Friday, September 15, 2006

Green News of the Moment

Senate Dems Propose Job-creating Alternative Energy Plan
Senate Democrats are taking the lead on funding proposals and policies related to energy independence and alternatives to fossil fuels. A report released yesterday by the non-partisan Apollo Alliance says that investments and reforms contained in the so-called Clean EDGE Act, authored by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), would help create jobs while cultivating a strong alternative energy sector.

The Clean EDGE Act, short hand for Clean Energy Development for a Growing Economy, proposes a public and private investment program of $49 billion by 2009 in alternative fuels and other energy sources. These programs would generate an estimated 530,000 jobs in immediate construction and long-term manufacturing jobs nationally. Supporters of the proposals expect that it could be a financially self-sustaining program when fully established.

Poplar Tree Genome Holds Promise Of Breakthrough In Biofuel Research
The article, highlighting the analysis of the first complete DNA sequence of a tree – the black cottonwood, or Populus trichocarpa – lays the groundwork that may lead to the development of trees as an ideal “feedstock” for a new generation of biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol. The research is the result of a four-year scientific and technical effort led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and uniting the efforts of 34 institutions from around the world, including the University of British Columbia and Genome Canada; UmeĆ„ Plant Science Centre in Sweden; and Ghent University in Belgium.

EU Energy Policy: Renewed energy
Today’s energy challenges are very real. Global oil consumption has increased 20 per cent in the last 10 years. World energy consumption could rise by half within 25 years. Competition for resources is growing. Investments have to be made. Tough decisions are needed.

In Europe alone, €1 trillion is needed over the next 20 years to meet expected energy demand and replace ageing infrastructure. Globally, the figure is around $16 trillion. In the absence of a secure and transparent investment climate in the world, functioning markets and infrastructure, can such massive investments even be expected?

Garbage company releases report on social responsibility
Waste Management, the trash hauling company, which has a branch office in Simi Valley, recently published a social responsibility report entitled "It Starts with Commitment."

The report outlines the company's environmental goals and the many programs that are already helping to eliminate waste throughout the region.
Smith said 75 percent of the company truck fleet runs on an alternative fuel or "clean diesel." As a result, 247 tons of harmful air emissions have been reduced each year.

"We're ahead of the state emissions guidelines," Smith said. The company met the state's 2006 goals in early 2005.

Asia, Europe to invest US$6 trillion in energy by 2030
The amount represents more than one third of the total global investment in the energy sector estimated for 1990-2020.

In a declaration issued at the end of the 6th Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Finland on Monday (September 11), the leaders of 25 European and 13 Asian nations agreed to share low-carbon and energy-efficient technologies with developing ASEM countries.