Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Global-warming fighting online magazine

Latest issue of global-warming fighting news magazine

Energy companies advocate state rules to keep pollution legal

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Group to advocate for energy, environment policies

By Jason Wiest
LITTLE ROCK -- A new group comprised largely of energy companies announced Tuesday it will advocate for energy, environmental and economic development policies in the state, some of which could be contrary to those of the state's global warming panel.
Bob Lamb, chairman of the newly formed group Progress Arkansas, said recommendations made by the Governor's Commission on Global Warming would provide fodder for analysis and that the group will lobby its positions on the recommendations.
"I would think there would probably be some issues that would come out of this report that this group will support. There may be other issues that they may not support," Lamb said, declining to be more specific.
While the group has not yet discussed the commission's recent report to be submitted to the governor and Legislature, it is not likely to take a position on Southwestern Electric Power Co.'s proposed $1.5 billion coal-fired power plant in Hempstead County, Lamb said.
By an 11-10 vote, the commission recommended a moratorium on coal-fired plants until technology to capture and store carbon emissions is fully developed.
"This group does not have any position on the SWEPCO coal plant at all, and I would not think they would take one," Lamb said. "They've already gone through a lot of process. This group's just getting started. We're not in a position to join the discussion."
Lamb formerly served as executive vice president of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce-Associated Industries of Arkansas, as well as an officer, director and vice president of community development for the Arkansas Western Gas Co. He also is a former lobbyist for Southwestern Energy Co. and its subsidiaries. Southwestern is the largest natural gas developer in the Fayetteville Shale play.
Lamb said Tuesday he is not currently acting as a lobbyist for Progress Arkansas but that he may serve in that capacity as the group lobbies the Arkansas Legislature and the U.S. Congress.
He said the group likely will advocate its position on a number of recently opened dockets at the state Public Service Commission regarding rule-making, rate-making and energy efficiency.
"Perhaps out of those dockets we'll develop some legislative initiatives that we might could support," he said.
The group will also work to create jobs in Arkansas, specifically service and manufacturing jobs to replace recent losses in those areas, he said.
Scooter Hardin, spokesman for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, said the group would provide welcome assistance.
"As a state agency, we're certainly supportive of organizations such as Progress Arkansas and the goal that this organization is working toward," he said. "We'll cooperate and work with Progress Arkansas."
Lamb said that while the group will seek to assist economic growth and increase the quality of life in Arkansas, there are also many challenges in the energy field.
"We want to be supportive of ensuring that Arkansas continues to have a reliable source of energy, both electricity and natural gas at the retail level," he said.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Global Warming Commission approves revision of report

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Global Warming Commission approves final revisions to report

By John Lyon
LITTLE ROCK -- The Arkansas Governor's Commission on Global Warming on Thursday approved final revisions to its report containing 54 recommendations for reducing the state's contributions to climate change.

The 21-member commission was created by an act of the Legislature last year and is required to present its final report to Gov. Mike Beebe and legislators no later than Nov. 1.

The commission's report recommends that Arkansas adopt goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions below 2000 levels by 20 percent by 2020, 35 percent by 2025 and 50 percent by 2035.

The commission includes representatives of several fields, including conservation, industry, government and academia. The panel approved some recommendations unanimously, but it was divided on some votes, including an 11-10 decision to recommend a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants in the state until technology to capture and store carbon emissions becomes available.

The committee approved a final set of revisions to the report during a meeting Thursday held by conference call. Committee Chairman Rep. Kathy Webb, D-Little Rock, thanked the members for their work.

"I know people have very strong opinions about all of these issues," Webb said. "We did a really fine job. Thank you all for all the time that you've given in the last year on this."

In a period allowed for public comments, Ken Smith, executive director of Arkansas Audubon, told the commission, "Congratulations, all of you, for a great job."

Among the revisions the commission approved Thursday was a slight change to an assertion in the report that peer-reviewed literature is "unanimous" in concluding that human activity is causing climate change. The commission changed "unanimous" to "virtually unanimous."

Steve Cousins, vice president of refining for Lion Oil, said although no vote was taken on whether global warming has a human cause, he knew of "at least three commissioners that are agnostic" on the issue.

The report states that Arkansas' greenhouse gas emissions are rising faster than those of the nation as a whole, according to research conducted for the commission by the nonprofit Center for Climate Strategies. From 1990 to 2005, gross emissions in the state increased by 30 percent while national gross emissions rose by 16 percent.

On a per-capita basis, the state's emissions increased by about 10 percent between 1990 and 2005, while national per-capita emissions decreased by 2 percent.

The report notes that Arkansas has large forests which negate some of its greenhouse gas emissions. In 2005, the state's gross emissions accounted for 1.2 percent of national gross emissions, while its net emissions accounted for 1 percent of national net emissions.

Electricity consumption and transportation were the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Arkansas in 2005, accounting for 32 percent and 26 percent, respectively, of the state's gross emissions.

The direct use of fuels such as natural gas, oil products, coal and wood in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors accounted for 18 percent of emissions. The agricultural and forest wildfire sectors together accounted for 14 percent of emissions.

Other sources of emissions included industrial processes, landfills and wastewater management facilities.

The commission analyzed the costs to implement 29 of its recommendations and estimated a net cost of $3.7 billion between 2009 and 2025.

Among other things, the commission recommends new nuclear power plants; a carbon tax program; a consortium to develop renewable energy production facilities and market renewable energy to consumers; and numerous measures to improve energy efficiency.

Web Watch

Governor's Commission On Global Warming

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Carbon Caps Task Force meeting at 1:30 p.m. today!

Sunday Oct 19 - is the next meeting of the Carbon Caps Task Force. 1:30 pm, Omni office, 902 W. Maple.

We'll be talking a lot about the Planetwork Project. Robert McAfee and a working group are refining a plan to get it ready before the legislative session. You'll want to hear about the plan, and your input will be helpful. There'll be other things to discuss too.

If you have questions, please reply.

Nick Brown clarifies relation of man and natural world

Guest writer : Conserve and protect
Posted on Saturday, October 18, 2008
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a unique, diverse collection of ecological systems and the home to caribou, muskoxen, sheep, foxes, moose, wolves, black bears, brown bears, polar bears, and over two dozen other species of mammals. It’s one of the largest, most ecologically intact wildlife refuges in the world.

Recently, columnist Bradley R. Gitz described ANWR as an “uninhabited, pestilence-ridden wasteland.” This thoroughly anthropocentric view of the world—that there are no important existing values if they are not of immediate economic benefit to humans—is the very kind of thinking that has led us to a wide range of environmental problems. As Albert Einstein said, we cannot solve our problems with the same type of thinking that created them.

Our planet, whether you think of it as the Creation, Gaia or simply the third rock, is driven by ecological processes that may or may not be observed and valued by our industrial culture. To assume that an ecosystem is “wasteland” just because there’s no perceived economic value is human arrogance of a very dangerous sort. Political and economic decisions should be made with a biocentric view, which serves human interests and conserves ecological values over a long term.

All ecological systems have values that relate to the continuing healthy existence of the planet, whether we understand the importance of those values or not. This is a general statement that may be discomforting to economists and industrial developers, but it’s just a paraphrase of the well-known and well-understood axiom, everything’s connected to everything else. Ecology, which is the study of interactions among species and between species and their environments, inescapably leads us to this conclusion, though as a science it is silent on its meaning and importance.

Ecological thinking dictates that we assume that there are connections of which we are oblivious and that we accordingly manage ecosystems with precaution. It embodies respect for nature.

ANWR’s selection as a location for a wildlife refuge isn’t accidental. It’s a unique and biodiverse boreal region. One hundred ninety-five species of birds, 36 species of fish and 36 species of land mammals are found in six ecological regions of ANWR.

Section 1002 of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act provides for the possibility that 1. 5 million acres of ANWR could be opened for oil production, and that area is, therefore, known as the 1002 Area. A study of the 1002 Area reveals 16 land-cover classes or types of ecological systems. Grasses, sedges, shrubs, willows and other vegetation of riparian zones each offers critical ecological values to porcupine caribou, arctic caribou, muskoxen, grizzly bears, wolves, golden eagles, polar bears and snow geese that use the 1002 Area.

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has written that the 1002 Area contains “an unusually diverse assemblage of large animals and smaller, less appreciated life forms tied to their physical environments and to each other by natural, undisturbed ecological and evolutionary processes.” Let’s not consider the home of wolves, grizzly bears, polar bears and golden eagles a wasteland.

It is not as though no petroleum exploration is allowed in Alaska under current rules. Twenty-three million acres of Alaskan land are currently in production in the National Petroleum Reserve there, which is located west of ANWR on the North Slope and Arctic Coastal Plain. Current production is about 750, 000 barrels of oil per day from about 300 gas and oil leases.

The most optimistic estimate of oil production from the 1002 Area is 900, 000 barrels per day, about 4 percent of our national demand and 1 percent of global demand. By comparison, we could save a million barrels per day if the efficiency of our national fleet improved by five miles per gallon or 2 million barrels per day if we all simply drove five miles per hour slower on our highways. The Energy Information Administration of the U. S. Department of Energy estimates that addition of ANWR’s oil to existing supplies would reduce the price of oil by 50 cents per barrel. It’s five to 10 years from flowing through pipelines if we started work tomorrow. The extent to which additional oil drilling is a necessary part of our bridge to a sustainable energy future can be debated. But it is clear that ANWR’s boreal ecosystems contain unique ecological values that we should conserve and protect.

—–––––•–––––—Nicholas R. Brown, a native of Helena, is the executive assistant for sustainability at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

No new COAL rally in Little Rock supported by UA chapter of OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology



1 PM, SAT, OCT 18


CALL 479-225-8396 TO RSVP

Saturday October 18th, 1 p.m., on the State Capitol steps we, Arkansans, will be having a rally to show our opposition to the proposed coal-fired power plant in Hempstead County. After a recent decision by the Governor’s Commission on Global Warming to halt construction on this plant, it is important we show Governor Beebe that he has the public support to move forward with the recommendation of his own commission and stop this plant.

Live music performed by


Expert speakers on this issue
and video postcards to Governor Beebe...
Call Maggie Bailey to reserve your seat on the No New Coal vans! 479-225-8396. or email: Free ride, though no food is provided... bring a lunch and your water bottle! We will leave 8:30 am, this Sat, be stopping along the way, spend a couple hours in LR, then back to Faytown around 7ish, Saturday evening. Meet in the Walton Arts Center parking lot.
Here is a recent link with information regarding the vote by the Governors Commission on Global Warming:
Also, check out the new YouTube video made by Audubon Arkansas:

Thank you for all your support…hope to see you on the 18th!

PS...if you are anywhere b/t Fay and LR, and need a ride...feel free to call!

Have a wonderful day!

Maggie Bailey
NW Facilitator
Clean Air Arkansas

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Good idea only if using waste material from agriculture and timber production and without decreasing wildlife habitat. Clearing land pollutes air

Summit promotes growing high-energy plants
Posted on Saturday, October 11, 2008
Northwest Arkansas Times Fayetteville’s first ever Sustainability Summit brought more than 300 people to the city’s center to talk about ways organizations can become more environmentally friendly. One way discussed was a switch from conventional diesel fuel to the use of bioenergybased fuel. Jim Wimberly with BioEnergy System LLC in Fayetteville talked about the energy-efficient idea at a small breakout session during the summit. “ Agriculture and energy are so intertwined, ” Wimberly said.
He said the idea is to start promoting the growth of high-energy yielding plants that can be processed and manufactured into a full spectrum of energy projects, including fuel for automobiles.
“ In essence, plants are batteries, ” he said. “ They store energy through photosynthesis. ”
Arkansas provides a large amount of natural resources to make bioenergy manufacturing a reality, Wimberly said, and if the state takes an active interest in the concept, it could cut in half its yearly 1 billion gallons of petroleum used each year.
“ It would take just under a million acres of herbaceous energy crops (crops high in energy ) to displace half of that diesel used, ” he said.
Wimberly said a lot of research is being done on soybeans to create biodiesel, and that it’s a good fuel. However, he said fuel users need to broaden their horizons.
“ We need to quit being worried about planting a future around traditional approaches to biofuel, ” he said.
The state has the forest and farmland to support biofuel operations, which makes it already an attractive location to bioenergy companies, Wimberly said, but Arkansas and its cities need to work towards sealing the deal with the green fuel producers.
“ We are in competition with neighboring states, ” Wimberly said.
Financial incentives as well as getting state landowners and far mers on board with the idea could be the key, Wimberly said.
“ It’s not going to happen unless (farmers ) can make at least as much money as they do growing traditional crops, ” he said.
Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact:
A draft of the final report of the Global Warming Commission is now available. Commissioners can comment on it until next Friday, October 17. Please review and let me know if you have any comments, etc.



1 Compilation Table of Contents through Chapter 8 (117 pp, 2,654 kb)
Part 2 Compilation Appendixes A through K (355 pp, 7,229k b) [Note: Appendix L is under development and not included in this file].

The separate sections of the draft report are posted below. Chapters 3 through 7 are summaries of the longer technical Appendices F through J that contain the “Policy Option Descriptions for Analysis.

Cover Page
Table of Contents (1p, 13 kb)
Acknowledgments (1p, 13 kb)
Members of the Arkansas Governor’s Commission on Global Warming (GCGW) (2p, 18 kb)
Acronyms and Abbreviations (5p, 51 kb)

Executive Summary (17 p, 298 kb)
Chapter 1 – Background and Overview (21p, 318 kb)
Chapter 2 – Inventory and Forecast of GHG Emissions (10p, 177 kb)
Chapter 3 – Cross-Cutting Issues (10p, 65 kb)
Chapter 4 – Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Sectors (16p, 119 kb)
Chapter 5 – Energy Supply Sector (8p, 64 kb)
Chapter 6 – Transportation and Land Use Sectors (10p, 106 kb)
Chapter 7 – Agriculture, Forestry, and Waste Management Sectors (12p, 128 kb)
Chapter 8 – Review of Current Scientific Literature on Causes and Impacts of Global Warming (4 p, 38 kb)

Appendix A – Act 696 - An Act To Establish the GCGW (8p, 71 kb)
Appendix B – Description of GCGW Process (16p, 108 kb)
Appendix C – Members of Technical Work Groups (3p, 20 kb)
Appendix D – Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Inventory and Reference Case Projections (1p, 14 kb)
Appendix E – Methods for Quantification (5 p, 45 kb)
Appendix F – Cross-Cutting Issues – Policy Recommendations (35p, 261 kb)
Appendix G – Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Sectors – Policy Recommendations (58p, 441 kb)
Appendix H – Energy Supply – Policy Recommendations (54p, 423 kb)
Appendix I – Transportation and Land Use – Policy Recommendations (48p, 406 kb)
Appendix J – Agriculture, Forestry, and Waste Management –Policy Recommendations (102p, 1,193 kb)
Appendix K – List of References (25p, 229 kb)
Appendix L – Public Comments

Robert McAfee
The Governor's Commission on Global Warming, Climatologist
2610 W Hackett Rd, Hackett, AR 72937
[479]638-0035 [479]462-8834

350 PPM: The Most Important Number YOU Need to Remember! Cap & Reverse CO2 Emissions Now.

. . . unless we advance beyond thinking only in terms of conservation and alternate sources (of energy) and begin to think in terms of a carbon pie, we will have no chance to stop the rise in atmospheric CO2. Wallace S. Broecker