Democrats on Capitol Hill are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to redefine "diesel fuel" so it can expand regulations in natural-gas drilling. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce claims the measure is necessary to "protect human health" from fuels used in hydraulic fracturing, a process that injects high-pressure fluids and sand into shale formations deep beneath the Earth's surface to tap natural-gas reserves.
Rising energy prices in Germany are forcing the pharmaceutical and chemical conglomerate Bayer to threaten a move to China. The culprit is Germany's nuclear energy exit bill, passed last month in reaction to Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. The bill orders a nuclear phase-out by 2022. Meanwhile, China plans to build 36 new nuclear power plants during the next decade.
Drug stores across the United States are rapidly selling out of potassium iodide pills as people attempt to arm themselves against a U.N.-reported "radioactive plume" drifting across the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima reactor in Japan. Yet government officials and health experts alike describe this reaction as hysterical, says USA Today. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reported to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on March 17, explaining, "Given the thousands of miles between Japan and the United States, Hawaii, Alaska, the U.S. territories and the West Coast, we are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity."
Major media outlets report Japan is facing a nuclear disaster after last Friday's earthquake and tsunami damaged its Fukushima power plant in the town of Okuma. "Japan's nuclear situation nearing severity of Chernobyl," shrieks a CNN headline on Tuesday. Reuters warns, "Greed in the nuclear industry and corporate influence over the U.N. watchdog for atomic energy may doom Japan to a spreading nuclear disaster." Yet government officials and press releases from the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) insist the situation is under control and poses no significant threat to public health.
Interview of Art Crino by Rebecca Terrell
Controversy over rising demands for “clean energy” and costs associated with it has made finding “alternative energy sources” a priority on Capitol Hill. The New American sat down with an expert in power-generation technology to discuss why nuclear is the safest, most efficient answer to the so-called “energy crisis.”
Last month, Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) unveiled their “American Power Act,” custom-tailored to President Obama’s plans to set up quotas for industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with total allowable emissions reduced over time. Better known as cap and trade, the bill is an updated version of S. 1733, companion legislation to the House-passed Waxman-Markey bill, H.R. 2454. Kerry’s official home page brags that the new bill “puts America back in control of our own power generation, starts to clean up the carbon pollution that threatens our climate stability, and puts us on the path to a new, cleaner and more prosperous economy for the 21st Century.”
President Obama is opening limited areas on the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and Alaska to offshore drilling in a supposed effort to help end the nation's dependence on foreign oil. So why aren't drilling proponents excited about it? It seems it amounts to more of a slap in the face than a positive step forward.
President Obama has promised up to $8.33 billion in loan guarantees for construction of new nuclear reactors in Georgia. A White House press release said this is the "first U.S. nuclear power plan to break ground in nearly three decades."
Two authors of a new study hailed to end the climate change debate once and for all are at odds over what the report actually does prove. Climatologist Judith Curry (left) accuses her colleague and scientific director Richard Muller of another Climategate trick to "hide the decline." Curry and Muller belong to a team of researchers at the University of California known as the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project. While Muller claims their research shows global warming of nearly 1°C since 1950, Curry told The Mail on Sunday, "There is no scientific basis for saying that warming hasn't stopped. To say that there is detracts from the credibility of the data."
Almost eight months after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami struck Japan, killing or injuring more than 25,000, the death toll from radiation exposure at Japan's storm-ravaged Fukushima Daiiche nuclear power plant (pictured at left, in 2002) stands at zero. Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, admitted as much on Monday in Washington during a roundtable discussion entitled "Fukushima: Lessons Learned," an event sponsored by Georgetown University and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.