Monday, February 23, 2009

Sierra Club to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday Feb. 24, 2009, for presentation on environmental bills in legislature

The Ozark Headwaters Group of the Sierra Club will be meeting
tomorrow, Tuesday Feb. 24th, at 7 pm at U.S. Pizza Company on Dixon
Street in Fayetteville. The Bicycle Coalition of the Ozarks has a fun
and informative presentation planned. Also Bill Kopsky of the Arkansas
Public Policy Panel will be discussing the environmental bills that
will be coming before the Arkansas Legislature this year and the
upcoming rally day at the Capitol building. You do not have to be a
member to attend!
For more information contact Molly at or at 479 527 9499

Friday, February 20, 2009

Price of operating coal-fired power plants going up

Study: New Regulations Could Cost Turk Coal Plant $2.8 Billion 
By The Associated Press - 2/19/2009 5:08:01 PM
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A proposed coal-fired power plant being built in southwestern Arkansas could end up paying $2.8 billion over 40 years because of new federal carbon penalties, a study by opponents released Thursday claims.
New figures from the Southwestern Electric Power Co. put the cost of building the plant at about $2 billion, counting the costs of upgrading power lines and substations and obtaining an air permit. But opponents say a tougher stance by the Environmental Protection Agency on greenhouse gases will drive costs even higher for the project - which will be funded by ratepayers.
"The main thing that the utility was not willing to admit ... was that the future costs of containing or controlling the (carbon dioxide) from this plant will be vastly greater than they ever anticipated or were willing to admit at the time," said Jim Metzger, the study's author, told reporters Thursday.Metzger estimated the John W. Turk Jr. plant being built in Hempstead County would likely have to spend more than $163 million annually - or $2.8 billion over 40 years - just to contain or abate carbon dioxide emissions.The 60-page study, done on behalf of the Sierra Club and Audubon Arkansas, comes after the EPA announced it was reviewing a Bush policy on new coal-fired power plants. The old policy prohibits using the federal permit process to require new coal-fired power plants to install equipment to reduce carbon dioxide.Because of moves like that, at least 59 proposed coal-fired projects nationwide have been canceled or delayed, according to anti-coal groups.SWEPCO officials dismissed the study as speculative."It's another delay tactic," SWEPCO spokesman Scott McCloud said. "All their purpose is, is to derail the Turk project."Opponents are challenging an air permit for the plant granted by the state environmental regulators. Meanwhile, the utility asked the state for a $53.9 million rate increase Thursday, in part to cover financing costs for the power plant.\SWEPCO, based in Shreveport, La., is a subsidiary of Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric Power, among the largest electric utilities in the country.(Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Coal-powered power plants take a hit

February 17, 2009
Contact: Harlan Hentges, 1-405-808-7669 or Robert Huston, 1-479-629-1073

Today’s decision by AES to cancel plans to build a second coal-fired generating plant in Panama is proof the handwriting is on the wall for burning coal to produce electricity.
Robert Huston of the Center for Energy Matters, the citizen-based group fighting the proposed expansion, says public outcry for newer, cleaner technologies is forcing companies to take a second look at how they generate electricity.
Combined with today’s Obama Administration action to begin regulating carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, according to Huston, “It’s no wonder AES pulled their application.”
“With today’s EPA ruling, the cost to AES to clean up carbon emissions from their existing Panama plant, much less a new plant twice the size, would make any company’s shareholders think twice about using coal to generate electricity, especially when cleaner technologies exist.” Huston said.
The Center for Energy Matters contends the six coal-fired generating plants in eastern Oklahoma creates smog, contaminates rivers, steams and water supplies with mercury and arsenic and creates a loss of economic viability to the region.
“This also proves that the people of eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas don’t just accept things at face value. The people from Leflore and Sequoyah Counties who voiced their concerns about the health and economic ramifications prove they aren’t going believe everything a large, multi-national corporation tells them.” Huston said
“Adding another dirty coal-fired generating plant to our area could potentially force Tulsa, Fort Smith, Fayetteville and Bentonville out of attainment for air quality standards under the Clean Air Act. That could limit the entire region in attracting new industries to the area.” Huston said.
The Environmental Protection Agency, under the new leadership of Administrator Lisa Jackson, granted a petition from the Sierra Club and other groups calling for reconsideration of an unlawful, midnight memo issued by former EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson which sought to prohibit controls on global warming pollution from coal plants.
Today's decision is consistent with a previous ruling by the EPA's Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) in the Utah Bonanza case, which found that there was no valid reason for the Bush administration's refusal to limit carbon dioxide emissions from new coal-fired power plants. The so-called Johnson Memo sought to unlawfully overturn that decision.


Gladys Tiffany
Omni Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology
Fayetteville, Arkansas USA
479-973-9049 --

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Global warming by the numbers

Global Warming by the Numbers

Friday the 13th just got a little scarier. Here are 13 facts about the realities of global warming. Even Jason would be scared.

The numbers speak for themselves -- we must make 2009 the showdown year for global warming action. There is no time to lose.

You can help by spreading the word any way you can -- through email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, whatever works for you.

Take ActionTell a Friend
Increase in the global carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels since the Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1992.

388.57 ppm
Average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in May 2008, a record high.

541 – 970 ppm
The projected concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 2100 under a business as usual scenario where we don't dramatically reduce global warming emissions.

260 – 280 ppm
Average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere before industrial emissions.

50 – 200 years
Length of time carbon dioxide stays in the earth's atmosphere before it is absorbed into carbon sinks.

1000 years
Length of time changes in the earth's surface temperature, rainfall, and sea level will remain even after carbon dioxide emissions are completely stopped.

Percentage that 2008's Arctic seasonal sea ice melt outpaced normal levels.

Increase in the rate of Greenland's ice melt over the last five years.

1.7 days
Number of days earlier seasons are coming than 50 years ago.

1.5 million
Number of acres of forests in Colorado destroyed by the pine beetle, which is better able to survive warmer winters and is wrecking havoc in America's western forests.

$427 million
Amount spent by the oil and coal industries in the first six months of 2008 in political contributions, lobbying expenditures and advertising to oppose climate action.

Number of global warming bills passed by the Senate.

Number of global warming bills passed by the House.


NOAA CO2 Trends
IPCC Third Assessment Report
Carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere
Atmosphere, Climate & Environment Information Programme
ESRL News: New Study Shows Climate Change Largely Irreversible
Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis
An Accurate Picture Of Ice Loss In Greenland
Pine Beetles: Worse Than You Thought
Early seasons : article : Nature Reports Climate Change
Hill Heat : Oil and Coal Industries Spending Two Million Dollars a Day to Shape Political Debate
By The Numbers 2008 »
By The Numbers 2007 »
By The Numbers 2006 »
Posted: 30-Sep-2008; Updated: 13-Feb-2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Carbon Caps Task Force to meet at 1:30 p.m. Sunday February 8, 2009

This Sunday there will be a meeting of Omni's Carbon Caps Task Force. The meeting will take place in the Omni office (usual place) at 1:30pm.

Among other things, we will talk about
the state global warming lobby day, just held by the Arkansas Public Policy Panel;
the upcoming historic Powershift conference in Washington DC, and fundraising;
and attending members will be asked to phone their representatives about a specific issue before we adjourn.
If you have any questions, contact me via email or phone, listed below.

Work-479.595.8303, Cell-479.871.9212