Future Farms and Fuel

Dr. John Capece presented plans for the Sustainable Biofuels Center in Hendry County on Jan 12. Sponsored by Dept of Energy it will develop sustainability ratings for biofuel options in south Florida and research new farming systems. [PowerPoint Presentation]

Solar Cycle and Climate

As the sun spot cycle comes out of its minimum, we can expect the combined effects of greenhouse gases and solar activity to increase earth temperatures, although there may be a couple of years lag to the response due to ocean damping. [ClimateProgress.org]

Former Rivals Cooperate

For a long time producers of alternative fuels and oil refiners have been bitter rivals. But as the share of biofuels grows, the refiners seem to learn how to cooperate. In Louisiana, BP technicians join developing an experimental ethanol plant. [The New York Times]

FL Biofuels Association Optimistic

Dana Jones, executive director of the Florida BioFuels Association sees great business opportunities in the state. To jump-start the biofuel industry,the association partnered with a variety of state institutions such as the Florida Office of Energy. [Tampa Bay Online]

Trilateral Partnership

On Monday the three countries confirmed a cooperative partnership to take on the challenges of climate change. During trilateral negotiations leaders of all three governments agreed to initiatives for carbon capture and storage and energy efficiency. [Sustainable Business] [Status on Copenhagen Treaty]

Role for US Carbon Sequestration

Robert Stavins, Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program assesses the state of carbon sequestration in the US and the options for cost-effective CO2 reduction through that method, as part of a cap-and-trade system or other policies. [The Huffington Post]

No Separate Regulations on GM

Ron Bloom, Chairman of the task force overseeing the car industry told reporters that the government will not use its stake in GM to raise new fuel or emission standards. Such regulations won't be imposed on single producers but the whole industry. [The Miami Herald]

Biofuel Makers want CO2 Credits

Several producers of biofuels have urged Senators to change the climate bill towards the inclusion of free pollution permits between 2012 and 2050. They want their efforts of recycling carbon through plants taken into account when permits are issued. [Reuters]

EPA Review for Biofuel Regulation

EPA recently released a peer review on proposed biofuel regulations for ethanol producers. Under the law EPA is required to create a rule defining how ethanol emissions are calculated. However, the issue is controversial due to conflicting interests. [Sustainable Business] [EPA Review]

Biofuels from Gulf Coast Algae

Algae deposits in the Gulf of Mexico keep drawing the attention of american biofuel producers in the area. Paul Woods, CEO of Bonita Springs company Algenol Biofuels considers the use of algae a sustainable path for producing ethanol in the future. [The Houston Chronicle]

AGW Considered Security Threat

Military and intelligence analysts have started to consider global warming as a new and concerning challenge to national security. Destructive floods for example in Bangladesh could send hundreds of thousands of refugees into neighboring India. [The New York Times]

Lee County Ethanol Plant

After the failure of a similar attempt in Palm Beach County last month, algae biofuels producer Algenol has now entered promising negotiations with Lee County officials. According to Florida Gulf Coast University up to 1000 jobs could be created. [News-Press]

Environmental Movement too weak

The environmental movement is not powerful enough to take on the powerful fuel industry players around the world. Too often politicians bow to influential companies slowing down progress while anthropogenic global warming keeps speeding up. [The Miami Herald]

Exxon's Investment in Biofuels

The oil giant Exxon Mobile announced plans to invest $600 million in producing biofuels from algae. Questionable remain the true intentions behind the investments. Since Exxon made $45.22 billion last year the $600 million might be a PR investment. [The New York Times]

Three popular Falsehoods

Lee County long-time environmentalist Ellen Peterson takes on three popular claims put forward by clean energy and climate change critics who argue that millions of jobs would be lost, energy prices would increase and consumer costs would explode. [News-Press]

DOE funds Carbon Capture

The U.S. Department of Energy shows commitment to carbon sequestration and the development of clean energy technologies. The DOE contributed $1.073 billion to a sequestration project in Illinois. The technology offers the storage of CO2 in ground. [Reuters]

Triple Threat of Challenges

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act adressing the economic recession, the nation's dependence on fossil fuels and global warming. The act is popularly known as the Waxman-Markey climate bill. [News-Press]

Green Spending faces Problems

US Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu faces difficulties spending grant money on energy and environment projects since America's nuclear-weapons stockpile still consumes the biggest share of the department's staff and money. [The Economist]

Q&As on Jatropha and Biofuels

Based on queries from interested people, the University of Florida has published a comprehensive list of questions and answers on Jatropha Curcas and its use as a biofuel source. The plant is a promising source of biofuels. [Jatropha Q&As]

Restrictions on Car Emissions

President Obama strives for enhanced fuel efficiency of cars in order to limit GHG emissions. The goal is a 30% drop to be achieved by 2016. The proposal also mitigates several states' demands to adopt own regulations. [USnews.com]

Report on Climate Change

The first climate change report of the Obama administration warns of drastic impacts of global warming on North American ecosystems and human health. The report summarizes important scientific findings stressing prompt action as a matter of urgency. [TheNewYorkTimes_061709] [Report]

Roll up our sleeves...or our pants

Get busy or get wet. We can either roll up our sleeves or roll up our pants. Scientists now say that limiting atmospheric CO2 to 450 ppm is proving an unrealistic goal & that 650 ppm is the best we may expect. Catostrophic sea level rise will result.
[The Guardian] [Tyndall]

Biofuels in the Glades

The 24th Annual Everglades Coalition Conference held Jan 9-11 in Miami included a presentation by John Capece on the potential for biofuels production on sugarcane lands to be purchased by the State of Florida from U.S. Sugar Corporation.
[Capece BioFuels Presentation] [Program]

The Necessity Defense

Protestors on trial for blocking an FPL power plant construction site in the Everglades are using the “neccessity” defense stating that one is allowed to break the law for the greater good. Greenpeace recently used this successfully in the UK. [Palm Beach Post] [Law Review] [PBP Photos] [The Guardian] [Earth First!] [Volokh Conspiracy]

Renewable Energy Program

State regulators shut down a Florida Power & Light Co. green energy program after an audit revealed most of the money collected from customers was used to pay for administrative and marketing costs. The program purported to fund solar energy. [Sun-Sentinel]

Quota for Ethanol in Cars

The Environmental Protection Agency rejected a request to cut the federal government’s quota for the use of ethanol in cars, concluding that the national goal of reducing oil use trumps any effect on food prices from making fuel from corn. [The New York Times]

Carter Was Right

Most progressives have for decades lamented the lack of public respect and recognition for President Jimmy Carter's attempts to put the nation on a path to sensible, sustainable, alternative energy sources. Today's problems were long anticipated. [Science Friday]

No Free Lunch

Energy costs in all farming inputs, particularly fuel and fertilizers, are beginning to demonstrate the unsustainable nature of modern agricultural and consumption practices. [PalmBeachPost]

Energy Problems

Government has a very important role in enabling energy savings, says Joseph Romm from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. DOE has programs delivering energy savings every day. [Article]

Greenhouse Gas Project

CDWR has awarded a $12.3 million contract to launch a carbon-capture experiment in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The project aims to discover whether greenhouse gases can be stored in marsh plants and soils while also restoring Delta islands. [Sacbee.com]

FPL Centralized Solar Themal

FL PSC has approved Florida Power & Light to charge up-front costs to customers for construction of three solar plants. One plant is a logical solar thermal turbine facility, but others are questionable centralized photovoltaic plants. [Sun Newspapers]

Putting Idle Acres to Work

Melamed, chief executive officer of Coral Springs-based CellAntenna Corp., wants to lease the 187,000 acres of land the SFWMD is buying as part of a $1.75 billion buyout of Clewiston-based U.S. Sugar Corp. & use the sugarcane for ethanol production. [PalmBeachPost.com]

Coal Is Still King

Contrary to the thought that coal represent a bygone way of life, it provides more than half the nation's electricity, more than any other source of power and its usage has nearly tripled since 1960. [Ucsusa]

Maybe If We Really Wish Hard

Relying on more fossil fuel without carbon sequestration is like searching for more bullets in a game of global Russian roulette. Deceiving the population they can continue business as usual will be viewed by history as a crime against humanity.

CO2 Limits Coal Plant

As CarbonCapture.US asserted during the FPL coal power plant 2007 debate in Glades County, CO2 emissions are now the limiting factor in the creation of new coal plants in the US. Carbon capture and sequestration is now essential. [Triplepundit] [Web page] [Web Site]

High Density Vertical Bioreactor

The HDVB technology developed by Valcent, algae-to-biofuel technology mass produces algae, vegetable oil which is suitable for refining into a cost-effective, non-polluting biodiesel.In addition, 90% by weight of the algae is captured carbon dioxide. [Valcent Products Inc]

Cheney in Climate Testimony

A former EPA officials says the office of Dick Cheney pushed for deletions in congressional testimony on the consequences of climate change, fearing the presentation might make it harder to avoid regulating greenhouse gases. [Details]

Turning Algae to Oil

Algae, simple aquatic plants are composed carbohydrates, protein and plant oil. Scientists suggest companies grow algae biomass to make it worth processing by finding cost-effective ways to separate algae from water and turn algae to oil. [Herald Tribune]

Global Climate Change

The global climate change will worsen food shortages, disease exposure in sub-Saharan Africa for next two decades. NIC Chairman Thomas Fingar presented the report key conclusions to a joint meeting of the HPSC on Intelligence and Energy Independence. [Details]

Nuclear Energy

Filling in for Gov. Charlie Crist, Gov. Jeff Kottkamp flew in from Tallahassee June 10th to speak for 10 minutes at a private event for French energy conglomerate Areva, which primarily deals in nuclear energy. [Details]

REP Alert

REP is helping John McCain's campaign shape his environmental platform and build support for it. Please contact REP President Martha Marks at mmarks@rep.org if you are willing to help in any way. [Details]

Where Water Meets Energy

It takes energy to move water, and it takes a lot of water to make energy. This is one factor contributing to the increasing costs to build new power plants of any type. [Austin American Statement]

Costs for Power Plants

Construction costs for power plants have more than doubled since 2000, according to new index data released May, 27th and inflationary pressures will continue to put the squeeze on electricity prices. [The Wall Street Journal]

Ultra-Clean Coal Tech

Montana is actively pursuing development of ultra-clean coal technology in the areas of our major coal deposits in central and eastern Montana. Read the answers to some basic questions about coal gasification and coal liquefaction. [Questions & Answers] [Web Site]

Florida & Climate Change

Elizabeth A. Stanton and Frank Ackerman from Tufts University produced a report on the implications of climate change in Florida. The report examines the potential costs to Florida if greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked. [Report]

Fla Gets Historic Farm Bill

Congressman Tim Mahoney (FL-16), Florida's only member of the Agriculture Committee, voted to support H.R. 2419, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 on May 14. The bill passed by a vote of 318-106 (veto-proof). [Press Release] [TcPalm] [House Vote]

Take Action!

John McCain's campaign is shaping a green environmental platform for the presidential election. In recent years he's been a climate change activist sponsoring agreesive GHG reduction legislation in the Senate. [Details] [McCain Speech]

Giant Vacuums to Solve GW

Klaus Lackner, a physicist at Columbia University said placing enough carbon filters around the planet could reel the world's atmosphere back toward the 18th century, like a climatic time machine. This is a simple solution to global warming he said. [Sun Sentinel] [Scrubbing Air Graph]

First Biomass Energy Plant

A Georgia company wants to build Florida’s first biomass gas plant at a Fla. State University industrial park in Tallahassee. Biomass Gas & Electric LLC proposes to heat wood chips to convert them into gas which will be burned to produce electricity [News-Press]

Ethanol Benefits Questioned

Just months ago, ethanol was the Holy Grail to energy independence. Democrats and Republicans cheered its benefits as Congress directed a fivefold increase in ethanol use as a motor fuel. But with skyrocketing food costs the benefits now questioned. [Sun Sentinel]

UF BioFuels Pilot Plant

Dr. John M. Owens manages the new Univ. of Florida biofuels pilot production plant as its associate director. The goal is to develop techniques to make cellulosic ethanol in an economically and environmentally sound manner.
[Letter] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]

Climate Change Summit 2008

The 2008 Florida Summit on Global Climate Change is on June 25-26 and is hosted by Florida Governor Charlie Crist at InterContinental Hotel in Miami. Registration Deadline is June 11. [Program] [Registration] [Web Site]

Carbon Tax Calculator v.3.0

Confused by carbon dioxide tax equivalents? Our greenhouse gas tax conversions calculator will help keep you straight on conversion from C to CO2, Dollars to Euros, emissions tax to fuel costs, gasoline to diesel, and liters to gallons.
[Carbon Tax Calculator]

Biomass Plant Proposal

State environmental officials have signed off on a plan to build a wood-burning electrical power plant in the western Massachusetts town of Russell. Final permits for the 50-megawatt, $150 million facility now to be sought. [TheLedger.com]

Forcing EPA to Act

Officials of eighteen states are taking the Environmental Protection Agency back to court to try to force it to comply with a Supreme Court ruling that rebuked the Bush administration for inaction on global warming. [Sun Sentinel]

Farm to Fuel Grants Program

On Jan 22, 2008, Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson announced the winners of Farm to Fuel Grants for bioenergy projects. They are Gulf Coast Energy of Walton, US Envirofuels, Agri-Source Fuels, Southeast Biofuels, Sigarca Inc., FIT and others. [Details]

New Biodiesel Crop

In LaBelle, a company called My Dream Fuel LLC is cultivating Jatropha curcas, a tree-shrub that shows promise as a new biodiesel crop in the U.S. that could one day power engines and generators. [Naples News] [About Jatropha Curcas]

Obama: I'd Hire Gore

Senator Barack Obama said Wednesday he would give Al Gore, the former vice president, a Nobel prize winner, a major role in an Obama administration to address the problem of global warming. [TheLedger.com 1] [TheLedger.com 2]

Power Plant Paperwork Filed

The owners of the Cane Island Power Park filed a site certification application with the Florida DEP to begin the licensing and permitting process for a natural gas-fueled power generator known as Cane Island Unit 4. [Orlando Sentinel]

Sea Level Rise at Fla Coastline

Global warming is boosting the sea level along Florida's gulf coast and already causing profound environmental changes, scientists say. "People have a hard time accepting that this is happening here," said University of Florida professor Jack Putz. [Tampa Bay] [Forum]

GAO Shines Harsh Light

While the US Dep. of Energy has spent $57.5 billion over the past 30 years for research & development on advanced energy technologies, the nation’s energy usage hasn't changed - fossil fuels today provide 85% of the energy compared to 93% in 1973. [Network World]

Religious Groups Weigh In

Signaling a significant departure from the Southern Baptist Convention’s official stance on global warming, 44 Southern Baptist leaders have decided to back a declaration calling for more action on climate change.
[The New York Times]

Florida Winter Even Warmer

South Florida is experiencing its warmest winter since 1982. Last month's average temperature of 74.28 degrees made it the third-warmest February, putting it in third place behind February 1959 at 74.9 degrees and February 1982 at 74.34 degrees.
[Miami Herald]

Venus Gets BioFuel Plant Funding

A $47 million project to construct a 20 million-gallon-a-year ethanol plant using sugar products has been slated for construction near the small rural community of Venus just north of the Glades county line. [Poodfeed.net]

A Fear of Ethanol

Officials in Tampa, got a surprise recently when a local firm building the state's first ethanol-production factory put in a request for 400,000 gallons per day of city water, enough for 1500 homes. Florida suffers from a prolonged drought
[Economist.com] [About Ethanol]

FutureGen Officials ContinueTalks

The developers of the FutureGen clean-coal power plant still hope to gain federal funding to build the futuristic facility in central Illinois. But construction does not seem possible without DOP's pledged contribution for the $1.8 billion project. [Associated Press] [FutureGen Factsheet] [Bush's Statement] [DOP Web Site]

Capturing Carbon Dioxide

The USA is opening a more significant front in the battle against global warming by targeting its biggest source: power plants. The year-long effort, estimated to cost at least $10 million, is being funded by We Energies, Alstom & other 36 companies. [USAToday.com]

Renewable Energy Act

Congressman Tim Mahoney (FL-16) and other U.S. Representatives are supporting the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act. The tax cuts contained in this legislation are important for the emerging biofuels industry. [Press Release]

Global Warming: Why Worry?

Global climate change means "we'll spend less on fur coats," Russian President Vladimir Putin quipped in 2003. But increasingly, Russia's official stand on global warming seems to be: Why worry? [PalmBeachPost.com]

Climate Change Destruction

Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters. Major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020.

Greenhouse Threat

Almost all biofuels used today cause more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels if the full emissions costs of producing these “green” fuels are taken into account. The benefits of biofuels have come under increasing attack. [The New York Times]

Clean Power or Dirty Coal?

Opposition to new coal-fired power plants built without new technology - that is, without the capacity to capture greenhouse gas emissions - is rising. Citizen opposition has led companies to cancel some high-profile projects. [The New York Times]

Message from Gov. Crist

In his message Gov. Crist talks about his priorities for the coming months and his goals for Florida’s energy and economic future. On Feb 31 he unveiled a $70 billion budget – recommendations that are fiscally responsible during a tight budget year. [Gov. Crist's Message]

$10 million to Ocean Power Generators

Governor Charlie Crist pledges $10 million to Florida Atlantic University ocean power generators, a project of FAU researcher Rick Driscoll, which is part of FAU's Center of Excellence in Ocean Energy. [PalmBeachPost.com]

A ‘Bold’ Step to Capture an EGF

Five years ago Bush administration had said it would pursue “one of the boldest steps our nation has taken toward a pollution-free energy future” by building a commercial-scale coal-fire plant. That bold step forward has stumbled.
[New York Times]

Refocused Priorities

At its 2008 conference held on Captiva Island, Florida's premier environmental group, the Everglades Coalition, refocused its discussions to address Global Climate Change and sea level rise. Dr. Harold Wanless of U.Miami provided the reality check.
[Wanless Statement] [Palm Beach Post]

Making Fuel From CO2

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories in Mexico have found a way of using sunlight to recycle CO2 and produce fuels like methanol or gasoline known as "S2P". This project reverses combustion process, recovering building blocks of hydrocarbons.

Environmental Finance Conference

On Jan 17 & 18, UK Trade & Investment at the British Consulate-General Miami and Environmental Finance Publications are hosting this highly topical conference on carbon emissions trading and the markets that have emerged as a result of climate change [Schedule] [Register Here]

Net Metering comes to Florida

Good news for people who want to put a wind farm in their back yard. On December 18, the Florida Public Service Commission approved rule changes for “net metering”. That is when your electric meter rolls backward to reflect power you produce at home. [Times Staff Writer]

Alternative Energy Summit 2007

More than 250 Florida specialists and citizens gathered in Jupiter, FL on Aug 27 to discuss plans to implement a wide range of alternative energy plans and projects. Leading the conference was U.S. Representative Tim Mahoney, FL-16 Congressman.
[Overview] [Agenda & Audio Recordings]

DEP Rulemaking Workshops

DEP in week of August 20,2007 hosted the first in a series of workshops to develop rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, moving forward with implementation of Governor Charlie Crist executive orders regarding climate change. [Press Release] [Other Information]

Biofuels in Florida

Some scientists are skeptical as Gov. Crist spends millions of taxpayer dollars to nurture a plant-based biofuel industry — an expensive weapons in the war on global warming. Most in the region agree that waste-based ethanol production has merit. [News Press.com]

Climate Change Advisory Group

The Climate Change Advisory Group of the Florida Energy Commission is holding a meeting on August 23, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport Sheraton.
[Group Members]

Florida Climate Summit Videos

The Florida Climate Change Summit engaged state, regional, national & international leaders, also significant members of the business and environmental communities, in a discussion to explore opportunities for advancing the global climate change agenda & for adopting specific climate action plans. [Watch Summit Videos]

Governor's 3 Executive Orders

First, "07-126: Leadership by Example: Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Florida State Government". Second, "07-127: Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions within Florida". Third, "07-128: Florida Governor’s Action Team on Energy [Order's Details]

Energy Efficiency

Important challenges must be overcome to achieve energy efficiency improvements in the post-Hurricane Katrina reconstruction along the Gulf Coast. These steps have the potential to produce long-term energy cost savings. [Read More]

Cure for RPS Blues

Utility commissioners in the Southeast (and some lobbyists in Washington) are running a temperature about the prospects for a national renewable portfolio standard (RPS). [More Information]

Group Tours IGCC Plant

A group toured the TECO IGCC (coal gasification) Polk Power Station. After the tour, engineering student Viacheslav Kuryachiy summarized how TECO and other utilities will evolve to the next generation of IGCC.
[TECO presentation] [Problems and Solutions]


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