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).