Displaying items by tag: environmental


Coal-Based Generation Projected To Increase Nearly 9 Percent in 2013; Worst 5 States for 2012 Coal-Based CO2 Pollution Are TX, FL, PA, IN, OH.


WASHINGTON, DC///May 23, 2013///After a major fall-off in carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution from coal-fired electric power plants of 13.1 percent between 2005 and 2012, the first quarter of 2013 has seen a substantial jump in carbon dioxide emissions from coal – a 7.1 percent increase in the first three months of 2013 compared to the same period last year, according to a new Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) analysis of recent data from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The drop in carbon dioxide emissions between 2005 and 2012 is due in large part to greater reliance on natural gas, the rapid development of wind energy, moderate demand, and the closure of aging coal plants to avoid pollution control requirements.


Global warming emissions from coal-based electricity are projected to continue to increase throughout 2013, as rising natural gas prices encourage more use of coal. The latest projections from the EIA indicate that coal-based generation will increase 8.7 percent this year compared to last, although it is not expected to return to the peak levels of 5 to 10 years ago.


Available online at http://www.environmentalintegrity.org, the EIP report also highlights the five states and power plants that were the worst offenders when it came to CO2 emissions in 2012. Texas emitted the most tons of CO2 in 2012 from its coal-based electricity generation: 251 million tons, virtually unchanged from 2005, and more than twice the amount emitted by electric generators in any other single state. The second worst offender was Florida, followed by Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio. These five states accounted for nearly a third of total CO2 emissions from power plants in the U.S. last year.


Environmental Integrity Project Director Eric Schaeffer said: As natural gas gets more expensive, coal is finding its way back into the U.S. electricity generation picture, and that means higher carbon dioxide emissions. Although power companies plan to retire 45 gigawatts of coal capacity through 2016 due to low natural gas prices, the increased availability of renewables, moderate demand, and the cost of complying with long delayed Clean Air Act rules, a change in just one of those factors (natural gas prices) can encourage plant operators to squeeze more generation out of remaining coal plants.”


The Energy Information Administration projects that natural gas prices will increase about 34 percent above 2012 levels while prices for coal remain flat, making it attractive to power companies with the capacity to switch to cheaper fuels.


Additional highlights of the EIP report include the following:


* With natural gas prices at unusually low levels in 2012, gas-fired generation reached a new height of 1.23 billion megawatt hours in 2012, an increase of more than 60 percent since 2005, while electricity from coal declined nearly 25 percent over the same period.


* Wind powered generation, which releases no greenhouse gas emissions at all, climbed to nearly 141 million megawatt hours in 2012, a more than sevenfold increase from 2005. It is expected to increase an additional 30 percent by 2014.


* Demand for U.S. electricity is expected to increase only about 1 percent according to the EIA, following flat demand over the last seven years.


Schaeffer added: “Natural gas releases about half as much carbon dioxide as coal when burned for electricity, but its price can swing widely and that volatility encourages companies to hang on to dirty and inefficient coal plants. It is time for states who have been slow to embrace energy efficiency or no-carbon renewables like wind and solar to step up if we want to decrease global warming emissions in the long term.”


Additional state-specific findings in the report include the following


* States that still depend on coal emit far more carbon dioxide per megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity generated than those with a more diverse mix of fuels and renewable sources of power. Kentucky was the worst offender in 2012 when it comes to power plants emitting the most carbon dioxide per MWh. It emitted more CO2 than any other state, nearly twice the national average, and more than four times the state-wide emission rate for California’s power plants.


* Second on the list of states emitting the most CO2 per MWh was Wyoming, followed by West Virginia, Indiana and North Dakota.


* The five states with the lowest CO2 emission rates for the amount of electricity produced are: Idaho (lowest), Washington, Vermont, Oregon and Connecticut.


Emissions data was obtained from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Markets Program Database, while net generation data was obtained from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest reports.




The Environmental Integrity Project (http://www.environmentalintegrity.org) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established in March of 2002 by former EPA enforcement attorneys to advocate for effective enforcement of environmental laws. EIP has three goals: 1) to provide objective analyses of how the failure to enforce or implement environmental laws increases pollution and affects public health; 2) to hold federal and state agencies, as well as individual corporations, accountable for failing to enforce or comply with environmental laws; and 3) to help local communities obtain the protection of environmental laws.

Talkin Pets Show News
Saturday, Aug. 18, the 231st day of 2012. There are 135 days left in the year.

Thousands Gather for Iconic Architectural Projection Supporting REDD+

Corporate Champions Pledge to Buy Millions of Dollars Worth of REDD+
Emissions Reductions from Innovative Forest Protection Projects around the

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 20, 2012 - Thousands of people from around the globe
gathered at Arcos da Lapa last night to support the launch of Code REDD, an
emergency action campaign to save the threatened forests of the world.

The celebration of the Code REDD Campaign launch got under way as the
historic Arcos da Lapa aqueduct in the heart of Rio was transformed by
Obscura Digital with an architectural projection experience of visuals and
sound followed by the premier of a Code REDD film that demonstrated Code
REDD's solution to stop deforestation now.

The event was designed to enlist widespread grassroots support for the
Campaign. The film asked the crowd to demonstrate support by going online to
coderedd.com/glow to make their phones flash red with a digital "emergency
code." The experience drew a parallel between the digital transformation of
Arcos da Lapa and the way Code REDD aims to transform how corporations,
landowners, governments and the general public unite to save the threatened
forests of the world.

"Deforestation is an economic problem," stated Karin Burns, Executive
Director of the Code REDD Campaign. "REDD+ is a viable economic solution
that can scale to meet the massive scope of this challenge."

Earlier that day, on the eve of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable
Development, Rio+20, Burns and Mike Korchinsky, Founder of Code REDD, hosted
a press conference at the Royal Tulip Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. UNESCO, major
multinational corporations, REDD+ project developers, and representatives of
indigenous forest communities came together to announce their participation
in the global launch of the Code REDD Campaign.

At the press conference, Gretchen Kalonji, UNESCO's Assistant Director
General for Natural Sciences stressed the urgency of action against
deforestation worldwide and the importance of public-private partnerships,
such as the CODE-REDD Campaign.  UNESCO's network of Biosphere Reserves
provides a platform for collaboration and exchange among local communities
on novel models for climate change mitigation, protection of bio-cultural
diversity and local economic development.

Other stakeholders from Corporate Champions to community leaders expressed
support for the Code REDD Campaign and REDD+ as well:

"If the forest is gone, it is gone forever. So immediate action like the
Code REDD campaign is crucial and Allianz is glad to be part of it," said
Martin Ewald, Investment Manager at Allianz Climate Solutions.

"REDD has really worked in our community of 150,000 people," said Chief
Pascal Kizaka, of Kasigau, Voi District, Kenya.  "The project has greatly
improved the standard of living through the funding of water projects,
school bursaries and education, and job creation. There is more food, better
hygiene and clothing and better access to medical care."

"We assess all our projects on normal commercial project finance terms and
they stack up, for the Bank, the communities, the trees and the animals.
Simply, REDD+ is the right thing to do," said Kevin Whitfield, Head of
Carbon Finance at Nedbank Capital.

The Code REDD Campaign launched with the commitment of five corporate
champions including multinational financial services provider Allianz SE,
global luxury sport & lifestyle premium brands giant PPR, Dutch sustainable
energy utility Eneco, German renewable energy provider Entega, and the
leading South African bank, Nedbank.

Entega pledged to support ERA's REDD+ project in the Democratic Republic of
Congo, PPR has pledged to Wildlife Works' Kenya project, and Eneco made a
pledge to the Surui Project in Brazil. Each of these projects are being
implemented by Code REDD's global group of REDD+ Project Developers,
including BioCarbon Pty Ltd. (Ecuador), ERA (Congo), Forest Carbon Offsets
(Belize), The Surui Project (Brazil), Wildlife Alliance (Cambodia), Wildlife
Conservation Society (Madagascar), and Wildlife Works (Kenya). The
collective goal is to make forests more valuable alive than dead.

"It is inspiring to see these Code REDD Corporate Champions, NGOs and
indigenous communities showing innovation and leadership to change the
course of history," said Korchinsky, Founder of the Code REDD Campaign and
CEO of Wildlife Works.

About Code REDD  
Code REDD is an emergency action campaign designed to motivate corporate
leaders to save the threatened forests of the world, by dramatically
increasing the demand for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and
Forest Degradation) emission reductions. The Code REDD Campaign was founded
by Wildlife Works, a leading REDD+ project development and management
company, but is an open initiative that brings together corporate emissions
reductions buyers, REDD+ project developers, indigenous forest owners,
forest nation governments, NGOs, verification organizations, standards
bodies, market platforms and other concerned entities to develop and finance
high quality REDD+ projects.

Code REDD provides a solution to two of the most pressing issues of our
1. How to stop the deforestation that is stripping the planet of its
biodiversity, impoverishing forest communities and releasing massive amounts
of pollution that are changing our climate forever.
2. How to allow the marketplace to continue to provide energy goods and
services to our growing global population without accelerating the negative
impacts on our climate.

Code REDD enables corporations to reduce their effective carbon footprint by
buying Verified Emissions Reductions from high quality REDD projects that
stop deforestation, protect biodiversity, and create unprecedented
sustainable development for forest communities. For more information, please
visit: http://www.coderedd.com

Saturday, April 28, the 119th day of 2012.
There are 247 days left in the year.


National wildlife refuges — public lands set aside to conserve American wildlife and wildlife habitat — not only offer outstanding wildlife viewing and public recreation, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said Wednesday. They also stimulate local economies.


“Americans know national wildlife refuges are public treasures that protect imperiled species and improve public health and recreation” said the Secretary, speaking at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on the 109th birthday of the National Wildlife Refuge System. “They may not be as aware that these same refuges where they love to fish, to hunt, to hike and see wildlife are powerful economic engines that give back far more dollars to the community than they receive in appropriations.” Refuges also benefit their communities in other critical ways, he said.


As an example, the Secretary pointed to John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, just 11 miles away. The refuge, located wholly within Philadelphia city limits, each year plays host to 8,000 inner-city schoolkids whom it teaches about nature. John Heinz Refuge staff run one of the Refuge System’s largest paid youth employment programs, recruiting some 75 city youngsters for summer jobs in and around Philadelphia.  


The refuge also attracts more than 125,000 other visitors each year — to fish, to hike or to birdwatch. For the local community, visitors mean revenue. The refuge generated $2 in local economic effects for every $1 it was appropriated, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2007 analysis called Banking on Nature.  An updated analysis is expected by 2013.


“John Heinz Refuge is a terrific model of some of the many  ways in which refuges improve the quality of life, economically and otherwise,” said Secretary Salazar.  


In much the same way, the Secretary said, national wildlife refuges boost business in local communities across the country. The Refuge System recorded 45 million refuge visits last year. The more visitors enjoy birding or hunting or hiking at some of the Refuge System’s 556 refuges, the more sales rise in nearby restaurants, hotels, shops and gas stations. 


Data from local tourism bureaus and chambers of commerce confirm the link. 


According to an October 2011 report commissioned by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a nonprofit conservation organization, refuges and other natural lands managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service generated about $4.2 billion in economic activity and supported more than 32,000 jobs in 2010. 


The 2007 Banking on Nature report found that more than 34.8 million visits to refuges in fiscal year 2006 generated “$1.7 billion in sales, almost 27,000 jobs, and $542.8 million in employment income in regional economies.”


New data show how three popular refuges — one in the desert Southwest, one on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, and one in the Midwest heartland —help their local economies. The three are Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida, and Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in Illinois. 


Every winter, tens of thousands of sandhill cranes and snow geese flock to the desert oasis of Bosque del Apache Refuge, Wildlife enthusiasts follow. The refuge’s annual Festival of the Cranes in November draws up to 10,000 people in just one week. In sparsely populated Socorro County, with fewer than three people per square mile, that presence is felt. Local businesses vie to piggyback onto festival events, luring visitors with concerts, tours and art shows.  


“Definitely, Bosque del Apache is the largest of our tourism attractions and economic generators,” says Terry Tadano, executive director of the Socorro County Chamber of Commerce and a former deputy manager of the refuge. As a destination site, he says, the 57,000-acre refuge outdraws the area’s ghost towns, fishing and hunting sites, a Civil War fort, a historic cattle drive-away, and a radio astronomy observatory, “Bosque is still number one of all those sites combined.”


Joe Ruiz, manager of the Best Western Hotel in Socorro, appreciates the uptick in business from Bosque’s Festival of the Cranes. “Folks enjoy being out there [on the refuge]…We put up information [about the festival] on our marquis without being asked.”


Preliminary findings from a new U.S. Geological Survey report on refuge visitation show that in 2010,  nonlocal visitors (93 percent) to Bosque del Apache Refuge spent an average of $64 per person per day in the local area; local visitors (7 percent) spent an average of $41 per person per day.


How does that spending add up? In 2011, the refuge’s 165,000-plus visitors spent more than $5 million during their stay, estimate U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service economists, based on data in the National Survey of Hunting, Fishing and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. This spending, in turn, generated more than $7.6 million worth of state economic activity and supported 94 jobs outside the refuge. 


Winter is also high season for J.N. “Ding” Darling Refuge on Florida’s Sanibel Island, famed for its abundance of birds, including white pelicans, roseate spoonbills, anhingas and wood storks. More than 700,000 people visit each year — many of them “snow birds” from New York, Chicago, Minneapolis and other northern cities.  


“The refuge is one of Sanibel Island’s top two visitor destinations,” says Sanibel City manager Judy Zimomra. (The other is Thomas Edison’s home.) Spending by refuge visitors, which the Service estimated at nearly $14 million in 2011, helps sustain island hotels, restaurants and shops, she says. The dollars also percolate into the rest of Lee County, hard hit by the housing bubble collapse of 2007. There they generate another $26 million in economic activity and support an estimated 264 jobs, say Service economists.


Beaches rank first among activities enjoyed by Lee County visitors in 2010, according to the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau. Nonetheless, 24 percent of 2,440 visitors surveyed reported  “watching wildlife” ; 16 percent reported “birdwatching”; 17 percent reporting visiting “Ding” Darling Refuge.


 “We’re very happy to have ‘Ding’ Darling Refuge here,” says Raynaud Bentley, one of the managers at Doc Ford's Sanibel Rum Bar & Grille, a nearby restaurant. The refuge, he estimates, “probably accounts for at least 10 to 15 percent” of the eatery’s lunchtime business.  Lunch-goers include visitors who tour the refuge by bicycle. “When they’re finished biking, they come here to eat,” says Bentley, “so it works out real well.”


High visitor numbers to “Ding” Darling Refuge boost the local economy one more way, says Zimomra. “Our feeder market for our housing stock is very much based on people visiting the island first. It’s not at all  uncommon for people to visit the island, visit the refuge and then make this their second home or retirement home,” she says.


At Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in Williamson County, Ill., it’s always high season. Summer is popular with boaters and campers.  Hunters prefer fall and winter. For anglers, the best biting is in spring.


“Outdoor recreation is very large here,” says Shannon Johnson, executive director of the Williamson County Tourism Bureau. All told, some 750,000 people visit the refuge each year, and refuge recreation programs generate millions for the local tourism economy, according to the refuge.


When fishing is good at Crab Orchard Refuge, sales are good at Cooksey’s Bait Shop, a fixture in Marion, Ill. since 1962. “A good 60 percent of our business comes from the refuge,” says owner Ron Reed.


Crab Orchard Refuge also hosts an industrial program (defense contractor General Dynamics is the biggest lessee) that pumps another $40 million a year into the local economy.


Besides the celebrated fishing and hunting, the refuge’s location makes it a go-to destination. Southern Illinois University, with some 20,000 students, is nearby. St. Louis is two hours away; Louisville, Nashville and Memphis are a bit further.


The refuge courts outdoor enthusiasts with five annual fishing tournaments and several smaller “fish-offs”; it also holds special hunts for youth and people with disabilities. Every year, 30,000 visitors come over one week alone —for National Hunting and Fishing Days, the fourth weekend in September. Staff count visitors both  electronically and manually, to know how many come to see wildlife (330,000), to fish (175,000), or to hunt (25,000).


In 2011, refuge visitors spent an estimated $7.9 million, generating $15 million in local trade and supporting 150 jobs outside the refuge, according to Service economists. 


“With tournaments and wildlife observers, [visitors] definitely have to buy gas and get lunch, and stop at Walmart’s. The ladies are going to all of our antique stores,” says Johnson. “[The refuge] definitely is a draw for people to our area.”


Who said nature doesn’t pay?







The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel, and download photos from our Flickr page.



Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment present a 94 minute, PG, animation, family, fantasy, directed by Chris Renaud, Kyle Balda, screenplay by Ken Daurio, based on the book by Dr. Seuss with a theatrical release of March 2, 2012.