EPA biofuels rule: calculating the payback

The EPA released a report yesterday that proposes to change the rules of the biofuels game.  The report, titled “Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Changes to Renewable Fuel Standard Program,” examines the lifecycle of corn-for-ethanol practices and sets the “payback” period of carbon emissions for corn-for-ethanol fuel as 33 years. The payback period means that at first, corn-for-ethanol practices will be...

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Forests might flip from carbon sink to source

Ecologists point to forests as important sinks for atmospheric carbon. But a new report suggests that climate change could induce environmental stresses that would chnge the role of forests into a net carbon source. The report, titled “Adaptation of Forests and People to Climate Change – A Global Assessment,” was coordinated by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) and the Collaborative...

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First proposal for federal climate regulations

Members of the House of Representatives have introduced the first federal bill that would attempt to regulate climate change by placing limits on carbon release, ensuring that 25 percent of the nation’s energy comes from renewable sources and reducing the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050. While the Obama administration is weighing whether to use the Clean Air Act to regulate emissions, House...

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Omega-3′s might reduce methane ‘emissions’

This just in: Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy not just for you, but may also be good for the environment. We all read about the beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids, found most commonly in fish oils in our diets. They buffer against cancer, reduce the risk of cardiac disease and may also improve brain and immune function.  But in a presentation at the meeting of the Society for General Microbiology in Harrogate, UK today,...

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Obama to weigh Clean Air Act emissions regulation

The EPA sent a finding to the White House on Friday that should surprise no ecologists: that greenhouse gases are pollutants that endanger the public welfare. What might surprise ecologists is that it was sent at all. Until the final days of the Bush administration, the executive branch dragged its feet on a 2007 edict by the Supreme Court that they decide whether to use the Clean Air Act to regulate emissions.  Finally they punted,...

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