bioterror and uranium

Great to see Plum Island, the most secure location of six candidates according to Homeland Security, being played up for proposed massive germlab, the N-BAF. Finally, something like sanity surfacing?

Also nice to see I’ve got backing for my from-the-pant-seat analysis yesterday afternoon on ramifications of EPA’s forced carbon behaviors.

I wrote:

Bleepin’ Huge Damn Deal (for energy nerds on deadline)

You must have clean energy.

Whether you get it from ‘myco-diesel’-excreting mushrooms, or sun spot-blemished solar, or micro-turbines, is your choice.

But it goes like this: The International Energy Administration issued one scary forecast this week that we need four more Saudi Arabia’s to protect us against a global energy supply crunch. That’s crunch with a capital C-O-L-L-A-P-S-E. Not having such extra Saudi Arabias handy, we’re forced away from oil.

Coal? Now, the Supremes last year ruled carbon dioxide must be governed as a pollutant. Your dear old EPA has coyly resisted that verdict.

Meanwhile, the bailout bill (little-known fact alert!) actually put a price on carbon ($20 per ton) that will help kickstart the impossible-sounding (and possibily truly impossible) cleaning of coal.

Reads:

SEC. 45Q. CREDIT FOR CARBON DIOXIDE SEQUESTRATION.`(a) General Rule- For purposes of section 38, the carbon dioxide sequestration credit for any taxable year is an amount equal to the sum of–`(1) $20 per metric ton of qualified carbon dioxide which is–

`(A) captured by the taxpayer at a qualified facility, and

`(B) disposed of by the taxpayer in secure geological storage, and

`(2) $10 per metric ton of qualified carbon dioxide which is–

`(A) captured by the taxpayer at a qualified facility, and

`(B) used by the taxpayer as a tertiary injectant in a qualified enhanced oil or natural gas recovery project.

While industry and researchers adjust to the long-last released fiscal incentive, the price on the certifiably “non-clean” varietal of coal most of us are familiar with just jumped about five cents a kilowatt.

Seems four out of five judges agree: The knuckleheads at EPA Central must be toppled.

From the Sierra Club:

In a move that signals the start of the our clean energy future,  the Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) ruled today EPA had no valid reason for refusing to limit from new coal-fired power plants the carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming.
The decision means that all new and proposed coal plants nationwide must go back and address their carbon dioxide emissions.’
“Today’s decision opens the way for meaningful action to fight global warming and is a major step in bringing about a clean energy economy,” said Joanne Spalding, Sierra Club Senior Attorney who argued the case. “This is one more sign that we must begin repowering,  refueling and rebuilding America.”

So where are we to turn?

Well, with recession gluts bombing the gas pumps with cheap(er) crude and the compounding raw-woundedness of loserdom sinking in, Republican vocal chords appear to have finally ground themselves into silence demanding the sickness of tar-pit pilfering, shale extraction, and mountain toppling for phallic drillbit insertion and goo glory.

Starting January 20, expect quieter and quick work to get underway transforming our national electrical grids to handle those bursts of wind and solar we’ve come to know and love. It will be a major freakin’ task, but there’s nowhere else to turn.

Me? Well, I’m a fungal man, myself. Shitake a-go-go.

The carbon-price significance hasn’t caught on, but Alexis Madrigal catches us up this way:

Perhaps more importantly, the quasi-independent board, composed of four highly regarded, experienced judges, ruled that the EPA needs to develop a single nationwide standard for dealing with carbon dioxide.

“I don’t want to understate its significance. I think it’s very significant,” said Bob Graham, chair of Jenner & Block’s Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources Law Practice, a noted environmental law expert who was not involved with the case. “In the long run, it advances the ball on climate change issues and that’s positive.”

The rulemaking process will likely yield greater CO2 emissions regulation and will take more than a year, say lawyers familiar with the EPA process. That puts prospective coal power-plant builders in a tough spot, especially with financing already in short supply thanks to the credit crunch. The ruling introduces more risk into the coal industry, which could drive away investors and their limited cash.

And that, said the Sierra Club’s chief climate counsel, David Bookbinder, is good news for new clean tech companies.

“Where do you think that money is going to go? It’s going to go to wind. It’s going to go to solar. It’s going to go to something that’s going to get built,” Bookbinder said. “This is incredibly good for green energy.”

MEANWHILE: Uranium contaminating water supply in south texas homes? Really? The company blames mother nature for “putting the uranium there” to begin with, however uranium must be stirred into the aquifer to pump it out.

Is this station Kill TV?
uranium tv story

Here’s something you may not have known, the coastal bend is the third leading producer of uranium in the nation.

A money-maker for the companies involved, but some residents living near those mines claim the mining process contaminates their ground water.

Our Manuel De La Rosa has this special report.

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