Reports of oil surfacing near the site of the Deepwater Horizon explosion are raising questions about its source and whether it is related to last year’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – one of the worst environmental disasters in US history.
A patch of oil was documented last week about a quarter-mile northeast of the Macondo wellhead leased by BP. That site was plugged in July 2010 after about 4.9 million barrels (206 million gallons) of oil leaked into the Gulf.
On Wednesday, reporters from the Mobile, Ala., Press-Register published photographs and video of their discovery on the news organization’s website, which was in response to surveillance flights conducted the week before by two environmental groups – the Gulf Restoration Network and On Wings of Care. The Press-Register reported witnessing “blobs of oil rise to the surface and bloom into iridescent yellow patches” that later “expanded into rainbow sheens 4 to 5 feet across.”
When you think about Green Energy and its jobs, Albany, N.Y., probably wouldn’t be the first city that pops into your head. But according to a report, the upstate New York region has the highest concentration of green jobs in the country. Another surprising area in the top 10: Cleveland and northeast Ohio.
Inside a factory in Willoughby, Ohio, Ashlawn Energy is teaming with a local utility and other partners to design and build flow batteries, which, when fully assembled, will be as big as a house.
Project manager Joseph Startari explains that these batteries enable utilities to collect and store energy, including wind and solar power, and then have it available to send out when customers need it.
“It’s part of the smart grid, and it takes a lot of load off the grid and prevents brownouts and things of that nature,” he says.
If Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann wants to drill for oil in the Florida Everglades, as she suggested at a recent presidential campaign stop, environmental groups won’t be the only ones standing in her way. She’ll have to go through members of her own party first.
Both of the Florida Republicans running to defeat Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012 adamantly oppose energy exploration in the national park. So does Florida Rep. Allen West, a member of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus, which Bachmann founded.
“There is no current plan to drill in the Everglades and nor should there be,” former Florida Rep. Adam Hasner told The Ticket when asked about Bachmann’s proposal. Hasner is currently running against former Sen. George LeMieux for the Republican nomination to unseat Nelson. LeMieux also opposes drilling in the park, his campaign spokesman said. Both Hasner and LeMieux support energy exploration off-shore.
Bachmann made the comments about drilling in the Florida national park during a rally in Sarasota last weekend, but added that it must be done “responsibly.”
Only one in eight insurers has a formal policy in place to manage climate risk, despite rising evidence that environmental changes are exacerbating insurers’ disaster losses, according to a coalition of public interest groups.
The coalition, Ceres, looked at 88 filings from six states by insurance companies, using a form developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Ceres said it was the first-ever effort to quantify how U.S. insurers manage climate risk in their day-to-day operations.
Despite the broad lack of a formal policy, Ceres said insurers generally acknowledge the problem of climate change and the effect it can have on their business.
“Even those insurers with no formal climate policy, no climate risk management structure and a stated belief that the company is not vulnerable to the effects of climate change still name perils that may be affected by climate change 20 percent of the time,” Ceres said in its report.