The Florida Keys are the “canary in the coal mine” when it comes to rising sea levels, which are 9″ higher than they were a century ago, and could rise 7-55″ more by 2100, hurting property values by $11-35 billion. Local officials want to act now.
Wyoming is the 8th-windiest U.S. state, and ranks 12th in wind power installations. The electricity generated by wind in 2009 nearly doubled that produced in 2008. Yet Wyoming is the first state in the country that is considering taxing wind energy production. The proposed legislation is motivated by a desire to see wind turbines ‘pay their fair share.’ Beginning in 2012, it would levy a $1-per-megawatt-hour tax on wind energy production. The minimum projected revenue from the tax is $4 million per year, to be split between the counties where the wind energy is produced, and the state. The wind energy industry thinks it’s a bad idea. Theyre afraid a tax will scare off developers just as the industry is getting started, especially because other states are creating incentives to lure wind projects and jobs. The impact of the tax on Wyoming’s nascent wind energy industry is uncertain, but it’s clear that the differing interests of the concerned parties must be finely balanced.
Here’s another article about airline trash. Green America, a environmental nonprofit, just found that most American airlines do little recycling, blaming airports’ lack of facilities. Delta and Virgin do best, earning B-‘s. United and US Airways both get F’s. An average passenger leaves behind 1.3 pounds of trash, of which 20% is recyclable. Enough aluminum cans are tossed to build 58 new Boing 747s. European airlines do better. You can help by recycling your own cans, bottles, and newspapers.
All eyes are on Chile, just struck by an earthquake that measured 8.8 on the Richter scale, one of the largest ever recorded. But Chile’s fault also lies off the northwest coast of the U.S. We are vulnerable too. Oregon and Washington need to reinforce schools and other public buildings. Quickly.
TXU Energy, a Texas utility with 2-million customers, will enable Dallas homeowners to lease or buy rooftop solar power systems through Solar City, a California start-up that finances and installs such systems. Owners will lease a solar system for about $35 a month, or buy one for about $26,000.