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July 29 Green Energy News

Opinion:

  • “The Coal Industry Has Been Fear-Mongering for 40 Years Now” The fossil fuel industry has been promising catastrophe coming with regulation for decades. But if the sky fell because of the EPA’s proposed climate rule like promised, it would the first time the industry guessed it right. [The New Republic]
  • “Energy diversity critical to U.S. economy” The uncertainty around the future prices of natural gas, oil, coal, uranium, and others means uncertainty regarding the cost to produce electricity. A diversified portfolio is the most cost-effective tool available … [Fierce Energy]

World:

  • Gamesa has added two new Brazilian wind projects worth 214 MW to its order pipeline. According to the website, the Spanish wind manufacturer will supply 166 MW to Companhia de Energias Renováveis plus 48 MW to Eletrobras subsidiary Eletrosul. [CleanTechnica]
  • Kyocera and partner SPCG have achieved full commercial operations at a solar cluster totalling 257 MW in Thailand. The string of 35 plants has been under development in Surin Province since 2010 and together constitute one of the largest PV projects in south-east Asia. [reNews]
  • Babcock and Wilcox Company announced that B&W Vølund, a subsidiary of B&W Power Generation Group, was awarded a contract exceeding $80 million to build a 280 MWth biomass boiler system for the Skærbækværket district heating and power plant. [BioEnergy News]
  • NextEra Energy Canada has received renewable energy approval for the 102 MW Goshen wind project to be constructed adjacent to Lake Huron in Ontario.  Goshen will employ 62 1.6 MW units and one 1.56 MW machine on 80-meter towers. [reNews]
  • The share of renewables in Germany’s gross electricity consumption surged to a record 28.5% in the first half of 2014, up from 24.6% in the year-earlier period, according to preliminary figures from the federation of energy and water industries BDEW. [Recharge]

US:

  • The American Wind Energy Association has just come out with some facts and figures about the so-called hidden cost of wind power. According to AWEA’s calculations the “hidden cost” for conventional power plants in Texas is 17 times more than wind. [CleanTechnica]
  • Small natural gas leaks from old buried pipes may be more common than previously thought, according to the preliminary findings of a new methane mapping project being carried out by Environmental Defense Fund and Google Earth. [Energy Collective]
  • Arizona Public Service Co. is looking to enter the rooftop residential solar market with a plan to install and operate panels on as many as 3,000 Phoenix-area homes. It’s a departure for the Arizona’s largest utility, which until this point has only built large utility-scale projects. [Phoenix Business Journal]
  • Two Wisconsin utility companies — once among the early leaders in promoting solar power — now say the solar industry has grown so much it is hurting their business and their customers. They are asking state regulators for rate changes that they call a matter of fair treatment. [RenewablesBiz]
  • Faced with increasing interest in renewable energy generation, the Chicopee, Massachusetts Planning Board and Planning Department is developing guidelines for generating power from sun or wind. The plan allows home and business solar installations without special permits. [MassLive.com]
  • Oahu could become the first place in the United States to connect the energy harvested from ocean waves to a power grid. Northwest Energy Innovations, a private company, will start testing a prototype in September, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. [The Tribune]
  • Green Mountain Power is expanding its groundbreaking heat pump pilot program to Montpelier as part of the city’s major initiative focused on making Montpelier the first net zero capital city in the country. [vtdigger.org]

July 28 Green Energy News

Science and Technology:

  • A new study finds that when climate models factor in the temporary warming and cooling impact of El Niño and La Niña, they accurately predict recent global warming. It agrees with other studies leading one climatologist to say, “Global temperatures look set to rise rapidly.” [Energy Collective]
  • With an EPA-rated range of 265 miles per charge, the Tesla Model S is the longest-range electric car you can buy today. In an interview with AutoExpress, though, Elon Musk revealed that a 500-mile battery will be possible “soon” … but at an exceedingly high cost. [CleanTechnica]

World:

  • Plans to replace up to 70% of the diesel-powered electricity generation on Australia’s Lord Howe Island with hybrid renewables generating capacity and storage have received financial backing from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. [CleanTechnica]
  • GE Energy Financial Services, part of the GE conglomerate, has undertaken investments in three wind energy projects in India, the company said on Monday. These wind farms, being constructed by Atria Power, have a combined capacity of 126 MW. [NDTV]
  • Soon, all of Germany’s coal-fired power plants will be dependent on imports, with the country expected to halt coal mining in 2018 when government subsidies end. US exports of power plant-grade coal to Germany have more than doubled since 2008. [Times Colonist]
  • Solar Frontier has signed an agreement with the town of Hiraizumi to build a 13 MW CIS megasolar power plant. To be located on 30 hectares of land designated for commercial use, the utility-scale power plant has received support of local residents. [Energy Business Review]
  • An Australian-made energy storage system is now on site in Western Sydney. Built for Transgrid by Magellan Power, the system has 400-kWh lithium polymer (LiMnNiCoO2) batteries and an advance bi-directional inverter. [Energy Matters]

US:

  • Con Ed filed a proposal for a program it hopes can defer costs to build a $1 billion substation. Instead, $200 million would go to novel customer-side load management programs, and $300 million toward more traditional utility investments to reduce load from specific areas by 2018. [Energy Collective]
  • Amazon Web Services and Greenpeace have become embroiled in another slanging match over the cloud provider’s green credentials, due its supposed lack of energy-efficient data centres to power its services. [V3.co.uk]
  • The Army has awarded the final round of solar technology contracts that will support a $7 billion renewable and alternative energy power production for Department of Defense installations Multiple Award Task Order Contract. [AZoCleantech]
  • Clarkson University, partnering with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, National Grid and others, is designing a grid that will provide renewable and conventional electricity to many entities in the village of Potsdam, New York. [WatertownDailyTimes.com]
  • Dominion North Carolina Power dedicated the company’s first renewable power grid at Kitty Hawk. The project will be used to reduce the amount of power the Kitty Hawk regional office pulls from the grid. It has four wind turbines for 13 kW and 6 kW of solar PVs. [The Outer Banks Voice]
  • A Texas Empowerment report released by Choose Energy shows that about one in three Texans choose renewably sourced energy options. That’s 100% more than any other state, according to Levente McCrary, spokeswoman for Choose Energy. [Tyler Morning Telegraph]

July 27 Green Energy News

Economy and Finance:

  • In the transition towards a post-carbon future, infrastructure built today for fossil fuels could easily become stranded assets which burden investors and taxpayers with sunk costs. The future looks bleak for coal, and we should not invest in it. [Resilience]

World:

  • Kudos Energy, a new Australian start-up solar company, believes that the Australian market for rooftop solar leasing for the residential and commercial sectors could reach $100 billion in the next decade. Kudos is the brainchild of two leading private equity investors. [CleanTechnica]
  • According to the Chilean specialized media ‘Electricidad,’ Abengoa, the world leader in the Concentrated Solar Power market, is planning to invest up to $10 billion in renewable energy infrastructures in Chile. [CSP World]
  • Scottish businesses have invested almost £50 million in onsite power stations in recent years because of concerns over cost and security of supply. There are now 40 commercial-scale renewable energy projects including wind turbines, solar PVs and anaerobic digestion plants. [Scotsman]
  • Secretaries of the ministries concerned will brief Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi once a month on key infrastructure projects. This decision was taken at a meeting after the secretary of the Planning Commission presented India’s infrastructure targets and achievements. [Business Standard]
  • From an initial targeted development of 23 MW, Filipino firm Eastern Renewables has been moving its goal higher to accomplish an expansion of up to 100 MW for biomass projects. Eastern Renewables is the arm for renewable energy ventures for Eastern Petroleum Corporation. [Manila Bulletin]
  • Over £45 million has been invested in commercial-scale renewable energy projects across the UK county of Hampshire. Farmers, businesses, communities and public sector organisations in the county have taken advantage of renewable energy projects, with 74 now operating. [Daily Echo]

US:

  • The old US microgrid model, built for power security and based on fossil fuels, is evolving. Microgrid development is expected to grow 70 to 80% in the next three years, with many hew projects at private commercial operations and including solar PV, battery storage and biogas. [Energy Collective]
  • With a new battery pack built in partnership with LG Chem, it seems like GM plans to usurp Tesla’s plans to deliver a long-range and affordably priced EV to the masses. The rumors of a 200-mile GM-branded EV have been around for a while, and now the car may appear soon. [CleanTechnica]
  • In the past few years a tremendous technological transformation has occurred. The barriers for electric companies to entertain unprecedented growth potential by devouring a large piece of the oil companies’ share of the US energy market for transportation is now clearly in reach. [Energy Collective]
  • Ohio green energy advocates want to ensure the state’s new two-year freeze on renewable energy mandates for utilities becomes just that — a timeout from requirements set forth under a 2008 law and not a backdoor strategy to repeal it after this fall’s gubernatorial election. [Toledo Blade]
  • A new project would transform 25 acres of brownfield in Lackawanna, New York into a 4 MW solar farm with 13,000 solar panels. The project would be near a related wind project with its 14 wind turbines on the Hamburg and Lackawanna waterfront. [Buffalo News]
  • Renewable-energy advocates are rallying against a proposed utility fee for Utah residents who have solar panels and wind turbines, saying it could hinder further development of renewable energy. [Washington Times]

July 26 Green Energy News

World:

  • Russia is a major exporter of crude oil, petroleum products, and natural gas. Sales of these fuels accounted for 68% of Russia’s total export revenues in 2013, based on data from Russia’s Federal Customs Service. [Energy Collective]
  • A consortium of Australian energy groups look to create a “mini electricity” system relying on local renewable energy production and storage. The search has begun for a suitable town to become Australia’s first “zero net energy town,” using renewables, storage and a local mini-grid. [RenewEconomy]
  • The signals coming from Australia’s Federal Government say it is preparing to cut the renewable energy target back. But Melbourne and Sydney have set ambitious targets to slash carbon emissions and are determined to make it happen, whatever direction Canberra takes. [ABC Online]
  • A project to build 65 MW of solar power generation in Uruguay has successfully reached financial close. The Spanish, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, has signed for $70 million in funds from Norway’s DNB Group. Spanish bank, Santander is also financing $24 million. [PV-Tech]
  • Construction is starting at the Westermeerwind nearshore wind farm in the Netherlands after the developer reached financial close on the project. It will feature 48 3-MW turbines between 500 metres and 1100 metres from the dikes of the Noordoostpolder. [reNews]

US:

  • Seneca Mountain Wind issued a statement saying it has ceased development its project in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. It has withdrawn a request to connect the project to the New England power grid and it has terminated all its leases it had to build the turbines. [Greenfield Daily Reporter]
  • A lobbyist for Exelon Corporation recently bragged about killing the wind industry and claimed they would kill the solar industry next. Now the company favors extension of a net metering cap in Massachusetts, though in a watered-down form. It remains to be seen why. [CleanTechnica]
  • Georgia Power will add 34 MW of solar PVs via three large projects following an approval by the Georgia Public Service Commission in December. In addition, they will add an additional 7.2 MW at smaller sites through a small- and medium-sized initiative program. [Macon Telegraph]
  • Two months after an Angelina County judge decided to allow the Aspen Power’s trustee to recommence operations at the biomass facility, wood chip conveyor belts were up and running. Traffic in and out of the facility signaled a positive movement for the restart of the facility. [KTRE]
  • Researchers at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Minnesota are working together on an initiative to lower energy consumption and introduce renewable energy generation to crop, dairy, and swine production systems. [Morris Sun Tribune]
  • The Baltimore Interfaith Solar Co-op allows members to purchase home solar systems from an installer together, negotiating a group rate. Despite its title, the Baltimore co-op is open to all regardless of church membership or religious affiliation. [Baltimore Sun]
  • California could meet its energy needs with renewables alone, according to Stanford University researchers. The authors of a recent study say a transition scenario is economically as well as technically feasible. [Deutsche Welle]

July 25 Green Energy News

Science and Technology:

  • A new report has found that the number of incidents of wind turbines catching fire is a sizeable issue for the wind industry, and a problem that is not being accurately reported on, with an estimated ten times more fires occurring than are actually being reported. [CleanTechnica]

World:

  • Global prospects for wind power are rising despite disappointing 2013 numbers, say analysts at Navigant Research. Wind power now supplies about 3% of the world’s electricity, but Navigant expects wind power to deliver 7.3% of global electricity by 2018. [CleanTechnica]
  • Bradford Council has become the first local authority in the UK to back plans for its schools to run on solar power, as it emerged that nationally just five schools have installed renewables that qualify for feed-in tariff incentives in the past year. [Business Green]
  • Alice Springs can expect 4% of its electricity supply to come from solar by the end of 2015. Already Australia’s largest tracking solar farm, the 3.1 MW expansion of Uterne will bring its total capacity to 4.1 MW. [ABC Online]
  • Plans for a series of new UK offshore wind farms have been thrown into doubt after the Government disclosed it would only award enough subsidies this autumn to fund one such project. Wind farm developers for other projects will be forced to wait to find out about funds. [Telegraph.co.uk]
  • Ventinveste, a consortium of some of Portugal’s top energy and engineering companies, and Ferrostaal GmbH, a worldwide project developer, will build four wind farms in the country, in a €220 million investment that will strengthen the country’s renewable energy cluster. [AltEnergyMag]
  • Research sponsored by business groups and the mining industry shows Australia’s 20% renewable energy target (RET) will cost the economy $29 billion and 5000 jobs by 2020. This is in direct conflict with other recent reports finding consumers would be better off with the RET. [Sydney Morning Herald]
  • European power sector stakeholders are fully aware that a substantial transition is taking place there. A poll taken during POWER-GEN Europe revealed that half of the delegates present expected that the European market for large power plants will never return. [Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production Magazine]
  • According to a new report by analyst Frost & Sullivan published this week, global solar power market revenues are set to more than double to $137 billion by 2020, up from just under $60 billion in 2013. [Business Green]

US:

  • The National Hockey League is the first A-list pro sports league to issue a Sustainability Report. In its report, the NHL took on climate change deniers and set a new high bar for all the other pro sports leagues in the US. [CleanTechnica]
  • The US Energy Department and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have awarded funding totalling $1.35 million to four distributed wind companies to help drive down the cost of small- and medium-sized wind energy systems. [reNews]
  • More than three years after the town of Edgartown, Massachusetts made a bet on green energy, the first municipal solar sites on Martha’s Vineyard are now feeding power back into the grid. But getting to this point has been anything but easy. [Martha's Vineyard Gazette]
  • New York State has awarded seven research teams $3.3 million to develop smart grid technologies to “enhance grid performance, reduce the risk of power outages, and lessen environmental impacts and energy consumption, all while reducing the cost of power delivery.” [SmartMeters]
  • A new Stanford study finds that it is technically and economically feasible to convert California’s all-purpose energy infrastructure to one powered by wind, water, and solar. The plan could create tens of thousands of jobs and save billions of dollars. [Phys.Org]
  • Wind power makes up 15% of the energy supply that Xcel Energy provides to customers and can meet the energy needs of about 2.5 million homes. At one point in May 2013, wind accounted for more than 60% of the power on the Colorado system, setting the national record. [Intelligent Utility]

July 24 Green Energy News

Science and Technology:

  • As governments struggle to find practical routes forward with positive outcomes for CO2 mitigation, attention is turning to dealing with other greenhouse gases, particularly methane. A number of methane emission initiatives are now underway or being planned. [Energy Collective]
  • Planning is underway to replace the aging US power network with a new, “smart” grid, one that’s energy efficient and flexible enough to handle variability in both supply and demand — one comprised of microgrids that can isolate electrical crises before they spread. [KQED QUEST]
  • Google wants to see the size of inverters shrink – and will award a million dollars to the person or team that comes up with the best design. An inverter can take the DC current produced by the solar modules or wind turbines and converts it to AC. [Energy Matters]

World:

  • UK renewable-power projects will compete for guaranteed payments totaling more than £200 million ($340 million) a year of as part of its first auction of contracts to spur low-carbon electricity. By 2021 as much as £1 billion a year may be available, it said. [Bloomberg]
  • Increased focus on curbing the emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants is fuelling the global solar power market. Coupled with favourable legislation and the need to enhance energy self-sufficiency and security, these factors will help the solar power market grow rapidly. [Greentech Media]
  • South Australia’s Tindo Solar is being provided up to $20 million senior debt finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to locally manufacture, install and own rooftop solar arrays and sell the power to building occupants under a power purchase agreement. [Manufacturers' Monthly]
  • The Government of Rwanda is preparing to commission in early August 2014 the first utility-scale solar PV power plant in East Africa with a production capacity of 8.5 MW. The project has commenced testing phase of up to 20% of its total capacity. [AltEnergyMag]
  • First Solar has submitted an application to build a huge solar power plant in Chile. According to a press release from the Centre for Renewable Energy, the plant will be one of the biggest in the world and the largest in Latin America at 370 MW. [ValueWalk]
  • The European Commission approved the U.K. government’s renewable energy contracts and so-called capacity payments, saying the program that benefits power plants complies with state-aid rules. [Businessweek]

US:

  • According to data from the Solar Industries Association, more than 44% of solar capacity installed in the US during the first quarter was non-utility. Adding that amount to the utility solar power indicates that solar is leading the nation in terms of installations. [CleanTechnica]
  • Though solar power is still far from surpassing coal as America’s primary energy source, the number of people employed by the solar industry has surpassed the number of coal miners. There are about 142,000 people in the US workforce working at least half time on solar. [CleanTechnica]
  • On Wednesday, US Senator Chuck Schumer unveiled a proposal for a federal tax credit to reimburse farmers for 30% of the cost of anaerobic digesters. Such systems can be costly, but the electricity from the waste of 400 cows is enough to power 185 average households. [Albany Times Union]
  • Last year, California created a mandate calling for 1,325 MW of energy storage projects by 2020. As of mid-2014, more than 2,000 MW of energy storage projects have already applied to interconnect with the state’s grid. [Energy Collective]

This Saturday, the World Cup Comes to Vermont

Migrant Justice and Vermont Workers’ Center Members to Participate in the 1st Annual Vermont Human Rights World Cup/Copa Mundial

What: Vermont Human Rights World Cup (Copa Mundial), a competitive soccer tournament between members of Migrant Justice, the Vermont Workers’ Center, and other community members

When: Saturday, July 26. World Cup Final Match at 5 pm. Games from 2:30-6.

Where:  Soccer fields, Leddy Park, Burlington 05408

(BURLINGTON, Vermont) – It’s like the FIFA World Cup –– only with a respect for human rights and a Vermont location.

Two weeks after the World Cup drew to a close in Brazil, members of Migrant Justice and the Vermont Workers’ Center are hosting a competitive soccer tournament with teams representing multiple countries. While the FIFA World Cup engenders displacement and social strife in every country that hosts it –– Saturday’s World Cup benefits Vermont communities directly, with all proceeds going to Migrant Justice and the Vermont Workers’ Center.

Press are invited to attend this unique event bringing together diverse communities in a fun and spirited celebration of human rights.

The tournament, which goes from 2:30 to 6, will culminate in a World Cup Final Match at 5 pm.

The Human Rights World Cup is graciously sponsored by Montpelier’s Three Penny Taproom. Winooski’s Mule Bar has also generously sponsored one of the teams competing for glory in the World Cup.

Event website: http://www.exerciseyourrights.org/
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/651814008229749/

July 23 Green Energy News

Opinion:

  • “Will the micro-grid put major power companies out of business?” There is now a range of units such as cogeneration plants, which deliver heat and electricity, wind turbines and solar PVs, owned by a whole raft of municipalities, households and businesses. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

  • A new material developed at MIT is able to convert 85% of incoming solar energy into steam — a significant improvement over recent approaches to solar-powered steam generation. Very little heat is lost in the process, and it can produce steam at relatively low solar intensity. [Energy Collective]

World:

  • Germany and the United Kingdom have 18 of the 30 most polluting energy plants in the European Union, according to a study funded by the European Union. All of the EU’s most polluting plants are coal-fired. [EurActiv]
  • Toyota will have at least three production fuel cell hybrid electric vehicle models on sale within ten years. That’s the official word from the company’s US National Manager Advanced Technology Vehicles, Craig Scott. [Motoring]
  • Australia’s household solar revolution has caught the government-owned electricity sector by surprise. More than one million Australians have already installed solar panels on their rooftops, which has caused demand for electricity from the grid to plummet. [Huffington Post]
  • Clean energy investment continued to grow in the second quarter. Investment was up 9% at $63.6 billion during the April-June period, with China the largest investor followed by the US, according to the latest quarterly update from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [Business Spectator]
  • Indian Railways is all set to give a push to its plans to generate renewable energy. The national transporter is planning to generate 20% of its total energy requirement from solar and wind energy over the next couple of years. [Financial Express]
  • The UK government will retain its 2023-27 target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, resisting reported pressure to water it down. Current estimates are that UK and EU levels of ambition on carbon-cutting “are likely to be extremely close”. [Recharge]
  • Located in the Engadine Valley in Switzerland, Zernez has set the goal of using only renewable sources to meet its energy requirements for buildings in the municipality, thus reducing CO2 emissions to zero. [Nanowerk]

US:

  • California officials have ordered an emergency shut-down of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites and a review more than 100 others in the state’s drought-wracked Central Valley out of fear that companies may have been pumping toxic waste into drinking water aquifers there. [Resilience]
  • Consumers Energy is choosing four Michigan farms to produce renewable energy with anaerobic digesters. The farms could generate electricity under long-term contracts that total 2.6 MW, enough to power about 2,800 homes. [Your Renewable News]
  • The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will hold a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction for the 250-MW Beacon Solar Power Project. This new solar array is an important component of LADWP’s complete power supply transformation. [Sierra Wave]

July 22 Green Energy News

Science and Technology:

  • Just how fast the California’s climate is changing became apparent Monday when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released figures showing the first six months of this year were the hottest the state has ever recorded. [Willits News]
  • The globe is on a hot streak, setting a heat record in June. That’s after the world broke a record in May. NOAA’s climate monitoring chief said both the June and May records were driven by unusually hot oceans, especially the Pacific and Indian oceans. [Lexington Herald Leader]

World:

  • Research from the Energy Economics and Management Group in the School of Economics shows that wind energy – particularly in South Australia and Victoria – has a big impact on wholesale prices, even at peak demand time when the wind is least powerful. [CleanTechnica]
  • New South Wales aims to be “Australia’s answer to California”, accelerating the use of renewable energy and finding new ways to curb waste, in a push that puts it at odds with Coalition counterparts in other states and at the federal level. [Sydney Morning Herald]
  • For the first six months of 2014, China’s power consumption has recorded an increase of 5.3%. For the same period, coal used in generation declined year-over-year by three grams per kWh to an average of 317 grams per kWh of electricity produced. [Market Realist]
  • EDF en Canada has reached agreement with three aboriginal groups on the 350 MW Rivière-du-Moulin wind project in the Laurentides Wildlife Reserve in Quebec. The project is in a territory of interest for the Innu First Nations. [reNews]
  • Iberdrola Ingeniería and Gamesa have entered into an agreement with Honduras-based Grupo Terra to build a turnkey project to cost $83.8 million. The new 50 MW wind farm will supply the electricity needs of 100,000 homes. [Renewable Energy Magazine]
  • The Australian Federal Parliament voted to scrap the country’s carbon price last week, causing concerns as to the future of PV in the country. However, the Australian Solar Council says that the move won’t halt the growth of solar. [pv magazine]

US:

  • US agriculture could provide up to 155 million tonnes of crop residues and 60 million tonnes of manure for the generation of clean fuels and electricity in 2030, according to new analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists. [BioEnergy News]
  • According to the latest  Energy Infrastructure Update from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, solar and wind energy constituted more than half of the new generating capacity in the country for the first half of 2014. [AlterNet]
  • While the politics of fracking has taken hold of election-year energy discussions in Colorado, the wind power industry is quietly surging. On Friday Vesta Wind Systems announced it was hiring 800 new workers, after receiving orders for 370 turbines over the last few weeks. [ThinkProgress]
  • Schneider Electric has partnered with Green Energy Corp to provide standardized microgrid solutions for energy clients. The partnership combines Schneider Electric’s experience in distributed energy resources with Green Energy Corp’s open source Linux tools. [SmartMeters]

Call to Ban Hazardous Rail Shipments of Shale Oil

Community leaders and advocates call on the Secretary of Transportation to ban use of hazardous rail cars to ship explosive crude oil

The fireball that followed the derailment and explosion of two trains, one carrying Bakken crude oil, on December 30, 2013, outside Casselton, ND. - U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

The fireball that followed the derailment and explosion of two trains, one carrying Bakken crude oil, on December 30, 2013, outside Casselton, ND. – U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

July 15, 2014

Washington, D.C. — 

Today, two national environmental organizations filed a formal legal petition to compel the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue an emergency order prohibiting the use of hazardous rail cars—known as DOT-111s—for shipping flammable Bakken crude oil. (See FAQ sheet for more info on petition.) The National Transportation Safety Board has repeatedly found that the DOT-111 tank cars are prone to puncture on impact, spilling oil and often triggering destructive fires and explosions. The Safety Board has made official recommendations to stop shipping crude oil in these hazardous tank cars, but the federal regulators have not heeded these pleas. (See quote sheet of on-record statements by public officials for more information.)

“These oil tankers have been called the Ford Pinto of the rails,” said Ben Stuckart, City Council president in Spokane, Washington.“National Transportation Board members, U.S. Senators, and local officials are all on record on the danger of these antiquated, unsafe rail cars. It’s long past time for the government to take action to protect communities like mine.” Officials estimate between 13 and 16 oil trains a week come through Spokane, a major hub for rail traffic, although those numbers would skyrocket if planned oil terminals on the West Coast are built. Spokane is one of many towns across the country that has seen an organized and strong community opposition to these trains.

Read more at earthjustice.org