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Failed Levee Near Taylor Bayou Could Compromise Portion of Jefferson County - Texas

A hole in the basin near Taylor Bayou created a shift in the dirt and the wall where the levee exists, County Judge Jeff Branick tells KFDM/KBTV. It is not clear what caused the hole. There is no timetable for repairs but workers are attempting a temporary fix. They were building a pad at the levee late Monday morning. There is also no official cost estimate of the fix. The levee is close to the Valero docks. (KFDM/KBTV photo)

kfdm.com - by Angel San Juan and Brandon Scott - August 7, 2017

A failed levee near Taylor Bayou could compromise a portion of Jefferson County south of Beaumont - mainly Port Arthur and its surrounding refineries - if a tropical storm or hurricane hit the area, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In a news release dated Aug. 4, the Corps states it was notified by Jefferson County Drainage District-7 of a failure of a section of floodwall near Taylor Bayou last Tuesday morning.

A hole in the basin created a shift in the dirt and the wall where the levee exists, County Judge Jeff Branick tells KFDM/KBTV.

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Utilities companies won't let you sell your own solar power. Why not?

The electric utility sector is broken – but the transformation we need will be virtually impossible so long as a handful of wealthy elites are calling the shots

           

Utilities companies have their sights on ending net-metering: your ability to sell excess power at market rates. Photograph: Rex

CLICK HERE - REPORT - Energy and Policy Institute - Utilities Knew: Documenting Electric Utilities’ Early Knowledge and Ongoing Deception on Climate Change From 1968-2017

theguardian.com - by Kate Aronoff - August 1, 2017

A new report from the US-based Energy and Policy Institute last week found that investor-owned utilities have known about climate change for nearly 50 years – and done everything in their power to stop governments from doing anything about it.

From their commitment to toxic fuels to their corrosive influence on our democracy to their attempts to price-gouge ratepayers, it’s long past time to bring the reign of privately-owned electric utilities to an end.

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12 years after Gulf Oil Platform Destroyed, Feds Start Investigating Environmental Damage

nola.com - by Mark Schleifstein - July 28, 2017

Twelve years after Hurricane Ivan destroyed a Taylor Energy Co. platform in the Gulf of Mexico, the federal government has finally started investigating how oil and gas that is still leaking from its wells damages natural resources. The flow of oil, "if left unchecked, could continue for 100 years or more," says the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the Interior Department agency that oversees gulf drilling.

Although the storm waylaid Taylor Energy's MC-20 Saratoga platform on Sept. 15, 2004, it was not until late 2016 that the government began its inquiry, and not until Thursday (July 27) that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed the investigation. 

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Britain to Ban Sale of All Diesel and Petrol Cars and Vans from 2040

Plans follow French commitment to take polluting vehicles off the road owing to effect of poor air quality on people’s health

           

Ministers believe poor air quality poses largest environmental risk to public health in UK. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

theguardian.com - Anushka Asthana and Matthew Taylor - July 25, 2017

Britain is to ban all new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 amid fears that rising levels of nitrogen oxide pose a major risk to public health.

The commitment, which follows a similar pledge in France, is part of the government’s much-anticipated clean air plan, which has been at the heart of a protracted high court legal battle. 

The government warned that the move, which will also take in hybrid vehicles, was needed because of the unnecessary and avoidable impact that poor air quality was having on people’s health.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - Electric cars win? Britain to ban new petrol and diesel cars from 2040

 

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Multi-Billion Dollar Electric Grid Risks Need Risk Transfer: Swiss Re

CLICK HERE - REPORT - Swiss Re - LIGHTS OUT: THE RISKS OF CLIMATE AND NATURAL DISASTER RELATED DISRUPTION TO THE ELECTRIC GRID - 25 July 2017

artemis.bm - July 25, 2017

Risks to the electric grid due to severe weather, natural catastrophes and climate change can cause losses in the billions of dollars, and while threats make our energy future more uncertain there is a role for risk transfer and potentially the capital markets in helping to stave off economic disruption.

A new report published by reinsurance firm Swiss Re but authored by students at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) explains that the electric grid is among the most important pieces of our critical infrastructure, but is also one of the most exposed to natural disasters, weather and climate related threats.

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Prospect of Trump Tariff Casts Pall Over U.S. Solar Industry

           

FILE PHOTO: An employee makes a final inspection on panels during a tour of an REC solar panel manufacturing plant in Singapore, May 5, 2017.  Edgar Su/File Photo

reuters.com - by Nichola Groom - July 25, 2017

U.S. solar companies are snapping up cheap imported solar panels ahead of a trade decision by the Trump administration that could drive up costs and cloud the fortunes of one of the economy's brightest stars.

Domestic consumers and businesses have been embracing solar energy at a furious pace - thanks to a big assist from China. Low-cost photovoltaic cells and panels made in China and other Asian countries have helped drive down costs by around 70% since 2010, enabling more Americans to go solar.

Installations in the United States last year hit a record. Jobs are mushrooming too.

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Why are Californian Solar Firms Paying to Give Away Power?

           

Getty Images

bbc.com - June 29, 2017

California companies are generating so much solar power that firms in other states are getting paid to take it.

The state has been forced into the arrangement to "avoid overloading its own power lines", according to the Los Angeles Times.

The situation doesn't necessarily mean we are "throwing money away", says economist Severin Borenstein, a professor at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business.

"But it probably is an indication that there are some serious problems in the way we're running the grid and the way we're making investment decisions."

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Jimmy Carter Powers Half of His Hometown With Solar

           

From peanut farmer to solar farmer . . . A view of the new solar "farm" on land owned by former President Jimmy Carter, with the city of Plains seen in the background. Nearly four decades after he turned heads by installing solar panels on the White House roof as part of his push to increase "clean" energy use in America, Carter has leased part of his property to SolAmerica. The Atlanta based company says more than 50 percent of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter's hometown will be solar-powered as a result.  SolAmerica

ecowatch.com - by Joe McCarthy - July 13, 2017

 . . . Earlier this year, he <Jimmy Carter> commissioned SolAmerica to create a solar farm on 10 acres of his land in his hometown of Plains, Georgia. Today, that farm is supplying half of his town's electricity needs. It's expected to supply 1.3 megawatts of electricity annually, the equivalent of burning 3,600 tons of coal.

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Just 100 Companies Responsible for 71% of Global Emissions, Study Says

A relatively small number of fossil fuel producers and their investors could hold the key to tackling climate change

           

An oil rig exploring for oil and gas. A new report says more than 50% of global industrial emissions since 1988 can be traced to just 25 companies. Photograph: Dazman/Getty Images/iStockphoto

CLICK HERE - The Carbon Majors Database - CDP Carbon Majors Report 2017 (16 page .PDF report)

the guardian.com - by Tess Riley - July 10, 2017

Just 100 companies have been the source of more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988, according to a new report.

The Carbon Majors Report (pdf) “pinpoints how a relatively small set of fossil fuel producers may hold the key to systemic change on carbon emissions,” says Pedro Faria, technical director at environmental non-profit CDP, which published the report in collaboration with the Climate Accountability Institute.

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When Will Electric Cars Go Mainstream? It May Be Sooner Than You Think

           

A Volkswagen e-Golf electric car being charged in Dresden, Germany, in March. Volkswagen and Tesla each have plans to produce more than 1 million electric vehicles per year by 2025. Credit Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

CLICK HERE - Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) - Electric Vehicle Outlook 2017

nytimes.com - by Brad Plumer - July 8, 2017

As the world’s automakers place larger bets on electric vehicle technology, many industry analysts are debating a key question: How quickly can plug-in cars become mainstream?

The conventional view holds that electric cars will remain a niche product for many years, plagued by high sticker prices and heavily dependent on government subsidies.

But a growing number of analysts now argue that this pessimism is becoming outdated. A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a research group, suggests that the price of plug-in cars is falling much faster than expected, spurred by cheaper batteries and aggressive policies promoting zero-emission vehicles in China and Europe.

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