April 24, 2012

Environmental News

As prices have neared and in some cases topped $4 a gallon, drivers have cut their consumption of gasoline to its lowest levels in a decade, driving less and buying cars that are more fuel-efficient. [Washington Post]

The White House on Tuesday said Obama would veto legislation before the U.S. House of Representatives that sought to force approval of the stalled Keystone XL oil pipeline as part of a new 90-day extension of federal transportation funding. [Reuters]

"The climate has shifted to a new state capable of delivering rare & unprecedented weather events," explained Weather Underground director of meteorology and former hurricane hunter, Dr. Jeff Masters.

The Brookings Institution says that green jobs in the clean energy sector grew at twice the rate of jobs in the general economy during the peak of the recession from 2008–2010. 

Insurance giant Lloyd's of London issued a report concluding that offshore drilling in the Arctic would "constitute a unique and hard-to-manage risk" and urged companies to "think carefully about the consequences of action" before exploring for oil in the region.

In another stark warning about the dangers of Arctic Ocean drilling, the German bank WestLB announced that it would not provide financing to any offshore oil or gas drilling in the region. The company's sustainability manager said the "risks and costs are simply too high."

UN chief Ban Ki-moon made a call to double global consumption of renewable energy over the next two decades in order to ensure sustainable economic development. "It's possible if we show political leadership," Ban said about the goal that falls under a sustainable energy initiative aiming to have universal access to power by 2030. Currently, renewable energy accounts for about 16 percent of world consumption. [AFP]

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