Illinois Promotes Oil Train Crashes – Wham bam thank you ma’am

Following Dotards move to deregulate oil trains, Illinois bit hook ,line and sinker. Let me be clear, this deregulation will cause accidents and it will take lives. Let’s just hope a crash does not happen in Chicago or East St. Louis.

Putting On The Brakes: Transportation Department Rolls Back Oil Train Regulation

October 24, 2018
Madelyn Beck

The U.S. Department of Transportation has removed a regulation meant to force trains carrying crude oil or other flammable liquids to adopt electronic braking technology by 2020. Electronically Controlled Pneumatic brakes — or ECP brakes — are meant to stop train cars and keep them from slamming into each other when a train derails.

Illinois is both a train hub and an oil train hub, and the regulatory change will have several effects in the state.

One is cost savings to the railroad industry. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, “the expected costs of requiring ECP brakes would be significantly higher than the expected benefits of the requirement.”

It would cost the industry between $375 and $554 million to install the braking systems in the next four to five years, hundreds of millions more than it would save in damages, according to the department. That’s an update from when this was first calculated under the Obama administration, which found that the benefits may outweigh costs. The change can partially be explained by reduced oil train traffic in general due to pipelines and lower oil prices between 2015 and 2017. Fewer trains means fewer potential accidents and damages.

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Go there and read so much more. More next week.

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Sparkling Bottled Water Company Cleans Ocean – It is only fair to give industry credit

In all fairness the headline should read TRYS to clean ocean. Why do I even cover this story? Well plastic is a really really energy intensive industry. Second we made a big point of the Dutch Boy’s attempt to clean up the north Pacific Gyre. So it is only far to point out when industry is trying too. Though to be fair Sparkling Water tackled a much smaller  (some would say manageable) problem.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sodastream-builds-massive-marine-device-to-collect-plastic-waste-from-the-ocean-off-the-coast-of-honduras-300726688.html

SodaStream Builds Massive Marine Device to Collect Plastic Waste from the Ocean off the Coast of Honduras


News provided by

SodaStream International Ltd.

Oct 15, 2018, 09:00 ET

CEO Daniel Birnbaum Leads 300 SodaStream Executives from Around the World, Local Youth and Environmental NGOs to Clean Caribbean Sea and Roatán Shores

AIRPORT CITY, Israel, Oct. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — SodaStream International Ltd. (NASDAQ: SODA) today announced the launch of the “Holy Turtle” – a massive ocean contraption designed to clean plastic waste from open waters. The innovative device will be initially piloted today in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Roatán, Honduras, as part of a bold ocean clean-up lead by CEO Daniel Birnbaum. This is the first-known attempt of a commercial company to undertake a physical clean-up of trash from open waters. SodaStream’s clean-up delegation includes 150 SodaStream executives from 45 countries, international environmental specialists, NGO Plastic Soup Foundation and hundreds of children from 7 different local schools with local Honduran government officials.

The “Holy Turtle” is a 1,000 ft. long floating unit designed to be gently towed by two marine vessels along kilometers of open waters. The contraption is uniquely engineered to capture floating waste while its large vent holes act to protect wildlife. The device design was inspired by oil spill containment systems and was developed by ABBCO in Florida, USA, who are leading experts in oil spill containment.

SodaStream’s Roatán initiative was inspired by a video filmed by Caroline Powers in October 2017 featured on BBC highlighting underwater photography of a floating trash patch off the Caribbean coast of Roatán. Moved by the disturbing video, SodaStream CEO, Daniel Birnbaum, himself an experienced skipper and naval officer, lead a search for a solution to clean up this floating waste. Birnbaum noted, “We can’t clean up all the plastic waste on the planet, but we each need to do whatever we can. The most important thing is to commit ourselves to stop using single-use plastic.”

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Go there and read. Have some hope. More next week.

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They Used Our Skies Like An Open Sewer – So they should have to pay for that

They poisoned our skies. ExxonMobile should pay for that. They poisoned our water. BP should pay for that. They poisoned our soil. Chevron should pay for that. They poisoned our our wildlife. Royal Dutch Shell should pay for that. They poisoned US! ConocoPhillips should pay for that.

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/04042018/climate-change-fossil-fuel-company-lawsuits-timeline-exxon-children-california-cities-attorney-general

Fossil Fuels on Trial: Where the Major Climate Change Lawsuits Stand Today

Some of the biggest oil and gas companies are embroiled in legal disputes with cities, states and children over the industry’s role in global warming.

Updated Aug. 14 with a judge dismissing one of the state-level children’s climate lawsuits, in Washington.

A wave of legal challenges that is washing over the oil and gas industry, demanding accountability for climate change, started as a ripple after revelations that ExxonMobil had long recognized the threat fossil fuels pose to the world.

Over the past few years: Two states have launched fraud investigations into Exxon over climate change. Nine cities and counties, from New York to San Francisco, have sued major fossil fuel companies, seeking compensation for climate change damages. And determined children have filed lawsuits against the federal government and various state governments, claiming the governments have an obligation to safeguard the environment.

The litigation, reinforced by science, has the potential to reshape the way the world thinks about energy production and the consequences of global warming. It advocates a shift from fossil fuels to sustainable energy and draws attention to the vulnerability of coastal communities and infrastructure to extreme weather and sea level rise.

From a trove of internal Exxon documents, a narrative emerged in 2015 that put a spotlight on the conduct of the fossil fuel industry. An investigative series of stories by InsideClimate News, and later the Los Angeles Times, disclosed that the oil company understood the science of global warming, predicted its catastrophic consequences, and then spent millions to promote misinformation.

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Go there and read all night. Really good article. More next week

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Could We Have Stopped Global Warming – You decide

Did the New York Times greenwash the big fossil fuel companies contribution? I know they did. But it is an open question. You decide. What is clear is they accepted Global Warming in the early 70s and by the late 70s they were funding organizations that opposed it. Did they synically oppose Global Warming for 30 years to pump up profits? There is a lawsuit so I imagine the Supreme Court will ultimately decide.

I am going to quote the original story or a good representation of it and then list the site with the disagreement.

https://www.livescience.com/63229-losing-earth-climate-change.html

30 Years Ago, Humans Bungled the Best Chance to Stop Climate Change

NEW YORK — Could the current climate crisis have been averted? Humans may have squandered the best shot at doing so decades ago.

As the 1970s drew to a close, incontrovertible evidence already pointed to the dangers that accumulations of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) — resulting from the burning of fossil fuels — posed to the planet. During a pivotal 10-year period, from 1979 to 1989, scientists, activists and government officials worldwide took important first steps to address excessive CO2 emissions and to enact policies that would head off the worst of these emissions’ impact on the global climate, according to “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change,” a single-article special issue of The New York Times Magazine, published online today (Aug. 1).

Over those 10 years, a window of opportunity opened that might have saved the planet. Efforts were launched on an international level to raise awareness of global warming, curb CO2 output and thereby stave off climate change’s most dire impacts. But those efforts stumbled and stalled, and we are witnessing the devastating consequences now, writer Nathaniel Rich reported in the article. [Images of Melt: Earth’s Vanishing Ice]

It almost worked. At the time, the topic of climate change was not heavily politicized in the U.S. as it is today, Rich said here at a launch event for the article yesterday (July 31). Members of the Republican and Democratic parties supported developing strategies to limit CO2, and advocating for the environment was not seen through the same political lens as it is now, Rich explained.

Scientists aren’t impressed with New York Times’ new story on climate change

Experts label 30,000 word piece “historically inaccurate” and “based on logical non sequiturs.”

Scientists aren’t impressed with New York Times’ new story on climate change

 

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Time Is UP – Global Warming is HERE

I dare you to Google: Climate Change and plant life or Climate Change and small mammals. Most people who protest Global Warming, that is  – say it ain’t happening, talk about deserts shifting and extinctions leading to our vary own. They say that since those things aren’t happening, then Global Warming isn’t either. But in the beginning it will be increases in insect born diseases, increases in storm strength, and increases in drought. Here is just one example.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-climate-change-is-helping-invasive-species-take-over-180947630/

How Climate Change is Helping Invasive Species Take Over

Longer seasons and warmer weather have combined to be a game-changer in the plant wars

Smithsonian Magazine | Subscribe

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the growing season in many areas of the lower 48 states has expanded by about two weeks. Frosts end earlier in the spring and begin later in the fall. To gardeners in Maine, Wisconsin and Montana, that might seem a blessing. What’s not to like about more lettuce or riper tomatoes?

The longer seasons, however, are also helping invasive plants annex American soil; extended springs mean they can more quickly push aside native species and transform ecosystems. “What’s interesting about climate change is that humans are effectively manipulating how species experience time,” says ecologist Elizabeth Wolkovich of the Biodiversity Research Centre at the University of British Columbia.

Wolkovich and her colleagues have been studying how the first flowering dates of plants have changed over the years in Kansas, North Dakota, Washington, D.C., Concord, Massachusetts—where Henry David Thoreau kept notes about the flowers blooming near Walden Pond in the mid-1800s—as well as Britain.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Green Energy Saves Lives- Why did no one ever calculate this before

All the capitalists care about is the money. So what if somebody dies making the power? So what if making the power kills someone? As long as they get their 100,000K profit or whatever it is. The numbers really have to mount before they even notice. Who cares if a “little person” dies, they were just taking up space anyway.

NOW this is a refreshing perspective.

https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/articles/2018-06-19/adding-offshore-wind-power-can-save-lives-benefit-public-health

 

The Lifesaving Benefits of Offshore Wind Power

Theoretically, offshore wind farms could supply all the electricity the U.S. consumes, according to the Energy Department.

By The Conversation, Contributor?June 19, 2018, at 9:52 a.m.

By Jonathan Buonocore

New plans to build two commercial offshore wind farms near the Massachusetts and Rhode Island coasts have sparked a lot of discussion about the vast potential of this previously untapped source of electricity.

But as an environmental health and climate researcher, I’m intrigued by how this gust of offshore wind power may improve public health. Replacing fossil fuels with wind and solar energy, research shows, can reduce risks of asthma, hospitalizations and heart attacks. In turn, that can save lives.

So my colleagues and I calculated the health impact of generating electricity through offshore wind turbines – which until now the U.S. has barely begun to do.

Greening the Grid

New England gets almost none of its electricity from burning coal and more than three-quarters of it from burning natural gas and operating nuclear reactors. The rest is from hydropower and from renewable energy, including wind and solar power and the burning of wood and refuse.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Nope, There Is No Global Warming Going On Here – Move along

I really have nothing to add here. It is gonna get really hot. Them it is gonna get dangerous. Who knows what fun we can have after that?

https://earther.com/pakistan-may-have-just-set-a-world-heat-record-1825690035

Pakistan May Have Just Set a World Heat Record

High temperatures are forecast to reach the mid-80s this week in New York, and I’m dreading it. But I have a plan to stay cool: just thinking of how much hotter it is in Pakistan, which is in the middle of a blistering heat wave.

Temperatures reported to have cracked 50.2 degrees Celsius (122.3 degrees Fahrenheit) on Monday in Nawabshah, located about 127 miles northeast of Karachi. If confirmed, that could make the measurement not just the hottest ever recorded for April in Pakistan, but the hottest ever reliably recorded for April anywhere on Earth.

 “There was a 51.0°C reading reported from Santa Rosa, Mexico in April 2011 but this figure is considered of dubious reliability, so yes, the 50.2° reading is likely the hottest April temperature yet reliably observed on Earth in modern records,” Chris Burt, a weather historian, told Earther in an email.

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Go there and read. Man 122 degrees. Are you kidding me? More next week.

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FirstEnergy Cries For Help – Oh Daddy big government please help little me

This is what happens in a transitional economy. All the big brave tough bullies, Captains of Industry, turn into silly whiny little sissies begging for handouts. Isn’t life interesting. And no, this is not an April Fools Joke.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/04/coal-nuclear-plant-operator-files-for-bankruptcy-asks-trump-for-a-bailout/

business cycles —

Coal, nuclear plant operator files for bankruptcy, asks Trump for a bailout

FirstEnergy’s request comes after regulator struck down an industry-wide bailout plan.

On Saturday, power corporation FirstEnergy placed its coal and nuclear generation units under chapter 11 bankruptcy. Although coal and nuclear plants across the country have struggled to compete with the low prices of natural gas, FirstEnergy’s filing is unique because it stands to take on a political dimension. Just two days before FirstEnergy’s bankruptcy filing, the company petitioned the Department of Energy (DOE) for an emergency bailout, citing concerns about reliability.

The petition could reinvigorate a debate started by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who proposed a rule last year to change how coal and nuclear plants are compensated for their power. The rule was denied by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which said that there was not enough evidence to justify changing how coal and nuclear are compensated.

FirstEnergy disparaged FERC’s decision in its Thursday petition (PDF), claiming that “as a result of FERC’s and the RTO’s [Regional Transmission Organization’s] failure to address this crisis, swift and decisive action is needed now to address this imminent loss of nuclear and coal-fired baseload generation and the threat to the electric grid that this loss poses” (emphasis FirstEnergy’s).

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Go there and laugh your asses off. More next week.

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Electric Utilities May Be Doomed – If they haven’t invested in renewables they better start

The real important point from this article for me is that, ‘The die was cast around 1998, when GDP growth and electricity demand growth became “decoupled”’. In other words, for the last 2o years the utilities should have been investing in renewables and they did not. The point being that renewables are easier to turn “off” when you do not need them. If the utilities start investing heavily now in renewables they may survive. It is a horse race at this point.

https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/energy-and-environment/2018/2/27/17052488/electricity-demand-utilities

The US electricity sector is in a period of unprecedented change and turmoil. Renewable energy prices are falling like crazy. Natural gas production continues its extraordinary surge. Coal, the golden child of the current administration, is headed down the tubes.

In all that bedlam, it’s easy to lose sight of an equally important (if less sexy) trend: Demand for electricity is stagnant.

Thanks to a combination of greater energy efficiency, outsourcing of heavy industry, and customers generating their own power on site, demand for utility power has been flat for 10 years, and most forecasts expect it to stay that way. The die was cast around 1998, when GDP growth and electricity demand growth became “decoupled”:

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Go there and read gleefully. More next week.

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Solar Panel Tariff Is Dumb – But then again look who issued the Executive Order

People have always said the Donald Trump was smart as a fox. Or that his antics distract from what he really wants, and that he ALways gets what he wants. It has even been said that he is like a major league hitter who whiffs sometimes but hits out of the park enough to have a great average. I think he is just a dumb ass with a lot of money to cover up his mistakes. This is such a doozy that ain’t no mount of money gonna make up for it. Even the conservatives agree.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/455704/solar-panel-washer-tariffs-trump-tariffs-hurt-consumers

The Corner The one and only. ‘Taking Us to the Cleaners’

by Veronique de Rugy January 24, 2018 1:36 PM

The title of this post comes from the great Don Boudreaux, professor of economics and a free-trade warrior, over at Cafe Hayek.

It is the perfect soundbite to the Trump administration’s decision to impose a penalty on Americans who buy foreign-made solar panels and washers. The administration, of course, doesn’t call it that. Instead, it calls it a 30 percent tariff of solar panels and imported washers to protect our domestic manufactures.

Here is what the the solar protection looks like: ” The solar trade protection — which applies to solar panels as well as cells, the piece of equipment that converts sunlight into electricity — is a 30% tariff in the first year, declining to 15% by a fourth year. The first 2.5 gigawatts of cells imported annually is exempt from the tariff.”

This is a perfect example of the profound deficiencies in the process that leads to applying a tariff, which I wrote about last week. The Wall Street Journal reports: “The solar tariff is a response to a petition filed at the International Trade Commission by two U.S.-based manufacturers — Chinese-owned Suniva, which filed for bankruptcy last year, and German-owned SolarWorld Americas, whose parent company filed for bankruptcy last year.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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