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Tesla Repays Department of Energy Loan Nine Years Early | Press Releases | Tesla Motors

Tesla Repays Department of Energy Loan Nine Years Early | Press Releases | Tesla Motors | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
May 22, 2013 PALO ALTO, Calif.-- Tesla Motors announced that it has paid off the entire loan awarded to the company by the Department of Energy in 2010.
Electric Car's insight:

Tesla Motors announced that it has paid off the entire loan awarded to the company by the Department of Energy in 2010. In addition to payments made in 2012 and Q1 2013, today’s wire of almost half a billion dollars repays the full loan facility with interest.


Tesla brought its Roadster sports car to market with a 30% gross margin, designed electric powertrains for Daimler and had done preliminary design of the Model S all before receiving a government loan.


In 2010, Tesla was awarded a milestone-based loan, requiring matching private capital obtained via public offering, by the DOE as part of the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program. This program was signed into law by President Bush in 2008 and then awarded under the Obama administration in the years that followed.


This program is often confused with the financial bailouts provided to the then bankrupt GM and Chrysler, who were ineligible for the ATVM program, because a requirement of that program was good financial health.

The loan payment was made today using a portion of the approximately $1 billion in funds raised in last week’s concurrent offerings of common stock and convertible senior notes.


Elon Musk, Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer and cofounder, purchased $100 million of common equity, the least secure portion of the offering. “I would like to thank the Department of Energy and the members of Congress and their staffs that worked hard to create the ATVM program, and particularly the American taxpayer from whom these funds originate,” said Elon Musk. “I hope we did you proud.”


Tesla Motors' goal is to accelerate the world’s transition to electric mobility with a full range of increasingly affordable electric cars.

For the latest information from Tesla Motors, including press releases and the Tesla blog, please visit: teslamotors.com/press

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How to Power the World without Fossil Fuels: Scientific American

How to Power the World without Fossil Fuels: Scientific American | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
Mark Jacobson says he can run the planet solely on wind, water and solar energy. First stop: New York State
Electric Car's insight:
Mark Jacobson says he can run the planet solely on wind, water and solar energy. In 2009 he and co-author Mark Delucchi published a cover story in Scientific American that showed how the entire world could get all of its energy—fuel as well as electricity—from wind, water and solar sources by 2030. The tale sounded infeasible—except that Jacobson, from Stanford University, and Delucchi, from the University of California, Davis, calculated just how many hydroelectric dams, wave-energy systems, wind turbines, solar power plants and rooftop photovoltaic installations the world would need to run itself completely on renewable energy. Two weeks ago Jacobson and a larger team, including Delucchi, did it again. This time Jacobson showed in much finer detail how New York State’s residential, transportation , industrial, and heating and cooling sectors could all be powered by wind, water and sun, or “WWS,” as he calls it. His mix: 40 percent offshore wind , 10 percent onshore wind , 10 percent concentrated solar panels , 10 percent photovoltaic cells , 6 percent residential solar , 12 percent government and commercial solar , 5 percent geothermal , 5.5 percent hydroelectric , 1 percent tidal energy and 0.5 percent wave energy . In the process, New York would reduce power demand by 37 percent, largely because the new energy sources are more efficient than the old ones. And because no fossil fuels would have to be purchased or burned, consumer costs would be similar to what they are today, and the state would eliminate a huge portion of its carbon dioxide emissions. New York State could end fossil fuel use and generate all of its energy from wind, water and solar power, according to Mark Jacobson.
Clever Car Buyer's comment, May 20, 2013 12:38 PM
The graphs look good and surely most would be in favour of more sustainable energy, but is this really realistic?
Electric Car's comment, May 20, 2013 5:17 PM
Apparently it is. But you can follow him on Twitter at @mzjacobson
and check out his bio here http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/
Clever Car Buyer's comment, May 20, 2013 6:22 PM
Thanks very much for the heads up :-)
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Technical Innovations Help Explain Why Tesla Is Succeeding and Fisker Is Failing | MIT Technology Review

Technical Innovations Help Explain Why Tesla Is Succeeding and Fisker Is Failing | MIT Technology Review | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
Tesla’s innovations in batteries give it an edge that Fisker, focused on design, lacks.
Electric Car's insight:

Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors, two startups founded to make battery-powered cars, are both in the news, but for very different reasons.


Fisker seemed to think if you designed a beautiful car, people would buy it,” says Brett Smith, codirector for manufacturing, engineering, and technology at the Center for Automotive Research. “The Tesla vehicles are good looking, but Tesla focused more on the technology, not the sheet metal.”


A key example is Tesla’s battery technology. “Tesla’s lithium-ion battery pack technology is five to 10 years ahead of competitors when it comes to a passenger electric vehicle application, as measured by performance and cost to manufacture,” says Andrea James, an analyst for Dougherty.


“Tesla’s battery lead allows it to produce a better vehicle at more affordable price.”


When Tesla was founded, it was based on an idea from J.B. Straubel, now Tesla’s chief technology officer, that commodity lithium-ion batteries designed for portable electronics could be used to make relatively low-cost battery packs for electric vehicles.


The advantage of these batteries was supposed to be twofold: the batteries were designed to be safer and, because they were bigger and flat rather than cylindrical, they were simpler to package together into a battery pack.


Tesla not only benefits from lower costs for its own cars, it’s also been able to sell its technology to other automakers, providing a boost of revenue that helped it survive in the time between producing its first car, the Roadster, and the current Model S.


Unlike the Tesla Model S, which runs only on batteries, the Fisker Karma has both batteries and a gas engine for powering long trips.

Airplane Crash's comment, April 28, 2013 6:47 PM
interesting info

Airplane Crash

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Why China is doubling down on nuclear power, renewables, and gas - Fortune Features

Why China is doubling down on nuclear power, renewables, and gas - Fortune Features | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
Andrew Brandler, the CEO of CLP Group, Hong Kong's biggest utility, talks about how Asia plans to handle its soaring energy demands.
Electric Car's insight:

FORTUNE -- China Light and Power's roots are more than a hundred years deep in Hong Kong.


That makes CLP a player in the greatest challenge of our time: How to balance Asia's soaring energy demands with the planet's urgent need to wean itself from fossil fuels.


Andrew Brandler, CEO of the CLP Group since 2000, has degrees from Cambridge University and Harvard Business School, and he's co-chair of the energy and climate group within the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development.


He'll be leaving CLP's corner office later this year to join Sir Elly Kadoorie & Sons Limited, the private company of the Kadoorie Family, CLP's largest shareholder. This week he sat down with Fortune's David Whitford in Hong Kong.


Across the whole group, it's mostly fossil fuels -- about 60% coal and 15% gas -- plus 20% renewables and 5% nuclear. And you're not building any more coal plants?


The government in 2010 came out with a public consultation about the future energy needs for the whole of Hong Kong that postulated by 2020 nuclear being 50% of the electricity supply, gas 40%, and coal 10%.


We were an investor in China's first commercial nuclear power station at Daya Bay, which supplies about 25% of Hong Kong's electricity.

If Hong Kong needs more nuclear, we're keen to invest in that.

If you're doing a one-off project, like in the United States, with all the regulatory issues and design issues, the costs just balloon.


But if you can spread all those upfront costs over a whole program, it's not so burdensome. And if you can get the supply chain working -- which China is very good at -- you can bring those costs down dramatically.

Without nuclear it's hard to see how the world will continue to meet energy demand growth without catastrophic risk to the climate.


Nuclear is the only technology that exists today that can provide base-load power at a reasonable cost -- if you get the program right -- with zero carbon emissions.


China has by far the most aggressive nuclear buildout underway in the world today, with 28 new plants planned or already under construction.

We're a big company -- $20 billion market cap -- and we are 20,000 megawatts across the region. But every quarter China builds another CLP.


And something like 60,000 megawatts is coming from coal.


It's very hard to say to voters, "Look, I have to make you poorer now because we're going to have to slow down growth or increase costs of energy production which will have the consequence of slowing down growth. But don't worry, it's going to benefit your children or your grandchildren by the year 2050."


What we say essentially is that if everybody followed our strategy -- if the whole industry did it -- then there's some chance by 2050 that the electricity supply industry in this part of the world is largely decarbonized, and on a trajectory to hit what the UNFCC [ United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ] has said is what you need to in order to avoid massive climate change.


Not carbon-free, but what we're saying is we want to get our portfolio to a carbon intensity of 0.2 kilograms per kilowatt hour.


One thing we could say is we're going to stop growing, stop investing, in which case someone in a white suit comes into my office, puts my arms in a straightjacket, marches me out, and someone else takes over.


We can make more investments in nuclear, more investments in renewable energy, more investments in gas-fired generation.


CLP cannot be on a trajectory of continuing to increase its carbon emissions without regard for the consequences and hope to continue to be in business.


That does not mean stopping all investments that have carbon emissions, that's unrealistic. But it's about de-risking the portfolio slowly over time so that we can still grow the business and earn returns for our shareholders, risk-adjusted for carbon, while preserving our broader franchise.


I think there needs to be a technology breakthrough -- a black swan that no one has thought about that comes along and solves the world's energy problems.

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SNAKE OIL: How Big Energy's Misleading Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future

SNAKE OIL: How Big Energy's Misleading Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
Help us fight back against Big Oil's billion-dollar spin machine.

The fate of the world really is at stake.
Electric Car's insight:

We’re being told that – thanks to technological advances like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – the US is undergoing an energy revolution, leading us in a few short years to become once again the world’s biggest oil producer and an exporter of natural gas.


According to the Oil & Gas Industry and their proponents, “fracking” will provide the US with energy security, low energy prices for the foreseeable future, more than a million jobs, and economic growth. And they tell us that we can frack our way to independence without hurting the environment.


Help us expose these lies and turn the tide in the ultimate fight against greed by pre-ordering and participating in the writing and editing of Richard Heinberg's next book, SNAKE OIL! How Big Energy's Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future.


It focuses, more than any of Richard's previous books, on the culpability of the oil industry for actively discouraging awareness and action on climate change and peak oil .


Richard Heinberg is the author of ten books, including The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality, Peak Everything: Waking up to a Century of Declines and The Party's Over: Oil, War & the Fate of Industrial Societies.


SNAKE OIL WILL BE FINISHED AND PRINTED BY JULY 1, 2013. $5500: This small amount will cover the book's publishing costs.


SNAKE OIL is a print-on-demand book, meaning it will be shipped to you as soon as it's finished.


Beyond that, as you'll see in the perks, we'll provide to you a special edition of the book, autographed copies, limited edition art prints and all kinds of recognition for recognizing that this is a critical fight at a critical time.


All above and you get listed as a much appreciated, dedicated SNAKE CHARMER in the front of the book.



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Decisive Ecological Warfare

Decisive Ecological Warfare | Electric Cars | Scoop.it

Deep Green Resistance is for those who can't wait anymore.


This is the question:


 Are you willing to accept the only strategy left to us?

Electric Car's insight:

The ultimate goal of the primary resistance movement in this scenario is simply a living planet—a planet not just living, but in recovery, growing more alive and more diverse year after year. A planet on which humans live in equitable and sustainable communities without exploiting the planet or each other.


Given our current state of emergency, this translates into a more immediate goal, which is at the heart of this movement’s grand strategy:

Goal 1: To disrupt and dismantle industrial civilization; to thereby remove the ability of the powerful to exploit the marginalized and destroy the planet.

This movement’s second goal both depends on and assists the first:


Goal 2: To defend and rebuild just, sustainable, and autonomous human communities, and, as part of that, to assist in the recovery of the land.
To accomplish these goals requires several broad strategies involving large numbers of people in many different organizations, both aboveground and underground. The primary strategies needed in this theoretical scenario include the following:


Strategy A: Engage in direct militant actions against industrial infrastructure, especially energy infrastructure.


Strategy B: Aid and participate in ongoing social and ecological justice struggles; promote equality and undermine exploitation by those in power.


Strategy C: Defend the land and prevent the expansion of industrial logging, mining, construction, and so on, such that more intact land and species will remain when civilization does collapse.


Strategy D: Build and mobilize resistance organizations that will support the above activities, including decentralized training, recruitment, logistical support, and so on.

Strategy E: Rebuild a sustainable subsistence base for human societies (including perennial polycultures for food) and localized, democratic communities that uphold human rights.


In describing this alternate future scenario, we should be clear about some shorthand phrases like “actions against industrial infrastructure.” Not all infrastructure is created equal, and not all actions against infrastructure are of equal priority, efficacy, or moral acceptability to the resistance movements in this scenario. As Derrick wrote in Endgame, you can’t make a moral argument for blowing up a children’s hospital.


On the other hand, you can’t make a moral argument against taking out cell phone towers. Some infrastructure is easy, some is hard, and some is harder.


There’s something admirable about the concept of protracted popular warfare that was used in China and Vietnam. It’s an elegant idea, if war can ever be described in such terms; the core idea is adaptable and applicable even in the face of major setbacks and twists of fate.


But protracted popular warfare as such doesn’t apply to the particular future we are discussing. The people in that scenario will never have the numbers that protracted popular warfare requires. But they will also face a different kind of adversary, for which different tactics are applicable. So they will take the essential idea of protracted popular warfare and apply it to their own situation—that of needing to save their planet, to bring down industrial civilization and keep it down. And they will devise a new grand strategy based on a simple continuum of steps that flow logically one after the other.


In this alternate future scenario, Decisive Ecological Warfare has four phases that progress from the near future through the fall of industrial civilization. 


The first phase is Networking & Mobilization.


The second phase is Sabotage & Asymmetric Action.


The third phase is Systems Disruption.


And the fourth and final phase is Decisive Dismantling of Infrastructure.


Each phase has its own objectives, operational approaches, and organizational requirements. There’s no distinct dividing line between the phases, and different regions progress through the phases at different times.


These phases emphasize the role of militant resistance networks. The aboveground building of alternatives and revitalization of human communities happen at the same time.


But this does not require the same strategic rigor; rebuilding healthy human communities with a subsistence base must simply happen as fast as possible, everywhere, with timetables and methods suited to the region.


This scenario’s militant resisters, on the other hand, need to share some grand strategy to succeed.

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The beginning of the end for centralised generation? : Renew Economy

The beginning of the end for centralised generation? : Renew Economy | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
The centralised generation model is in decline, but will the energy dinosaurs know how to react? There's a lesson here for Australian utilities.
Electric Car's insight:

Officially, 21 coal, gas and oil-fired plants have been slated for closure out to 2017 in the central European energy market – which includes Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands.


This represents about 7GW of capacity, and is over and above the 6GW of anticipated nuclear retirements in Germany and Belgium over the same period.


But according to the European energy team at UBS, this may just scratch the surface of what’s needed – and a further 41GW may have to be closed to restore the industry to profitability and offset the “downside” to centralised generation created by the renewables boom.


That would bring total closures of coal and gas plants over the coming four years to 49GW – which just happens to match the amount of wind and solar capacity that UBS anticipates will be added over the same period.


UBS says the central European market is in rapid decline because of falling demand, the construction of too much conventional generation capacity, and a low Co2 price.


But it says the most important driver has been the “remarkable” increase of renewable capacity, and in particular solar, mainly in Germany.

Solar, as is noted in a previous report about the solar “revolution”, is “cannibalising” the earnings of the centralised generators, which are unable to cut their output to changing demand conditions, and will be increasingly exposed to times when they have to generate power when the fuel cost is higher than the spot price.


The UBS analysis goes through a range of scenarios in its “base case” – including the addition of 49GW of wind and solar in the next five years, the closure of 6GW of nuclear, and 25GW of coal and gas – about three times what has already been announced. And it assumes relatively stable prices for carbon, coal, gas and oil.


This base case scenario shows relatively stable baseload prices, but peak prices plunge because of the increasing “cannibalisation” from solar power. .By 2020, UBS predicts, the gross margin for coal-fired generation is around zero and the capacity factors of the plants – the percentage of time they are used – falls dramatically: brown coal to 66 per cent from 73 per cent, black coal to 37 per cent from 47 per cent, and gas to 18 per cent from 30 per cent.


Even assuming a 5 per cent peak capacity rating for wind, and zero for solar , UBS says that at least 30 per cent of the central European coal fleet and 30 per cent of the gas fleet need to close just to maintain cash flows at the depleted 2012 levels.


Already, the impact of reduced demand, growing renewables, and rooftop solar, is causing a decline in output in coal generation, bringing capacity factors down sharply, particularly for black coal generators.

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Coal’s True Cost: 100,000+ Deaths A Year In India

Coal’s True Cost: 100,000+ Deaths A Year In India | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
A report issued yesterday from Conservation Action Trust and Greenpeace India outlines the health cost of coal.
Electric Car's insight:

As many as 115,000 people die in India each year from coal-fired power plant pollution, costing the country about $4.6 billion, according to a groundbreaking new study released today.


This report, by the Mumbai-based Conservation Action Trust, is the first full study of “the link between fine particle pollution and health problems in India, where coal is the fuel of choice and energy demands are skyrocketing.”


The findings are stunning. In addition to more than 100,000 premature deaths, it links millions of cases of asthma and respiratory ailments to coal exposure.

It counts 10,000 children under the age of 5 as fatal victims last year alone.


“I didn’t expect the mortality figures per year to be so high,” said Debi Goenka, executive trustee of the Conservation Action Trust.


115,000 people die earlier than they should because of coal pollution — 10,000 children. Millions of cases of breathing problems from fossil fuel addiction.


$4.6 billion is about 250 billion rupees .


The authors had to model their own data because India does not provide good open-source monitoring information at the plant level.


The report does not focus specifically on climate impacts , but it does outline the critical importance of navigating India away from reliance on dirty fossil fuels and investing in clean renewable energy.


Climate impacts health, and so does the dirty fossil fuel that causes climate change.

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Gujarat, India to cover Narmada canals with solar panels!

Gujarat, India to cover Narmada canals with solar panels! | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
Electric Car's insight:

Close on the heels of commencing use of wastelands in northern districts and rooftops in towns and cities, Gujarat is set to potentially use the existing 19,000 km-long network of Narmada canals across the State for setting up solar panels to generate power.


The Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, will inaugurate the first of a series of this project, known as Canal Solar Power Project, when he launches a 1 megawatt pilot project, which is already commissioned, on Narmada branch canal near Chandrasan village of Kadi taluka in Mehsana district on Tuesday.


Last week, he inaugurated a 600-MW solar power project spread across 11 districts. This included a 214MW Solar Power Park, the largest such generation centre at a single location in Asia. Also, Azure Power, leading independent power producer in solar sector, announced a 2.5 MW rooftops project in Gandhinagar.


Gujarat, which invests nearly Rs 2,000 crore an year on renewable energy, has attracted investments of Rs 9,000 crore so far on solar energy projects.

The pilot project has been developed on a 750-m stretch of the canal by Gujarat State Electricity Corporation with support from Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd , which owns and maintains the canal network.


The cost of per megawatt of solar power, in this case, is likely to be much less than the estimated Rs 10-11 crore, as the two banks of the canal will be used to cover the canal by installing solar power panel and the government will not have to spend much on creating basic infrastructure, including land acquisition .

Assuming a utilisation of only 10 per cent of the existing canal network of 19,000 km, it is estimated that 2,200 MW of solar power generating capacity can be installed by covering the canals with solar panels. This also implies that 11,000 acres of land can be potentially conserved along with about 2,000 crore litres of water saved per annum.

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Beijing Unveiling Aggressive Policies To Speed Electric Vehicle Adoption

Beijing Unveiling Aggressive Policies To Speed Electric Vehicle Adoption | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
Beijing is about to introduce a variety of new policies that should help to speed up the rate of electric vehicle adoption in the city, and help to reduce its dangerous levels of air pollution, according to state media reports.
Electric Car's insight:

Beijing is about to introduce a variety of new policies that should help to speed up the rate of electric vehicle adoption in the city, and help to reduce its dangerous levels of air pollution, according to state media reports.

Among the most significant of these new policies is a £13,000 subsidy for electric vehicles.


Another is a complete bypass of the infamous license plate lottery. “Officials are working on plans to introduce a new maximum purchase subsidy of 120,000 yuan for electric cars, while also allowing electric vehicles to obtain license plates without participating in the city’s plate lottery,” BusinessGreen reports.


It’s estimated that about 5,000 new electric vehicles will hit Beijing’s roads this year, including around 3,000 electric buses and taxis.

The aggressive new policies are largely being put forward as a means to help address the city’s significant air pollution problem.


“China is home to seven of the world’s 10 most polluted cities, according to a study from the Asian Development Bank and Beijing’s Tsinghua University, while car ownership is continuing to soar.”


The total annual cost for all of the illness, death, and lost productivity caused by air pollution in China is estimated to be higher than $100 billion by the World Bank.


That’s equal to about 3% of China’s annual gross domestic product. And of course these numbers don’t include the enormous damage done to the natural environment — the extinction of many animals, including the baji river dolphin, have been linked to the high levels of pollution in the region.

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A Satellite’s View of Ship Pollution

A Satellite’s View of Ship Pollution | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
Elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide pop out over certain shipping lanes in observations made by the Aura satellite between 2005-2012. The signal was the strongest over the northeastern Indian Ocean.

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 15, 2013 9:39 PM

Tags: transportation, globalization, diffusion, remote sensing, industry, economic, unit 6 industry.

David Collet's curator insight, February 20, 2013 3:37 AM

The Straits of Malacca show up as a highly affected band - and this from traffic that is not even bound for, or related to, Malaysia.

Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 12, 2013 5:30 AM

Ships are causing pollution all over the ocean because of its fuels being used. Is there other fuels we can use for ships? By finding a safer fuel it could reduce the oceans pollution. Pollution probably effects the wildlife and drinking water as well and we often eat foods and drink from the water. It not only effects the ocean it effects us as well. 

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China's Smog Becoming an International Issue

China's Smog Becoming an International Issue | Electric Cars | Scoop.it

China’s pollution, especially that in Beijng, has become a global concern and has also started to affect Japan’s air quality.

Electric Car's insight:

The good news for the Chinese leadership is that their fiscal policies have paid off, producing both the world’s second largest economy and the globe’s leading creditor nation in less than a generation.

The less good news is that the country’s hell-bent drive towards industrialization has brought in its train a host of collateral problems, not the least of which is pollution.

Last month Beijing’s air pollution soared past levels considered hazardous by the World Health Organization.

Prior to that, the government often played down the pollution in Beijing, insisting it was merely fog, despite evidence to the contrary that was plain for all to see.

Earlier this year, following public pressure resulting from hourly air-quality readings first published in 2011 by the U.S. embassy in Beijing, which Chinese authorities had previously denounced as "foreign interference," the municipal officials took notice.

On 12 January the air-quality monitor operated by the U.S. embassy in Beijing recorded a Particulate Matter PM 2.5 level of 886 micrograms a cubic meter,

nearly 35 times what the World Health Organization considers safe.


According to a Chinese Academy of Engineering specialist in respiratory diseases, speaking about Beijing’s current pollution levels, "It (the pollution) is more frightening than SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).

How bad? On 5 February flights were grounded as visibility fell to around 200 meters across Beijing.

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Obama Versus Physics

Obama Versus Physics | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
Change usually happens very slowly, even once all the serious people have decided there’s a problem. That’s because, in a country as big as the United States, public opinion moves in slow currents.
Electric Car's insight:

Even facing undeniably real problems -- say, discrimination against gay people -- one can make the case that gradual change has actually been the best option.

Physics doesn’t understand that rapid action on climate change threatens the most lucrative business on Earth, the fossil fuel industry.

Only at the very end of the campaign, when Hurricane Sandy seemed to present a political opening, did he even hint at seizing it -- his people letting reporters know on background that climate change would now be one of his top three priorities (or maybe, post-Newtown, top four) for a second term.

"But we’re not waiting for him. We can’t" Bill Mc Kibben

Airplane Crash's comment, April 28, 2013 6:54 PM
interesting info

Airplane Crash

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Clean Energy Is Needed Now (Climate Scientists & Climate Economists Agree)

Clean Energy Is Needed Now (Climate Scientists & Climate Economists Agree) | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
I recently posted David Roberts' piece on a new climate and energy study by former Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold and climate scientist Ken Caldeira.
Electric Car's insight:

Achieving substantial reductions in temperatures relative to the coal-based system will take the better part of a century, and will depend on rapid and massive deployment of some mix of conservation, wind, solar, and nuclear, and possibly carbon capture and storage. … technologies that offer only modest reductions in greenhouse gases, such as the use of natural gas and perhaps carbon capture and storage, cannot substantially reduce climate risk in the next 100 years.


Delaying the rollout of the technologies is not an option however; the risks of environmental harm will be much greater in the second half of the century and beyond if we continue to rely on coal-based technologies. But what’s new is the first peer-reviewed analysis that “has predicted the climate effects of energy system transitions” with “a quantitative model … that includes life-cycle emissions and the central physics of greenhouse warming.”


For example, Christopher Monckton cited a climate economics review by Richard Tol in claiming: “…the overwhelming majority of economic studies on the subject find the cost of climate action greatly exceeds the cost of inaction…”


New York University survey results of economists with climate expertise when asked under what circumstances the USA should reduce its emissions Similarly, a recent letter published by the Wall Street Journal, signed by 16 climate “skeptics” misrepresented Nordhaus’ research as supporting climate inaction from an economic standpoint.

They focused on the cost-to-benefit ratio of various climate mitigation options, whereas it is the difference which tells us how much money is saved, and thus is the most important factor in determining which option is most economically beneficial. “The authors cite the “benefit-to-cost ratio” to support their argument.


This example shows why we should, in designing the most effective policies, look at benefits minus costs, not benefits divided by costs.”


Current economic studies also suggest that the most efficient policy is to raise the cost of CO 2 emissions substantially, either through cap-and-trade or carbon taxes, to provide appropriate incentives for businesses and households to move to low-carbon activities.” “The claim that cap-and-trade legislation or carbon taxes would be ruinous or disastrous to our societies does not stand up to serious economic analysis.


Despite the economic reality that CO2 limits will save money, the myth that they will harm the economy is a pervasive one. However, this myth is based on nothing more than a misunderstanding of climate science and economics, and misrepresentation of the climate science and economics body of research.

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Carbon bubble will plunge the world into another financial crisis – report

Carbon bubble will plunge the world into another financial crisis – report | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
Trillions of dollars at risk as stockmarkets inflate value of fossil fuels that may have to remain buried forever, experts warn
Electric Car's insight:

The world could be heading for a major economic crisis as stock markets inflate an investment bubble in fossil fuels to the tune of trillions of dollars, according to leading economists. "The financial crisis has shown what happens when risks accumulate unnoticed," said Lord Stern, a professor at the London School of Economics.


The Bank of England has also recognised that a collapse in the value of oil, gas and coal assets as nations tackle global warming is a potential systemic risk to the economy, with London being particularly at risk owing to its huge listings of coal.


The world's governments have agreed to restrict the global temperature rise to 2C, beyond which the impacts become severe and unpredictable. But Stern said the investors clearly did not believe action to curb climate change was going to be taken. "They can't believe that and also believe that the markets are sensibly valued now." "They only believe environmental regulation when they see it," said James Leaton, from Carbon Tracker and a former PwC consultant.


Paul Spedding, an oil and gas analyst at HSBC, said: "The scale of 'listed' unburnable carbon revealed in this report is astonishing. This report makes it clear that 'business as usual' is not a viable option for the fossil fuel industry in the long term. [The market] is assuming it will get early warning, but my worry is that things often happen suddenly in the oil and gas sector."


HSBC warned that 40-60% of the market capitalisation of oil and gas companies was at risk from the carbon bubble, with the top 200 fossil fuel companies alone having a current value of $4tn, along with $1.5tn debt.

Citi bank warned investors in Australia's vast coal industry that little could be done to avoid the future loss of value in the face of action on climate change. "If the unburnable carbon scenario does occur, it is difficult to see how the value of fossil fuel reserves can be maintained, so we see few options for risk mitigation."


Jeremy Grantham, a billionaire fund manager who oversees $106bn of assets, said his company was on the verge of pulling out of all coal and unconventional fossil fuels , such as oil from tar sands. "The probability of them running into trouble is too high for me to take that risk as an investor."

Adam Feng's curator insight, May 11, 2013 4:48 PM

from small chimney to big.

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Big Oil and the Demise of Crude Climate Change Denial

Big Oil and the Demise of Crude Climate Change Denial | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
From 1989 to 2002, several large US companies, including the oil companies Exxon and the US subsidiaries of Shell and BP, sponsored a lobbying organisation called the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), to counter the strengthening consensus that human...
Electric Car's insight:

From 1989 to 2002, several large US companies, including the oil companies Exxon and the US subsidiaries of Shell and BP, sponsored a lobbying organisation called the Global Climate Coalition , to counter the strengthening consensus that human carbon dioxide emissions posed a serious threat to the Earth’s climate.


The climate scientist Benjamin Santer accused the GCC of deliberately suppressing scientific information that supported the IPCC consensus. ''Climate change is an issue which raises fundamental questions about the relationship between companies and society as a whole, and between one generation and the next.'' ''Companies composed of highly skilled and trained people can't live in denial of mounting evidence gathered by hundreds of the most reputable scientists in the world.''


From BigOil Websites:


Exxon: "Rising greenhouse gas emissions pose significant risks to society andecosystems."


Shell : "CO2 emissions must be reduced to avoid serious climate change. To manage CO2, governments and industry must work together. Government action is needed and we support an international framework that puts a price on CO2, encouraging the use of all CO2-reducing technologies."


BP : "According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change , warming of the climate system is happening and is caused mainly by the increase in greenhouse gas emissions and the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Results from models assessed by the IPCC suggest that to stand a reasonable chance of limiting warming to no more than 2˚C, global emissions should peak before 2020 and be cut by between 50-85% by 2050."


Chevron : "At Chevron, we recognize and share the concerns of governments and the public about climate change. The use of fossil fuels to meet the world's energy needs is a contributor to an increase in greenhouse gases —mainly carbon dioxide and methane—in the Earth's atmosphere. There is a widespread view that this increase is leading to climate change, with adverse effects on the environment."


The denizens of "skeptic" climate blogs and the majority of Republican Party politicians will find little in the way of support for their anti-consensus views on the climate webpages of the big oil companies. Nevertheless, the damage done to the public perception of climate science by the GCC and other oil-company-sponsored organizations lingers on.


Despite this, all of these Really Big Oil governments participate in the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change and none of them publicly dispute the science. However, when it comes to the scale of reductions needed to avoid dangerous climate change , the fact is that the oil industry will have to go into a production decline very shortly and fossil fuel production will have to shrink dramatically by mid-century, especially in industrialized countries where the IOCs make most of their sales


On the basis of my own involvement in the climate debate, it seems fair to conclude that individuals who reject human-caused climate change tend to be stubborn in their beliefs and it is a rare occurrence when somebody admits that they have changed their minds due to the mounting evidence. In contrast, oil-producing corporations and countries seem to have embraced the scientific consensus quite readily, even though their current business models are incompatible with the emissions cutbacks that will be required for mitigation.


Even though big oil companies are, for the most part, no longer actively questioning the fundamentals of climate science, they are spending millions in the 2012 presidential elections in the USA to support politicians perceived as more inclined to approve projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline and more ready to reduce regulatory burdens and allow more drilling on federal lands.


More details on this can be found in a report by the Sustainable Prosperity think tank. Although some of the oil company climate action statements may appear to the cynical to be mere greenwash , some actions have produced real results, notably efforts to reduce methane leakage.


That’s probably the best that climate activists can hope for from commercial organizations whose business is in extracting hydrocarbons fuels from the Earth so that their customers can burn them and dispose of the waste into the atmosphere.


But there’s also an important lesson here for those individuals who persist in rejecting or downplaying the consensus on climate change: if the big oil companies can suck it up and face scientific reality, why can’t you?

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Shell Strikes Arctic Oil!

Shell Strikes Arctic Oil! | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
Electric Car's insight:

The suits over at Shell (NYSE: RDS-A) have been in the hot seat over the past year or so after burning through more than $5 billion to tap Arctic oil reservoirs in the Chukchi Sea.


As I've discussed in these pages before, the risk-versus-reward scenario for Shell's Chukchi Sea adventure never made much sense. The independent oil producer simply had too little experience in Arctic oil production and too many mishaps last year (including a damaged containment dome that was crushed by the weight of unforgiving Arctic waters) to make it a particularly profitable venture.


Moreover, after two of President Obama's advisors called for a permanent halt to oil exploration in the Arctic, long-time investors got skittish.

Truth is — and I've said this time and time again — Shell would've been better off working with the Russians to tap Arctic oil treasures, as producers have more experience in those climates and the regulatory environment is less stringent.


Certainly this is what Exxon (NYSE: XOM) did a couple of months ago after signing a deal with Russian petroleum giant Rosneft (PINK SHEETS: RNFTF). Back in February, the two companies approved a deal that resulted in some easy money for Russia and an additional 234,000 square miles of oil exploration for Exxon in the Russian Arctic.


It looks like Shell is now heading down the same path...


Last week we learned Shell inked a deal with Russia's Gazprom Neft (PINK SHEETS: GZPFY) to jointly drill in the frigid waters of the Russian Arctic.


Finally, Shell strikes Arctic oil!


This was the best decision Shell could've made in regards to its quest for Arctic oil.


After all, Russia is the gatekeeper to about 70% of all Arctic oil. And the truth is it's really up to Mother Russia as to who gets what and how much.


Now, while Exxon and Shell are actively holding hands with Russian roughnecks, Mao's descendants are also siphoning off the Russian teat.


Last month Vladimir Putin handed over a share of its Arctic exploration licenses to China — a near perfect deal for the world's largest oil and gas producer and the world's biggest energy consumer.


Under a new agreement that was signed on March 22, China will now have the opportunity to double its oil imports from Rosneft as well as begin construction on a pipeline that'll run Russian gas to the Middle Kingdom.


But for the big score, China's foaming at the mouth over its chance to explore three new offshore Arctic regions with Rosneft...


This, by the way, is all part of deal that involves Exxon, EniSpA (NYSE: E), and Statoil ASA (NYSE: STO) ponying up to help finance the drilling.

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Trillions of Dollars are Pumped into our Fossil Fuel Addiction Every Year

Trillions of Dollars are Pumped into our Fossil Fuel Addiction Every Year | Electric Cars | Scoop.it

A new report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that overall global fossil fuel subsidies amount to about $1.9 trillion annually.  As large as this number sounds, it's actually an underestimate for many reasons.  

Electric Car's insight:

The IMF report lists several of these reasons, including the fact that it's simply impossible to obtain data for all fossil fuel subsidies in all countries.  However, the biggest contributor to the conservative dollar figure is related to the social cost of carbon.

The social cost of carbon is an estimate of the direct effects of carbon emissions on the economy, and takes into consideration such factors as net agricultural productivity loss, human health effects, property damages from sea level rise, and changes in ecosystemservices.  It's the economic damage caused by CO2 via climate change. 


The IMF report uses an average US government agency value of $25 per tonne of CO2 emissions; however, there is substantial evidence and research suggesting the value should be much higher. 


Dave Roberts provides some references in his post on the report, and we go into detail on the subject here.


The true cost of carbon emissions could easily be four times higher, at $100 per tonne. Chris Hope, climate policy researcher at Cambridge University, has argued that an estimate around $150 per tonne may be more accurate.  


Thus the true cost of our fossil fuel subsidies could be over $4 trillion per year, or over 6% of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 


 Compare that to the estimated cost of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to safe levels, which are generally on the order of 1% of GDP, and it becomes clear that our current priorities are completely backwards, pumping trillions of dollars into our fossil fuel addiction when we should be trying as hard as we can to break the habit

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Victory at hand for the climate movement – Opinion – ABC Environment (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Victory at hand for the climate movement – Opinion – ABC Environment (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
The science is clear, the technology is ready, the elite are on-side and the financial momentum is behind the move to dismantle the fossil fuel industry.
Electric Car's insight:

THERE ARE SIGNS THE CLIMATE movement could be on the verge of a remarkable and surprising victory. 


If we read the current context correctly, and if the movement can adjust its strategy to capture the opportunity presented, it could usher in the fastest and most dramatic economic transformation in history.


This would include the removal of the oil, coal and gas industries from the economy in just a few decades and their replacement with new industries and, for the most part, entirely new companies. 


It would be the greatest transfer of wealth and power between industries and countries the world has ever seen.


We need to keep reminding ourselves that this kind of economic transition is OK.


That's how markets work and while it will be challenging and require huge effort, it will work out. Yes, huge amounts of wealth will be lost and gained in the process, industries, countries and cities will face massive economic and practical restructuring challenges and many people will suffer in the process.


But that's how market shifts happen.


Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter coined the phrase "creative destruction" to describe this process and to explain why it's the underpinning strength of capitalism, calling it: "A process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionises the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one."


But while we can be comfortable that this process will deliver the required outcome, it's not going to be smooth or pleasant for many participants. It will rather be messy, highly controversial and see huge amounts of value and employment both destroyed and created as the economy restructures around the necessary reality of a post fossil fuel economy. 


I'm neither relaxed about this nor naïve about the scale of the challenge. I just accept that it's now inevitable. I also know we can do it and that we simply have no choice.


Of course, the losers will fight all the way to the end, using every argument, manoeuvre and delay they can think of. We should expect nothing else of them and, realistically, most of us would do likewise faced with similar circumstances. But they will still lose.


I do not however think we should demonise the fossil fuel industry or the people involved in it. The job to remove this industry has to be done - the future of civilisation literally depends on it - but we can do this firmly and clearly without making it personal. As I've said in recent speeches on this topic - with some humour but a serious message - "we have to remove the coal, oil and gas industries from the economy with love and compassion."


This is the tough love of responsible parenting - the kids don't like it but it's still the right thing to do.


So with some surprise, this is where we find ourselves. It still won't happen without focused and determined effort, but for the first time, we can envisage victory in the decades long fight on climate change. The science is clear, the technology is ready, significant sections of the elite are on side and the financial momentum is with us.


And this time, the economics is playing on the same side as the environment.

Just in time.

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Coal Kills - An Assessment of Death and Disease caused by India’s Dirtiest Energy Source - Conservation Action Trust

Coal Kills - An Assessment of Death and Disease caused by India’s Dirtiest Energy Source - Conservation Action Trust | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
Electric Car's insight:

Globally, it is well established that emissions from coal-fired power are responsible for significant levels of illness and premature death.


Whilst comprehensive studies of health impacts caused by particulate air pollution attributable to coal power plants have been carried out in the USA and parts of Europe, such data is hard to come by in India.


To address this deficiency, Conservation Action Trust commissioned Urban Emissions to conduct the analysis for this study.


Urban Emissions developed estimates of health impacts using a well-established and extensively peer-reviewed methodology based on concentration-response functions established from epidemiological studies.

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Gas Prices Rise Despite Epic Oil Boom | The Energy Collective

Gas Prices Rise Despite Epic Oil Boom | The Energy Collective | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
Even with the current boom in oil production, we should not get our hopes up for a significant drop in prices because demand continues to soar.
Electric Car's insight:

Even with the current boom in oil production , we should not get our hopes up for a significant drop in prices any time soon.


In an article from the Washington Post, Author Brad Plumer explains, “The big thing to remember is that oil prices are a function of both supply and demand.

If world demand for oil rises faster than producers can pump the stuff out, prices will go up. And that’s what is happening now.” Although the world is producing more oil than ever before, demand for this resource continues to soar.


For the majority of 2012, world petroleum production averaged 88.8 million barrels per day, 2 million barrels more than in 2010.

The International Energy Agency projected that oil production in the U.S. will continue along this path until 2020, possibly even longer, because of companies that are extracting “unconventional” oil from shale rock and other sources.


The U.S. Energy Information Administration found that China boosted its petroleum consumption by roughly 500,000 barrels per day in 2011, and another 420,000 barrels per day in 2012.


The way most states are headed, residents will likely see $4 per gallon by summer, if not sooner. “Speculators in future oil prices are already sniffing an opportunity and if they become optimistic that the $4 barrier can be reached and overcome, they will start investing heavily in oil futures and the prices at the pump will reflect that,” he added

Airplane Crash's comment, April 28, 2013 6:49 PM
interesting info

Airplane Crash

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Coal’s Future Craters Because Of Cheap Gas

Coal’s Future Craters Because Of Cheap Gas | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
BELLAIRE, Ohio — The four miners who gathered one blustery morning at the United Mine Workers of America hall know that, so far, they are lucky. Their coal mines along the West Virginia border are still working.
Electric Car's insight:

Their coal mines along the West Virginia border are still working, having survived a painful 30-year decline in the industry. But a new threat has pushed into Ohio, imperiling the primacy of coal here and all over the country.


“I feel worried about the future, that natural gas is a threat to us,” said Tim Merryman, 54. “ Some of those coal plants will convert , and that’s a threat to coal guys.”


For more than 200 years, coal has been king in Ohio, occupying a privileged position in state politics and as the fuel of choice for local power plants.

A natural-gas rush that has hurtled through the country over the past five years has pushed its way into the coal fields of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.


Entire villages in eastern Ohio are leasing their land for gas drilling, and huge energy companies that relied on coal to generate electricity are turning to natural gas.


Long the primary fuel for the country’s power plants, coal has been squeezed by cheap natural gas and tightening environmental regulations.

With the arrival of gas companies in Ohio, the coal industry and the towns and people tied to it find themselves grappling with the complex risks and rewards unlocked by the national energy shift.


“Is the coal industry suffering?

You bet,” said Thomas Stewart, executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association. “Not too long ago, coal was king and natural gas was the ugly stepchild.


Industry lobbies and their political allies assert that the Environmental Protection Agency has declared “a war on coal” in the form of tighter pollution rules. But independent analysts say cheap gas has played as crucial a role as regulation in eroding coal’s supremacy.


Ohio has a long history of oil and gas production, but this latest wave of natural-gas development is still in its early stages, unlike in Pennsylvania, where thousands of wells already are producing.


The gas here is so-called wet gas, more valuable than the “dry gas” prevalent in Pennsylvania because it is extracted with certain liquids such as ethane and butane that can also be sold on commodity markets.


The country’s second-largest power company and a huge coal consumer, AEP, based in Columbus, has been burning more natural gas than in previous years because increased availability has driven down the price.


As part of a recent legal settlement with the EPA and other parties, AEP agreed to stop burning coal at power plants in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio by 2015. But as gas elbows its way into coal country, disputes have started to emerge.


The Smith-Goshen Landowners Group has leased 35,000 acres for gas drilling, and nearly all of it sits above seams belonging to Murray Energy, the country’s largest privately owned coal company.

Electric Car's comment, April 8, 2013 2:10 PM
Thank you. It's nice to hear.
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At a Loss for Climate Change Arguments? Use this Fun Cheat Sheet. ~ Laura Sabransky

At a Loss for Climate Change Arguments? Use this Fun Cheat Sheet. ~ Laura Sabransky | Electric Cars | Scoop.it
Source: wikihow.com via wikiHow on Pinterest Let’s face it—we like to push the “easy button” in this country. We’ve cocooned and fortressed ourselves so that it’s easy to deny problems and causalities and easy to avoid facts.

Via Michael Q Todd
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What is the Delay in taking Climate Action and Replacing Fossil Fuel Depletion?

What is the Delay in taking Climate Action and Replacing Fossil Fuel Depletion? | Electric Cars | Scoop.it

Big changes usually take quite a time to occur. It was decades before the issues of slavery and women’s rights were sorted, and it may well be longer for climate change and resource depletion

Electric Car's insight:

America believed it could put off the question of slavery.

It did for 73 years from the drafting of the U.S. Constitution to the beginning of the Civil War.

America believed it could put off women’s suffrage after the Civil War even though so many women had worked so hard for abolition and for the rights of former slaves.

Related article: The Trade-off between Aerosols and Greenhouse Gases With gun control, the soaring federal deficit and the sluggish economy dominating the headlines now, it easy to confuse problems that are primarily social in character such as gun control with ones that involve the laws of physics such as climate change and resource depletion.

Problems such as climate change and resource depletion will not wait for that kind of schedule.

The laws of physics are indifferent to the political schedules of humans.

If our human laws, regulations, customs and practices don’t come into alignment with the laws of physics, then it will be our grief since the laws of physics show mercy for no one.

Some say it is the vested interests in the fossil fuel industry and elsewhere that are preventing us from taking the necessary actions to address climate change and resource depletion.

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An Updated Look at What Keystone XL and Alberta Tar Sands Mean for the Climate | Skeptical Science

An Updated Look at What Keystone XL and Alberta Tar Sands Mean for the Climate | Skeptical Science | Electric Cars | Scoop.it

We have twice previously examined the various environmental (including climate) impacts of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport oil from the Alberta tar sands in Canada to American refineries at the Gulf of Mexico, where it would then be distributed internationally. 


Pressure has been ratcheting up for the Obama Administration to both approve and reject the pipeline. 


In support:


52 US Senators (including 9 Democrats) The Nature editorial board (to which Dave Roberts wrote an excellent rebuttal) The Washington Post editorial Board


In opposition:


18 of the nation's top climate scientists, with some impressive names (James Hansen, Michael Mann, Richard Somerville, Jason Box, Raymond Pierrehumbert, Ken Caldeira, John Abraham, Michael Oppenheimer, Mauri Pelto, Ralph Keeling, Terry Root, David Archer, Michael MacCracken, Ted Scambos, James McCarthy, George Woodwell, John Harte, and Alan Robock)



Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Electric Car's insight:

There is also a climate/anti-Keystone XL rally scheduled at the National Mall in Washington D.C. at noon on Sunday February 17th.  Given these events, it seems a fitting time to re-examine the climate impacts associated with the Keystone XL pipeline.


Click headline to read more

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