Monday, December 22, 2008

Producing Liquid Fuels FromCoal: Prospects and Policy Issues

This Report prepared by the Rand Corporation for the United States Air Force and the
National Energy Technology Laboratory of the United States Department of Energy describes the technical status, costs, and performance of methods that are available for producing liquids from coal; the key energy and environmental policy issues associated with Coal-to-Liquid development; the impediments to early commercial experience; and the efficacy of alternative federal incentives in promoting early commercial experience.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Decline of Clean Water Act Enforcement Program

This Memo from the House Majority Staff, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Majority Staff, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to Rep. Henry A. Waxman Chairman, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and James L. Oberstar Chairman, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure dated December 16,2008 details allegations that the Clean Water Act enforcement program has deteriorated significantly over the past two years. The memo is based on a review of more than 20,000 pages of documents produced to the Committees by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Documents are found here:Supporting Documents

The documents indicate that the Supreme Court's decision on June 19,2006, in Rapanos v. United States and the Administration's guidance implementing that decision have resulted in a decline in the number of Clean Water Act inspections, investigations, and enforcement actions. In numerous e-mails, memos, and other documents, EPA field offices across the country have expressed serious concerns about this negative trend, warning that they are no longer able to ensure the safety and health of the nation's waters.

The documents also indicate that in one particular case involving the Santa Cruz River in Arizona, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works disregarded a scientific determination of career staff that would prevent the reduction of Clean Water Act coverage.

Working in conjunction with corporate lobbyists and developers, this political appointee launched a campaign to overturn the scientific determination, although his efforts ultimately failed after direct intervention by EPA's Assistant Administrator for Water.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Endangered Species Act and the Conflict between Science and Policy

This Report by the Inspector General of the Department of the Interior dated December 10, 2008 finds that actions of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish Wildlife and Parks in circumventing the scientific analysis of Endangered Species Act decisions jeopardised the entire decision-making process by making it appear arbitrary and capricious.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Transition to Green: Leading the Way to a Healthy Environment, a Green Economy, and a Sustainable Future

This report published by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Dated November 2008 provides environmental transition recommendations for the Obama Administration.

The Report produced by a coalition of environmental action groups states that science should have a primary role. The base environmental regulations should rest not politics but science. The report notes top areas for action and makes numerous recommendations across a wide range of federal agencies. The report identifies four broad areas that deserve special attention during the Obama transition.
-Clean Energy and Climate Change
-The Federal Budget and Stimulus Legislation
-The White House as a Leader on Clean Energy and the Environment
-Putting the Right People in the Right Jobs

Kyoto Protocol Reference Manual on Accounting of Emissions

This Manual produced by the UNFCCC secretariat and dated February 2007 provides "a reference tool to assist Parties included in Annex I to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Annex I Parties) in the implementation of their commitments related to accounting of emissions and assigned amounts under the Kyoto Protocol. In this regard, the manual synthesizes the requirements for Annex I Parties
with respect to:
• National systems for preparation of national inventories;
• National registries;
• Reporting, review and compliance procedures related to the
accounting of emissions and assigned amount;
• Accounting for land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF)
• Participation in the Kyoto Protocol mechanisms and the procedures
for establishing, maintaining and suspending eligibility; and
• Transactions of Kyoto Protocol units.
This manual does not address methodologies and baselines or procedures for crediting of emission reduction and removal projects under the clean development mechanism or joint implementation. Nor does it provide information on other Kyoto Protocol commitments not directly related to the accounting of Parties’ emissions and assigned amounts, other than what is covered in this introduction.

Bush Watch: The Last One Hundred Days

This Report by the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming Majority Staff subtitled: Past is Prologue: For Energy and the Environment, the Bush Administration’s Last 100 Days Could Rival the First 100: Deregulatory Risks Abound for Environment and Energy Policy in Final Months of Bush Administration while not politically balanced offers the view of the committee's majority on regulatory changes during the last days of the administration.

The report will cover the following major rulemaking topics:
• New Source Review and other air pollution rules under Clean Air Act
• Fuel economy
• Biofuels
• Endangered Species Act
• Mountaintop mining, oil shale, tar sands and other resource extraction rules
• Clean water rules
• Global warming
• Nuclear energy and safety
• Rules already issued

Review of the Federal Strategy for Nanotechnology-Related Environmental, Health and Safety Research

The report by the National Research Council calls for a revamped national strategic plan that will minimize potential risks and permit innovation to flourish and society to reap nanotechnology’s benefits.

The risk research plan developed under the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) has been widely criticized by consumer groups, chemical industry representatives and congressional lawmakers from both major parties as lacking a clear vision and the resources necessary to improve understanding of the potential risks posed by nanomaterials.

This report calls for an improved mechanism for conducting research. As many as 18 federal agencies — including the Defense Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration — are under the umbrella of the NNI’s environment and health implications working group, making coordinating research a challenging task. The principal recommendation is to replace the current bottom-up collection of individual agency research agendas and budgets with a top-down, highly focused and fully-funded strategy that addresses the risk research priorities of a rapidly commercializing new technology.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Environmental Effects of Agricultural Land-Use Change: The Role of Economics and Policy

This Report (Economic Research Report Number 25) from the United States Department of Agriculture examines the relationship between agricultural land-use changes, soil productivity, and indicators of environmental sensitivity. If cropland that shifts in and out of production is less productive and more environmentally sensitive than other cropland, policy-induced changes in land use could have production effects that are smaller—and environmental impacts that are greater—than anticipated. To illustrate this possibility, this report examines environmental outcomes stemming from landuse conversion caused by two agricultural programs that others have identified as potentially having important influences on land use and environmental quality: Federal crop insurance subsidies and the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), the Nation’s largest cropland retirement program. The report finds that lands moving between cultivated cropland and less intensive agricultural uses are, on average, less productive and more vulnerable to erosion than other cultivated lands, both nationally and locally. These lands are also associated with greater potential nutrient runoff and leaching compared with cultivated cropland nationally. Crop insurance subsidies and CRP have estimated effects on erosion and other environmental factors that are disproportionate to the acreage and production effects, but specific environmental impacts vary with the features of each program.

Report of the Conference of the Parties on its thirteenth session, held in Bali from 3 to 15 December 2007

This Report of the proceedings of the Bali Meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC/CP/2007/6, dated: 14 March 2008) sets forth the work of the parties at the Bali meeting.

Environmental Protection Agenncies Most Wanted Environmental Criminals

The EPA is offering a Web tool to enlist the public and other law enforcement agencies in tracking down fugitives accused of violating environmental laws and evading arrest.

The Web site includes photos of the accused, summaries of their alleged environmental violations, and information on each fugitive’s last known whereabouts. The alleged violations include smuggling of ozone-depleting substances, illegally disposing of hazardous waste, discharging pollutants into the air and water, laundering money and making criminally false statements.

Increasing Feedstock Production for Biofuels: Economic Drivers, Environmental Implications, and the Role of Research

This Report from the interagency Biomass Research and Development Board on the economic feasibility of developing both farm- and forest-derived biofuel feedstocks to meet national targets for biofuels to reduce gasoline consumption.

Among the report's overall conclusions is that new technologies resulting from research and development are the linchpin to developing a sustainable biofuel industry that meets national targets. Last year's energy bill set out a Renewable Fuels Standard that calls for production of 36 billion gallons of biofuels annually by 2022.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Future of Public Nuisance

This Webcast covers the concept of public nuisance and its use in environmental issues. It takes note of a recent Rhode Island case rejecting the expanded use of public nuisance. Learn more about:

The history of public nuisance litigation and the Rhode Island decision;
The advantages and disadvantages of public nuisance claims;
Current and expected public nuisance lawsuits, including climate change;
California’s role in public nuisance litigation;
Establishing and challenging causation;
The use of contingent fee counsel in claims brought by some public authorities;
The applicability of market share liability to public nuisance;
The types of relief being sought and traditionally available.

Registration is free.

Webcast: State Policies to Encourage Green Building Principles

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Technical Assistance Project (TAP) for state and local officials is offering a Web seminar on how states are setting voluntary targets and requirements for reducing energy consumption in public facilities. The presentation will take place December 17, from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and is titled "State Policies to Encourage and Require Green Building Principles in the Public Sector."

The presenters will be:

Brian Lips: Lips is a policy analyst for the North Carolina Solar Center at N.C. State University and conducts research related to government and utility incentives and policies for the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency. He will give an overview of state green government policies nationwide.

Chuck Sathrum: Sathrum is a program manager at the North Carolina State Energy Office. He will discuss the N.C. Utility Savings Initiative, which is a comprehensive program to reduce utility expenditures and resource use in public buildings.

Angie Fyfe: Fyfe is the manager of the Greening Government Program at the Colorado Governor's Energy Office. She will discuss how the Colorado governor has used executive orders to engage state employees to reduce energy consumption.

You can find more information about the presenters as well as links to background materials and reports on the TAP section of the Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program Web site.

The Webcast is free of charge, but you must register in advance to obtain a URL for the presentation and call-in phone number. Please contact Misty Conrad by phone at 303-384-7467 or via email.

Cleaning Up America's Nuclear Weapons Complex

This Report by National Governor's Association sets forth the progress states have made in partnership with the federal government treating, cleaning and disposing of waste throughout America's nuclear weapons complex. The report also details recommendations to help improve this partnership.

States became partners in the nuclear weapons cleanup process in 1992 when Congress passed the Federal Facility Compliance Act, which provided states an active role working with the U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) to determine appropriate treatment and disposal of America's nuclear weapons. To formalize this new working relationship, NGA formed the Federal Facilities Task Force, which is comprised of governor appointed representatives from 13 affected states.

A number of unresolved challenges remain between states and the U.S. DOE, including:

Funding – securing federal funding to meet agreed-upon, enforceable cleanup milestones;
Cleanup – getting sites to meet both federal and state cleanup standards;
Disposal and Transport – ensuring a safe transport and disposal system for radioactive waste; and
Land Use – assessing and compensating states for damages to natural resources.
In early November 2008, a number of national groups representing state, local, and tribal governments met with U.S. DOE as part of the seventh annual meeting to discuss cleanup and management of federal facilities. The groups – including the NGA Center's Federal Facilities Task Force – acknowledged their common interest in cleaning up federal facilities across the country and affirmed their commitment to working collaboratively to ensure effective and efficient cleanup efforts. The groups pledged to build on previous combined meetings and on the cooperative programs each group has developed independently.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Public Finance Mechanisms to Mobilise Investment in Climate Change Mitigation

This Report was produced by the United Nations Environmental Programme"s (UNEP) Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, under its Sustainable Energy Finance Initiative, commissioned the report as a contribution to the UNFCCC Secretariat Technical Paper “Investment and Financial Flows to Address Climate Change: An Update.” The Report finds that "Parties to the UNFCCC are currently assessing how to respond to the challenge of financing the new technology needed to mitigate climate change.

Discussions focus on new financing resources and vehicles to support the development, deployment, diffusion and transfer of climate-friendly technologies in developing countries. Key questions include: What should be the scale of new financing by governments? How can public monies mobilise and leverage sufficient commercial capital to achieve greenhouse gas emissions reduction objectives? In other words: how can the most be made of those new financing resources?
Much of this government support will be used to set up or expand existing Public Finance Mechanisms (PFMs) aimed at climate change negotiation. These PFMs vary in their structure and focus, but all broadly seek to mobilise commercial financing and build commercially sustainable markets for GHG mitigation activities. Examples of climate mitigation focused PFM include:
· Credit lines to local commercial financial institutions (CFI) for providing both
senior and mezzanine debt to projects;
· Guarantees to share with local CFIs the commercial credit risks of lending to
projects and companies;
· Debt financing of projects by entities other than CFIs;
· Private equity (PE) funds investing risk capital in companies and projects;
· Venture capital (VC) funds investing risk capital in technology innovations,
· Carbon finance facilities that monetize the advanced sale of emissions
reductions to finance project investment costs;
· Grants and contingent grants to share project development costs, and
· Loan softening programmes, to mobilise domestic sources of capital,
· Inducement prizes, to stimulate R&D or technology development,
· Technical assistance to build the capacity of all actors along the financing

Low Carbon Energy: A Roadmap

This Worldwatch Report (WORLDWATCH REPORT 178) by Christopher Flavin finds that: "Concern about climate change and rising energy prices have sparked a nascent transformation of the energy business, with engineers, entrepreneurs, and investors who would have been focused on the Internet and biotechnology a decade ago now focused on energy. Their skills, energy, and commitment to solving one of the world’s greatest problems is likely to prove as revolutionary as their great-grandparents’ work to build a carbon-based economy a century ago.

Rebuilding the global energy system will be expensive, but it can also be transformative. And its sheer scale would create thousands of new businesses and millions of jobs for decades to come. At a time of serious economic troubles, volatile oil prices, and instability in many fossil fuel producing regions, building an efficient, low-carbon energy system can become an engine of economic recovery,
job creation, and international cooperation. Climate change, energy security, and economic development should be viewed, in the words of Common Cause founder John
Gardner, as 'breathtaking opportunities disguised as insoluble problems.'"

Friday, December 5, 2008

OECA FY 2008 Accomplishments Report

This Report by the Environmental Protection Agencies Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance details enforcement and compliance efforts during the 2007 fiscal year.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Following the U.S . Supreme Court's Decision in Rapanos v. United States & Carabell v. United States

This document produced by the United States Environmental Protection Agency aims at providing guidance to the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the jurisdiction of federal regulations pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Courts decision in Rapanos where the Court defined "Waters of the United States."

Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 2007

This report (DOE/EIA-0573(2007)) by the Department of Energy dated December 3, 2008 finds that: "total U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were 7,282 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO 2e) in 2007, an increase of 1.4 percent from the 2006 level according to Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 2007, a report released today by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Since 1990, U.S. GHG emissions have grown at an average annual rate of 0.9 percent."

Document to be found here

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pace Environmental Notes - November 2008

The latest issue of P.E.N. is ready and can be accessed here.

Pace Environmental Notes is a service of Pace Law Library and is compiled by Jack McNeill, Associate Library Director and liaison to the Environmental Law Program. P.E.N. offers the latest periodical publications, library acquisitions and other materials in the areas of environmental and public utilities law, ecology, and related areas.

Pace Environmental Notes is published each month during the school year, September through May. Back issues may be found by following the P.E.N. link on the Law Library’s “Internet Resources” web page.

Pace Environmental Notes is distributed to members of the Pace Law School community and other interested individuals in Adobe .pdf and Microsoft Word formats. Either version may be read online or printed out. If you would like to be added to, or removed from, the distribution list, please send an e-mail to Jack McNeill at

The United Nations Climate Change Conference, Poznań, Poland - COP 14

The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznań opened on Monday, 1 December. The Conference is a milestone on the road to success for the processes which were launched under the Bali Road Map.The meeting comes midway between COP 13 in Bali, which saw the launch of negotiations on strengthened international action on climate change, and COP 15 Copenhagen, at which the negotiations are set to conclude.

The Conference includes the 29th sessions of the Convention’s subsidiary bodies - SBSTA and SBI – as well as the 4th session of the AWG-LCA and the 2nd part of the 6th session of the AWG-KP. Almost eleven thousand participants are attending the Poznań meeting, which will both advance international cooperation on a future climate change regime and ensure progress on key issues.
Provisional agendas and further information

International Climate Change Programs

This Government Accountability Office Report (GAO-09-151) dated November 2008 is subtitled: Lessons Learned from the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme and the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism. The Report concludes that In the EU "the ETS phase I established a functioning market for carbon dioxide allowances, but its effects on emissions, the European economy, and technology investment are less certain. Nonetheless, experts suggest that it offers lessons that may prove useful in informing congressional decision making. By limiting the total number of emission allowances provided to covered entities under the program and enabling these entities to sell or buy allowances, the ETS set a price on carbon emissions. However, in 2006, a release of emissions data revealed that the supply of allowances the cap exceeded the demand, and the allowance price collapsed. Overall, the cumulative effect of phase I on emissions is uncertain because of a lack of baseline emissions data. The long-term effects on the economy also are uncertain."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Congressional Hearings in support of H.R. 2334, Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness and Indian Peaks Wilderness expansion; H.R. 2632, Sabinoso Wilderness Act of 2007; H.R. 3287, Tumacacori Highlands Wilderness Act of 2007; H.R. 3513, Copper Salmon Wilderness Act; and H.R. 3682, California Desert and Mountain Heritage Act [electronic resource] : legislative hearing before the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands of the Committee on Natural Resources, U.S. House of Representatives, One Hundred Tenth Congress, first session, Tuesday, November 13, 2007.

Water Resources Development Act of 2007: Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 1495

This Conference Report (HR Rep. 110–280). details Congressional intent in passing the Act. The Act covers programs provide ecological restoration programs, Flood mitigation projects, and specific projects located in Alaska, Arizona , and Arkansas.

Food, Conservation, and Energy Act: Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 2419

This Conference Report details the Congressional intent in passing the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. The bill covers, among other items, biofuels and the environmental aspects of agriculture.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming: 110th Congress Staff Report

This Report by the Select Subcommittee on Energy Independence and Global Warming sets sets forth its understanding of the threat posed by global warming and details steps it believes are necessary to counter the worse effects of Global Warming. the link leads to a web page where the document is offered in .pdf format section by section.

Toolkit for Foundations and Individual Investors: Harnessing Your Investments to Help Solve the Climate Crisis, November 2008

This Ceres report issued today identifies the steps foundations and individual investors can take to address climate change-related risks and opportunities that may be embedded in their investment portfolios. Ceres is a national network of investors, environmental organizations and other public interest groups.

The "Toolkit for Foundations and Individual Investors: Harnessing Your Investments to Help Solve the Climate Crisis" is co-sponsored by the Environmental Grantmakers Association).

The toolkit outlines five steps foundations and other investors can take to advance tangible climate solutions, including:

1) Pressing companies to improve their climate change strategies
2) Engaging with Wall Street investment managers to incorporate climate change into investment research and decision making
3) Joining other institutional investors in supporting policy solutions and SEC regulatory actions
4) Investing in clean technologies and energy efficiency
5) Coordinating with other investors to address climate-related risks.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Nuclear Safety: Department of Energy needs to Strengthen Its Independent Oversight of Nuclear Facilitiesd and Operations

This Government Accountability Office Report (GAO-09-61) dated October 2008 finds that:

"The Dept of Energy structured its independent oversight Office of Health, Safety and Security, in a way that falls short of meeting our key elements of effective independent oversight of nuclear safety. Specifically, HSS does not fully meet these key elements:

Results in Brief
• Independence: HSS operates separately within the department from the program offices. However, HSS is not included in the safety basis review process for new nuclear facilities or for significant modifications to existing facilities, some of which may raise new safety concerns. Instead, this review process is conducted by the program offices at the DOE sites, which raises questions about the independence of this process. HSS also lacks its own representatives at DOE sites and the head of the office does not have a position comparable to program office heads from which to
independently advocate for nuclear safety.
• Technical expertise: An HSS predecessor office, the Office of Environment, Safety and Health, had more than 20 technical experts in nuclear safety review positions—positions that do not exist in HSS. Moreover, HSS has vacancies for four nuclear safety specialists in two subordinate offices. For example, two of the five critical nuclear safety specialist positions in HSS’s Office of Enforcement remain vacant. This HSS office and the Office of Independent Oversight have had to rely on personnel from other HSS offices, the program offices, and contractors to fulfill their responsibilities. In addition, with about half of its overall staff eligible to retire in the next 5 years, HSS plans to meet this challenge through special hiring authority and continued use of other federal personnel and contractors to maintain an adequate technical resource base.

Ability to perform reviews and require that findings be addressed: HSS has some limitations in its nuclear safety review functions. First, we found that HSS lacks basic information about the high-hazard nuclear facilities it is supposed to oversee. As of December 2007, HSS did not have accurate information regarding the total number of these nuclear facilities or the number of facilities that lacked an approved safety basis meeting requirements set in 2001. We conducted a survey and identified 205 highhazard nuclear facilities—31 did not have updated safety basis documentation. We also found that about one-third of the 205 facilities do not fully conform with DOE guidance to limit the time that temporary control measures can be used to allow a high-hazard nuclear facility to operate outside of its approved safety basis. Even though HSS is the only independent office with oversight of nuclear safety, it has no role in reviewing these operational decisions. Second, although HSS periodically inspects DOE sites and identifies program deficiencies, there are some gaps in meeting its internal guidelines to inspect sites with nuclear
facilities at least every 2 to 4 years or more frequently, depending on the risks. We determined that HSS and a predecessor office did not inspect 8 of the 22 sites where high-hazard nuclear facilities are located in the last 5 years. Third, although the program offices are required to develop corrective actions in response to HSS inspection findings, HSS generally does not review the effectiveness of these actions until it returns to the same site for another inspection, which occurred approximately every 3 years on average since 2000 for the seven sites with the most high-hazard nuclear facilities (13 to 38 facilities), and on average every 6 years for the sites with two to seven high-hazard nuclear facilities.
• Enforcement authority: HSS has the authority to levy civil penalties and take other enforcement actions against contractors that violate nuclear safety requirements, but it has not been able to reduce some recurring violations. This is despite HSS guidance that prioritizes addressing longstanding and recurring violations with increased enforcement actions. We found that 9 of the 25 most frequently cited violations of DOE nuclear safety requirements occurred at the same or higher average frequency in 2007 as in 2005. We determined that while HSS had frequently conducted enforcement activities at the sites with the most high-hazard nuclear facilities, they were also the sites where the failure to perform work
consistent with technical standards was the most common recurring violation.
• Public access: The public generally does not have access to HSS reports addressing environment, safety, and health deficiencies at sites with highhazard nuclear facilities.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

NOAA: Climate of 2008

This annual Report from the Nation Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's national Climatic Data Center sets forth global weather and temperature data for the previous year. This year's findings include an increase in global temperature and a retreating arctic ice patterns. Combined global land and ocean surface average temperature for October 2008 was the second warmest since records began in 1880. combined global land and ocean surface temperature for October was 58.23 degrees F — 1.13 degrees F above the 20th century mean of 57.1 degrees F.

Arctic sea ice coverage during October was at its third lowest extent since satellite records began in 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Average ice extent during October was 3.24 million square miles, which is 9.5 percent below the 1979-2000 average. The record lowest extent for October, set in 2007, was 2.55 million square miles. Arctic sea ice extent has been declining by an average of 5.4 percent per decade over the past 30 years.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency Vision for 2025: A Framework for Change

This plan dated November 18, 2008 outlines critical steps for state policy makers to take toward the goal of increasing the nation’s investment in low cost energy efficiency. The plan also shows the progress states are making toward these goals. States, utilities and other organizations are spending about $2 billion per year on energy efficiency programs. Through this investment, states, utilities and other organizations have saved the energy equivalent of more than 30 power plants generating 500 megawatts of electricity saving energy customers nearly $6 billion annually. This effort helped reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those emitted from 9 million vehicles.

The updated action plan also identifies areas for additional progress. About one third of the states have established energy savings targets and addressed utility disincentives for energy efficiency. Moreover, about half of the states have established energy efficiency programs for key customer classes and reviewed and updated building codes.

Two technical assistance documents are also available to assist states in achieving the energy goals established under the action plan. The first document provides guidance on establishing cost-effectiveness tests for energy efficiency programs, while the second outlines best practices for providing business customers with energy-use and cost data.

2006-2011 EPA Strategic Plan: Charting Our Course

This plan dated September 30, 2006 discusses challenges and opportunities that are likely to arise in the coming years. The 2006-2011 Plan clearly identifies the environmental and human health outcomes the public can expect. The Plan also expands upon some of our more significant geographic initiatives and reflects increased collaboration with our state, tribal, local, and federal partners.

Specifically the plan is to, by 2015, reduce the populationweighted ambient concentration of ozone in all monitored counties by 14 percent from the 2003 baseline.
• By 2015, reduce the populationweighted ambient concentration of PM2.5 in all monitored counties by 6 percent from the 2003 baseline.
• By 2011, reduce emissions of fine particles from mobile sources by 134,700 tons from the 2000 level of 510,550 tons.
• By 2011, reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX) from mobile sources by 3.7 million tons from the 2000 level of 11.8 million tons.
• By 2011, reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds from mobile sources by 1.9 million tons from the 2000 level of 7.7 million tons.
• By 2018, visibility in eastern Class I areas will improve by 15 percent on the 20 percent worst visibility days, as compared to visibility on the 20 percent worst days during the 2000–2004 baseline period.
• By 2018, visibility in western Class I areas will improve by 5 percent on the 20 percent worst visibility days, as compared to visibility on the 20 percent worst days during the 2000–2004 baseline period.
• By 2011, with EPA support, 30 additional tribes (6 per year) will have completed air quality emission inventories. (FY 2005 baseline: 28 tribal emission inventories.)
• By 2011, 18 additional tribes will possess the expertise and capability to supplement the Clean Air Act in Indian country (as demonstrated by successful completion of an eligibility determination under the Tribal Authority Rule). (FY 2005 baseline: 24 tribes.)

Sub-objective 1.1.2: Air Toxics. By 2011, reduce the risk to public health and the environment from toxic air pollutants by working with partners to reduce air toxics emissions and implement area-specific approaches as follows:
Strategic Targets
• By 2010, reduce toxicity-weighted (for cancer risk) emissions of air toxics to a cumulative reduction of 19 percent from the 1993 non-weighted baseline of 7.24 million tons.
• By 2010, reduce toxicity-weighted (for non-cancer risk) emissions of air toxics to a cumulative reduction of 55 percent from the 1993 non-weighted baseline of 7.24 million tons.
Sub-objective 1.1.3: Chronically Acidic Water Bodies. By 2011, due to progress in
reducing acid deposition, the number of chronically-acidic water bodies in acid-sensitive regions of the northern and eastern United States should be maintained at or below the 2001 baseline of approximately 500 lakes and 5,000 kilometers of stream-length in the population covered by the Temporally Integrated Monitoring of Ecosystems/Long-Term Monitoring Survey. The long-term target is a 30 percent reduction in the number of chronically-acidic water bodies in acid-sensitive regions by 2030.
Strategic Targets
• By 2011, reduce national annual emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) from utility electrical power generation sources by approximately 8.45 million tons from the 1980 level of 17.4 million tons, achieving and maintaining the acid rain statutory SO2
emissions cap.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Performance and Accountability Report: Fiscal Year 2008

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s FY 2008 Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) describes the Agency’s many accomplishments and challenges in both program performance and overall management. Specifically, the Performance and Accountability Report presents results in meeting the 219 performance measures established in the FY 2008 Annual Performance Plan and Budget and explains advances made toward the long-term goals set forward in the 2006-2011 Strategic Plan ( The report also shares ideas for future directions and offers opportunities for comments and questions. Readers will learn how EPA has made a difference and where the Agency has met and overcome obstacles. This document satisfies reporting requirements of the following statutes:
 Federal Managers’ Financial Integrity Act of 1982 (FMFIA)
 Inspector General Act Amendments of 1988
 Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990
 Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA)
 Government Management Reform Act of 1994
 Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996 (FFMIA)
 Reports Consolidation Act of 2000
 Improper Payments Information Act of 2002

Monday, November 17, 2008

Revitalizing Contaminated Sites: Addressing Liability Concerns

This EPA publication (EPA Pub. No. 330-K-08-002) dated May 2008 and subtitled "The Revitalization Handbook" offers a compilation of enforcement tools, guidance, and policy documents that are available to help promote the cleanup and revitalization of contaminated sites.

"This handbook summarizes the statutory and regulatory provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 9601-9675 (CERCLA, commonly known as Superfund) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 6901-6992 (RCRA), as well as the policy and guidance documents most useful in managing environmental cleanup liability risks associated with the revitalization of contaminated sites. It is designed for use by parties involved in the assessment, cleanup, and revitalization of sites, and provides a basic description of the tools parties can use to address liability concerns."

Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: Facts and Figures 2007

This Environmental Protection Agency Report describes the national municipal solid waste (MSW) stream based on data collected for 1960 through 2007. The historical perspective is useful for establishing trends in types of MSW generated and in the ways it is managed.

In the United States, we generated approximately 254 million tons of MSW in 2007— similar to the amount generated in 2006. Excluding composting, the amount of MSW recycled increased to 63.3 million tons, an increase of 1.9 million tons from 2006. This is a 3 percent increase in the tons recycled. The tons recovered for composting rose to 21.7 million tons in 2007, up from 20.8 million tons in 2006. The recovery rate for recycling (including composting) was 33.4 percent in 2007, up from 32.3 percent in 2006. (See Tables ES-1 and ES-2 and Figures ES-1 and ES-2.)

MSW generation in 2007 declined to 4.62 pounds per person per day. This is a decrease of 0.6 percent from 2006 to 2007. The recycling rate in 2007 was 1.54 pounds per person per day (an increase of 2.7 percent over 2006). Discards sent for combustion with energy recovery remained steady at 0.58 pounds per person per day. Discards sent to landfills after recycling and combustion with energy recovery declined to 2.50 pounds per person per day in 2007. This is a decrease of 2.7 percent from 2006 to 2007 (Table ES-3).

Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in The United States: Facts and Figures for 2007

This report by the Environmental Protection Agency reports that Americans generated about 254 million tons of trash and recycled and composted 85 million tons of this material, equivalent to a 33.4 percent recycling rate (see Figure 1 and Figure 2). On average, we recycled and composted 1.5 pounds of our individual waste generation of 4.6 pounds per person per day.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Low Impact Development Conference and Vendor Fair

This conference co-sponsored by the EPA Region 1 covers the many environmental and economic benefits of low impact development (LID) through case studies, a design practicum, and presentations on recent research on the effectiveness of LID in northern climates. The conference will help developers and designers gain confidence in the use of good LID site design.

Atmospheric Brown Clouds: Regional Assessment Report with Focus on Asia

This United Nations Environmental Programme report summary reports that an increasing amount of soot, sulphates and other aerosol components in atmospheric brown clouds (ABCs) are causing major threats to the water and food security of
Asia and have resulted in surface dimming, atmospheric solar heating and soot deposition in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan-Tibetan (HKHT) glaciers and snow packs. These have given rise to major areas of concern, some of the most critical being observed decreases in the Indian summer monsoon rainfall, a north-south shift in rainfall patterns in eastern China, the accelerated retreat of the HKHT glaciers and decrease in snow packs, and the increase in surface ozone. All these have led to negative effects on water resources and crop yields. The emergence of the ABC problem is expected to further aggravate the recent dramatic escalation of food prices and the
consequent challenge for survival among the world’s most vulnerable populations. Lastly, the human fatalities from indoor and outdoor exposures to ABC-relevant pollutants have also become a source of grave concern.

Federal Land Management: Use of Stewardship Contracting is Increasing but Agencies could Benefit from Better Data and contracting Strategies

This GAO Report (GAO-09-23) found that between fiscal years 2003 through 2007, the Forest Service and BLM awarded a combined total of 535 stewardship contracts, with the number increasing each year—from 38 in fiscal year 2003 to 172 in fiscal year 2007. However, for certain aspects of stewardship contracting, such as the acres involved or the value of the services exchanged for goods, reliable data were not available for the full 5-year fiscal period because neither agency has had a comprehensive database of its stewardship contracting activity since 2003. The agencies did not begin to maintain nationwide stewardship data until recently, primarily because of difficulties in adapting their systems to account for all aspects of stewardship contracting. Further, these data are not complete, and reside in myriad systems, not all of which interface with one another. These deficiencies keep the agencies and Congress from accurately assessing the costs and value of stewardship contracting.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

2009 Northeast Land Trust Regional Conference

The Land Trust Alliance 2009 Northeast Regional Conference will take place at The Thayer Hotel, West Point, NY on April 29-30, 2009. The conference offers two days of learning and networking, including full-day seminars and roundtable discussions. Registration information and full brochure available in February.

Essential Environmental Issues in Commercial Real Estate Transactions

This American Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Teleconference and Live Audio Webcast will take place on Thursday December 4, 2008. At this time the program was still in development. Details will follow on the program web site.

Enivronmental Laws Applicable to the Construction and Operation of Ethanol Plants

This manual created by Region 7 of the Environmental Protection Agency provides a guide to the laws applicable to the operation of Ethanol Plants

Environmental Laws Applicable to Construction and Operation of Biodiesel Production Facilities

This manual produced by Region 7 of the Environmental Protection Agency identifies environmental regulatory rules and requirements for the construction and operation of biodiesel production facilities. The manual serves as a road map of federal environmental information in this area.

Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America

This Report by the Pew Charitable Trusts Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production (dated: Apr 29, 2008) finds that current agricultural practices often pose unacceptable risks to public health, the environment and the welfare of the animals themselves.

Wild. . . for How Long?: Ten Treasures in Trouble

This report by the Pew Charitable Trust's Campaign for American Wilderness (dated: Apr 21, 2008) identifies ten special wild areas that are vulnerable to mining, drilling, roadbuilding, logging, development and off-road vehicle abuse. These areas include: Seneca Creek, West Virginia; Chestnut Ridge, Pennsylvania; Badlands, Oregon; Broad Canyon, New Mexico; Gold Butte, Nevada; Beauty Mountain, California; East Pioneers, Montana; Boulder-White Clouds, Idaho; Greater Dominguez Canyon, Colorado; and the Tumacacori Highlands, Arizona.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Environmental Law

This ALI-ABA continuing legal education program provides an opportunity for environmental lawyers and other professionals to learn from one another and from a faculty of leading practitioners, scholars, and governmental officials. A significant percentage of the nation’s environmental bar has attended this course, which, through the years, has served more and more practitioners with considerable experience in the practice. While designed principally for the environmental law practitioner, the course also continues to serve attorneys seeking to enter the field, in part through a series of optional introductory lectures on the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Superfund, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

The program is offered live on February 4-6, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda in Washington, DC. A webcast of the program will also be provided.

Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation

This annual ALI-ABA course offers an opportunity for eminent domain lawyers representing owners and condemning authorities, together with professionals from allied fields, to share useful ideas and experiences and to engage in healthy debate on the cutting edge issues of the day. One of the unique aspects of the program is the opportunity to meet with colleagues from around the nation, exchange ideas, and enjoy fellowship.

On Thursday and Friday afternoons, registrants may choose between topics on two concurrent tracks – one on practice issues and case studies, and the other on substantive issues. This year a significant portion of the conference is also devoted to presentations on the emergence of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) as an alternative to traditional eminent domain takings, and why this trend is capturing the attention of public governmental agencies across the nation.

The program is scheduled for January 8-10, 2009 at the Eden Roc Resort in Miami Beach, FL

Condemnation 101: How To Prepare and Present an Eminent Domain Case

This continuing legal education program sponsored by ALI_ABA provides an introduction (or refresher) to basic concepts and techniques of preparing and presenting an eminent domain case. The program will take place January 8-10, 2009 at the Eden Roc Resort in Miami Beach, FL. A webcast version is also available.

Clean Air: Law, Policy, and Practice

This Continuing Legal Education course sponsored by ALI-ABA provides a timely, in-depth analysis of the major issues arising under the Clean Air Act, the principal federal statute addressing air quality. The policies of the new administration are sure to be of great concern, and invitations have been extended so that a senior environmental advisor to President-elect Obama will present a keynote address to kick off the program. The live program will take place December 3-5, 2008 at the Hilton Embassy Row Hotel in Washington, DC. A video will be available for purchase.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Special Report: Electric Industry Concerns on the Reliability Impacts of Climate Change Initiatives

This report by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation analyzes the impact of adding solar and wind energy sources to the existing North American electric grid finding that unless appropriate measures are taken to improve transmission of electricity, rules reducing carbon dioxide emissions by utilities could impair the reliability of the power grid causing brownouts and blackouts.

Crude Oil: The Supply Outlook

This report from the Energy Watch Group dated October 2007 (EWG-Series No 3/2007) argues that world peak oil occurred in 2006. By 2020, and even more by 2030, global oil supply will be dramatically lower. This will create a supply gap which can hardly be closed by growing contributions from other fossil, nuclear or alternative energy sources in this time frame.

2007 Progress Report: Vehicle and Engine Compliance Activities

This Environmental Protection Agency Report provides a reference resource for the environmental data we generate about “mobile sources,” or moving sources of air pollution. These sources include vehicles, engines, and motorized equipment that produce exhaust and evaporative emissions. The report summarizes vehicle and engine compliance program data we collected in 2007 including test results from model year 2007 certification activities plus other types of compliance reports and test results produced during calendar year 2007. National emissions inventory
data are presented for 2006.

Census of Marine Life: Highlights Report 2007/2008

This 2008 Report by the Census of Marine Life provides an overview of the Census' work in cataloging ocean life and threats to it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Oil and Gas Leasing: Interior Could do more to Encourage Diligent Development

This GAO Report Dated October 2008 (GAO-09-74) finds that the rate of leases by the Interior Dept. falls behind the rate of exploitation. Most aggressive leasing could result in greater royalties and domestic production.

Energy Markets: Refinery Outages Can Impact Petroleum Product Prices,but No Federal Requirements to Report Outages Exists.

This GAO Report (GAO-09-87) discusses the impact closed petroleum processing plants have on end user prices and the fact that there is no federal requirement to report such outages.

Monday, November 3, 2008

World Investment Report: Transnational Corporations, Extractive Industries and Development

This Report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development recognises the importance of extractive industries to the development of many nations but seeks to ensure that the vast mineral resources located in some of the world’s poorest countries become a force for sustainable development. The challenge is to develop frameworks that create incentives for local and foreign firms to produce efficiently while at the same time respecting environmental and social requirements of local communities and society at large. "A win-win situation can result if various minerals are produced efficiently and if host countries, with the support of various other stakeholders, can make the revenues generated work more effectively for sustainable development and poverty alleviation.

Dark Horizons: 10 National Parks Most Threatened by New Coal-Fired Power Plants

This Report by the National Parks Conservation Association identifies the ten national Parks most at risk of damage from additional coal-fired power plants; these are: Badlands (South Dakota), Capitol Reef (Utah), Great Basin (Nevada), Great Smoky Mountains (Tennessee and North Carolina), Mammoth Cave (Kentucky), Mesa Verde (Colorado), Shenandoah (Virginia), Theodore Roosevelt (North Dakota), Wind Cave (South Dakota), and Zion (Utah).

The State of Our National Parks: A Resources Index 2008

This 2008 Report by the National Parks Conservation Association compiles and analyzes assessments completed by NPCA’s Center for State of the Parks in a sampling of national parks through a new tool called the National Parks Resource Index, a statistical representation of how natural and cultural resources in our national parks are faring.

The Report concludes that "our national parks did not score well.

On a scale of 0 to 100, the index rates the National Park System’s natural resources, such as wildlife and air and water quality, at 70 points, and cultural resources, including historic buildings and museum collections, at only 61 points. These scores indicate that the challenges to our national parks are serious, but surmountable."

Energy Revolution: A Sustainable Global Eenergy Outlook

This Report produced by The European Renewable Energy Council and Greenpeace details steps necessary to eliminate fossil fuel use by 2090. The five key principles behind this shift will be to: Implement renewable solutions, especially through decentralised energy systems, Respect the natural limits of the environment, Phase out dirty, unsustainable energy sources, Create greater equity in the use of resources, Decouple economic growth from the consumption of fossil fuels.

2008 Environmental & Land Use Law Section Annual Update

2008 Environmental & Land Use Law Section Annual Update CLE by The Florida Bar covers Agency updates and overview of environmental & land use law hot topics including green building, climate change, population growth, alternative energy. This three day program locate at Amelia Island Plantation in northern Florida provides 12.00 general and 1.5 ethics CLE creidts and costs $425.00.

Ethical Challenges for the Environmental Lawyer and Consultant

Ethical Challenges for the Environmental Lawyer and Consultant is a CLE course offered by The Florida Bar. The course takes place at Amelia Island Plantation, in northern Florida on November 21, 2008,provides 3.5 general and 3.5 ethics CLE creidts, and costs $130.00.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Measuring Sustainable Development

This Report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, dated 2008, provides a statistical approach to establishing indicators that measure sustainable development in a “capital framework.” Sustainable development depends on maintaining adequate stocks of financial, produced, natural, human and social capital.

Climate Change: Expert Opinion on the Economics of Policy Options to Address Climate Change

This GAO Report (GAO-08-605) the Office surveyed a number of professional economists with 18 responses. Unanimously, the responses urged the implementation of a Cap-and-Trade program, with a large percentage also encouraging the use of emission taxes and research and development of alternative resources.

Status of GSA’s Implementation of Selected Green Building Provisions of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007

This GAO Report (GAO-09-111R Federal Green Buildings) provides a review of the steps taken by the Federal govenment to implement the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA).

NYSBA Tenth Annual Institute on Public Utility Law

The New York State Bar Association will hold its Tenth Annual Institute on Public Utility Law on November 7, 2008 in Albany, New York. The program will featuring topics of particular importance in the energy and telecommunications areas. The faculty represent corporate attorneys, government agencies, and leading law firms who will cover some of the latest developments in these areas. There will be breakout sessions during the program so that those present may select the topic which interests them most. Attendees will receive a detailed set of course materials prepared by the faculty.

New York City 2007 Drinking Water and Supply Report

This Report by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection describes the NYC watershed program along with current and future efforts to an ensure adequate supply or quality drinking water.

Current and Potential Green Jobs in the U.S. Economies

This Report prepared for the The United States Conference of Mayors and the Mayors Climate Protection Center dated October 2008 provides an overview of potential jobs in the alternative energy and fuels sectors by metropolitan area.

The Report concludes: "The vast majority of Green Jobs are not location dependent, so future Green Jobs will be located in cities and metropolitan areas that are currently the most attractive for investment, or in areas that actively increase their attractiveness relative to competing areas. The good news is that traditional industries continue to be replaced by new opportunities, and we have only just begun to tap into many of them.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

EPA Has Initiated Strategic Planning for Priority Enforcement Areas

In the Report (No. 08-P-0278) dated September 25, 2008, the Inspector General of the EPA issued a report critical of EPA enforcement plans. The Inspector General found that the EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) has instituted a process for strategic planning going forward in its national enforcement priority areas. The Inspector General reviewed the fiscal years 2008-2010 reviewed, for air toxics, combined sewer overflows, and mineral processing, contain an overall goal.

However, each of the plans is missing key elements to monitor progress. Additionally, the combined sewer overflow strategy does not address the States’ key roles in attaining the strategy’s overall goal. The absence of these elements hinders OECA from monitoring progress and achieving desired results in a timely and efficient manner.

Strategic Plan: The Coastal Program

This Report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service describes the Services approach to coastal conservation through the year 2010 with the goals of: conserving habitat, strengthening partnerships, improving communication, enhancing its workforce, and increasing accountability.

Department of Defense Energy Strategy: Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

This August 2007 Report from the Brookings Institute by Gregory J. Lengyel, Colonel, USAF details military reliance upon foreign sources of oil and suggests strategies using increased fuel efficiency, nuclear energy, alternative sources of energy including synthetic fuels and renewable energy in the form of solar and wind.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Greener Plants, Grayer Skies: A Report from the Front Lines of China's Energy Sector

This Report from the Massachussetts Institute of Technology surveys China's energy industry which is growing at a torrid rate. Even with the most advanced environmental protections, China will increase overall pollution due to the growth in the sector. Increasing market-based economic signals may produce environmental better outcomes.

Environmental Stewardship in the Judeo-Christian Tradition: Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant Wisdom on the Environment

This online monograph, also available in print, collects several essays outlining the various faith tradition's approaches to environmental stewardship.

Country Environmental Analysis for the People's Republic of China

This Report by the Asian Development Bank is intended to provide the background information necessary for informed decision making on the environmental and natural resources constraints, needs, and opportunities and challenges faced by PRC, and to be used as a resource document for the upcoming preparation of the 2007–2011 Country Partnership Strategy (CPS 2007–2011) for PRC.

The report proposed eight recommendations to narrow this gap by prioritizing 'Early and Expanded Use of Market-Based Instruments to Promote Efficient Use of Natural Resources and Control Pollution.'

Living Planet Report 2008

This report from the World Wildlife Federation argues that without change we are on a course to exhaust the earth's resources.

Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches (18th ed. 2008)

This Report by the Natural Resources Defense Council describes the many threats to our recreational beaches and surveys the current state of popular beaches nationwide.

Preparing for Our Common Future: Policy Choices and the Economics of Climate Change

This presentation was made by Peter Orszag, Director, Congressional Budget Office, as the Goldman Lecture in Economics at Wellesley College on October 27, 2008. The presentation discusses climate change from greenhouse gases and the economics of various policy responses, in particular Cap and Trade emissions trading in greenhouse gases.

Monday, October 27, 2008

EPA’s Execution of Its Fiscal Year 2007 New Budget Authority for the Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program in the Regional Offices

This GAO Report (GAO-08-1109R) to Dianne Feinstein, Chair, House Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies discusses budget allocation between the various EPA Regions finding:

"In summary, we found that EPA’s fiscal year 2007 operating plan allocated to the regional offices approximately 72 percent ($184 million) of its fiscal year 2007 new budget authority associated with the four enforcement and compliance assurance program/projects that we reviewed. We found only small differences between these amounts and the amounts reported as obligated in the regional offices. Specifically, EPA reported as obligated in its regional offices about $179 million, or 2.6 percent less than the amounts allocated in the operating plan."

Climate Change: Federal Actions Will Greatly Affect the Viability of Carbon Capture and Storage As a Key Mitigation Option

This GAO Report (GAO-08-1080) to the Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, House of Representatives analyzes the barriers to effective carbon capture and storage (CCS) and actions the Federal government might take to elimiate these barries. CCS is considered an important compenent of "Clean Coal" technology.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

20 % Wind Energy by 2030

This report by the U.S. Department of Energy identifies the challenges, possible solutions, and probable impacts of meeting the goal of producing 20 % of U.S. energy from wind by the year 2030. The Report assumes that electricity demand will grow by 39% from 2005 to 2030. To meet 20% of that demand, U.S. wind power would have generate more than 300 gigawatts (GW) or more than 300,000 megawatts (MW). The Report identifies key geographic locations in the U.S. both off-shore and land based. The disbursed geographic locations would require investment in new electrical distribution capability. Benefits would include a reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 825 million metric tons compared with other energy sources, each megawatt-hour generated by wind could save as much as 600 gallons of water which would be lost to fossil fuel plant cooling, and the added intangible benefit of greater energy independence.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Resolution of Environmental Interest Disputes: An Emerging Area of Practice

This Continuing Legal Education program will take place on Monday, November 10, 2008, between 9:00 AM- 4:30 PM at The City Bar Center, The Association of the Bar of the City of New York 42 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036. This event is co-sponsored by Pace Law School's Kheel Center on the Resolution of Environmental Interest Disputes and the New York City Bar Association.

Unconventional Fossil-Based Fuels: Economic and Environmental Tradeoffs

This Rand corporation Report discusses the economic and environmental issues in the widespread use of alternative fossil-fuels such as coal liquification and oil shale.

Environmental Enforcement: EPA Needs to Improve the Accuracy and Transparency of Measures Used to Report on Program Effectiveness

This GAO Report (GAO-08-1111R) calls for greater transparency in EPA enforcement activites conlcluding that:

"While EPA’s reported outcomes of enforcement efforts help inform Congress, the public, and EPA management about EPA’s progress in prosecuting those who violate federal environmental laws, certain aspects of how EPA reports the data may undermine the transparency and accuracy of its reported outcomes and cause EPA to both over and under-report its enforcement achievements."

Inventory of New York City Greenhouse Gas Emissions

This report dated September 17, 2008 provides and inventory of greenhouse gas emissions. The Inventory includes two emissions inventories: one for
citywide emissions based on 2005 emissions data, and one for City government operations based on fiscal year 2006 (July 2005 to June 2006) data.

Seeds of a Perfect Storm: Genetically Modified Crops and the Global Food Security Crisis

This Inaugural Lecture in the Jefferson Fellows Distinguished Lecture Series by Nina Fedoroff, Science and Technolgy Adviser to the Secretary of State and to the Administrator of USAID, at Washington, DC on October 17, 2008 discusses the uses of geneticaly modified crops to avert food crisis in the developing world.

Office of Science and Technology Policy Report on Green Buildings

The Executive Office of the President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a report describing Federal research and development activities that if implemented could reduce the use of greenhouse gas emissions in U.S. buildings.

GAO Report on U.S. Government Acquisition of Alternative Fuel Vehicles

This GAO Report (GAO-09-75R)focuses on the the actions of, and obstacles in the way of, U.S. government agencies acquiring alternative fuel vehicles.

Stagnant Waters

Stagnant Waters: The Legacy of the Bush Administration on the Clean Water Act (Dated: October 18, 2008) was prepared by the Majority Staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. While this is an overtly partisan document it provides one side of the debate over the future direction of U.S. water quality efforts.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

World Coal Data

This Energy Information Agency report offers spreadsheets on the coal production and use, along with estimates of world-wide CO2 emission from coal consumption for the years 1980-2006, and includes known recoverable coal reserves (as of Dec. 2005).