I pasted exempts from news on renewables and so on. As you can see the issue actually is quite controversial. From one side, it's clear that Obama's administration is lacking the inertia and political will to make serious reforms in this industry. From other side, however, we see that it still has the desire to get a piece of the giant cake called Green Technologies. A cake that is currently dominated by China. And here comes the interesting part - US companies relocate to China, because of the better production conditions. Will USA try to improve local conditions to attract producers? Eventually. But what is their immediate course of actions? USA will try to make a case against China for subsidizing the same industry USA ignores! Obviously, we have something weird going on here. Whether there is connection between it and the shooting, it's hard for me to say. I'm deeply sympathetic with Mrs. Giffords, because I also got trough a head trauma, even if much much lighter than her own. But as you know, I'm not a fan of conspiracy theories.
What I'm interested in, however, is why some things happen. And I see that there is "action" in this field. How and why, I don't know. Obviously, Obama's administration sees very well that the future is in green technologies, but it still cannot fight the "fossil" lobby. Which is bad.
I also disagree with their efforts to slow down China in this particular field. It's not going to work and going to WTO on this is profoundly stupid. Whose fault is that US companies have bad working climate in USA? China exports a lot of things and they subsidize one way or another many exporting industries. If USA wants to take China to WTO, it will be a very long list of infractions. But they won't do that, just as I'm sure they won't do it in the case either. And all that finger pointing is obviously just for distraction. What I still can't see is a distraction from what!? Interesting, huh?
Anyway, I think that it's about time that the new age comes to USA and people get it that green technologies are not matter of politics or of climate change! They are here, because they are needed and because they are better. And because it's their time. If you ask a normal person, without mentioning the climate change or Al Gore what will they prefer - fossil fuels with ever growing price (and the price will grow, there's no doubt about it) or solar/wind energy that will be clean, locally produced and cheap, what would they chose? Of course the cheaper option. The key moment here is that clean energy is not that cheap yet. And the key question is "Why". The answer of which is because it's under-produced, relatively new and not enough commercially developed. But from the moment China enters in our equation as a producer of the same technology, that is poised to change. And it does change. So, it's about time people figure it and act upon it. Otherwise...well, anybody who fails to see the trends of the future will lose - financially, economically and even ecologically. I speak of both USA and EU. Because we're all in the same pathetical lot when it comes to energy efficiency and green technologies. Well, let's hope that will soon change. Because I have the deep conviction that green technologies have much much more to offer once they get endorsed.
- AP sources: Browner leaving as Obama adviser
- E.P.A. Official Seeks to Block West Virginia Mine
- For Giffords, Tucson Roots Shaped Views
- U.S. to Investigate China’s Clean Energy Aid
- Solar Firms Frustrated by Permits
- New Tactic in California for Paying Pollution Bill
- Solar Panel Maker Moves Work to China
- Pentagon Must ‘Buy American,’ Barring Chinese Solar Panels
For Giffords, Tucson Roots Shaped Views
By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG and WILLIAM YARDLEY, January 14, 2011
"A fluent Spanish speaker with a Mexican half-brother, Ms. Giffords fought hard for legislation that would have granted citizenship to students who are illegal immigrants, but she also wants the tough border security favored by many in her Republican-leaning district.
She is a champion of solar energy, important to the Tucson economy. She opposes the death penalty, but backs gun rights. A victim of two home burglaries, she owns a 9-millimeter Glock." source
AP sources: Browner leaving as Obama adviser
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's top adviser on energy and climate matters is stepping down, two White House officials confirmed Monday. The departure of Carol Browner underscores that there will be no major White House push on climate change, given that such efforts have little chance of succeeding on Capitol Hill.
Browner, a former Environmental Protection Agency administrator under President Bill Clinton, will be leaving the White House just as Republicans in Congress prepare to take on the Obama administration over global warming and the administration's response to the massive Gulf oil spill.
Browner successfully helped negotiate a deal with automakers boosting federal fuel economy standards and requiring the first-ever greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles. She also pushed for billions of dollars for renewable energy in the economic stimulus bill.
But the administration fell short on it key domestic priority of passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill to place a firm limit on the pollution blamed for global warming. Just after the November elections, which gave Republicans a majority of seats in the House, Obama admitted the legislation was dead.
Browner's resignation comes amid a series of high-profile staff changes in Obama's White House. source
E.P.A. Official Seeks to Block West Virginia Mine
By JOHN M. BRODER, October 15, 2010
WASHINGTON — A top federal regulator has recommended revoking the permit for one of the nation’s largest planned mountaintop removal mining projects, saying it would be devastating to miles of West Virginia streams and the plant and animal life they support.
In a report submitted last month and made public on Friday, Shawn M. Garvin, the Environmental Protection Agency’s regional administrator for the Mid-Atlantic, said that Arch Coal’s proposed Spruce No. 1 Mine in Logan County should be stopped because it “would likely have unacceptable adverse effects on wildlife.”
In 2007, the Bush administration approved the project, which would involve dynamiting the tops off mountains over 2,278 acres to get at the coal beneath while dumping the resulting rubble, known as spoil, into nearby valleys and streams. The Obama administration announced last year that it would review the decision.
In its review, the E.P.A. found that the project would bury more than seven miles of the Pigeonroost Branch and Oldhouse Branch streams under 110 million cubic yards of spoil, killing everything in them and sending downstream a flood of contaminants, toxic substances and life-choking algae. source
U.S. to Investigate China’s Clean Energy Aid
The economic tension between the United States and China escalated on Friday, as the Obama administration pledged to investigate Beijing’s subsidies to its growing clean energy industries while delaying a politically volatile report on the Chinese currency.
Hours after the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced an investigation into China’s support for makers of wind and solar energy products, advanced batteries and energy-efficient vehicles, the Treasury Department said it would delay its semiannual report on foreign-exchange rates, which was due Friday, and could be critical of Beijing’s efforts to keep its currency artificially low.
A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, Wang Baodong, called the steelworkers’ allegations “unwarranted and of a protectionist nature, and it’s not a right step by the U.S. side to decide to probe it.” He said China’s green technology industries conformed to W.T.O. rules and were a big contribution to sustained global development.
The lead example of unfair Chinese trade practices in the United Steelworkers’ petition involved China’s restrictions on the export of rare earth minerals. source
Solar Firms Frustrated by Permits
The industry’s analysis, which has been shared with officials at the White House and the Energy Department, urges the federal government to create incentive programs that would nudge municipalities to adopt common codes, fee structures and filing procedures. Germany, Japan and some other countries that aggressively promote solar power have already used such streamlined permitting.
Administration officials said that they were seriously studying the issue, and that they planned to reveal initiatives and funding opportunities to address it.
The analysis suggests that permit standardization could make solar power — still typically an expensive proposition even with various subsidies — competitive for roughly half of the nation’s 128 million homes within just two years. Today, only about 80,000 households have installed solar power in the United States. source
New Tactic in California for Paying Pollution Bill
STOCKTON, Calif. — Officials who have tried and failed to clean the air in California’s smog-filled San Joaquin Valley have seized on a new strategy: getting millions of drivers to shoulder more of the cost.
Faced with a fine of at least $29 million for exceeding federal ozone limits, the San Joaquin Valley’s air quality regulators are proposing an annual surcharge of $10 to $24 on registration fees for the region’s 2.7 million cars and trucks beginning next year. A decision is expected when the governing board meets on Thursday. source
Solar Panel Maker Moves Work to China
BEIJING — Aided by at least $43 million in assistance from the government of Massachusetts and an innovative solar energy technology, Evergreen Solar emerged in the last three years as the third-largest maker of solar panels in the United States.
But now the company is closing its main American factory, laying off the 800 workers by the end of March and shifting production to a joint venture with a Chinese company in central China. Evergreen cited the much higher government support available in China.
Chinese solar panel manufacturers accounted for slightly over half the world’s production last year. Their share of the American market has grown nearly sixfold in the last two years, to 23 percent in 2010 and is still rising fast, according to GTM Research, a renewable energy market analysis firm in Cambridge, Mass.
In addition to solar energy, China just passed the United States as the world’s largest builder and installer of wind turbines.
Pentagon Must ‘Buy American,’ Barring Chinese Solar Panels
HONG KONG — The military authorization law signed by President Obama on Friday contains a little-noticed “Buy American” provision for the Defense Department purchases of solar panels — a provision that is likely to dismay Chinese officials as President Hu Jintao prepares to visit the United States next week.
The American military is a rapidly growing consumer of renewable energy products, because it is extremely expensive and frequently dangerous to ship large quantities of fuel into remote areas of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The solar panel provision is carefully written to help it comply with the free trade rules of the World Trade Organization, which would make it hard for China to ask a W.T.O. tribunal to overturn the provision, trade lawyers said. source