Monthly Archives: September 2008

White House Fax Flippant on Grim Impacts of Global Warming

Vickie Patton's profileTomorrow, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold an important hearing on the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. On April 2, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the power of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address global warming under existing law. Unfortunately, EPA’s progress has been stymied by stiff winds blowing from the White House.

Environmental Defense Fund has uncovered a document that provides a disturbing look at the White House’s views on global warming science, views that were revealed as part of White House efforts to interfere with progress at EPA. On June 20, the White House Office of Management and Budget transmitted a fax to EPA with numerous comments on a critically important EPA technical document examining how global warming endangers human health and the environment.

The summary below highlights a few remarkable examples from the White House fax [PDF].

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Posted in Cars and Pollution / Comments are closed

Redefining Green for Corporate Fleets

Jason Mather's profileNearly 7 million passenger vehicles on the road today are in commercial operations. These vehicles are driven hard, averaging nearly double the mileage, fuel consumption and emissions of personal vehicles. As a result, fleets are not only expensive to operate, but are also a major source of global warming pollution.

Environmental Defense Fund has been working with some of the largest commercial fleets – including Fortune 500 titans Abbott, DuPont and Owens Corning – to identify ways to reduce fuel consumption, costs, and greenhouse gas emissions. Our efforts have delivered results. Fleets that fully implemented the program outlined below reduced their emissions by an average of 14 percent, and reduced lifecycle operating costs by 4 percent.

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Posted in Cars and Pollution / Comments are closed

Old-Growth Forests Still Taking Up Carbon

Lisa Moore's profileOld Growth ForestOld-growth forests hold vast amounts of carbon from centuries of growth, and this carbon would be released into the atmosphere if the trees were cut down. That much has been known for a long time, which is why Environmental Defense Fund so strongly advocates a plan to reduce deforestation in developing countries.

But new research shows that old-growth forests are even more important than previously thought. According to a new study in Nature, old-growth forests aren’t just standing there maintaining the status quo. They still actively take up CO2 from the atmosphere.

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Posted in International, Plants & Animals / Comments are closed

Climate Change Insights from Mohonk Weather Station

Lisa Moore's profileThere was an interesting story in Tuesday’s New York Times about a unique weather station in upstate New York next to the Mohonk House resort. Most cooperative observer stations move over time, or the area around them is built up, or the observers and observing methods change. Not so at Mohonk.

At Mohonk, the weather observations are done as they were 112 years ago, and only a handful of people have recorded the over 41,000 readings. Plus Mohonk has an extensive database of wildlife sightings, a 77-year record of Mohonk Lake water quality, and an 83-year record of local phenology (the timing of events such as frost, blooms and migrations) – all observed by the same handful of people. This makes the site’s data uniquely valuable:

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Posted in News / Read 3 Responses

Climate Corps: A "Peace Corps" for Climate

Sheryl CanterYou know how Peace Corps volunteers travel to developing countries offering help where it’s needed? Imagine a corps of interns working at U.S. corporations to help them reduce their environmental footprint, save energy, and save money, and you have the Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps.

Our Corporate Partnerships team placed MBA students from top business schools at five California companies: Intuit, NVIDIA, Cisco, Yahoo! and, and at Crescent Real Estate in Houston, Texas. The interns spent the summer making the business case for increasing energy efficiency in company facilities. One intern found that Cisco could reduce its carbon footprint by nearly 300 million pounds and save $24 million over five years by installing smart power distribution units in their labs. For more, check out our "What We Did This Summer" page.

This post is by Sheryl Canter, an online writer and editorial manager at Environmental Defense Fund.

Posted in News / Comments are closed

New Offshore Drilling in Perspective (Cool Graph)

A picture is worth a thousand words:

U.S. Oil Consumption by Source

Source: Architecture2030, based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

From Architecture2030:

According to the US Energy Information Administration, oil production from drilling offshore in the outer continental shelf wouldn’t begin until around the year 2017. Once begun, it wouldn’t reach peak production until about 2030 when it would produce only 200,000 barrels of oil per day (in yellow above). This would supply a meager 1.2% of total US annual oil consumption (just 0.6% of total US energy consumption). And, the offshore oil would be sold back to the US at the international rate, which today is $106 a barrel. So, the oil produced by offshore drilling would not only be a "drop in the bucket", it would be expensive, which translates to "no relief at the pump".

Gernot Wagner's profileGernot Wagner is an economist in the Climate and Air program at Environmental Defense Fund.

Posted in Energy / Read 4 Responses