Thursday, February 27, 2014

WIMS Environmental HotSheet 2/27/14

<> Climate Change: Evidence & Causes - The Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences, with their similar missions to promote the use of science to benefit society and to inform critical policy debates, offer this new publication as a key reference document for decision makers, policy makers, educators, and other individuals seeking authoritative answers about the current state of climate change science.

<> President Obama Lays Out New Plan for Upgrading Our Transportation Infrastructure - The President traveled to St. Paul, Minnesota to unveil a new plan to upgrade America's transportation infrastructure and put people back to work.

·        Remarks by the President on Jobs in American Infrastructure

<> Completion of Compliance Follow-up Review for the Selection of Third-Party Contractor To Assist in Environmental Impact Statement Preparation for the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline – The State Department Office of Inspector General released its Compliance Follow-up Review of the Department's choice of a third-party contractor and found ound that its processes not only avoided conflicts of interest, but were more rigorous than required.

<> Secy Kerry continues to emphasize climate change is increasingly a national security threat - In an interview with Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC he said, "It is increasingly going to provide major challenges to food security, to water security, to refugee populations which it's going to create, to the stability and instability of countries, to economies. This is growing in its urgency for us to respond to it. And so I will continue down that path." On the Keystone XL project he said, "With respect to Keystone, I am prohibited under the process of – to discuss it publicly. . ."

<> Sens. Boxer (D-CA) and Whitehouse (D-RI) Call For KXL Health Risks Study - Senators are calling on Secretary of State John Kerry and the Obama Administration to analyze the public health risks to communities from the proposed Keystone pipeline.

·  Boxer's Statement: The Keystone Pipeline and the Threat to Human Health

<> Advocacy Report Outlines Removal of Regulatory Burdens on Small Business - the Office of Advocacy, an independent office within the Small Business Administration, released its annual report entitled, Report on the Regulatory Flexibility Act 

<> EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy To Travel To North Dakota To Discuss Energy Opportunities And The Environment - to discuss energy opportunities and EPA's ongoing work in the state and across the country to carry out President Obama's Climate Action plan.

<> USDA Pollinator Protection Initiative Leaves out CSP - The funds will be available to farmers and ranchers located in the Midwest states of Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin for both technical and financial assistance to improve the health of honey bees, one of our most critical pollinators.

<> Americans Broadly Support Energy Efficiency - Washington, D.C., February 27, 2014 – Efforts to promote energy efficiency enjoy overwhelming support among key political demographics, according to a poll released by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

<> Senators Question OIG Investigation into EPA's Failed Attempt to Shutdown Hydraulic Fracturing in Texas - The letter outlines the Senators' concerns with the quality and integrity of the OIG report, which investigated the EPA Region VI's issuance and withdrawal of an emergency order aimed at Range Resources, an oil and gas company operating in Parker County, Texas.

·  OIG report - Response to Congressional Inquiry Regarding the EPA's Emergency Order to the Range Resources Gas Drilling Company (12/20/13)

<> Cool Planet Starts Construction on First Commercial Facility - the company's first commercial facility in Alexandria, LA, designed to produce 10 million gallons per year of high-octane, renewable gasoline blendstocks, as well as biochar, all made from sustainable wood residues.

<> Dollar value of U.S. net coal exports has increased more than three-fold since 2005 – EIA: (Thu, 27 Feb 2014) Although coal trade only accounts for about 5% of trade flows in energy fuels, the volume of U.S. coal exports has steadily increased, from 50 million short tons (MMst) in 2005 to a record 126 MMst in 2012. Export volumes set a monthly record in March 2013, before declining in the second half of the year. Coal exports are an increasingly important source of revenue for U.S. coal. . .

<> Minnesota pollution officials expected to announce their recommendation for a "sulfate standard"

<> ACORE Releases Industry-Authored Review, Renewable Energy for Military Installations, Presenting Insight and Guidance for Renewable Energy Projects on Bases - February 27, 2014 – The American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) today released the Renewable Energy for Military Installations: 2014 Industry Review.  The Review provides insight about present business opportunities for third-party-owned renewable electricity projects at military installations. The articles were authored by group of prominent renewable energy developers. . .

<> Fifth edition of Moving Towards a Climate Neutral UN - released today, details the emissions from 64 United Nations organizations, covering nearly 225,000 staff around the world.

<> Great Britain's smart grid to revolutionize energy sector - The Smart Grid Forum's Vision and Routemap sets out how smart technologies will deliver cost-saving efficiencies, give consumers greater control over their energy use, support jobs and growth, increase energy security and enable integration of low carbon technologies. The Smart Grid Forum has previously shown how combining smart grid and conventional technologies have the potential. . .

<> Offshore Wind Farms Could Knock Down Hurricanes - A forest of 78,000 turbines would have drastically reduced the winds and storm surges from hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. . .

<> NCDC's Snow Cover Products - NCDC produces several products that can be used to monitor snowfall and snow cover throughout the winter.

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