November 24, 2010

If You Read Only OneArticle This Week, Make It This: Thousands of Folks Who Returned to School toLearn How to Do “Green Jobs” Find Themselves Without Work Because Of It.Washington Post (11/23) reports, “Anton has been out ofwork since 2008, when his job as a surveyor vanished with Florida’s once-sizzlinghousing market. After a futile search, at age 56 he reluctantly returned toschool to learn the kind of job skills the Obama administration is wageringwill soon fuel an employment boom: solar installation, sustainable landscapedesign, recycling and green demolition. Anton said the classes, funded with a$2.9 million federal grant to Ocala’s workforce development organization, havetaught him a lot. He’s learned how to apply Ohm’s law, how to solder tinycomponents on circuit boards and how to disassemble rather than demolish abuilding. The only problem is that his new skills have not resulted in a singlejob offer. Officials who run Ocala’s green jobs training program say the sameis true for three-quarters of their first 100 graduates. "I think I haveput in 200 applications," said Anton, who exhausted his unemploymentbenefits months ago and now relies on food stamps and his dwindling savings tosurvive. "I’m long past the point where I need some regular income."The industry’s growth has been undercut by the simple economic fact that fossilfuels remain cheaper than renewables. Both Obama administration officials andgreen energy executives say that the business needs not just governmentincentives, but also rules and regulations that force people and business toturn to renewable energy. NAM’s Carter Wood blogs on the WashPost story over



Earlier This Year, BLMFound GHG Emissions from Wellsites Were Picayune – And Certainly Had NoImpact on Climate; Now, Enviros Want BLM To Ignore that Science and Delay NewProject.Associated Press (11/23) reports, “Environmental groups onTuesday sought to cancel the December sale of oil and gas leases beneath morethan 234 square miles of public lands in Montana, North Dakota and SouthDakota. In a formal protest letter sent to the Bureau of Land Management, thethree groups said the agency had not done enough to curb greenhouse gasemissions from oil field activities. Any leases sold in the Dec. 9 sale willnot be issued until the protest is resolved. The three environmental groups— Montana Environmental Information Center, Earthworks and WildEarthGuardians — sued the BLM over the same issue last year. The case wassettled when the BLM pledged environmental reviews on suspended leases totalingmore than 50 square miles. The agency also said it would conduct more detailedreviews on future lease sales. The BLM later determined that greenhouse gasemissions from drilling rigs, compressors and other oil field equipment wereinsignificant and could not be linked directly to climate change. Marc Smithwith the Western Energy Alliance, an oil and gas trade association, defendedthe BLM’s findings on greenhouse gas emissions from oil field activity."The finding of no significant impact speaks for itself," Smith said."It begs the question, what is the greater good? Stopping the Americaneconomy for an impact you can’t measure, or moving ahead with ideas thatimprove overall power sector emissions, create jobs and reduce reliance onforeign oil?"



What Are You Thankful For,Tom Friedman? How About a Nation Called China and the 15.3 Million Short Tonsof Coal It Imported in September – A New World Record.CommodoreResearch projects thefollowing in its most recent China report: “During the last few months, we havebeen writing extensively about robust electricity demand in China. We continueto expect that Chinese coal imports will set records in November and December.China imported 15.3 million tons of coal in September (the vast majority wasthermal coal), an increase of 2.04mt (15%) from 13.26mt imported in August. Ourconservative estimates anticipate that Chinese coal imports will total about16.75mt in November and 17.25mt in December (coal trade figures for Octoberhave not yet been released). In the last few weeks, a very large amount ofvessels have been chartered to import thermal coal to China. China’s currentmonthly coal import record is 16.38mt imported in December 2009. Cold weatherhas enveloped northern provinces across China. A cold front has pushed down to asfar south as Beijing, with low temperatures now hovering at around 1 degreecelsius (33 degrees fahrenheit). Sporadic snowfall also hit much of northernChina over the weekend, forcing the closure of some highways and airports. Coldweather and winter conditions are likely to persist. Thermal coal demand willremain robust.



Markey Embarrassed YetAgain: New Report Shows that Dispersants in the Gulf Broke Up Double the Amountof Oil Than Was Previously Estimated, Saving Lots of Birds.Houston Chronicle (11/23) reports, “Chemical dispersantsappear to have done a better job that originally expected in breaking up oilspilled from the Deepwater Horizon accident this past summer, according to apeer-reviewed report on a previously released “oil budget”. It’s estimated thatabout 16 percent of the approximately 4.9 million gallons of oil were dispersedby chemicals either sprayed into the oil on the surface or as it streamed fromthe well 5,000 feet below, according to the report from the Federal InteragencySolutions Group. That’s up from an estimate of 8 percent that was in theoriginal oil budget released on Aug. 4. The percentage of the oil dispersednaturally was estimated to be about 13 percent (down 3 percent from original)and the amount that evaporated or dissovled estimated at 23 percent (down 2percent). The report estimates about 23 percent of the total oil spill remainsunaccounted for, down about 3 percent from the original report. NationalOceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco said the relativelyclose proximity of the original numbers and Tuesday’s report serves as“validation of the original numbers.”



Wolverine: Rep. Upton FiresOff Long Letter to Sec. Chu with Questions About How His Agency Doled OutStimulus Cash – And Where It’s Hiding the Billions Never Spent. E&E News(11/23, subs. req’d) reports, “Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the leading contenderin a four-way race for the chairmanship of the powerful committee, today pushedEnergy Secretary Steven Chu to explain the agency’s decisions in doling out its$40 billion portion of the $800 billion stimulus bill. "The Obamaadministration and congressional Democrats narrowly passed a $862 billionstimulus package … in February of 2009 on the promise that money would go outthe door immediately to shovel-ready projects and that the unemployment ratewould stay below 8 percent," Upton wrote today in a letter to Chu."It is clear that the president’s economic team was wrong aboutunemployment staying below 8 percent. It is also now clear that the presidentwas incorrect in his assertion that money would go out the door immediately toshovel-ready projects." Upton goes on to question Chu about the status ofthe funding, the number of jobs created and the premise of doling out the fundsto "shovel ready" projects. DOE has been heavily criticized for notspending stimulus funds fast enough, and some congressional critics, includingUpton, have vowed to seize unspent funding. Upton’s letter is the latest in astring of actions he has taken to boost his conservative credentials as hejockeys for the top spot on the committee in the next Congress.



Interior Announces MajorNew Campaign to Break the Gridlock and Finally Issue Much-Needed Permits forOffshore Energy – Just Not for Oil and Gas.E&E News(11/23, subs. req’d) reports, “The Interior Department will announce a programtoday for fast-tracking the permits of offshore wind projects by identifyingpromising areas along the mid-Atlantic Coast and marshaling the resources of an11-state offshore wind consortium. The announcement scheduled for thisafternoon at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry will include a suite of proposals for"speeding up, expediting and facilitating the process of siting offshorewind energy on the outer continental shelf," Interior spokesman FrankQuimby said. At an offshore wind conference in Atlantic City, N.J., last month,Interior Secretary Ken Salazar hinted that his department would pursue aprogrammatic environmental review of offshore wind potential in the Atlanticsimilar to the Bureau of Land Management’s study of solar resources on federallands in the Southwest. BLM last year said it would conduct front-endenvironmental reviews of sun-drenched federal lands to encourage developmentwhere resource potential is high, environmental impacts are low andtransmission access is available (Land Letter, July 9, 2009). "If we cando this type of work on the 250 million acres of the Bureau of Land Management,we should be able to do the same on the 1.75 billion acres of our nation’s outercontinental shelf," Salazar said. "I am determined to accomplish asimilar objective of orderly, responsible and straightforward permitting forwind development on the Atlantic outer continental shelf."





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