renewables Credits Permanent

 The US Federal Government is making another pitch for business-tax reform, and within that thrust it is underscoring its support for renewable energy.

Offshore wind turbines at least 5 years away

Despite a glowing report from the governor's Scientific Advisory Panel on Offshore Energy, wind turbines most likely won't be constructed off the North Carolina coastline for at least another five years, experts say.

Palo Verde Surpasses Production Record

Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station achieved its 20th consecutive year as the nation's largest power producer. The almost 31.3 million megawatt-hours produced in 2011 is the most ever generated by Palo Verde or by any other U.S. power plant of any kind.

Poverty and Crime are Linked

In 2009, the Police Executive Research Forum surveyed over 200 local law enforcement agencies about crime trends. Local police departments said emphatically that poverty and crime are linked. (No surprise there. History has shown this to be true again and again.) And the longer the recession continues, it was suggested, the more crime there will be.

Quran burning angers Afghans; U.S. vows probe

More than 2,000 angry Afghans protested outside an American air base on Tuesday after they learned that copies of the Quran (Koran), the Muslim holy book, were burned in a pile of garbage at a sprawling U.S. military base north of Kabul.

Recycling Rates of 30 most Populous Cities

The 30 most populous cities in the United States and Canada are surveyed to gather information about their recycling programs. They are ranked according to the number of recycling- and waste-related employees.

Renewables Are a Reality: How We Can Ditch Fossil Fuels Without Any Help From Congress

Amory Lovins explains his plan for transforming our energy, transportation and industry sectors while at the same time growing our economy and cutting dirty fossil fuels.

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity

Two CMEs were observed overnight, None of the CMEs are expected to be geoeffective.a chance for a C-class activity.Solar wind speed at the ACE spacecraft decreased from approximately 530 km/s to 440 km/sThe geomagnetic field is expected to continue at mostly quiet conditions for the forecast period (24 - 26 February).

Researchers: Everything You Know About Dieting Is Wrong

Current standards in the United States, where two thirds of people are overweight or obese, advise people that cutting calories by a certain amount will result in a slow and steady weight loss over time.

But that advice fails to account for how the body changes as it slims down...

Resveratrol — There’s Clear Evidence it Fights Aging

While drinking red wine is considered beneficial to health, it must be done in moderation, she says. Taking resveratrol supplements is especially important because “significant, scientific data” shows the substance works to combat aging and serves as a mental stimulant, she says.

Retail gasoline prices on the rise: the why and how

While it pains to write this, it has to be done: consumers are facing higher retail gasoline prices and the pain at the pump is not likely to ease soon.
The strain on your wallet comes despite ample gasoline supplies and weak demand in the US, putting the brakes on the typical economic model of supply and demand.

Russia Warns Israel Not to Attack Iran: Prophetic implications?

Make no mistake: the Russian-Iranian strategic alliance that I’ve been writing about for the last several years has deepened to the point where Moscow is now unequivocally and quite openly backing the mullahs in Iran. “Russia warned Israel on Wednesday that attacking Iran would be a disastrous and played down the failure of a U.N. nuclear agency mission to Tehran, saying there is still a chance for new talks over the Iranian atomic programme,”

Sanctions noose tightens around Iran as buyers seek alternative oil

International sanctions aimed at slashing Iran's main economic lifeline, its oil revenues, could have an impact on the country's export volumes well beyond the 500,000 b/d of crude that a European Union ban will displace from July.

Second uranium mine on deck

Several months from now, miners could set to work pulling uranium from underground at a mine about an hour from Flagstaff, over the ardent objections of some.

The 2,000 Year Old American Indian Mounds of Tennessee

“In 1 A.D. the Westhaven community in Franklin was a lush, expansive environment, filled with buffalo, deer, fish and clean water. It was also inhabited by a large primitive tribe, whose name and history were lost long ago,” writes The Tennessean‘s Helen Meely.

The Promise of the Gas Revolution

Natural Gas is America’s Domestic clean foundation fuel for the present and our long-term future. Natural gas touches nearly every segment of American life.

The Race to Find 17 Rare Metals

The United States and five other countries are in a desperate hunt for 17 precious metals – metals that are essential to the defense and aerospace industries and that the West isn’t going to be getting any more from China.

Toxic Chemical Being Sold as a Health-Conscious Sweetener

Splenda Essentials pretend to be health-supporting, when in fact they seem to have more in common with pesticides than with sugar.

Trump: Gasoline to Hit $7 a Gallon This Year

Gasoline prices could soar as high as $7 a gallon this summer thanks to supply threats stemming from Middle East unrest as well as OPEC policy, says real estate mogul Donald Trump.

USA, European Union Sign Organic Foods Trade Partnership

As of June 1, 2012, organic products certified in Europe or in the United States may be sold as organic in either region under a new partnership agreement signed last week in Nurember at the BioFach World Organic Fair, the world's largest trade show for organic products.

U.S. concerned about power grid attack

U.S. officials are apparently concerned the group Anonymous may launch a cyberattack against the country's electrical grid, The Wall Street Journal reported. ...

"Ridiculous! Why should Anonymous shut off power grid? Makes no sense! They just want to make you feel afraid," a post on the AnonOps blog said.

Using hydrogen to power cars

The possibility of using hydrogen to fuel cars has often been discussed, but the access to hydrogen is the challenge. But could using methane from sewage offer a viable source of fuel for vehicle fuel cells?

Utilities are Scrubbing Their Generation Portfolios

If not older coal technology, then what is the future of electric generation? That’s the question that many utilities are asking themselves as well as their regulators and their customers. And while the most conspicuous answer is a smooth transition over to natural gas, it is not the only solution.

Wind farms push for business

Developing a wind farm from concept to an energy-producing business takes at least five years, according to an expert in the field.

"There are so many benefits, but it just takes time and every project has a different issue...

World Water Monitoring Day Relaunches With New Name, Look, And Interactive Website

Newly dubbed World Water Monitoring Challenge encourages greater participation in the program that recorded more than 300,000 participants worldwide in 2011

Yemen: Successful Election Ends President Saleh’s Rule

The symbolic one-candidate presidential election of Yemeni Vice President Abdul Rab Mansour al Hadi to formally replace President Ali Abdullah Saleh appears to have been a success and marks the latest Arab leader to be ousted by last year’s Arab Spring protests. The new president faces formidable challenges from the Saleh family, Iranian influence, and terrorist groups as he tries to restore order and heal divisions caused by Saleh.


February 21, 2012


And now, Chicago gasoline prices follow the glutted crude market down

Last week, the crude glut in the US Midwest became the gasoline glut. Consumers may finally benefit. ..But with the same breathtaking fall that saw crude prices slide, product prices in the Chicago spot market have fallen. They've fallen a lot.

Are you Ready for Anything?

Studies show that in a crisis, eight out of ten people will remain passive, relying on someone else to take charge. One out of ten will panic and endanger others in the process.

And only one out of the ten will take swift, decisive action to improve their situation. (When they do, they immediately increase their chances of survival.)

Are you that one in ten?

Artificial hamburger meat successfully grown in vat of bovine fetal cells; You want some fries with that?

I'm not sure which is the more offensive way to create meat. There's the current "factory farm" method where masses of hormone-jacked, antibiotics-injected cows are kept confined in what can only be called bovine concentration camps while they're fed genetically modified corn, then slaughtered without compassion and subjected to diabolical meat-harvesting machinery that turns a cow carcass into corporate profits. On the other hand, there's the new method being touted across the media: Test tube hamburgers made from thin strips of meat grown in a nutrient vat laced with bovine fetus stem cells. Yumm!

Audit the Fed

Trillions of dollars have been stolen from U.S. taxpayers.

You and I, right now, are seeing the worst plundering of a country's wealth in the history of civilization, led by an out-of-control Federal Reserve.

Biofuels could be competitive as aviation fuel by 2020

Some aviation biofuels could be competitive by 2020, but the take-up of biofuels by airlines is likely to be modest in the near term unless governments introduce mandates requiring their use, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Blasphemy and Free Speech 

A growing threat to our freedom of speech is the attempt to stifle religious discussion in the name of preventing “defamation of” or “insults to” religion, especially Islam. Resulting restrictions represent, in effect, a revival of blasphemy laws.

Confessions of a Drug Company Insider

In 2003, a top executive of the pharmaceutical giant Glaxo-SmithKline -- worldwide Vice President of genetics -- confessed that "The vast majority of drugs -- more than 90% -- only work in 30 to 50% of the people."

     What that means is ... most prescription drugs DON'T work on most people who take them!

Cutting costs at DOE, and getting some people annoyed in the process

For people who cover the US federal government and its sprawling bureaucracy for a living, the roll-out of the president's annual budget request can be a bit like Christmas and a bit like an Easter-egg hunt. Trawling through the thousands of pages of budget documents and sitting through budget briefing can yield charming revelations--and sometimes horrors--large and small.

De Borchgrave: New Mideast War Coming Soon

From Tunis to Tripoli to Cairo to Damascus, what seems real one day is no longer the next. Policymakers in Western capitals agree that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s suppression of dissent, with a toll of 6,000 dead so far — and still climbing — makes him the war criminal.

Energy efficiency is becoming more important

It used to be that when it was cold, you could simply turn up the heat because energy was cheap.

Now energy is so valuable that a guy can make a living advising people how to fix their houses so they don't leak so much heat, or air conditioning.

Ethanol Industry Tries To Work Off Supply Glut As Subsidy Ends

A surge in U.S. ethanol production and falling export demand are driving down prices for the corn-based fuel, curbing producer profits and causing some plants to shut.

Food Fight Spreads Across the Nation

Here are a few inspiring stories of resistance and victory we've come across in recent weeks concerning the snowballing campaign to label GMOs in the US...

Forecasted 2012 US Base Salary Increases Remain Steady

U.S. employees can expect median base salary increases of 3.0% in 2012, according to recently released Hay Group research. The median increase of 3.0% is consistent for executives, middle management, supervisory and clerical positions. This picture is relatively steady across most industry sectors, and after factoring in annualized consumer price index growth at 3.0%, expected employee wage growth is in line with inflation.

Fourth Legislative Attack on Grand Canyon Uranium Ban Fails

he fourth legislative attempt to block the Obama administration’s ban on new uranium development across 1 million acres of public land surrounding Grand Canyon National Park died Tuesday night when the House rules committee ruled it out of order. The amendment was sponsored by the same three Republican congressmen who sponsored three previous failed anti-Grand Canyon legislative proposals — Jeff Flake, Trent Franks and Paul Gosar, all from Arizona.

Fracking, Obama and the 2012 Debate

Obama said more than this about energy in his State of the Union speech almost a month ago. He talked about the near-doubling of renewable energy in the three years of his presidency and plans to develop “clean energy” on public lands. He stated that he “will not cede” the wind, solar or advanced battery industries to China or Germany. He supported programs to reduce energy waste in buildings. And he used the words “climate change” once, which was one more time than he used it in his 2011 SOTU speech.

Fuel cells boost power-plant efficiency

Adding fuel-cell technology to power plants can nearly double a plant's efficiency and cut greenhouse-gas emissions, a U.S. materials-science professor says.

Gas Drilling May Be Leaking Twice as Much Gas as Previously Thought, Study Finds

Research suggests that emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than CO2, far exceed current estimates for gas drilling and production.

Glass in Oregon recycle bins ends up in landfill

Glass placed in recycling bins in certain areas of Oregon isn´t going where residents might expect.

In Corvallis, glass picked up at the curb by Allied Waste Services, in trucks designed to carry only glass for recycling, instead finds its way to the Coffin Butte Landfill, KATU-Channel 2 in Eugene reported.

'Green' a major theme in home construction

With energy prices on the rise, companies that offer "green" technology got much of the attention at the annual Eastern Iowa Home Improvement and Landscaping Show last week.

Growth of wind energy industry in limbo

The tax credit, slated to expire on Dec. 31, provides 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity produced from wind turbines. The credit extension didn't make it into the payroll tax bill, however, and some now fear the credit won't come before lawmakers again until after November's election.

Hope from Athens found in Cold Fusion

On the heels of the riots and buildings burning, I landed in Athens to visit Defkalion and was able to see a demonstration of their test set-up for the upcoming seven testing groups. I was also impressed by the team working with the technology that could help bring remedy to Greece, Europe, and the world.

Immigration Numbers

Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of immigrants to the U.S. are not rocket scientists, doctors, or entrepreneurs. In fact, a study by the Center for Immigration Studies found that 57% of immigrant households with at least one child use at least one welfare program. Due to the large share of immigrants with low levels of education and their resulting low incomes, many newly arrived immigrants cannot find jobs and take advantage of cash and food assistance, Medicaid, and public and subsidized housing benefits that are supposed to be reserved for low-income Americans.

Indian-Killer Andrew Jackson Deserves Top Spot on List of Worst U.S. Presidents

Unlike the statement in Indian Country Today Media Network’s “Best Presidents for Indian country” story, it’s a bit easier identifying the “worst” presidents for Indian country. Five tend to stand out with the majority of the rest huddled together after that. Here are our nods to the presidents who did more harm than good for Native Americans while in office.

Iran can find alternative customers for EU oil: Total CEO

The head of France's Total, Christophe de Margerie, said Monday the company is currently sourcing crude from Saudi Arabia and other sources to replace oil it imported from Iran before it halted purchases.

Iranian warships sail into the Mediterranean

Two Iranian warships sailed through Egypt's Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea, Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency reported Saturday, amid heightened tensions in the region.

Iran says halts oil exports to UK, France; EU unfazed

Iran's announcement February 19 that it had stopped exporting oil to France and Britain appears to be a largely symbolic move targeting the two strongest advocates of the European Union's ban on Iranian oil imports.

Is there any generator known to be EMP safe?

A nuclear detonation in the atmosphere over the country, however, is an E1 pulse, a very rapid and high density pulse that is generated by the explosive force of the initial burst. E1 is the EMP variety that fries the micro-circuitry within computers and other types of electronic devices.

Italian police seize $6 trillion of fake U.S. bonds

 Italian police said on Friday they had seized about $6 trillion worth of fake U.S. Treasury bonds and other securities in Switzerland, and arrested eight Italians accused of international fraud and other financial crimes.

Land speculators see silver lining in solar projects

As large-scale solar development has spooled out into Southwestern deserts, the modern-day gold rush is about more than renewable energy. Solar companies and land speculators are gobbling up scarce private land in the California deserts, driving prices up 10- to 20-fold, or even higher

Malaysian Indigenous Communities Demand Referendum on Mega-Dams

Malaysian communities are asking the government to stop all 12 planned mega-dam projects in the state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo and to hold a referendum on dam construction.

Medical waste exports may be returning to U.S.

There may be 46.6 tons of medical waste returning to Charleston, S.C., after Brazil rejected its importation, but officials in the United States couldn´t confirm the reports, the Post and Courier reported.

Mexico community is shielding ruins

When neighbors in the hills east of Mexico City saw backhoes ripping up pre-Hispanic relics for a highway, they did something unexpected in a country where building projects often bulldoze through ruins: They launched protests to stop the digging and demanded an accounting of what is there.

Mike's energy plan blowin' in the wind

The next hurricane could power your apartment.

Mayor Bloomberg is pushing a proposal to add hundreds of wind farms on skyscrapers and lots along the city's waterfront, generating enough renewable energy to power thousands of homes.

More Than 793,000 People Call on Congress to Reject Climate-killing Keystone XL Pipeline

Over the course of only 24 hours, more than 793,000 people from around the country sent a powerful message to Congress: Don’t build the Keystone XL pipeline. The Center for Biological Diversity joined more than 40 other environmental groups, led by, on Monday and Tuesday to galvanize public opposition to the project. More than 24,700 messages opposing Keystone XL came from the Center’s supporters.

Nationwide Radium Testing Of Groundwater Shows Most Susceptible Regions Are Central U.S. And East Coast

Groundwater in aquifers on the East Coast and in the Central U.S. has the highest risk of contamination from radium, a naturally occurring radioactive element and known carcinogen.

Natural Gas: Don’t Bet on It

The natural gas industry has spent tens of millions of dollars trying to convince consumers that their product is the proverbial “silver bullet” that will save them thousands of dollars in home heating costs for years to come, if only they would switch fuels. But like almost everything else in life, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is—and the fact is, when it comes to natural gas if you scratch the surface of the industry rhetoric, it becomes abundantly clear that switching to natural gas is a sucker’s bet.

New laws around the country target scrap thieves

In a scene that is playing out all over the country, police in Boone County, Ky., have noticed an increase in scrap metal thefts.

NRC asks reactor owners to reassess accident data

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has asked the owners of 11 Westinghouse nuclear reactors in the U.S., including two owned by FirstEnergy in Shippingport, to analyze whether the nuclear power plants could overheat in the event of a catastrophic accident.

Obama Releases 2013 Budget: What's There For Clean Energy?

"We must transform our economy from one focused on speculating, spending, and borrowing to one constructed on the solid foundation of educating, innovating, and building.

Obama's budget doubles down on renewable energy

President Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget request doubles down on renewable energy amid growing Republican attacks on the administration’s green agenda.

The budget request, which was sent to Congress Monday, increases investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency at the Department of Energy.

Obama Seeks to Skirt Ban on UNESCO Funding

The United States cut off all American funding for UNESCO in November, as required by law, after the United Nations agency voted to approve the Palestinian Authority for full membership.

Oil Jumps to 9-Month High After Iran Cuts Supply, Predicted to Hit $150

Oil prices jumped to a nine-month high above $105 a barrel on Monday after Iran said it halted crude exports to Britain and France in an escalation of a dispute over the Middle Eastern country's nuclear program.

Pain at the Pump and in the Wallet: Surging Gas Prices Fuel Inflation Spike

U.S. gasoline prices jumped 0.9 percent in January, pushing overall consumer prices up at their fastest clip in four months and offering a reminder of the risks energy costs could pose to the economic recovery. [while oil companies sell OUR oil others, artifically decreasing supply to us..hence higher prices.]

'Printed' solar cells a low-cost solution?

Solar cells manufactured using special ink printed onto sheets of a supporting material could lead to new low-cost solar cells, U.S. chemical engineers say.

RealtyTrac: Foreclosures to Surge 25 Percent This Year to 1 Million Homes

Banks took back more U.S. homes in January than in the previous month, the latest sign that foreclosures are accelerating after slowing sharply last year while lenders sorted out foreclosure-abuse claims...

But RealtyTrac projects foreclosures will rise 25 percent this year to 1 million homes. Last year, lenders took back 804,000 homes.

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity

There were three C-class flares during the past 24 hours. The geomagnetic field was unsettled to active with some isolated storm periods at high latitudes.The geomagnetic field is expected to be unsettled with a chance for active periods on the first day (21 Feb) due to continued effects from the high speed stream.

Salazar Advances Blueprint for Renewable Energy Development in Arizona

“With some of the most significant solar resources in the world, Arizona’s renewable energy economy has great potential,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. “This blueprint for Arizona will help focus activity in the places where it makes the most sense to develop renewable energy, both for the companies and for the landscape.

State of the Climate Global Analysis January 2012

The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for January 2012 was the 19th warmest on record at 12.35°C (54.23°F), which is 0.35°C (0.63°F) above the 20th century average of 12.0°C (53.6°F). The margin of error associated with this temperature is +/- 0.08°C (0.14°F).

Stored bottled water…how long is it good for when stored

Theoretically, the shelf-life of water is indefinite. However, it does depend on the storage method used and the container used.

The ethics of fracking, at a very local level

"The Ethicist" is a column in The New York Times Magazine which handles often tricky questions of morality. It tends not to tsk-tsk, and the issues tend to feature many shades of grey.

The Evil Assad Regime Must be Brought Down and Face Judgement

The butchery of the Assad regime is horrifying to behold. More than 6,000 Syrians have been brutally murdered by the thugs in Damascus. The evil Assad government must be brought down and brought to justice, or face judgment

The Fracking Industry Buys Congress

A natural gas drilling rush is on in rural North Dakota. And with it, residents are reporting growing numbers of respiratory ailments, skin lesions, blood oozing from eyes, and the deaths of livestock and pets.

To be truly free, one must accept boundaries

In order to be truly free, one must accept boundaries. That sounds like an oxymoron if there ever was one, doesn’t it? Doesn’t freedom mean that no one can tell us how to act, think, worship, or live? Aren’t we living in the “if it feels good, do it” age and hence, have become more enlightened about freedom than any previous generation?

U.S. EPA changes national recycling rates

The U.S. EPA revised its 2010 Municipal Solid Waste Characterization study, saying recycling of PET containers was 29.2%, not the 21% previously reported.

U.S. law enforcement bulletin on al Qaeda merger

The merger of the Al-Shabaab terrorist group with al Qaeda could "diminish support" for Al-Shabaab within the American Somali community, but it does raise concerns it could further radicalize those sympathetic to al-Shabaab's cause, according to law enforcement officials.

U.S., Mexico Open Transboundary Gulf Waters to Oil and Gas

Officials from the United States and Mexico today signed an agreement that eases the way for exploration and development of oil and natural gas reservoirs along the United States' and Mexico's maritime boundary in the Gulf of Mexico.

US Senate Effort to Restrain EPA’s Job-Destroying Regulation

The United States Senate took the first step in setting aside a new EPA regulation on America’s coal-fueled electricity industry that would unnecessarily drive up energy costs for millions of American families and businesses. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, filed a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s Utility MACT Rule. EPA also calls the rule the MATS rule.

Wind Supporters Mobilize to Save Federal Tax Credit

Down but not out, the wind industry vows to keep a federal tax credit alive. Plus, InsideClimate News breaks down Obama's clean energy budget.

Worldwide Revenue from Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Will Reach $785 Million in 2012

As the fuel cell industry makes the transition from the R&D stage to full commercialization, breakout applications are continuing to emerge and business models and market structures are evolving rapidly.  Overall, the industry continues to expand, and the total size of the global market – including revenues from fuel cells and from hydrogen for fuel cells and internal combustion engines (ICEs) – will reach $785 million in 2012...


February 17, 2012


Aluminum and Vaccines — A Brain-Destroying Duo, Says Top Doc

Aluminum has been added to vaccines for about 90 years in the belief it spurs the body to produce disease-fighting antibodies. But aluminum is toxic, and many common vaccines, including pneumonia, tetanus, and HPV, contain large doses.

Arizona Supreme Court lets AHCCCS cuts stand

An estimated 100,000 childless adults will lose Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System coverage this fiscal year. The state has turned away an untold number since a lower-court judge allowed the cap to take effect in July.

The high court's decision effectively ends the case, which centers on a 2000 voter- approved measure that expanded the AHCCCS population. However, it lets stand an Appeals Court ruling that effectively said the budget cuts violated the measure, Proposition 204, but the court couldn't force the Legislature to obey the law.

Benefits of a Home Garden

Most people don't appreciate the health, economic, and emotional benefits of a home garden..They're so busy they never have time to consider the negative consequences of their modern "drive here, drive there" lifestyle.

Bonds proposed for clean energy

Ohio--The state would pump $1.3 billion a year into renewable energy, such as solar, wind and geothermal, under a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution.

Cancer drug reverses Alzheimer's in mice

An anticancer drug, bexarotene, reverses the physical and cognitive effects of Alzheimer's in mice in three days

Carbonized Coffee Grounds Remove Foul Smells

For coffee lovers, the first cup of the morning is one of life's best aromas. But did you know that the leftover grounds could eliminate one of the worst smells around – sewer gas?

Congress deals major blow to wind power industry

The wind industry is predicting massive layoffs and stalled or abandoned projects after a deal to renew a tax credit for wind production failed Thursday in Washington

Egypt sets presidential elections for May amid rising tensions

Egypt will hold its first presidential elections since Hosni Mubarak's 2011 ouster in May, a month earlier than previously scheduled, as part of an accelerated transition to civilian rule demanded by revolutionary political factions, state news media and officials said Wednesday.

Electric vehicle tax credit may rise

The budget President Barack Obama proposed Monday would increase the tax credit for buyers of electric vehicles -- from the $7,500 maximum to a $10,000 maximum -- and expand the credit to other "advanced technology vehicles."

Groups plan to sue U.S. nuclear regulators

The groups said the NRC is violating federal law by issuing the Vogtle license without considering important public safety and environmental implications in the wake of the catastrophic Fukushima accident in Japan.

‘He’s Our Man, Yes We Can!’: Pro-Obama Song Taught to Kindergarteners at TX School

Kindergarteners at a Texas elementary school were sent home with lyrics to a pro-President Barack Obama song that included such lines as “Barack Obama is the man” and “He’s our man, yes we can!”

Inventor seeks to tease energy from power of magnet

Clay hopes to create a machine with the magnets that will produce more energy than it takes in, a sort of perpetual motion machine. He's spent almost $200,000 so far on unworkable prototypes, but this time he said he's got it figured out.

Iran builds seven power plants worldwide

Iran is currently participating in building seven large power plants in various countries, the director of Iran Power Plant Projects Management Company (MAPNA) announced on Wednesday.

Iran proclaims nuclear advances

In defiant swipes at its foes, Iran said Wednesday it is dramatically closer to mastering the production of nuclear fuel even as the U.S. weighs tougher pressures and Tehran's suspected shadow war with Israel brings probes far beyond the Middle East.

Jordan selects nuclear reactor site

Jordanian energy officials have reached a final site for the Kingdom's first nuclear reactor as the country moves ahead with its nuclear power programme.

Libyan militias 'out of control,' Amnesty International says

Armed militias in Libya are committing human rights abuses with impunity, threatening to destabilize the country and hindering its efforts to rebuild, Amnesty International said Thursday.

New Poll:  Americans Want to Stop Iran Now, Even if that Means War

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that sanctions against Iran had not yet worked, adding that Tehran’s nuclear pursuits made it the most ‘irresponsible’ country in the world,

Obama Mulls 80 Percent Disarmament of Nuclear Arsenal

The Obama administration is weighing options for sharp new cuts to the U.S. nuclear force, including a reduction of up to 80 percent in the number of deployed weapon...

Obama's Phony Recovery

The economic data that portend recovery are totally and completely inventions of Obama's political operation. The reality is that no recovery is taking place!

Ogallala Aquifer: Approaching Catastrophe?

The massive Ogallala Aquifer, an ancient underground fresh water lake that made the Plains cornucopia possible after the 1930s Dust Bowl, is located below 8 states in the High Plains, including Kansas. It stretches, at depths ranging from a few feet to 1000 feet, from Texas to South Dakota, and covers roughly 175,000 square miles. Widely exploited only since the 1940s, it has been depleted at an alarming rate since, almost entirely for farming. The problem is causing increasing concern in a number of states including Oklahoma and Texas.

Organic Brown Rice and Arsenic

Dartmouth researchers and others have previously called attention to the potential for consuming harmful levels of arsenic via rice, and organic brown rice syrup may be the latest culprit on the scene.

Planet Venus slowing down

The rotation of the planet Venus is slowing down, according to recent data gathered by the European Space Agency's Venus Express satellite. Peering through the planet's dense atmosphere with infrared imaging, the orbiter saw surface features up to 20 km (12.4 miles) from their expected location. The discrepancy could be explained if the Venusian day has lengthened by six and a half minutes since the planet's speed of rotation was established 16 years ago.

Report: More trees could be cut for biomass plants

The report, released today by two environmental groups, says the expanding biomass industry will look at cutting trees to fuel the power plants, a departure from the current practice of using waste wood from sawmills and other sources.

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity

The disk and limb were quiet and stable.  No Earth-directed CMEs were observed during the period.chance for C-class activity for the next three dayshe geomagnetic field is expected to be at mostly quiet levels on day one (17 February) through late on day two (18 February).  Late on day two and through day three (19 February), field activity is expected to increase to quiet to unsettled levels, with isolated active levels, due to recurrent coronal hole high speed stream effects.

Resistance to fracking disclosure may be 'Achilles' heel': Salazar

Concerns over potential contamination of drinking water from hydraulic fracturing could be allayed by new rules requiring disclosure of fracking chemicals that the US Interior Department will roll out in the coming weeks, and a failure to be transparent about the ingredients may doom the industry, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Tuesday.

Scientists Hail Alzheimer's Breakthrough

Scientists who have generated brain tissue from human skin are claiming a major breakthrough.

The researchers wrote on the University of Cambridge website that their findings could speed up the hunt for new treatments for diseases of the cerebral cortex, such as epilepsy and autism, to neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

States Gear Up Coastal and Environmental Conservation Initiatives as Studies Indicate Increasing Frequency of Intense Storms, Storm Surges

A new MIT-Princeton University study examining the prospective impacts of extreme storms and storm surges based on a range of climate change scenarios indicates that what were once 100-year and 500-year events would become 3 to 20 and 25 to 240-year events.

States Leading a Pro-Growth Rebellion

Economies in states with right-to-work laws grow significantly faster than those in forced-union states, have higher employment growth, attract more residents, and have more rapid growth in state and local tax revenues than forced-union states.

Study says insecticide used with GM corn highly toxic to bees

An insecticide used as a seed treatment on genetically modified corn and other crops has been found to be highly toxic to honey bees, according to a study published recently in the journal PLoS ONE


It's an unusual story because we learned that an entire civilization lived and thrived on this easily stockpiled super-food. Not only that... the ancient warriors of this mountain empire carried this stuff with them everywhere they went because it was so incredibly nutrient-dense. (Legend has it they were able to march for days on a single hand-full.)

Survival of Fish with Antifreeze in Antarctica

"A rise of 2 degrees centigrade of water temperature will likely have a devastating impact on this Antarctic fish lineage, which is so well adapted to water at freezing temperatures," ..The successful origin and diversification into 100 species of fish, collectively called notothenioids, is a textbook case of how evolution operates.

Swiss satellite being sent to clean up the mess in outer space

NASA currently monitors approximately 17,000 pieces of space junk that are orbiting the earth at extremely high speeds. These odds and ends consist of things like dead satellites, spent rocket stages and parts that have broken off of spacecraft. As the amount of junk increases, it becomes increasingly difficult for functioning satellites to avoid colliding with it.

Syria crisis: UN assembly adopts Arab-backed resolution

The UN General Assembly has voted in favour of a resolution condemning human rights violations in Syria and calling for an end to the violence.

The Arab-backed initiative, which also calls on President Bashar al-Assad to resign, is the latest of several attempts to bring an end to the crisis.

Thermal Storage Gets More Solar on the Grid

It's 4:45 on a sweltering August afternoon, and the rooftop solar panels are starting to lose juice. The sun's lower angles and that huge cottonwood tree are interfering with the efficient photon-to-electricity transfer.

What is an environmentally conscious — but air-conditioning-loving — homeowner to do?

Transparent Iron

When one thinks of iron one thinks of a dull grey solid. Transparent iron is an odd thought. The effect of electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) is a known phenomena from laser physics. With intense laser light of a certain wavelength it is possible to make a non-transparent material transparent for light of another wavelength.

USDA’s Culture War Against Sacred Places

Amid the top-volume crossfire these days about whose religion and whose health could be threatened by federal actions, it’s noteworthy that debaters and bloviators alike don’t notice or don’t care about ongoing violations of Native American Peoples’ religious freedom and well being.

Wind energy tax credit discarded

It's a tax credit that supposedly has no enemies, but that wasn't true as a House and Senate conference committee finished work on a hard-fought tax bill Tuesday night -- only to leave out the much-sought-after production tax credit for the wind power industry.

World Economic Forum lists top 10 emerging technologies for 2012

The World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies has drawn up a list of the top 10 emerging technologies for 2012


February 14, 2012



After "lemming" exodus, manufacturers look to U.S.

Big U.S. manufacturers moved their production out of the country too quickly over the past decades and now see a competitive advantage in building up their footprints back home, top executives said on Monday.

Anonymous invites CIA, others to its weekend party

Anonymous is having a busy weekend.

The loose-knit hacking collective, which last week scored a coup against the FBI, claimed yesterday to have taken down the CIA's Web site, in what appeared to be a distributed denial of service attack (one of the group's specialties, such relatively unsophisticated attacks paralyze Web servers with waves of data requests).


Arab League Steps Up Pressure on Syria and Calls for U.N. Help

The Arab League asked the United Nations Security Council on Sunday to send a peacekeeping mission to Syria, and it called on Arab nations to sever diplomatic relations with Damascus in an effort to pressure the government to end the violence there.

Don't Eat it: Linked to Cancer and Gets into Your Blood

n November 2011, about 250 Boulder County residents attended a public meeting to discuss the planting of GM (genetically modified) crops on county-owned land.

Their turnout, together with an anti-GMO (genetically modified organism) recommendation from the county's Food and Agriculture Policy Council, led county officials to vote for a phase out of genetically engineered crops on open space.

Economists to WSJ: Fed’s Low Rate Plan May Create Crisis

Many economists say that if the Federal Reserve follows through on its plan to keep interest rates near record lows through late 2014, it risks an inflationary crisis.

Electric cars in China bigger polluters

While electric cars have been seen as environmentally friendly, the researchers determined they are in fact responsible for more overall harmful particulate matter pollution than gasoline cars, a university release reported Monday.

February shaping up strongly for Midwest oil refiners

February is shaping up nicely for US Midwest refiners, who are enjoying robust margins courtesy of another Brent/WTI spread blowout.

Federal Mortgage Deal Slight Positive for US Banks

Fitch Ratings believes the federal and state settlement over alleged deficiencies in residential mortgage loan origination and foreclosure practices is a slight positive for participating banks as it caps litigation risk pertaining to these activities.

First Solar may have to buy back solar energy project

First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) said construction permit issues might undo the October sale of the 230 MW Antelope Valley solar project in California to Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC) because the U.S. Department of Energy has not released the funds for the project.

Fitch: New Nuclear Plant May Spur Few More

itch Ratings believes that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) vote on February 9 approving the combined construction and operating license (COL) for Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 is a significant milestone in the development of new nuclear capacity in the US but has limited impact on credit.

Furry sock shoes designed for walking, running and sports

Swiss Protection Socks from Swiss Barefoot put a whole new spin on the barefoot movement. These are essentially big, burly socks that are designed to be worn not inside shoes, but instead of them. The manufacturer claims that the socks are hefty enough to protect your feet from the pain and dangers of walking completely barefoot.

GM crops: Follow the money

Supposedly objective scientific and economic assessments of the benefits of genetically modified crops are often biased by the fact they are funded by the very organisations they analyse, argues Wenonah Hauter.

Government officials flee Zhejiang village over land grab protests

Another Chinese village, apparently inspired by the Wukan uprising of last year, has been protesting over land grabs, causing the local government officials to flee. Around 5000 villagers of East and West Panhe Villages, Cangnan County, in Zhejiang Province, are now reported to be running the village themselves.

Greek parliament approves crucial austerity bill

Greece's parliament has approved an austerity and debt-relief bill, crucial for the country to avoid bankruptcy and remain in the eurozone.

Have Bees Become Canaries In the Coal Mine? Why Massive Bee Dieoffs May Be a Warning About Our Own Health

What scientists are beginning to understand about the cause of colony collapse could be a message for all of us.

It's often said that we have bees to thank for one out of every three bites we take of food. In addition to producing honey, honeybees literally criss-cross the United States, pollinating almonds, oranges, melons, blueberries, pumpkins, apples, and more. And while carrots are a biennial root crop that are harvested long before they flower, all carrots are planted from seed, and honeybees pollinate the carrot flowers that produce the seeds. Other species of bees, both social and solitary bees, pollinate other crops. And the populations of all these species of bees are in decline.

Hope for the Future

It's easy to forget how much safer, richer, warmer, cleaner and healthier we are than previous generations. There is hope for the future; we can live on this planet in a sustainable way.

Is 'Prescription for Disaster' Our 'Most Optimistic' Climate Future?

New climate information from French scientists indicate that global warming of 2 C is the "most optimistic" scenario. Yet this is the amount of warming James Hansen has referred to as a "prescription for disaster."

Israel blames Iran for India and Georgia bombing attempts; Tehran denies role

Israel accused Iran of responsibility for twin bombing attempts aimed at Israeli embassy personnel in New Delhi and Tbilisi, Georgia, on Monday, fueling a growing confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program.

Is There Poison in Our Food? Concerns About BPA

The synthetic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) — often found in plastic containers and the linings of metal cans — is a potent, estrogen-mimicking compound that can leach from containers into food and water. In this interview, published by Yale Environment 360

Jakarta Port Officials Seize 113 Illegal Containers of Hazwaste

Environmental groups in Indonesia, the Philippines and the United States are pleased that Indonesian authorities seized 113 shipping containers full of toxic waste at Indonesia's largest port, but they warn that the country is still vulnerable to illegal waste shipments from abroad.

Japan nuclear plant operator logs 1-billion-dollar operating loss

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) booked a quarterly operating loss of 83.8 billion yen (1.08 billion dollars) mainly due to mounting fuel costs for thermal power to replace decreased nuclear generation after last year's atomic accident, the company said Monday.

Kids have been sleep-deprived for more than 100 years: study

xperts have been worried about sleep-deprived kids for more than 100 years, and the demands of "modern life" are usually to blame, according to a new study.

Letters To Off The Grid Editor

There continues to be this nagging notion in my thoughts and beliefs that something is going to happen and I had better be prepared for me and my family, and perhaps my neighbors who are blinded by what is going on in America and the world. They keep saying it’s been worse then this, but if they read any history, they will know that’s not true! As an old Scout leader, I continue to express our motto about being prepared.

Make Your Own No-Space Potato Barrel

Enjoy homegrown potatoes no matter how much space you have with these step-by-step instructions for creating and using a potato barrel.

Mall installs solar panels

A steady supply of light and acres of flat, empty roofs created the perfect opportunity for Glimcher Realty Trust to equip its sprawling Jersey Gardens mall in Elizabeth, N.J., with a sea of solar panels.

Michigan students get excited about recycling

The students are definitely excited.

"If I can get four students that will recycle more than they did at the beginning of December, it´s a huge success," Biolette said. "If I can get the entire student population, 60%, 70% or 80% of them more engaged in recycling and have them continue that philosophy forward, that´s phenomenal."

Moody's Adjusts Ratings of 9 European Sovereigns to Capture Downside Risks

As anticipated in November 2011, Moody's Investors Service has yesterday adjusted the sovereign debt ratings of selected EU countries in order to reflect their susceptibility to the growing financial and macroeconomic risks emanating from the euro area crisis and how these risks exacerbate the affected countries' own specific challenges.

Native American Survival Skills

It has been said that knowledge is power, and that applies to any area in life. Of course, it is important to arm and prepare, but it is even more important to constantly learn new aspects of survival. Some of these arts and sciences have been lost in the last century, as modern life has caused humanity to know more how to use a smartphone rather than how to build a fire. It is easy to gloss over these skills like an old memory, when you can simply pop at TV dinner in the microwave when you are hungry.

Nepal's Vulture "Restaurants" For Endangered Birds

In the village of Pithauli, surrounded by ripening mustard fields, a woman hauls a cow carcass on a trolley, drops it in an open field, then runs and hides in a nearby hut as dozens of vultures swoop down.

In under half an hour, the carcass has been reduced to picked bones by the dun-colored birds, occasionally squabbling as they feed.

New emissions rules could lead to new plant

State legislators repealed one of New Mexico's two carbon cap-and-trade laws Feb. 6, and Farmington electric utility officials are hoping the second one will be repealed in March.

If so, it could mean a new natural gas power plant for the area, which would provide more power and an increase in revenue for the city.

Obama's Residential Proposal has Mixed Potential

Fitch Ratings says that some of the proposed changes by President Obama could be positive for the U.S. residential market. We also believe some will be neutral and some potentially negative. Most could face fierce political opposition. Obama first spoke of these during the State of the Union address on January 24 and some of the details were released on February 1 by the White House Office of the Press Secretary.
Two of the proposals could have a material impact on the market but their passage is uncertain.

OPEC cuts call on crude to 30.04 million b/d

OPEC's 12 member countries produced an average 30.898 million b/d in January, nearly 900,000 b/d more than their new output ceiling which came into effect at the beginning of the year and some 1.35 million b/d above expected demand for OPEC crude in the first quarter, the oil cartel's Vienna secretariat said February 9.

Petitions won't stop nuke plant relicensing

The chorus of local communities and elected leaders trying to temporarily halt the relicensing of the Seabrook nuclear station is growing, but their petitions alone will not stop it.

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity

Solar activity is expected to be very low to low with the chance for M-class flares over the next 3 days (14-16 February).an anticipated glancing blow from the CME on 14  February is expected at Earth, with a subsequent increase in geomagnetic activity.

Solar without Subsidies?

So now, whatever the merits of the specific accusations about Solyndra may be, the company's bad name is being used to smear all of solar...

"I see solar today as going through something very similar to what the telecom industry or what the personal computer went through," he said. "We're in a transformative phase."

Suppressed Technology or Urban Legend? The Truth About Water-Powered Cars

Stories of conspiracies to suppress new technological breakthroughs that threaten the status quo are almost innumerable. While most of these tales seem to be a bit on the tall side, in some instances there really does appear to be some fire behind the smoke. Scam artists and hucksters may outnumber the true unappreciated or unacknowledged geniuses by 10 to 1 (or maybe it is more like 100 to 1), but that does not mean that every single new discovery that gets rejected by the scientific and media establishment is automatically unworthy of consideration. And make no mistake – those who have vested interests in entrenched technologies are not above taking devious actions designed to squelch any potential competition, and it would be naïve to the extreme to think otherwise.

Syrian forces attack opposition, Arabs mull arms support

Syrian government forces attacked opponents of President Bashar al-Assad in cities and towns across the country on Tuesday and Arab officials confirmed that regional governments would be ready to arm the resistance if the bloodshed did not cease.

The 1887 Dawes Act: The U.S. Theft of 90 Million Acres of Indian Land

In his Executive Order declaring November 2011 “Native American Heritage Month,” U.S. President Barack Obama said that his administration “recognizes the painful chapters in our shared history.” As a key part of that history, today marks the 125th year since the U.S. Congress passed the Dawes General Allotment Act in 1887.

The sudden sharp collapse of Canadian and North Dakota oil prices

Consumers paying gasoline prices derived from roughly $100 WTI or $115 Brent are going to find this hard to believe, but there's one place in the oil market where suddenly, there is way too much crude. And prices are showing it. 

U.S. clears path for offshore wind farms

Wind farms could soon be on the horizon for much of the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Coast, both figuratively and literally. The Interior Department has completed a study examining how offshore wind development would affect the region, announcing Feb. 3 that it threatens "no significant environmental and socioeconomic impacts."

US seeks to mine social media to predict future

The U.S. government is seeking software that can mine social media to predict everything from future terrorist attacks to foreign uprisings, according to requests posted online by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

World's largest offshore wind farm opens for business

Walney wind farm off the coast of Cumbria in the UK yesterday became the world's largest offshore wind facility. One hundred and two turbines over 73 sq km (28 sq miles) provide a maximum output of 367.2 MW. It's claimed the facility will provide enough power for about 320,000 homes - half as many again as the total number in Cumbria

WWF Connects Tiger Habitat Destruction to Toilet Paper

The increasing number of Americans who use Paseo or Livi brands of toilet tissue are contributing to the destruction of the Indonesian rainforest and tiger habitat, finds a World Wildlife Fund report released Wednesday.


February 10, 2012


After Fukushima, Nine Groups Head to Court Over Vogtle Reactor Safety

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is expected to decide as early as Thursday whether to license two new reactors at the site of the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia, but nine national, state and regional groups are asking the agency to delay its decision until the groups can file a challenge in federal court.

Arizona to Receive $1.6 Billion from National Mortage Settlement and additional $10 million on Separate Settlement

Attorney General Tom Horne announced that at 11:00 p.m. last night, Arizona reached agreement to join a landmark $25 billion joint federal-state agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers over foreclosure abuses and fraud, and unacceptable nationwide residential mortgage servicing practices.  Arizona’s share is over $1.6 billion.
The agreement reached last night includes settlement of Arizona’s separate lawsuit against Bank of America.

Assad ready for talks, 'fully commits' to end violence - Lavrov

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has announced that President Assad has agreed to send a government delegation to Moscow to meet with representatives of the opposition.

Average US 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Holds at All-Time Record Low

30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.87 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending February 9, 2012, matching last week when it also averaged 3.87 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.05 percent. 

Cold plasma used to kill bacteria on raw chicken

Now, recent research from a food safety team at Pennsylvania's Drexel University offers proof-of-concept for what may one day be a common approach to preventing food-borne illness from raw poultry and meat products - the use of high-energy, low temperature plasma to eliminate unwanted bacteria while leaving the food basically unchanged.

Could the renewables industry suffer from a lack of scarce metals?

It is not just in laptop computers, mobile telephones and LED screens that scarce metals are to be found but also in solar cells, batteries for mobile technologies and many other similar applications. And the rising demand for these metals increases the risk of a bottleneck in supplies...

Davos 2012, 'Joblessness and Its Discontents'

Many of the problems that were discussed stemmed from the American financial crisis of 2008-2009, arguably the product of a market failure, and the European sovereign crisis of 2011-12, arguably a state failure. Together, they have created what one participant termed "a lost decade." Young people trying to enter the labor market for the first time during one of these crises may already be consigned to what another commentator deemed a "lost generation."

FDA Says No to the Senators Who Drafted DSHEA

According to our sources, the rogue agency is digging in its heels on the NDI draft guidance that threatens so many supplements, refusing to listen to Congress or follow the intent of the law.
Senators Orrin Hatch and Tom Harkin met with Dr. Daniel Fabricant of the FDA on January 26 to request that the FDA withdraw its NDI draft guidance altogether—a meeting that ANH-USA, together with some trade groups, helped set up.

"Fracture putty" could speed healing of broken bones

The U.S. Department of Defense is funding a study, to develop fast bone-healing treatments that could be used on soldiers, along with civilians and even animals. Already, scientists have gotten promising results in laboratory tests, using something they call "fracture putty."

Fukushima No. 2 plant was 'near meltdown'

The Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant was "near meltdown" after being hit by tsunami following the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, according to the head of the plant.

Gadhafi regime missiles still missing

Inspectors searching for shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles amassed by Moammar Gadhafi and prized by terrorists can't account for potentially thousands of them.

"The frank answer is we don't know and probably never will," said Andrew Shapiro, an assistant secretary of State.

Genetically modified crops had bumper year in 2011

U.S. farmers and those in developing countries helped drive a surge in new plantings of genetically modified crops around the globe in 2011, even in the face of resistance from Europe and from those who think such crops ought to carry special labels.

Get the Frack Out Of Here!

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday Dec. 8, 2011 in Wyoming, for the first time that fracking may be to blame for causing groundwater pollution. The EPA also emphasized that the findings are specific to the Pavillion area. The agency said the fracking that occurred in Pavillion differed from fracking methods used elsewhere in regions with different geological characteristics.

Good news, bad news

EPIA Secretary General

The year 2012 began with a good news/bad news mix for the solar photovoltaic industry. The good news? The market for PV has continued to grow in Europe and around the world (see EPIA’s new “Market Report 2011” for the full story). The bad news? Some European governments are backing away from support schemes that in recent years have helped shrink the competitiveness gap between PV and conventional electricity sources.

Greek political parties delayed yet again

Greek political parties delayed yet again on Tuesday making the tough choice of accepting painful reforms in return for a new international bailout to avoid a chaotic default, seemingly deaf to EU warnings that the euro zone can live without Athens.

Greeks clinch austerity deal, lenders skeptical

Greek political leaders clinched a long-delayed deal on Thursday on harsh austerity measures and reforms required to secure a second international bailout in two years but the country's financial backers reacted skeptically.

Hertz First To Trial Wireless EV Recharging

The trial, the first of its kind in the world, will help to establish the United States as the EV market leader. The trial will follow Hertz, and leaders from five other industry segments, as they trial Plugless Power systems on their own electric vehicles. Participants will provide feedback on daily usage routines, user interfaces, and any additional functionality needed. The Plugless Power system is supplied by Evatran based in Virginia.

IEA raises estimate of Japanese oil demand for power sector

The International Energy Agency said Friday it has raised its estimate of the amount of additional oil Japan's power generation sector will buy in 2012 as a result of ongoing nuclear outages following last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Iran evades US sanctions by paying with gold

Iran bought 200,000 tons of Australian, and possibly US, wheat last week with gold. Commodities traders say Iran is also pitching oil barter deals for grains.

Iran moves to speed ban on oil exports to EU

Members of the Iranian parliament are moving to accelerate a bill that would halt oil exports to the European Union ahead of an EU ban on oil imports from Iran that comes into force on July 1, and which would also ban imports of goods from the EU, Iranian news agencies reported February 7.

Iran Says To Go Green As Oil Sanctions Tighten

With Iran's biggest buyers cutting imports of its crude and looking for other suppliers, Tehran says the time is right for the world's fifth largest oil producer and the second biggest gas holder to go green.

Iran's renewable sector is tiny, as in much of the Middle East where investments have been focused on building energy-hungry industry fuelled by cheap oil and gas.

Israel teams with terror group to kill Iran's nuclear scientists, U.S. officials tell NBC News

 Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders.

Japan's Tepco maintains Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear operations after quake

Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Company is maintaining normal operations at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in northwestern Japan after a strong earthquake hit the region Wednesday evening, a company official said Thursday.

La Niña is likely to transition to ENSO-neutral conditions during March-May 2012

A majority of models predict La Niña to weaken through the rest of the Northern Hemisphere winter 2011-12, and then to dissipate during the spring 2012

Learning From the Self-Destructive Disappearance of the Easter Island Polynesian Society

There are societies throughout human history that have seemed to simply vanish.  These stories, from the disappearing civilizations of the Maya to the Khmer, both of whom have left behind the astonishing spoils of their culture when it was at its peak, are enduring mysteries as well as grave reminders of how quickly a powerful society can be destroyed.  Or, as is the case with the indigenous culture of the Easter Islands, destroy themselves.

Marguerite Bay Glaceration

...there is some evidence that the retreat occurred at a time when warmer water was present on the continental shelf, leading us to suggest that the Marguerite Bay ice stream may have been destabilized, at least in part, by changes in the ocean.

New Study Reveals People with Easy-to-Pronounce Names Are Favored at Work and in Personal Life

Having a simple, easy-to-pronounce name is more likely to win you friends and favor in the workplace, a study by Dr Simon Laham at the University of Melbourne and Dr Adam Alter at New York University Stern School of Business, has found.

Non-surgical procedure repairs severed nerves in minutes

The team took advantage of a mechanism similar to that which permits many invertebrates to regenerate and repair nerve damage. The new procedure, based on timely application of common chemicals to the severed nerve ends, could help patients to recover nearly full function in days or weeks.

NREL research dispels solar cost myths

According to research conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Chinese solar manufacturers do not enjoy any cost saving advantages over those solar manufacturers in the United States. This research dispels incorrect assumptions of the opposite and confirms that Chinese production of crystalline silicon solar technology for the U.S. market costs more than U.S. production for the domestic market, when the costs of shipping are included.

Nuclear Fusion's Power Reverberates

Whether it’s the 21st Century’s version of Stars Wars is yet to be seen. But advocates of nuclear fusion are saying that it would be life-changing while politicos are helping to bring it one step closer to reality. 

Obama's Sneaky Treaties

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are entering negotiations over -- or seeking ratification of -- five treaties that could radically limit our national sovereignty and the reach of our democratic institutions. Particularly scary is that the treaties, once signed and ratified, have the same status as constitutional law and cannot be altered or eclipsed by Congress or state legislatures. And their provisions must be enforced by U.S. courts.

Oil Near $99 as Investors Eye Greece, US Demand

Oil prices rose slightly above $99 a barrel on Thursday, supported by investors' faith in a bailout deal for Greece even as U.S. crude demand lagged behind the overall improvement in the world's biggest economy.

OPEC cuts call on crude to 30.04 million b/d

OPEC's 12 member countries produced an average 30.898 million b/d in January, nearly 900,000 b/d more than their new output ceiling which came into effect at the beginning of the year and some 1.35 million b/d above expected demand for OPEC crude in the first quarter, the oil cartel's Vienna secretariat said February 9.

Ozone Pollution Damage Crops Across Continents

Man-made air pollution from Southeast Asia causes the loss of 6.7 million tonnes of wheat and about 11.6 million tonnes of rice globally each year, while pollutants from North America reduce wheat yields in Europe by 1.2 million tonnes each year, according to a new study.

Photovoltaic nanoshell "whispering galleries" trap light for more efficient solar cells

The new material consists of tiny hollow spheres, made out of nanocrystalline-silicon. While nanocrystalline-silicon has good electrical efficiency and is able to stand up to the damaging effects of sunlight, is isn't particularly good at absorbing light - in past attempts at using it for photovoltaics, it has had to be thickly layered, which has in turn resulted in long manufacturing times. That's where the spheres - known as nanoshells - come into play.

Plantings Of Biotech Crops Grow Globally In 2011: Report

The United States remained the primary backer of biotech crop technology in 2011, but adoption spread internationally as the total global planted area of genetically modified seeds grew 8 percent from a year ago, according to a report issued Tuesday.

Proposed Utah mine expansion reflects politics of coal

It was the simple beauty of the sagebrush hills and the first-rate fishing that drew Vince Salvato here 15 years ago. "All I wanted was a quiet, pristine place with clean air," he said, sipping sarsaparilla inside Bronco Bobbi's curio shop in this tiny town in southern Utah. "That's why I came here."

But the tranquillity has been broken by the day-and-night rumble of trucks ferrying coal from a strip mine near Bryce Canyon National Park to a power plant three hours to the north.

Public is urged to fight Westar deal

A proposed settlement in Westar Energy's latest customer rate case would grant the utility a $50 million annual increase in electric rates, of which more than 80 percent -- or $41 million -- residents and small businesses would have to pay.

Putin warns West against interfering and says he plans to lead Russia 'for years to come'

Tens of thousands of Russians have turned out repeatedly in the past two months for protests calling for a rerun of the December parliamentary vote marred by accusations of fraud.

Rate increase blamed on sun power

Hawaiian Electric Co. customers installed a record amount of solar power generating capacity on their rooftops last year, causing a reduction in utility revenue that HECO says it will have to make up with an increase in rates.

Renewable industries call for production tax credit extension

In a statement, company and trade association leaders expressed concern for a looming crisis that has put thousands of jobs in these states at risk. The call comes as opponents of renewable energy tax policy place the future of these industries in jeopardy.

Report: Attorneys General Near $25B Foreclosure Settlement With Big Banks

With holdout attorneys general in California and New York set to sign on, multiple reports Wednesday night said a nationwide foreclosure settlement with five major banks could be made official as early as Thursday.

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity

C-class flaring, produced two B9 x-ray events.  No Earth-directed CMEs were observed during the period.Solar activity is expected to remain at low levels for the next three days (10 - 12 February).  A slight
chance for M-class activity existsThe geomagnetic field was at quiet to unsettled levels with isolated active periods observed at high latitudes. 

Retinal Prosthesis posts encouraging results in clinical trial

Second Sight has published interim results of an international clinical trial showing encouraging results in blind patients suffering severe retinitis pigmentosa (RP) - a group of genetic degenerative eye conditions that leads to incurable blindness.

Scientists Melt Mystery Over Icecaps And Sea Levels

U.S. scientists using satellite data have established a more accurate figure of the amount of annual sea level rise from melting glaciers and ice caps which should aid studies on how quickly coastal areas may flood as global warming gathers pace.

Shale Gas -- Friend or Foe?

Over reliance on Natural Gas to supply base-load power plants introduces a risk dependency relationship. Duke Energy Corp. CEO James E. Rogers said the U.S. should be careful about relying on natural gas for energy. The electric utilities' increased demand for Natural Gas may cause a price revision by late 2012. Commodity traders expect to see buying opportunities through 2013 while sellers are advised to wait until mid-2012 at the earliest.

Shocking the Brain Improves Memory

Stimulating the brain with an electrical current can improve memory, according to a study that suggests a novel approach to treating Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Sierra Club: Closings a victory for clean air

The closing of three power plants in West Virginia is "a victory for clean air and local residents' health," a Sierra Club release said.

The three plants -- Albright, Rivesville and Willow Island, near Parkersburg -- are slated for retirement Sept. 1 as a result of new Environmental Protection Agency regulations, according to FirstEnergy, which owns the power stations.

Sidestep These Veggies - Even if They're Organic

So-called modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) involves controlling or modifying the atmosphere surrounding the product to slow spoilage. This can be accomplished by coating the food with an edible film

Snow Cuts Off Hundreds Of Villages In Eastern Europe

Heavy snowfall across eastern Europe cut off hundreds of villages on Tuesday and rescue teams struggled to evacuate people in southern Bulgaria where rain and melting snow had caused a dam wall to break, flooding an entire village.

A river dike also broke under intense water pressure near Kapitan Andreevo at the border with Turkey, officials said.

Solar projects springing up on former brownfields

Like the two solar farms now under way, the bigger effort would be a so-called "brownfield to brightfield project," said Gil Hough, manager of RSI's Renewable Energy Division.

Solar Trade War: It Just Doesn’t Matter

Tariffs are likely, China will remain dominant in regionalized manufacturing, and pricing will largely be unaffected.

Speeding up small scale anaerobic digestion

Many see anaerobic digestion as a vital tool in achieving a low carbon future. and

Feasibility studies confirm the market demand and acceptance of anaerobic digestion (AD) technology. The potential of this technology has only been within reach of large, profitable organisations, but a new project aimed at bringing cutting-edge anaerobic digestion technologies to rural and smaller scale businesses is being launched to combat this.

Standing Up Against a Threat to Indian Country

Montana’s Indian country is sacred ground for all of the Big Sky’s tribes. Tribal lands safeguard and preserve ceremonial sites from the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains. Each site deserves our everlasting respect and protection.

But the U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering a bill that undermines the sanctity of these places and the sovereignty of Montana’s tribes. As Montana’s only member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, I want all Montanans to understand the consequences of this bill.

The deceptively named National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act (H.R. 1505)...

US crude oil stocks edge higher; product demand slides to 13-year low

US crude oil stocks inched up 304,000 barrels to 339.246 million barrels during the week that ended February 3, as a product demand hit a 13-year record low despite increased refinery rates, data Wednesday from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed.

US State Department report finds no conflict in Keystone XL review

The Office of Inspector General found no evidence of improper communication with either the Canadian government or TransCanada. It also found no evidence that TransCanada influenced the State Department's selection of Cardno Entrix as a third-party contractor to conduct the lengthy environmental review and write a draft environmental impact statement.

Waste To Energy And Biomass Set To Be The Recipients Of Huge Capital Injections Up To 2020

Anaerobic Digestion Says: According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, "Investment in biomass and waste-to-energy is projected to increase from $14bn in 2010 to $80bn by 2020". Among the greatest beneficiaries are processes such as Anaerobic Digestion (AD) and other innovative waste conversion technologies that can manage organics sustainably and achieve a greater rate of landfill diversion.

We Need to Win the Battle for Salmon Recovery

We are losing the battle for salmon recovery in western Washington because salmon habitat is being destroyed faster than it can be restored. Despite massive cuts in harvest, careful use of hatcheries and a huge financial investment in restoration during the past four decades, salmon continue to decline along with their habitat. As the salmon disappear, so do our tribal cultures and treaty rights. We are at a crossroads, and we are running out of time.

We're Not Prepared for EMP

In 1962 the United States government discovered nuclear EMP when the lights went out in Hawaii after a nuclear test detonation. 50 years later, we are no closer to hardening our infrastructure against such a devastating attack than we were then.

What's Driving North America's Solar PV Market in 2012?

In the U.S. overall, thank the expiring US Federal Cash Grant for accelerating project activity to beat the year-end deadline. At the state level, California's Solar Initiative ratepayer program brought in an extra $200 million during the quarter, helping to pare down a long waitlist of customer-side distributed generation.

Why Do We Want to Spray More Agent Orange on Our Crops? Are We at War with Ourselves (and Our Children)?

One of the biggest reasons for genetic engineering of crops is that the harsh poisons used to kill weeds also tend to kill the crops themselves. Scientists genetically alter the crops’ DNA so they will resist damage from the herbicides. Most of the attention to date has been on the creation of Roundup Ready seeds—that is, seeds and crops that can withstand the herbicide Roundup from Monsanto. According to USDA figures, 94 percent of soybeans and more than 70 percent of corn and cotton planted in the US contain the Roundup-resistant gene.

Why Won't FirstEnergy Tell The Truth About Davis-Besse?

When FirstEnergy discovered the cracking in the concrete wall of the aging shield building at the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant and until the public hearing held by the NRC at my request on January 5, 2012, FirstEnergy consistently told the public that the cracks were confined to "architectural elements" or "decorative elements" of the wall. I was skeptical because I had never before heard of a "decorative element" in the walls of a nuclear reactor building.

Wind tunnel office concept pitched at tropical climes

By embracing wind "as an architectural element", architectural practice Betillon/Dorval-Bory believes its anabatic office concept is ideally suited to hot and humid climes. But rather than relying on natural air movement, the anabatic office seeks to create its own wind, so that energy-efficient cooling can occur where little natural wind occurs. Anabatic is a word that describes an uphill wind generated by a localized heat source.

Yucca could still be on the table for nuclear waste: BRC member

The controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository project terminated by the Obama administration could still be an option for disposing of US commercial spent nuclear fuel, but the amount of total waste would soon make a second site necessary, according to a senior member of a federal commission set up to look at the issue.


February 7, 2012


6.0 Mw - VANUATU


85 Percent of US Refinancing Homeowners Maintain or Reduce Mortgage Debt in Fourth Quarter, 26-Year High

Of these borrowers, 37 percent maintained about the same loan amount, and 49 percent of refinancing homeowners reduced their principal balance; this latter percentage reflecting "cash-in" borrowers was the highest in the 26-year history of the analysis.
"Cash-out" borrowers, those that increased their loan balance by at least five percent, represented 15 percent of all refinance loans, the lowest percentage in the 26 years of analysis; the average cash-out share during the 1985 to 2010 period was 46 percent.

125 MW solar power plant to land in Arizona by end of 2013

Maricopa County, Arizona is set to play host to a 125 MW photovoltaic solar power plant, according to an announcement on Tuesday from Fluor Corporation. The company has won the separate contracts to build and maintain the facility, which upon completion will fleetingly join the ranks of the the world's largest photovoltaic solar farms.

Airspace regulations hinder renewable energy growth

A disregard for airspace regulations is stifling the development of wind and solar power and limiting the potential for renewable energy growth on the grid, according to a law professor at the University of Missouri.

Alert neighbor nails burglary suspect

"I saw this guy step out of the house with a sack of stuff on his back like Santa Claus," Foster said.

So what to do? Shout at the man? Call 911 and wait? Stay inside and look the other way?

"I got my pistol out," Foster said matter-of-factly.

Andrea A. Rossi Cold Fusion Generator (E-Cat)

"Experimentally, we obtained copper; and we believe that its appearance is due to the fusion of atomic nuclei of nickel and hydrogen, the ingredients that feed our reactor. Since hydrogen and nickel 'weigh' with less, copper must have released a lot of energy, since 'nothing is created or destroyed.' Indeed, the 'Missing Mass' has been transformed into energy, which we have measured: it is in the order of a few kilowatts, two hundred times the energy that was the beginning of the reaction."

An energy bill that Congress can and should pass

It's clear our country has an energy problem, and both business and government have a role in fixing it. It's time for business to stop being passive when it comes to managing energy, and government can help. Here are four steps that can be taken to deliver on the promises made in the State of the Union address.

Are Nuisance Jellyfish Really Taking Over the World's Oceans?

Such fossil and documentary evidence as is available indicates that occasional spectacular blooms of jellyfish are a normal part of such organisms' natural history, and may be linked to natural climate cycles. But blooms drew less attention in decades and centuries gone by.

Average US Mortgage Rates Ease Setting New Record Lows

30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.87 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending February 2, 2012, down from last week when it averaged 3.98 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.81 percent. 

BLM draft rules for fracking on US-owned land call for full disclosure

Shale oil and natural gas producers using hydraulic fracturing on US government-owned land will be required to fully disclose to the Bureau of Land Management the composition of their fracking fluids, but will be offered some protection for trade secrets, according to a copy of draft rules.

Charles Schwab: Fed's Policy Harming Economy

"The Fed policy has resulted in a huge infusion of capital into the system, creating a massive rise in liquidity but negligible movement of that money," Schwab writes in The Wall Street Journal. "It is sitting there, in banks all across America, unused."

Coal Plants Going Dark

But Lighting up in China.  While U.S. utilities that burn coal are becoming increasingly challenged to find newer and cleaner sources of energy, those in China and other parts of the developing world are hungry for more. Therefore, coal producers here will find that international markets potentially more lucrative.

Cold Fusion is Here, It's Real, and its Time has Come

Over the last several years, there have been many reports around the world about important multiple successes with what is popularly known as "Cold Fusion", or more properly what is now known as "Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions" (LENR).

FAA told to make room for drones in U.S. skies

Within a few years, that flying object overhead might not be a bird or a plane, but an unmanned aircraft.

Food and Fuel Inflation no Secret to Consumers

Beef prices rose more than 10 percent over last year and the Department of Agriculture reports at least another 5 percent increase in 2012. In spite of official White House news that inflation stands at under 2 percent, that isn’t the reality consumers are seeing in the supermarket or at the gas pump.

Food is cheap

Here in the United States, we’re spoiled. Food is cheap. I know it’s hard to believe, given what you’ve probably been paying for groceries lately. But it’s true. Even with rising food prices, we still pay a smaller percentage of our income for food than residents of just about any other country in the world. But the farming system that helps keep our food costs down also puts us at great risk. It’s the same farming system that caused the Irish Potato Famine.

Geithner: US May Close Down Freddie, Fannie

The Obama administration is studying ways to overhaul government-backed mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae — even considering closing them down — and bring private capital back into the mortgage markets, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says.

Gunmen kill official from Iraqi Interior Ministry in central Baghdad

Since the U.S. completed its pullout in December, militant groups have stepped up attacks on Iraq’s security forces and government institutions to undermine public confidence in the Shiite-dominated government and its efforts to protect people.

Hackensack May Restrict Solar Panels

Solar panels may be environmentally friendly, but officials in some towns are worried they might offend the neighbors.

Hackers: We intercepted FBI, Scotland Yard call

nonymous hackers have posted a YouTube video of a candid conference call between the FBI and Scotland Yard in which investigators talk about hacking suspects, including a 15-year-old one UK-based law enforcement official called “a bit of an idiot” and a “pain in the butt.”

Headwinds Easing for Offshore Wind

The headwinds that are keeping offshore wind production at bay are easing up somewhat. It’s all because the Obama administration has finished an environmental assessment that is giving de facto approval to development in some areas.

Iran dismisses latest US sanctions as 'psychological war'

Iran's foreign ministry dismissed Tuesday as "psychological war" an Executive Order by US President Barack Obama to freeze the assets of the Iranian government and its central bank in a bid to pressure Tehran to settle its nuclear row with the West.

Iran launches new military exercises

Iran began ground military exercises Saturday and defiantly warned that it could cut off oil exports to "hostile" European nations as tensions rise over suggestions that military strikes are an increasing possibility if sanctions fail to rein in the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

Iran lays out legal case for genocidal, preemptive attack against ‘cancerous tumor’

The Iranian government, through a website proxy, has laid out the legal and religious justification for the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of its people.

The doctrine includes wiping out Israeli assets and Jewish people worldwide.

Lake Vostok drilling complete: Earth’s oldest super-clean water system reached

On the first of this month it was reported that scientists were about to complete a 30 year drilling expedition to hit a 20-million-year-old lake: this week they’ve reached the surface. This body of water called Vostok is Antarctica’s largest subglacial lake and is believed by scientists to be “the only giant super-clean water system on the planet.”

LED bulbs to be installed Monday on the Mall

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Energy Secretary Steven Chu plan to flip the switch Monday night on newly installed LED lights that will illuminate most of the Mall — and reduce the National Park Service’s energy bill.

Metabolic “breathalyzer” could diagnose disease from our breath

Doctors could soon be diagnosing diseases using breathalyzer-like technology like that used to estimate blood alcohol levels

Monsanto to Face Biopiracy Charges in India

The government of India has made it very clear that they will not tolerate Monsanto's attempts to commercialize on their indigenous knowledge, a practice known as biopiracy.

New "Super-Earth" discovered only 22 light years away

An international team of scientists led by Professors Guillem Anglada-Escudé and Paul Butler from the Carnegie Institution for Science in the U.S. has discovered a potentially habitable Super-Earth that's "just" 22 light years away. The new Super-Earth has a mass that is 4.5 times larger than that of our planet and it revolves around its parent star in 28 days - a star that is significantly smaller than ours.

Nuclear Waste Still Troubles Industry

If Americans think Congress is at at impasse now, just wait until lawmakers return to tackling the disposal of nuclear waste. That’s pretty much what a commission appointed by President Obama has said.

Nuke worker falls into reactor pool

A worker at a Southern California nuclear power plant fell into a reactor pool but did not suffer significant radiation exposure, plant officials said. ...It is unclear why it took almost week to report the incident.

Obama Freezes Iranian Government, Central Bank Assets in U.S.

Previously, only assets belonging to sanctioned Iranian entities or individuals were frozen. The order signed by the president yesterday blocks all property and interests in property belonging to the Iranian government, its central bank, and all Iranian financial institutions, even those that haven’t been specifically designated for sanctions by the U.S. Treasury.

Once, men abused slaves. Now we abuse fossil fuels

Intriguing similarities between slavery and our current dependence on fossil-fuel-powered machines struck me: both perform roughly the same functions in society (doing the hard and dirty work that no one wants to do), both were considered for a long time to be acceptable by the majority and both came to be increasingly challenged as the harm they caused became more visible.

Plasma Energy Controls' Plasma Expansion Motor

The noble (inert) gas engine by PlasmERG, Inc., with very few moving parts could potentially (when mass produced) cost a third, or less, what a regular engine of comparable output costs. Meanwhile, its fuel cost is negligible -- approximately $0.71 per cylinder charge, which lasts a few months. It has a zero carbon footprint.

It's kind of like a Stirling engine -- a sealed system -- except that the expanding component is internal, and comes by way of a plasma form of inert, noble gasses...

Plastic bag bans hold hidden costs

More than two dozen cities nationwide have either banned plastic grocery bags -- in some cases even paper bags -- entirely or have imposed a fee for using them in order to encourage the use of reusable bags. Other cities are considering similar action. However, such policies have hidden costs that are virtually ignored.

Power from CO2 and Fly Ash

Coal is used across our planet as a source of energy, and has been for a very long time. Among the biggest consumers of coal are traditional power plants that burn it in huge quantities to produce electricity for the power grid. By burning this substance as fuel, these plants emit carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, and produce vast amounts of a waste product called fly ash. Managing carbon dioxide and fly ash can be a challenging task, especially as environmental regulations have become more severe. Many power plants are facing having to shut down due to the huge cost of complying with the regulations.

Private Equity Fundraising is on the Rise, Despite Challenges

“There are a significant number of funds that are either currently fundraising or planning to do so in 2012, which could lead to a marked uptick in fundraising activity in the coming year”

Renewable energy supporters, opponents both want specific policies from Coconino County

Coconino County's Board of Supervisors was nearly evenly split a year ago over whether to permit construction of the county's first industrial-scale wind farm north of Williams.

Renewing Colorado

Innovation in the electricity market does not occur as it would in other markets. For starters, most areas of the country are served by monopoly providers. This means there is very little incentive to seek new ways to create electricity. Secondly, most providers are heavily regulated, often compounding risk-reluctant utilities with risk-averse regulators.

Report escalates rift within solar industry over China

A new report released Monday escalated the internal battle within the U.S. solar industry over a push to impose duties on Chinese solar imports.

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity

Solar activity is likely to be low with a chance for moderate levels from Region 1410 for days 1 and 2 (7-8 February).The geomagnetic field is
expected to be mostly quiet for days 1-2 (7-8 February).

Revenue from Net Zero Energy Buildings to Reach $1.3 Trillion by 2035

As green building practices become more commonplace in the global construction industry, the goal of designing zero energy buildings, or buildings that consume as much energy as they produce through on-site and renewable energy systems, has emerged as the next major frontier. A number of countries and regions have already established long-term targets and regulations requiring zero energy building construction that will come into effect over the coming years, some as soon as 2016.

Russia and the United States: Pushing Tensions to the Limit?

Relations between the United States and Russia are incredibly tense as both countries prepare for presidential elections in 2012. The campaign season has presented both sides opportunities to escalate tensions, but it is unclear how far each side will go.

Scientists Blast ‘Incontrovertible’ Global Warming Claims

An editorial signed by 16 prominent scientists in the Wall Street Journal takes sharp issue with calls for drastic action against global warming, asserting that the threat is far from “incontrovertible” as alarmists claim.

Should Americans Get Even Dirtier?

While there have been many suggestions as to what has caused the rise in food allergies in recent years, the one that has received the most attention is known as the hygiene hypothesis. The basic idea behind the hypothesis is that when children are exposed to few germs, their immune systems don’t develop properly.

Solar array generates power for Anamosa business, home

"The purpose of this project is to become energy independent and control our overhead costs for energy," Gideon said. "As consultants and providing sales and installation of energy efficiency and renewable systems, it is important that we also live the lifestyle."

Some customers are opposed to smart meters

A lot of people may not even know about smart meters, the new devices installed by Lakeland Electric that allow people to monitor their electrical usage in real time.

But Treasa Towson and Joe Messoras are fully aware of the meters.

And they're both outraged about planned installations this summer.

States seek currencies made of silver and gold

Worried that the Federal Reserve and the U.S. dollar are on the brink of collapse, more than a dozen states have proposed using their own alternative currencies of silver and gold.

Storm Over Climate Change Among Weather Forecasters forecasters, many of whom see climate change as a natural, cyclical phenomenon, are split over whether they have a responsibility to educate their viewers on the link between human activity and the change in the Earth's climates.

Sugar High: The Dark History and Nasty Methods Used to Feed Our Sweet Tooth

Sugar is now 20 percent of the American diet, but it's not just our health that suffers from its pervasiveness.

The power to transform

Beyond the attention of many observers, America’s clean energy transformation is already well underway, thanks in large part to massive investments by the electric power industry. Utilities have picked up where many venture firms and other investors left off — at the point where technologies already proven in a laboratory setting are ready to be deployed in the market.

Unemployment Tricks: Jobs Claim Made by 'Shrinking' Workforce experts are saying the figures may have been manipulated — and that the significant drop in employment was because of the fact that the federal agency charged with computing key economic data has significantly decreased the number of Americans in the workforce.

UN Panel: Only Sustainable Development Can Create a 'Resilient Planet'

A panel of current and former heads of government, ministers and lawmakers Monday launched a plan for world leaders to propel an "ever-green" energy revolution that could wean the world off fossil fuels, when they meet in Brazil later this year.

US Companies Expect Economic Improvement, But Ready for Downturn

In a November, Greenwich Associates asked 114 U.S. companies with annual sales of at least $500 million about their expectations for the 2012 business and economic environment, strategic steps they are taking to prepare for the year ahead and their assessments of various government economic policies.

U.S. Joins Effort to Clean Up Space Environment

Decades of space activity have littered low Earth orbit with debris, and as the world's spacefaring nations increase their activities, the chance for collision increases. The security of space also is threatened by what U.S. State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Space and Defense Policy Frank Rose Sunday called "irresponsible actors."

Venture Capitalists’ Confidence Declines for Third Consecutive Quarter

“On the plus side, the entrepreneurial energy pouring into Silicon Valley from around the world grows stronger every month. On the minus side, the lack of institutional LP support for early stage venture capital will leave hundreds of companies stranded when they need more capital later next year.”

Wind Energy Costs Trending Towards an All-Time Low

A recent analysis of onshore wind energy cost trends, conducted jointly by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Recent Developments in the Levelized Cost of Energy from U.S. Wind Power Projects' estimates that the levelized cost of wind energy is now trending towards an all-time low within fixed wind resource areas.


February 3, 2012


6.9 Mw - VANUATU

Alzheimer's Spreads Like Infection

Alzheimer's disease appears to spread in a predictable pattern, infecting brain cell after brain cell as the disease spreads along linked circuits known as synapses, according to a new study.

Beans!  I'm Cold

the best way that I know how to combat that is not with another layer of clothing, but with something warm to fill my belly, either a hot cup of broth to wrap my hands around so that the warmth suffuses through these chilly bones, or a bowl of soup to savor that spreads its heat throughout my body with every swallow.

Better Buildings Challenge Boosts ESCOs

In late 2011 President Obama announced the Better Buildings Challenge, a $4 billion program sponsored by the DOE with the support of a number of public and private sector partners.  The program aims to make American buildings 20% more energy efficient by 2020 by directing federal agencies to engage in performance contracts (driving efficiency with zero taxpayer funds) as well as mobilizing major companies to invest in efficiency upgrades to their own buildings and plants.

Bipartisan Policy Center Report Recommends a Credible Threat of Military Force to Stop Iran's Nuclear Development

Today, the Bipartisan Policy Center's (BPC) National Security Project released its fourth report on Iran's nuclear development urging the United States to immediately adopt a triple-track strategy that simultaneously pursues diplomacy, tough sanctions and credible, visible preparations for military action on the part of the United States or Israel.

BIS - Global Property Price Statistics

he property price statistics currently include data from 44 countries, and are available at different frequencies. The data differ significantly from country to country, for instance in terms of sources of information on prices, type of property, area covered, property vintage, priced unit, detailed compilation methods and seasonal adjustment.

California now gets about 5 percent of its electricity from wind power

The vast majority of California's electricity--42 percent--comes from natural gas, followed by nuclear power and hydropower. According to 2010 figures from the California Energy Commission, wind made up 4.7 percent of the state's electricity mix and solar was 0.3 percent.

But in 2011, wind projects that generate 921 megawatts--enough electricity for more than 400,000 homes--were installed across the state, which the wind association says should put it above the long sought after five percent threshold. California has set an ambitious goal of getting 33 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020, and utilities are increasingly signing contracts for renewable projects.

Calif. woman beats Honda in court over mpg

On Wednesday, Honda was ordered to pay Heather Peters for misleading her about the gas mileage her Civic Hybrid would achieve, and other car owners could follow in the steps of the former lawyer who took on a corporate giant, and won.

Carbon Source or Carbon Sink: Greenhouse Gases in the Tropics

The lush vegetation wrapping the center of the globe is one of the most important features for regulating a stable climate in the world. Much excess CO2 emissions from industrialized regions find their way to the equator to be absorbed by abundant CO2-consuming plant life. However, as large tracts of tropical rainforest are cut down in the Amazon, Congo, and Southeast Asia, worries have grown that this vital region may turn from a carbon sink to a carbon source.

Crude oil stocks rise 4.175 million barrels; Product demand lowest in 13 years

US crude oil stocks rose 4.175 million barrels last week, as imports increased and total product demand softened, data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed Wednesday.

At 338.942 million barrels, crude stocks are 3.6% above the five-year average. Analysts projected a build of 3 million barrels.

Energy Efficiency Is the Right Track for Clean Air

A new report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) reveals how energy efficiency can be used by states, policymakers, and utilities developing compliance strategies to meet the goals of federal air regulations. As mandated under the Clean Air Act, a suite of upcoming air regulations will impose limits on the emissions of multiple air pollutants.

FDA’s New Claim: “Your Body Is a Drug—and We Have the Authority to Regulate It!”

In another outrageous power-grab, FDA says your own stem cells are drugs—and stem cell therapy is interstate commerce because it affects the bottom line of FDA-approved drugs in other states!

First Video of the Dark Side of the Moon

Just as the lunar new year dawns, NASA probes have brought us video of a the mythical far side of the moon, a sight never seen from Earth.

Fort Carson on track toward 2020 energy independence

Fort Carson appears on track to be off the grid by 2020, Army officials said Wednesday.

Fort Carson generates 3.5 percent of the energy used on post -- enough to be on track to be "net zero" in eight years as part of a pilot program for bases to provide for their own water and electricity needs, Army officials said.

Gas-fired power plants on the increase

The huge, belching smokestacks of electric power plants have long symbolized air pollution problems. But a shift is under way: More and more electric plants around the nation are being fueled by natural gas, which is far cleaner than coal, the traditional fuel.

GE Sees More Casualties In Wind And Solar

General Electric Co. expects increased competition and a reduction in subsidies by cash-strapped governments to lead to more companies exiting the wind and solar power businesses, but the industrial behemoth still sees growing long-term demand.

Homeowners and businesses who invest in renewable energy could get a tax break under plan

A Senate committee revived the stalled debate over renewable energy in Florida on Monday and moved forward with a bill to give $16 million a year in tax incentives to businesses and homeowners, beginning next year.

How Mitt Suckered Newt

So Romney's people set out to mire Newt in negatives so he couldn't and wouldn't get out the positive message he needed to project to prevail. They tormented him with negative ads in Iowa. While the ads were generally accurate -- the allegation about backing China's forced-abortion policy aside -- they presented only one side of the story and were stinging in their impact. Without funds, Gingrich couldn't answer the negative ads. He fumed but watched, in impotence, as his vote share fell away.

Integrating Anaerobic Digestion Into Our Culture Part 2: Stats, Reality and the Future

North America is at an inflection point in managing organic materials. Just as paper, metal and plastics were the darlings of the recycling industry a couple decades ago, our society is defining a new relationship with organic materials: one that harnesses the full carbon, energy and nutrient potential of organics. In order to help shape that new relationship, industry leaders are cultivating North America's awareness and understanding of anaerobic digestion's features, benefits and potential role in society.

Iran May Strike U.S. Before Israeli Attack

Secretary of Defense Panetta says he believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran's nuclear weapons facilities this spring. LIGNET, the global intelligence and forecasting service, reveals what ways Iran may retaliate against the U.S. and Israel. LIGNET details the risk of an Iranian bio-terror surprise attack.

Iran sees no effect on oil production from EU embargo

The EU ban on imports of Iranian oil due to come into effect July 1 is having no impact on Iran's crude production and it is EU countries that will suffer from the embargo, Iranian oil minister Rostam Ghasemi said January 31.

Iran's Khamenei warns West against military action, oil sanctions

"The threat of war is detrimental to the United States. The war itself is ten times more detrimental to the United States. Why is that so? Because the threats show the US inability to approach by dialogue and reason," he said.

Iran's Nuclear Program

Iran’s nuclear program is one of the most polarizing issues in one of the world’s most volatile regions. While American and European officials believe Tehran is planning to build nuclear weapons, Iran’s leadership says that its goal in developing a nuclear program is to generate electricity without dipping into the oil supply it prefers to sell abroad, and to provide fuel for medical reactors.

But a United Nations report...

Iran to accept 45% payment in rupees for oil exports to India: report

Iran has agreed to accept 45% of the payment for its oil exports to India in rupees after recent negotiations with Indian officials during their visit to Tehran, the daily Indian Express reported Thursday quoting unnamed sources.

Islamists, protesters clash outside Egyptian parliament

Hundreds of protesters demonstrating outside parliament Tuesday clashed with Muslim Brotherhood members, leaving more than 20 injured as tensions sharpened between Islamists and liberals over the fate of the revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

Japan, US hold second round of Iran sanctions talks

Japanese officials renewed their case February 2 for an exemption from US sanctions on Iranian oil deals during talks in Washington between the two governments, according to Tokyo sources.

Kamakura Reports Seventh Deterioration in Corporate Credit Quality in the Last Nine Months

Kamakura Corporation reported Wednesday that the Kamakura index of troubled public companies declined, rising 0.77% to 7.27% in January. The index has deteriorated in seven of the last nine months.

Killer Whales, ‘Wolves of the Sea,’ Are Migrating North, Inuit Traditional Ecological Knowledge Reveals

The bowhead doesn’t stand a chance. His killers have surrounded him, holding him underwater and covering his blowhole so he can’t breathe. They immobilize his flippers and tail while ramming the beast to break ribs and damage internal organs as they tear chunks of flesh from the living animal.

Kyocera to Launch Solar With Li-Ion Battery Storage for Homes in Japan

A big energy-related disaster doesn't just leave horrible marks on people's lives; it also can propel better and quicker policy and technology adoption. Kyocera on Monday said it plans to start selling a system that pairs solar panels with lithium-ion batteries for the residential market in Japan starting this summer.

Mind-reading breakthrough hailed by US scientists

"You may idly wish you could hear what others are thinking yet write off telepathy as science fiction. But one day, the ability to read people’s minds may not be a talent reserved for psychics and the X-Men. A group of neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley, reported they may have come up with a scientific way to read people’s minds."

NATO, its partners in the Middle East, and the Strait of Hormuz

When NATO looks at Iran it would seem reasonable to expect that it was looking at how the western world's warships are cramming into the Strait of Hormuz amidst charge and counter-charge that the strait faces the prospect of an Iranian blockade.

New EPA Emissions Rules To Spur Demand For Clean Combustion Technology

ThermoEnergy Corp. (OTCBB: TMEN) expects that tough new rules on coal-fired power plant emissions which were finalized recently by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will spur demand for effective, efficient, clean combustion technology.

New Leak at Japan Nuclear Plant

Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant has once again sprung a leak, releasing more than eight tonnes of potentially radioactive water.

New York Times Predicts War Between Israel, Iran in 2012

The New York Times magazine on Sunday published a critically important story by Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman, one of the most respected Israeli journalists following the Iran story over several decades. It is headlined: "Will Israel Attack Iran?"

Nobel peace prize jury under investigation

Nobel Peace Prize officials were facing a formal inquiry over accusations they have drifted away from the prize's original selection criteria by choosing such winners as President Obama, as the nomination deadline for the 2012 awards closed Wednesday.

Nuclear plant vents RADIOACTIVE steam onto DOWNTOWN CHICAGO

If you were outside today in Downtown Chicago — Any time after about 1030am CST — 1/30/2012 — chances are , you may have been exposed to NUCLEAR RADIOACTIVE FALLOUT from the steam that was vented by the  Byron Illinois / Exelon Nuclear power plant.

More specifically, aerosolized particulates of Tritium were in the clouds of steam released—- those clouds then blew down into Chicago area proper.  As to whether people inhaled these particles — only time will tell now.

They say low levels— but — you can easily find out the health risks associated with this radioactive particle.

On top of fukushima (japan) radiation – this is the last thing anyone needs.

Offshore Policies Rock the Boat

President Obama is saying that his administration will open up more than three-quarters of the potential offshore oil and gas resources to development, prompting friends and foes alike to accuse him of having political motives.

Oil, gas industry pushes back against shale regs for federal leases

Saying federal agencies can't keep up with their current workload for leasing federal lands to oil and gas drillers, two industry groups renewed their push Thursday against new regulations signaled by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union speech last week.

Organic Is The Answer to Climate Change

If the world’s 3.5 billion tillable acres were transitioned to organic agriculture, organic farms could sequester 40% of yearly carbon emissions. Tell Congress: Organic Is the Answer to Climate Change!

Organic Could Sequester 40% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions!

Patterson: Bundling the Arrows

USET President Brian Patterson says it’s urgent not only for the tribes to unite, but for tribal organizations all across the country to “bundle their arrows” to gain the strength needed to move Indian country’s agenda forward. “I think the Indian tribal organizations in their role as a voice representing the member tribes really have a great opportunity and advantage to identify the greater good and commonality for Indian country,”...

Producers see US moving from swing to 'strategic' coal supplier

As global demand for coal continues to rise, some producers see the US graduating from being a swing supplier to become a strategic supplier to world markets.

Relief In U.S. Food Prices Seen As Crop Supplies Grow

After being hammered by record high food prices in 2011, which helped ignite the Arab Spring uprisings, consumers worldwide may find some relief in 2012 if U.S. farmers, induced by last year's high crop prices, plant more fields to grain this year.

Report: Hawaii electricity cost is highest in the nation

New data from the federal government shows that Hawaii residents paid the highest rates for electricity in the country in 2010.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the average price in Hawaii that year was 25.1 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Wyoming had the lowest retail rate at 6.2 cents.

Report of Solar-Geophysical Activity

Solar activity is expected to be very low to low for the next 3 days (03-05 February).  Geophysical Activity Summary 01/2100Z to 02/2100Z:
The geomagnetic field was quiet.The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet to unsettled on day 1 (03 February) due to CH HSS effects. Conditions should return to mostly quiet levels on days 2 and 3 (04-05 February).

Sandia Chemists Find New Material To Remove Radioactive Gas From Spent Nuclear Fuel

The discovery could be applied to nuclear fuel reprocessing or to clean up nuclear reactor accidents. A characteristic of nuclear energy is that used fuel can be reprocessed to recover fissile materials and provide fresh fuel for nuclear power plants. Countries such as France, Russia and India are reprocessing spent fuel.

Self-guided bullet could hit laser-marked targets from a mile away

A group of researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have built a prototype of a small-caliber bullet capable of steering itself towards a laser-marked target located approximately 2,000 meters (1.2 miles) away.

Senate passes insider-trading bill

Aiming to restore voters' faith in Congress, the Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill Thursday that makes clear it's illegal for members of Congress, their staffs and many executive-branch employees to trade stocks and other securities based on inside information learned on the job.

Solar Trade Dispute: Behind the Jobs Numbers

Study Reveals Impacts of Environmental Changes on Southern Ocean Food Web

The research team took three years and three separate expeditions at various times of year to study this complex web, using techniques ranging from net sampling to hydro-acoustics.

...showed that this region has some of the strongest carbon dioxide (CO2) absorption rates compared to the rest of the Southern Ocean.  When more carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean from the air, it can disrupt the natural balance of marine life and upset the food web. This is because while the oceans can help mitigate global warming by absorbing CO2, excessive dissolved CO2 can have a negative effect on marine life.

Sustainable Energy Is Answer To Wider Crisis: EU's Hedegaard

Energy efficiency offers one of the best tools for tackling the world's debt and social crises as sustainable development comes in from the margins to the mainstream of economic debate, the European Union's climate chief said on Tuesday.

The Noble Lie

Plato’s Republic defined the noble lie as a myth or an untruth told by the elite to preserve social harmony or the position of the elite. It’s a lie that those who govern choose to tell under the delusion that they’re doing so for the greater good.

Think Ink for Increased Efficiency

One dollar per watt: that's the mark the solar industry is hoping to hit in order to become cost-competitive with conventional energies. In a bid to reach this magic number in the next two years, various Asian manufacturers are striving to reduce costs by increasing volume production. An alternative direction that will benefit the industry in the long term is to target increased efficiencies primarily through new manufacturing processes, new higher-quality materials for metallization and changing the structure of the cell.

UPenn's GRASP lab unleashes a swarm of Nano Quadrotors

Admittedly, use of the term "nano" may be stretching things a bit, but even so, the capable little robots provide an interesting glimpse into what the future may hold for surveillance, search and rescue, light construction and warfare.

US Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Declined in January 2012, Existing Home Prices Continued to Fall in November 2011

Consumer confidence declined to 61.1 in January 2012 from the eight-month high of 64.8 seen in December 2011.
The present situation index fell 8.1 points to 38.4, while the expectations component edged down 0.8 points to 76.2.

U.S. deficit to top $1 trillion, smallest since ’09

The federal deficit will approach $1.1 trillion this year, congressional budget analysts said Tuesday, down substantially from the worst days of the Great Recession.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the gap between government spending and tax collections would narrow even more dramatically in 2013 unless lawmakers head off controversial changes in tax policy and government spending that are now on the books.


U.S. No-Fly list doubles in past year to 21,000 known or suspected terrorists

Even as the Obama administration says it’s close to defeating Al Qaeda, the size of the government’s secret list of suspected terrorists who are banned from flying to or within the United States has more than doubled in the past year, The Associated Press has learned.

Weathering Financial Crises, Bond Markets in Asia and the Pacific

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) jointly organised a high-level seminar on "The development of regional capital markets" in Yokohama, Japan, on 21-22 November 2011. The seminar brought together senior officials of 12 central banks in Asia and the Pacific, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Mexico, the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as well as an academic and a private sector participant.

Why Biodiversity Loss Deserves as Much Attention as Climate Change

Biodiversity loss is probably a challenge that is often ignored as climate change looms. Currently the world is losing species at a rate that is 100 to 1000 times faster than the natural extinction rate, further, it is currently seeing the sixth mass extinction.

Why is “Hot Chemo” an Acceptable Cancer Treatment—But IV Vitamin C is “Too Far Out There”?

Patients liken hot chemotherapy to “being filleted, disemboweled, and then bathed in hot poison.” Best patient care, or merely the biggest moneymaker?

Why You Absolutely Must Personally Treat Your Own Water

Many people are unaware of the vast amount of chemicals lurking in nearly all public water supplies. If you are using tap water to cook your food, or drinking it straight from the faucet, then you are exposing yourself to these substances. One of the most commonly noted, controversial substances in the water supply is fluoride.

World Lacks Enough Food, Fuel As Population Soars: U.N.

The world is running out of time to make sure there is enough food, water and energy to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population and to avoid sending up to 3 billion people into poverty, a U.N. report warned on Monday.


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