Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Literary Warrant [8]

  • American Lung Association, State of the Air: 2007 (May 1, 2007)

    "For the first time since the American Lung Association began issuing its annual air quality report card, data reveal a split picture along either side of the Mississippi River, as particle pollution (soot)—the most dangerous pollutant—increased in the East but decreased in the West, while ozone (smog) decreased nationwide from peaks reported in 2002. The number of counties scoring an A grade for ozone levels increased from 82 in 2000 to 145 this year, but particle pollution levels show an ominous trend, with F grades nearly doubling in just one year, according to American Lung Association State of the Air: 2007."—Press release.

  • John Blodgett, Deputy Assistant Director & Larry Parker, Specialist in Energy Policy, Resources, Science, and Industry Division, Congressional Research Service (CRS), Greenhouse Gas Emission Drivers: Population, Economic Development and Growth, and Energy Use (CRS Report for Congress, Order Code RL33970) (April 24, 2007)

    "Stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions would mean the rate of change equals zero. Globally, with a population growth rate of 1.4% per year and an income growth rate of 1.7% per year, intensity would have to decline at a rate of -3.1% per year to hold emissions at the level of the year that rate of decline went into effect. Within the United States, at the 1990s population growth rate of 1.2% per year and income growth rate of 1.8% per year, intensity would have had to decline at a rate of -3.0% per year to hold emissions level; however, U.S. intensity declined at a rate of -1.6%, leaving emissions to grow at 1.4% per year. President Bush's Climate Change Initiative seeks to increase the rate of intensity decline through 2012 by about -0.4% per year—well short of stabilizing or reducing greenhouse gas emissions."—Summary.

  • Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), CREW Documents Tell Story of Aid Not Used to Help Katrina Victims (April 29, 2007)

    "In light of today's Washington Post article, 'Most Katrina Aid From Overseas Went Unclaimed,' Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is posting the a series of documents obtained by CREW from the Dept. of State as a result of FOIA requests."—Press release.

  • Defenders of Wildlife, Navigating the Arctic Meltdown: Arctic Cod (Wildlife and Global Warming) (2007)

    "Global warming could cause a drop in the number of Arctic cod, which are the most important prey species in northern seas and a key component of the Arctic food web, according to the latest chapter of Defenders of Wildlife's global warming series Navigating the Arctic Meltdown."—Press release (April 30, 2007)

  • Peter DeShazo, Sarah Ladislaw & Tanya Primiani, Natural Gas, Energy Policy, and Regional Integration: Brazil and the Southern Cone (Center for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS] Policy Papers on the Americas, v.XVIII, study 1) (April 2007)

    "The wave of economic liberalization that swept through Latin America during the
    1990s had a profound effect on the energy sectors of most countries in the region.
    The broad trend toward privatization and deregulation provided an impetus for
    domestic and foreign investment in energy, with natural gas taking the lead role in
    several countries, most notably Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru."—Introduction. This publication summarizes presentations at a March 2007 CSIS Americas Program conference.

  • Environmental Working Group, Rigged Game: How Oil & Gas Drilling on Public Lands Threatens Habitat—and Hunting (2007)

    "In just five Rocky Mountain states, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, the federal government has currently leased almost 27 million acres of habitat for four key game species for oil and gas drilling. Drilling on these lands has doubled this decade with an average of 2,053 wells drilled per year between 2001 and 2006 compared to only 1,036 wells drilled per year between 1993 and 2000."—

  • Charles D. Ferguson, Council on Foreign Relations, Nuclear Energy: Balancing Benefits and Risks (CSR no. 28) (April 2007)

    "Nuclear Energy: Balancing Benefits and Risks is a sobering and authoritative look at nuclear power. Dr. Ferguson argues that nuclear energy, despite its attributes, is unlikely to play a major role in the coming decades in strengthening energy security or in countering the harmful effects of climate change. In particular, the rapid rate of nuclear reactor expansion required to make even a modest reduction in global warming would drive up construction costs and create shortages in building materials, trained personnel, and safety controls. There are also lingering questions over nuclear waste, as well as continued political opposition to siting new plants. Nonetheless, the report points out steps the United States could take—such as imposing a fee on greenhouse gas emissions—to level the economic playing field for all energy sectors, which over the long run would encourage the construction of new nuclear reactors (if only to replace existing ones that will need to be retired) and help reduce global warming."—Richard N. Haass, Foreword.

  • Government Accountability Project (GAP), Orders to Play Down 'Climate Change' Came From Wolfowitz' Office (April 27, 2007)

    "The Government Accountability Project (GAP) has acquired an internal World Bank document that summarizes a February 2006 meeting of World Bank officials regarding climate change and clean energy. The document indicates that orders to tone down references to 'climate change' in an environmental strategy paper originated in the office of Bank president Paul Wolfowitz."—Press release.

  • Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education, prepared for the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, The Governors Speak—2007: A Report on the State-of-the-State Addresses of the Nation's and U.S. Territories' Governors (April 2007)

    Among the governors' highest priorities: "Energy and the Environment. Almost all governors (92 percent; 47 of 51) highlighted policies on the environment, energy, and natural resources. This year, 88 percent of governors (45 of 51) discussed efforts to develop traditional or alternative sources of energy or promote conservation, an increase from 69 percent in 2006 and 45 percent in 2005."—Introduction and Executive Summary.

  • Randal O'Toole, Cato Institute, The Perfect Firestorm: Bringing Forest Service Wildfire Costs under Control (Policy Analysis no. 591) (April 30, 2007)

    "In the policy analysis The Perfect Firestorm: Bringing Forest Service Wildfire Costs under Control, O'Toole indicts bad science and bureaucratic growth for sticking Americans with a burgeoning tax bill to fund the Forest Service. The Forest Service's long history of manipulating research and public opinion to justify increased fire budgets began in 1908, when Congress took the extraordinary step of giving the agency a blank check for fire suppression. While Congress repealed that law in 1978, it continues to give the agency almost anything it requests for fire, and the Forest Service fire managers continue to operate as if there were no spending limits.

    "The result has been a massive shift in the priorities for national forest management, as some national forests are getting 60 percent or more of their funds from fire programs. Yet research shows that the Forest Service's one-size-fits-all solution to fire hazards can ecologically damage many forests even as it wastes taxpayers' money."—Press release.

  • Joaquin Sapien, The Center for Public Integrity, Superfund Today: Massive Undertaking to Clean Up Hazardous Waste Sites Has Lost Both Momentum and Funding (Wasting Away) (April 26, 2007)

    "Toxic waste still plagues American communities 27 years after the U.S. government created a program to identify and clean up the country's worst sites, according to a two-part investigation by the Center for Public Integrity. Wasting Away: Superfund's Toxic Legacy reveals the beleaguered state of the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund effort, uncovers the companies and government agencies linked to the most sites and tracks progress of the cleanup."—Press release.

  • John B. Stephenson, Director, Natural Resources and Environment, United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), Climate Change: Financial Risks to Federal and Private Insurers in Coming Decades are Potentially Significant (Testimony Before the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, U.S. House of Representatives) (GAO-07-820T) (May 3, 2007)

    "In this testimony, GAO (1) describes how climate change may affect future weather-related losses, (2) provides information on past insured weather-related losses, and (3) determines what major private insurers and federal insurers are doing to prepare for potential increases in such losses. This testimony is based on a report entitled Climate Change: Financial Risks to Federal and Private Insurers in Coming Decades are Potentially Significant (GAO-07-285) released on April 19, 2007."—Why GAO Did This Study.

  • United States Army War College and Triangle Institute for Security Studies, Strategic Studies Institute, Global Climate Change: National Security Implications (Colloquium Brief) (2007)

    "The national security implications of climate change are proportional both to the speed of change and the extent. Public awareness should follow a coordinated strategic communication plan that focuses on maintaining credibility."—Key Insights.

  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) EPA Recognizes Largest-Ever Corporate Green Power Purchase (April 30, 2007)

    "EPA has recognized PepsiCo's commitment to purchase 100 percent green power. At more than 1.1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), this is the largest purchase to date under the agency's Green Power Partner program, and is enough to power 90,000 average American homes each year."—Press release.

  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Inspector General, EPA Can Improve Its Managing of Superfund Interagency Agreements with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Audit Report no. 2007-P-00021) (April 30, 2007)

    "EPA needs to better justify and support its decisions to enter into Superfund IAGs with the Corps. Decision memorandums used to justify awarding Superfund IAGs to the Corps did not contain comparisons of alternatives considered. Further, EPA did not develop independent cost estimates. This occurred because EPA generally believes the Corps has more construction and contracting expertise to manage Superfund projects than its own personnel. As a result, EPA has limited assurance that the Superfund IAGs it awards to the Corps are based on sound decisions. EPA regions have initiated some corrective actions, but further steps are needed."—What We Found.

  • The World Bank, Carbon Expo 2007: World Bank, UNFCCC, Private Sector Call for an Expanded Carbon Market (May 2, 2007)

    "The seventh annual World Bank carbon market intelligence study, released today at CARBON EXPO, shows that the global carbon market tripled in 2006—to US$30 billion from US$10 billion in 2005. The market was dominated by the sale and resale of European Union Allowances (EUAs) at a value of nearly US$25 billion. The projects-based market in developing countries and in countries with economies in transition grew sharply to US$5 billion in 2006, more than doubling over the previous year...'These numbers are relevant because they demonstrate that the carbon market has become a valuable catalyst for leveraging substantial financial flows for clean energy in developing countries,' said Warren Evans, World Bank Director of Environment."—Press release.

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