August 19 News: 170,000 Electric Vehicles Wouldn’t Overload Portland’s Grid; Congressional Research Service Finds Public Benefits of EPA Utility Rules Exceed Costs

Utility CEO: 170,000 electric vehicles wouldn’t overload Portland’s grid

Portland, OR strives to be the U.S. hub for plug-in vehicles. What other city has dedicated an entire block to plug-in vehicle charging? During a ceremony on Tuesday, Portland mayor Sam Adams plugged in the first vehicle at “Electric Avenue” and dedicated the charger-lined street. On display for the ceremony were plug-in vehicles from Nissan, Chevrolet and Mitsubishi and charging stations from Eaton, Ecotality, General Electric, OpConnect, Shorepower Technologies, and SPX.

Electric Avenue is but one point along the proposed plug-in corridor, ranging from Vancouver, BC in the north to Bend, Oregon in the south. Some portions of the corridor are scheduled to be operational by the end of 2012 and the tentative agreement also calls for an extension into California.

At the Electric Avenue ceremony, Jim Piro, chief executive officer of Portland General Electric, projected that by 2012 around 2020, up to one out of ten new vehicles registered in the city Portland will be of the plug-in type. Piro stated:

So for us, by then, that would be about 170,000 vehicles in the Portland metro area, or about 50 megawatts of additional capacity – barely enough for the utility’s load to change, especially if vehicles charge at off-peak times.

Piro went on to say that even if all vehicles in Portland were electric, only one additional natural gas-to-electricity facility would be required. So, we’ve one city that seems pretty prepped for plug-ins – how long until the rest of the U.S. is ready, too?

*UPDATE: We got a note saying that Piro did not say he expects 1 percent (or 170,000 vehicles) of vehicles to be electric or hybrid in Oregon by 2012. He said, instead, that PCE’s resource plan is to be able to support that many vehicles over the next 10 years. That would be 2020ish, not 2012.

Report: No ‘train wreck’ from EPA utility rules

Utility industry claims that looming Environmental Protection Agency rules for power plants will create an economic “train wreck” are overblown, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) says in a new report.

Because EPA has yet to propose or finalize many of its clean air regulations, industry-sponsored studies predicting economic calamity “effectively underestimate the complexities of the regulatory process and overstate the near-term impact of many of the regulatory actions,” CRS says in an Aug. 8 report that has been circulating on Capitol Hill in recent days.

The report comes amid escalating concerns from Republicans and some moderate Democrats about EPA regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and a slew of other air pollutants. House Republicans have led a multi-prong effort to block or delay the rules and many GOP presidential hopefuls have made EPA a symbol of federal overreach.

But CRS says the public health benefits of the regulations – which EPA says would prevent thousands of premature deaths and illnesses – outweigh the costs.

Study: If Black Cabs were electric, then London’s pollution would drop by 20%

London could still be saved from the smog that constantly plagues the European Union’s most sizable urban area.

According to EcoVelocity, CO2 in London could be reduced by 4,000 tons a week if all of the metropolitan area’s black cabs were electric. EcoVelocity calculated the figure based on the CO2 emissions of London’s 22,000 registered Hackney carriages (black cabs), but says the figure would more than triple if all the other of London’s private-for-hire vehicles went electric too. The study took into account the CO2 emissions of the three most common Hackney carriages on London’s roads – the TXI, TX II and TX4 built by Manganese Bronze – as well as the average daily mileage of cabbies.

Since road transport is responsible for approximately 80 percent of the airborne pollution in Central London, where air quality is at its worst, and black cabs account for around 20 percent of that pollution, electrifying the taxis would, by EcoVelocity’s calculations, cut the city’s pollution by one-fifth. The latest black cab, the TX4, meets only the now-outdated Euro 4 standards.

Plants and animals migrating upward as climate changes

Across the globe, plants and animals are creeping, crawling, slithering and winging to higher altitudes and latitudes as temperatures climb.

Moreover, the greater the warming in any given region, the farther its plants and animals have migrated, according to the largest analysis to date of the rapidly shifting ranges of species in Europe, North America, Chile and Malaysia.

“The more warming there’s been in an area, the more you would expect a species to move, and the more they have moved,” said Chris D. Thomas, a conservation biologist at the University of York in England, who led the work published Thursday in the journal Science. “This more or less puts to bed the issue of whether these shifts are related to climate change. There isn’t any obvious alternative explanation for why species should be moving poleward in studies around the world.”

Greenland Glacier Melting Faster Than Expected

A key glacier in Greenland is melting faster than previously expected, according to findings by a team of academics, including Dr Edward Hanna from University of Sheffield. Dr Hanna, from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Geography, was part of a team of researchers that also included Dr Sebastian Mernild from the Los Alamos Laboratory, USA, and Professor Niels Tvis Knudsen from the University of Aarhus, Denmark. The team´s new findings present crucial insight into the effects of climate change.

The researchers found that Greenland’s longest-observed glacier, Mittivakkat Glacier, made two consecutive record losses in mass observations for 2010 and 2011. The observations indicate that the total 2011 mass budget loss was 2.45 metres, 0.29 metres higher than the previous observed record loss in 2010. The 2011 value was also significantly above the 16-year average observed loss of 0.97 metres per year.

The 2011 observations further illustrate, even comparing the mass balance value against simulated glacier mass balance values back to 1898, that 2011 is a record-breaking glacier mass loss year.

U.S. carbon emissions jumped nearly 4 percent in 2010

U.S. emissions of the main greenhouse gas rebounded nearly 4 percent last year as factories ran harder while the economy recovered and as consumers boost air conditioning during the hot summer, the government said on Thursday.

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of oil, coal and natural gas, which accounts for about 80 percent of U.S. overall greenhouse gas output, rose 213 million tonnes, or 3.9 percent, last year, the Energy Information Administration said.

It was the first rise in the emissions blamed for global warming since the recession pushed them down in the previous two years and the largest increase since 1988.

Wind Farms Off the Coast of Rhode Island Could Generate 1,000 GW of Electricity

Secretary Ken Salazar made an appearance in Rhode Island today to announce that the Federal government was accepting applications for offshore wind farm projects off the coast of the state and that it would start signing offshore leases for those projects by 2012.

Rhode Island is getting special attention because of the huge potential for offshore wind in the state.  Salazar pointed to an NREL study that found that Rhode Island offshore wind farms could potentially generate 1,000 gigawatts of electricity — enough to power most of the U.S.

The state has already announced plans for a couple of offshore projects:  one is a smaller wind farm that will power the currently diesel-generator-dependent Block Island and feed any excess power to the mainland and the other is the huge 1,000 MW Deepwater Wind Energy Center that will be located in the Rhode Island Sound with transmission lines running from Massachusetts to New York.

With the government pledging to start signing offshore leases and the wealth of electricity that could be generated, there will likely be more cropping up soon.


Below are old comments from the previous Facebook commenting system:

  • Prokaryotes – · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

Radiation caused illnesses now seen in Japan.
Doctors in Japan are already treating patients suffering health effects they attribute to radiation from the ongoing nuclear disaster.
“We have begun to see increased nosebleeds, stubborn cases of diarrhoea, and flu-like symptoms in children,” Dr Yuko Yanagisawa, a physician at Funabashi Futawa Hospital in Chiba Prefecture, told Al Jazeera.

Fukushima radiation alarms doctors , Aljazeera,.Dahr Jamail Japanese doctors warn of public health problems caused by Fukushima radiation.: 18 Aug 2011 , Scientists and doctors are calling for a new national policy in Japan that mandates the testing of food, soil, water, and the air for radioactivity still being emitted from Fukushima’s heavily damaged Daiichi nuclear power plant.
…See More

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 19 at 1:44pm

Prokaryotes – · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

Canada Moves Ahead with New Coal-Fired Power Rules.
Environment Minister Peter Kent said new regulations will force coal developers to reduce emissions to levels that are comparable to gas-fired plants.

Study finds natural gas releases twice as much greenhouse gas as coal.
A new study shows that natural gas is not as environmentally friendly as previously thought, dealing a major blow to environmentalists who viewed it as a “bridge fuel” to cleaner energy alternatives; researchers found that the greenhouse-gas footprint of shale gas over a twenty year period was at least 20 percent higher than coal and could even be “more than twice as great”; the study was quick to draw criticism from oil and gas companies for its use of shoddy data; the study also outlines multiple ways that the oil and gas companies could reduce methane emissions by up to 90 percent during the drilling process.

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 19 at 2:04pm

Prokaryotes – · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

The mental health toll in Fukushima.
Radiation fears bring psychological stress to Fukushima residents, Mainichi Daily News, 19 Aug 11, FUKUSHIMA — Residents of Fukushima Prefecture are increasingly visiting psychiatrists complaining of sleeplessness or the inability to concentrate as they worry about the effects of leaked radiation from the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, the Mainichi has learned…….

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 19 at 1:42pm

Prokaryotes – · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

Ground is cracking underneath Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Radioactive sulfur over California shows exactly how bad the Fukushima radiation leak was

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 19 at 1:47pm

Prokaryotes – · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

Record Ice loss for Greenland’s Mittivakkat Glacier.

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 19 at 4:46pm

Prokaryotes – · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

6.8 magnitude quake jolts Japan off Fukushima; no reported damage

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 19 at 1:49pm

Prokaryotes – · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

Obama administration moves against Alaska oil drilling

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 19 at 10:45pm

Sam Vilain · London, United Kingdom

The Secretary of the Interior made a mistake with that 1,000GW figure. The figure in the paper is 25GW (and that is based on a lot of extrapolation). See

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 19 at 11:32am

  • Prokaryotes – · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

lol that sux ;)

Like · Reply · August 19 at 10:46pm

Prokaryotes – · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

The Beast File – Koch Brothers (HUNGRY BEAST).

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 20 at 12:09am

Bertrand Guillotin · 34 years old

How do you produce the electricity for those electric vehicules ? Coal ? Or atom ? don’t say wind plz, because the answer is needed now. Thk you.

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 19 at 12:21pm

Jeffery Green

Wind Solar PV Biofuels geothermal csp

2 · Like · Reply · August 19 at 1:04pm

Bertrand Guillotin · 34 years old

Sorry I don’t believe it at all

Like · Reply · August 19 at 1:11pm

Lene Einang Flach · Univirsity of Texas, Austin

The northwest USA has had 2+ years of record rainfalls, and has the largest concentration of hydroelectric dams in the USA. Reservoirs are full capacity and in fact water is running past the electric turbines at several dams.

2 · Like · Reply · August 19 at 1:22pm

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Paul Magnus · Top Commenter

just crazy stuff happening everywhere…

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 20 at 1:34pm

Paul Magnus · Top Commenter

I would just like to urge you all to view the video found via pages below on the debate between elders Canadian environmental icon David Suszuki and Thay Nhat Hanh a well renown peace activist and Zen master (He was nominated by Martin Luther King for the Nobel peace prize).

I have come through various stages in realization of what GW now means and our collective reaction in addressing it. Realization that this is a serios problem; frustration of the denial and inaction of so many; realization that it is not just a problem, but a catastrophe; what that means for my kids;.

Frustration, anger and despair. This conversation between David and Thay Nhat has brought me some peace and strength in dealing with the situation….
…See More

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 12:06am

Paul Magnus · Top Commenter


Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 20 at 1:41pm

Paul Magnus · Top Commenter

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 20 at 1:43pm

Prokaryotes – · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

NASA Releases First Complete Map of Antarctic Ice Flow.
NASA recently released the first complete map charting the movement of ice sheets in Antarctica.

The map, which will be beneficial for tracking future sea-level increase from climate change, provides the speed and direction of ice flow in Antarctica. It shows glaciers flowing thousands of miles from the continent’s deep interior to its coast, NASA said.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 20 at 12:54am

Arne Perschel · Friends with Joseph Romm

A freak thunderstorm ripped through a big Belgian music festival on Thursday. Several tents and structures collapsed. 5 people were killed and around 100 people were injured.
Watch this amazing footage of the wild weather.
It looks like nighttime but it was actually bright day, almost three hours before sunset. I didn’t know storms like this even existed.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 20 at 7:34am

Paul Magnus · Top Commenter

Great videos…..

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 20 at 2:20am

Prokaryotes – · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

One man died as storms and a suspected tornado roared across northern Wisconsin on Friday night, cutting off power to around 2,000 homes, the Wisconsin Division of Emergency Management said.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 20 at 12:55am

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