Modern-day windmills cause dust-up in Mich.

Read the full story in the Detroit News.

A coastline that whips up wind all year long has Michigan alternative energy activists pushing to transform the state into a leader of nonpolluting wind energy.

But as the wind power movement that began in the state’s pastoral northern region heads toward Metro Detroit, advocates admit the clean electricity source is not without drawbacks.

California sets energy example

Read the full story in the Honolulu Star Bulletin.

When California environmental officials were looking at areas where the state could save on its energy bill, they only had to look as far as their own building.

Simply by shutting off the lights at night and having janitors do their work during the day, officials say they shaved 8 percent off the electric bill for the Joe Serna Jr. Building, the headquarters of the California Environmental Protection Agency.

EU Parliament Backs CO2 Caps on Aviation

Read the full story at Green Car Congress.

In a report adopted by 439 votes in favor to 74 against and 102 abstentions, Members of the European Parliament (MEP) proposed that the EU takes action to reduce the climate change impact of aviation by adopting the measures proposed in a report written by MEP Caroline Lucas (Greens/EFA, UK).

On the Road Again, Where Biodiesel Is a Rising Star

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Soaring fuel costs have many consumers curtailing needless driving trips. But not Mike Frybarger. Last summer, the 49-year-old independent trucker got in his Volvo 770 tractor-trailer, drove for 2½ days and logged more than 1,200 miles.

He passed hundreds of service stations, without stopping at any of them. Convenience and cheap diesel fuel? He did not need them.

Instead, he filled up his truck’s 300-gallon tank with biodiesel at Carl’s Corner, a Texas truck stop that is at the center of the nation’s growing biodiesel industry.

Report Highlights Accomplishments; Outlines Path Forward

Domestic releases and uses of mercury have decreased significantly over the last 25 years, according to a report released today by EPA. For example, U.S. mercury air emissions have been reduced by 45 percent since 1990, and mercury use in products and processes decreased 83 percent between 1980 and 1997. “EPA’s Roadmap for Mercury,” the first-ever comprehensive overview of agency mercury activities, describes progress and ongoing efforts in reducing mercury in the environment, both domestically and internationally.

The roadmap highlights the agency’s decade-plus efforts to address mercury risks to human health and the environment. The roadmap will also help the agency maximize coordination of its diverse efforts in advancing EPA’s long-term goal of reducing risks associated with mercury. In addition to providing a roadmap for EPA activities, the report provides important information about EPA’s mercury efforts to other federal agencies, our partners in state, tribal and local governments and to the public.

“We’re moving in the right direction – mercury emissions have declined dramatically over the past two decades,'” said Susan Hazen, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances. “This report details previous and current activities that have contributed to these mercury reductions, and it will help outline EPA’s overall effort to continue protecting public health and the environment.”

The roadmap focuses on six key areas: 1) addressing mercury releases to the environment; 2) addressing mercury uses in products and industrial processes which can lead to releases to the environment; 3) managing commodity-grade mercury supplies; 4) communicating risks to the public; 5) addressing international mercury sources and 6) conducting mercury research and monitoring.

As part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to reduce mercury emissions, EPA has also signed a proposed Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) today. Automakers voluntarily discontinued uses of elemental mercury switches in convenience light assemblies and anti-lock brake systems in post-2003 cars sold in America. This proposed SNUR, issued under the Toxic Substances Control Act, would give EPA an opportunity to evaluate any resumed use of mercury in these switches and, if necessary, to prohibit or limit such activity before it occurs to prevent unreasonable risk of harm to human health or the environment.

In the last 15 years, EPA has focused its mercury reduction efforts on large point sources of air emissions from municipal waste combustors or incinerators, medical waste incinerators and hazardous waste combustors. More recently, EPA has focused its efforts on industrial boilers, chlor-alkali facilities and a Bush Administration regulation that, for the first time, will achieve a 70 percent reduction in mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants, when fully implemented. EPA now has standards in place limiting mercury air releases from most major known industrial sources in the United States.

EPA is also working to advance the state of the science surrounding mercury, while taking action now to help reduce risks. Major offices at EPA are continuing to work to better understand the sources of mercury and how it impacts human health and the environment. At the same time, the agency is focusing on risk communication and outreach activities that will help the public reduce exposure to mercury.

A copy of the roadmap, the proposed SNUR and other information on the agency’s efforts to reduce mercury are available at

Help Families “Cool Their World” with ENERGY STAR Tools and Tips

Learn how to reduce your energy bills in summer by visiting the new ENERGY STAR@Home Interactive Tool, which includes tips for saving energy inside and around the home.

The Flash-based interactive tool provides a cartoon graphic of a typical home. Clicking on any room provides details on actions that homeowners or renters can take to reduce their energy use and save money. The tips offer suggestions to help families save energy outside the home, in the attic, bedroom, bathroom, home office, living room, kitchen, dining room, and basement.

For more information:

Climate Action Team Reports to the Governor and Legislature [California]

Report by the California Environmental Protection Agency about climate change and global warming causes and projections in California and worldwide and California actions to address climate change. Also includes the draft report, public comments regarding the draft report, and related documents. From the California Energy Commission.