Thursday, February 13, 2014

WIMS Environmental HotSheet 2/13/14

<> FEDERAL OFFICES in the Washington, DC, area are CLOSED - February 13, 2014: Emergency and telework-ready employees required to work must follow their agency's policies, including written telework agreements.

<> Sen. Landrieu Becomes Energy Committee Leader - It's official: Before adjourning yesterday, the Senate formally approved the shift in chairmanships following Max Baucus's departure that leaves Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu atop the Energy and Natural Resources Committee as Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden moves to the Finance Committee.

<> Energy Secretary Moniz Dedicates World's Largest Concentrating Solar Power Project - Energy Secretary Moniz Dedicates World's Largest Concentrating Solar Power Project Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will participate today in the opening of the Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System, the world's largest concentrating solar power (CSP) plant.

<> 2014 Farm Bill Drill Down: Conservation – Easements, CRP, and Energy- With the 2014 Farm Bill recently signed into law, NSAC is doing a blog series that delves into the details of the bill for sustainable food and farming systems.  Our coverage of the conservation title is divided into three parts: working lands conservation programs; the linkage between conservation and crop insurance; and this one on easement, land retirement, and energy programs.

<> U.S. Utility-Scale Solar 60 Percent Towards Cost-Competition Goal - February 12, 2014U.S. Utility-Scale Solar 60 Percent Towards Cost-Competition Goal Energy Department Announces $25 Million to Support U.S. Solar Manufacturing

<> Nuclear Waste Solution Seen in Desert Salt Beds - CARLSBAD, N.M. — Half a mile beneath the desert surface, in thick salt beds left behind by seas that dried up hundreds of millions of years ago, the Department of Energy is carving out rooms as long as football fields and cramming them floor to ceiling with barrels and boxes of nuclear waste.

<> Rep. Loebsack Introduces Legislation to Utilize and Expand Renewable Fuel Infrastructure - legislation that would establish a grant program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to invest in renewable and alternative fuel infrastructure. The Renewable Fuel Utilization, Expansion and Leadership (Re-FUEL) Act (HR 4051)

<> Upcoming Funding Opportunity for Wind Forecasting Improvement Project in Complex Terrain - February 12, 2014Upcoming Funding Opportunity for Wind Forecasting Improvement Project in Complex Terrain The DOE Wind Program has issued a Notice of Intent for a funding opportunity, tentatively titled Wind Forecasting Improvement Project in Complex Terrain. . .

<> The Science of Science Communication II - Not only the scientific complexity of topics such as climate change but also the public and political debates that surround many areas of science pose challenges for researchers trying to explain their findings clearly and effectively to the public. Read the summary of a three-day National Academy of Sciences colloquium held in September 2013 that brought together experts in social. . .

<> Another West Virginia 'Significant' slurry spill blackens Kanawha creek - More than 100,000 gallons of coal slurry poured into an eastern Kanawha County stream Tuesday in what officials were calling a "significant spill" from a Patriot Coal processing facility.

<> Economist Says Best Climate Fix A Tough Sell, But Worth It - Source: NPR - We often talk about climate change as a matter of science. But the biggest questions are really about money. How much would it cost to fix the problem — and what price will we pay if we don't?

<> U.S. EPA and its Federal Partners Advance Decontamination Techniques/Researchers clean up buildings to practice real world techniques of large-scale decontamination- U.S. EPA, along with federal partners, announced the results of a multi-year project called Bio-Response Operational Testing and Evaluation (BOTE) that tested and evaluated decontamination techniques for a biological incident

<> U.S. EPA Awards U.C. Davis $800,000 to Study How Chemical Exposures May Impact Brain Development 

<> Myths and Facts about the West Virginia Chemical Spill - Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow and chemical policy expert, Angela Logomasini, Ph.D., released a report examining the myths and facts surrounding the Jan. 9, 2014 chemical spill in West Virginia that affected 300,000 residents. According to Logomasini, some environmental groups have taken this opportunity to incite fear, propagating misinformation to pressure. . .

<> China's Plan to Clean Up Air in Cities Will Doom the Climate, Scientists Say - Coal-to-gas projects in rural areas could double carbon footprint of fuel burned in cities, spelling disaster for earth's climate, warn scientists. China is erecting huge industrial complexes in remote areas to convert coal to synthetic fuel that could make the air in its megacities cleaner. But the complexes use so much energy that the carbon footprint of the fuel. .