View Full Version : Obama to Regulate Carbon Dioxide

04-17-2009, 09:17 PM
More evidence that the inmates are now running the asylum.

The US government is to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, having decided that it and five other greenhouse gases may endanger human health and well-being.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the move following a review of the scientific evidence.
The decision marks a major change from the Bush presidency, when the EPA argued it could not regulate CO2 because the gas was not a pollutant.
Developing countries have asked for the US to show leadership on climate.
Many are not prepared to curtail their own emissions without firm indications that the US is willing to make significant reductions.
Carbon-cutting legislation is being proposed in Congress, but the EPA decision - known as an "endangerment finding" - will allow the agency to mandate some cuts without waiting for the draft bills to become law. "This finding confirms that greenhouse gas pollution is a serious problem now and for future generations," said EPA administrator Lisa Jackson.
"Fortunately, it follows President Obama's call for a low-carbon economy and strong leadership in Congress on clean energy and climate legislation; and... the solution is one that will create millions of green jobs and end our country's dependence on foreign oil."
'Disproportionate impacts'
In 2007, the Supreme Court instructed the agency to review the evidence on climate change with a view to reconsidering its stance on the possible threats of climate change.

In the endangerment finding, the EPA now cites a number of impacts that it believes may impact significantly on US citizens, including:

an increased risk of droughts and floods
sea level rise
more intense storms and heatwaves
harm to water supplies, agriculture and wildlife

Ms Jackson concluded that these impacts would fall disproportionately on people who were poor or in ill health, and on indigenous groups.
The EPA quoted a 2007 report by a group of retired generals and admirals who said that climate change presented "national security challenges" for the US.

Environmental groups said this was the latest sign that the Obama administration is taking a very different line on climate change from its predecessor.
"This reclaims the US role on the international stage as a leader," said Phyllis Cuttino, director of the US global warming programme at the Pew Environment Group in Washington DC.
"The EPA's next step will probably be to grant the 'California waiver', which would allow states to restrict tailpipe emissions, and that we expect to happen very soon," she told BBC News.
Under the Bush administration, the agency denied California the right to set targets for vehicle efficiency, for which it needed a waiver from federal law.
At least 15 states plan to follow California's lead.
The EPA's decision now goes out to public consultation. The agency says it will "conduct an appropriate process and consider stakeholder input" before imposing restrictions on any part of the economy.
The endangerment finding also empowers the EPA to regulate the other five greenhouse gases included in the Kyoto Protocol - methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride.


Ought Six
04-17-2009, 09:26 PM
Perhaps now they can regulate and tax human respiration.

04-17-2009, 09:47 PM
I think they might have guessed all along that their other carbon proposals would not survive full debate in Congress, so this particular regulatory aspect has been going on behind the scenes with their blessings for awhile now.

Ought Six
04-17-2009, 10:19 PM
At least cap and trade has gone from a sure thing to a doubtful proposition. That is progress.

04-18-2009, 10:16 AM
At least cap and trade has gone from a sure thing to a doubtful proposition. That is progress.

:lol: IMO cap and trade with offsets is the lesser of two evils because it at least uses a market-like device to accomplish it's intent. Do you really wanna see full-on regulation of atmospheric carbon by the EPA??

04-19-2009, 05:17 PM
10 green projects that just might save the world

From sun-seeking solar arrays to geothermal generators
Wednesday at 10:22 BST
Babcock Ranch will be the most sustainable city in the Sunshine State

Faced with massive population growth, melting ice caps and the need to own an ever-increasing number of gadgets, the world needs to find sustainable solutions (http://www.techradar.com/news/world-of-tech/10-green-projects-that-just-might-save-the-world-591987#).
And it needs to find them quickly, to meet our energy needs for today and tomorrow.
Luckily, far-sighted engineers and government officials are already taking the action required as these 10 great green projects hopefully prove...
1. Qaidam Basin PV, China
Announced in January 2009, the Qaidam Basin solar farm (http://www.chinactdc.com/templet/en_news.asp?id=511) in north-west China will eventually be the world's biggest, generating up to 1GW of on-grid electricity, although the initial phase - due to begin construction this year - will shoot for a more modest 30MW. But as ambitious as the Qaidam Basin project undoubtedly is, its peak energy capacity is just a fraction of what China's coal-fired power stations produced in 2006 - some 90GW, according to EcoGeek (http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/2420/). At least it's a step in the right direction.
2. Markbygden, Sweden
With 1,101 turbines located over 450 square kilometres, the Markbygden wind farm (http://www.renewable-energy-industry.com/news/newstickerdetail.php?changeLang=en_GB&newsid=116) will be one of the world's largest when it goes on stream in 2020. It needs to be. Sweden plans to produce 50 per cent of all its energy needs by then through the use of renewables, and Markbydgen will produce 8 per cent of the total. Currently awaiting approval by the Swedish government, the €5-billion farm will eventually produce 12TWh of energy per year.
3. Three Gorges Project, China
This hydroelectric dam (http://www.ctgpc.com/) will be the world's biggest when it's complete in 2011, producing 22,500MWh of earth-friendly electricity. However the 39.3km3 dam has also been mired in controversy from the outset, causing the displacement of over 1.2 million people and untold environmental damage. Experts have also warned (http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=chinas-three-gorges-dam-disaster) that the Three Gorges dam's position on a series of seismic faults could also trigger a catastrophic earthquake. However, the Three Gorges dam will also remove some 100 million tonnes of CO2 and 2 million tonnes of SO2 that would otherwise have been generated by coal-fired power stations - and the Chinese authorities have finally wised up to the dam's negative aspects, taking steps to ameliorate them.
http://mos.futurenet.com/techradar/classifications/world%20of%20tech/images/Three%20Gorges%20Dam%20China-420-90.jpg</IMG itxtvisited="1">
[Photo credit: Tim Salmon, Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tims/sets/72057594141339765/)]
4. Acciona Amareleja (Moura) PV plant, Portugal
Completed last year, this solar farm is currently the world's biggest, producing 93 million KWh of electricity per year, enough for 30,000 Portuguese households. The 45MW plant - built and run by energy company Acciona Solar - is the latest in a long line of sustainable energy projects being constructed in Portugal, which has few natural resources aside from an over-abundance of sunshine.
http://mos.futurenet.com/techradar/classifications/world%20of%20tech/images/Acciona%20solar%20garden-420-90.jpg</IMG itxtvisited="1">
5. Siadar Wave Energy Project, Hebrides
Given the UK's status as an island nation, you'd think our shores would be awash with wave farms - power stations that harness the power of the sea to generate energy. Although that's not quite the case, there are signs that we are catching on, with the Siadar Wave Energy Project (http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2009/01/22121716) (SWEP) being just one great example. Jointly developed by the Scottish government and wave energy experts Wavegen, SWEP will produce 4MW of electricity when it's complete in 2011 - enough to power 1,800 Scottish homes on the Western Isles of Lewis and Harris. The plant will be part of a wider Scottish initiative that aims to produce 5.5GW of energy using renewables.
http://mos.futurenet.com/techradar/classifications/world%20of%20tech/images/Siadar%20wave%20farm%20Hebrides%2001-420-90.jpg</IMG itxtvisited="1">
6. Leyte Geothermal Field, Philippines
A natural abundance of 'hot rocks' has turned the Philippines into the second biggest geothermal producer in the world, generating gigawatts of electricity cheaply and sustainably. Leyte, which produces 708MW of electricity, is the biggest of five geothermal fields in the country - the total output of which is enough to meet 28 per cent of The Philippines' energy needs. [via Enerlix (http://www.enerlix.com/environmental-technology/article_2878.htm)]
7. Topaz Solar Farm, San Luis Obispo County, California
Portugal's Moura project maybe the biggest solar farm right now, but it looks like it won't stay that way for long. Due to open in 2012-13 is a 550MW facility (http://www.pge.com/about/news/mediarelations/newsreleases/q3_2008/080814.shtml) 100 miles north of Los Angeles, which will have enough photovoltaic cells to generate sustainable electricity for over 190,000 US homes. The 9.5 square mile facility will join several others commissioned by Pacific Gas & Energy, which aims to produce 3,600MW by sustainable means.
http://mos.futurenet.com/techradar/classifications/world%20of%20tech/images/Nellis%20Air%20Force%20Base%20solar%20farm%2002-420-90.jpg</IMG itxtvisited="1">
The Topaz Solar Farm in California will use a photovoltaic array, similar to the ones pictured here at Nellis Air Force Base (http://www.nellis.af.mil/news/nellissolarpowersystem.asp).
8. Sevilla PV, Sanlúcar la Mayor, Spain
This solar farm near Seville, Spain, has to be one of the most breathtaking in Europe. It comprises an array of 600 steel mirrors (http://www.abengoasolar.es/en/our_projects/solucar/sevilla_pv/index.html) that redirect the sunlight to the top of a 115m solar tower. There, water vapour is turned into steam, which then drives turbines that generate enough electricity to power 6,000 homes. Abengoa Solar, the company which runs the facility, says the technology (http://www.techradar.com/news/world-of-tech/10-green-projects-that-just-might-save-the-world-591987#) used in the project is actually very simple. Its aim is for the 1.2MW farm to eventually generate enough energy to power 600,000 homes (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6616651.stm).
9. Maglev wind turbines, erm, anywhere?
Another project that could quite literally take your breath away is the maglev wind turbine. In a nutshell, a maglev wind turbine replaces the ball bearings found in traditional designs with neodymium full-permanent magnets. The result is that the turbines only need very low levels of wind power to turn, and can also produce vast quantities of electricity - up to 2GW per turbine, compared to the 5MW available on the biggest turbines now. Inhabitat says (http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/11/26/super-powered-magnetic-wind-turbine-maglev/) production of maglev wind turbines is already underway in China, with more being made by US company Maglev Wind Turbine Technologies (http://www.maglevwindturbine.com/).
10. Babcock Ranch, Florida
Currently awaiting approval, Babcock Ranch is a 19,500-dwelling solar city (http://www.miamiherald.com/business/story/993255.html) that will also be home to one of the largest photovoltaic energy generators - producing 75MW of electricity. US developer Kitson & Partners says that will enable the city to be a net contributor to the Sunshine State's energy needs, even if Babcock Ranch inhabitants will still need to rely on conventional heat and light sources once the sun goes down. [via Engadget (http://www.engadget.com/2009/04/11/75-megawatt-solar-plant-to-power-first-solar-city-in-florida/)]
http://mos.futurenet.com/techradar/classifications/world%20of%20tech/images/Babcock%20Ranch%20solar%20city%20Florida%2001-420-90.jpg</IMG itxtvisited="1">