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APR 22, 2013 - The EPA has sent a letter to top State Department officials criticizing the State Department's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) as having "insufficient information", and stated a few reasons why they think the DEIS needs more work such as: Tar Sands Oil is particularly difficult to clean up, and the plan on building the Keystone XL Pipeline right through the Ogallala Aquifer, thereby possibly contaminating the drinking water for millions of people. Read the EPA letter and read more on LATimes.com here.
APR 20, 2012 - Now normally I wouldn't be mentioning "green" and NASCAR" in the same paragraph, and I know some people will say it is merely a PR stunt and NACAR is one of the biggest spillers or polluters of gas and oil, and forget about the CO2 emissions they are through the roof. However, they have made a couple of gestures towards being "green" recently and are out touting their efforts. I feel that even though it is like your alcoholic uncle being sober for one weekend and there is still a long way to go, we should applaud and support NASCAR's efforts at being "green". They seem very genuine in their efforts, and have started a NASCAR Green Initiative to not only be responsible when it somes to the environment, but are also becoming a platform for inventors and entrepreneurs to stage new green automotive technology. They have even been very aggressive at setting up recycling containers for the millions of spectators that come to their events. In fact, it was the fans that pressured NASCAR to try and be as "green" as possible, because the fans were concerned about their other favorite outdoor activities, hunting and fishing. A huge majority of NASCAR fans support the green initiative and want to preserve the natural habitat for their grandkids.
In 2010 NASCAR announced a major partnership with American Ethanol to "go green" and started using a 15-percent ethanol fuel blend made with American-grown corn, also adding much needed American jobs. 43 cars would use an ethanol-based fuel for the Daytona 500 in 2011. Richard Childress, a NASCAR champion driver and current team owner, wrote an Op-Ed in Charlotte Observer today praising ethanol saying that by using ethanol based fuels "we are reducing not only carbon emissions, but also lots of other toxins that would otherwise be pumped out the exhaust. Those toxins don’t only degrade our health, but also the streams, lakes and forests where my family and I like to fish and hunt." Childress also added that the myth of ethanol-based fules reducing performance is false, in fact he says the opposite is true. "NASCAR has accumulated nearly 2 million miles of driving – in practice, qualifying and racing laps – on E15, without a hitch. Plus, we’ve also seen enhanced performance. In fact, many of the teams have reported an increase in horsepower. In my mind, this proves that E15 is a viable alternative to regular gasoline." Read the whole Op-Ed on CharlotteObserver.com here. NASCAR is having Earth Day events all month long at races, and will have a huge green "Ethanol" painted across the backstretch of the track at Kansas Speedway. They have even released a white paper touting what steps they are taking to try and be "more green".
The latest "green thing" is NASCAR has announced is that they will be using an all-electric car at the next NASCAR event in Richmond, Virginia at the Sprint Cup Series on April 28. The Focus Electric by Ford will be unveiled to the public on April 25. Ford had used a hybrid (gas/electric) back in 2008, but this is the first pace car that will be 100% all electric. The car will actually be unveiled at the Virginia State Capitol and then driven to Richmond International Raceway by LT. Gov. Bill Bolling. JTMP applauds NASCAR and it's fans for "going green"!
MAR 30, 2012 - A good article over at Crikey.com really lays out how renewable energy like solar power are injecting competition into the energy industry, a position electric utilities are not used to and are not happy about.
“The first graph illustrates what a typical day on the electricity market in Germany looked like in March four years ago; the second illustrates what is happening now, with 25GW of solar PV installed across the country. Essentially, it means that solar PV is not just licking the cream off the profits of the fossil fuel generators — as happens in Australia with a more modest rollout of PV — it is in fact eating their entire cake.”