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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

MA Gov To Back Wind Turbine Health Study

July 12, 2013 1:58 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick says he would back a proposal calling for an "independent scientific study" of the health effects of wind turbines. Critics of the massive energy-producing turbines say the sound and motion of the blades can cause health problems.

China Plans To Further Restrict Car Purchases

July 11, 2013 1:48 pm | by Louise Watt, Associated Press | News | Comments

China plans to increase the number of cities that restrict vehicle purchases in a bid to fight pollution and traffic congestion, state media reported Thursday. With more than 13 million cars sold in China last year, motor vehicles and their emissions have emerged as the chief culprit for the air pollution in large cities.

Will Algae Fuel Your Next Car?

July 10, 2013 1:36 pm | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

Some of the top minds in the nation are working to find an alternative for oil, and Professor Juergen Polle is placing his bet on algae. What makes algae ideal is that it can be grown in non-arable land. And while it burns carbon dioxide (CO2) like fossil fuels, it requires CO2 to photosynthesize, making it carbon neutral.

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Vermont Joins Push For Cleaner Vehicles

July 9, 2013 1:48 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Vermont is joining 14 other states and cities in calling for the federal Environmental Protection Agency to adopt proposed new rules calling for big cuts in pollution from vehicles by 2017. The standards would cut smog-producing emissions from vehicles by 80 percent and soot by 70 percent.

NC Chemical Plant Blocked In Anti-Fracking Protest

July 9, 2013 10:00 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Twelve activists who blocked a North Carolina chemical plant were arrested in a protest against the company's sale of products used in the natural gas drilling process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Morganton Public Safety Chief Mark Tolbert said the protesters faced a variety of charges, including trespassing, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Industry Panning Obama's Climate Change Push

July 8, 2013 2:04 pm | by Steve Peoples, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama's push to fight global warming has triggered condemnation from the coal industry across the industrial Midwest, where state and local economies depend on the health of an energy sector facing strict new pollution limits. But such concerns stretch even to New England, an environmentally focused region that long has felt the effects of drifting emissions from Rust Belt states.

Solar Powered Plane Finishes Its Journey

July 8, 2013 1:57 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A solar-powered aircraft has completed the final leg of a history-making cross-country flight, gliding to a smooth stop at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. The Solar Impulse touched down at JFK at 11:09 p.m. Saturday, completing the final leg of the cross-continental journey that started in California in early May. For Saturday's final leg, the aircraft left Dulles International Airport a little before 5 a.m.

EU Lawmakers Back Cap-And-Trade Fix

July 3, 2013 2:10 pm | by Karl Ritter, Associated Press | News | Comments

The European Parliament on Wednesday backed a rescue plan for the world's biggest cap-and-trade system for emissions of carbon dioxide, the most prevalent greenhouse gas from human activities. In a 344-311 vote, European lawmakers in Strasbourg, France, approved a proposal to delay an auction of allowances in the EU's emissions trading scheme.

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White House Has Coal Country On The Defensive

July 2, 2013 10:15 am | by Matthew Brown, Associated Press | News | Comments

After several years of taking a beating from the poor economy, new pollution rules and a flood of cheap natural gas, the coal industry was on the rebound this year as mining projects moved forward in the Western U.S. and demand for the fuel began to rise, especially in Asia.

Germany Blocks EU Carbon Cap To Protect Automakers

June 28, 2013 2:18 pm | by Frank Jordans, Associated Press | News | Comments

Germany has blocked a European Union agreement on capping car carbon emissions because the deal could have cost jobs and harmed its domestic auto industry, officials said Friday. The blunt admission that Europe's biggest economy put business interests before environmental standards is at odds with Germany's image as a champion of green issues.

AR Wind Turbine Plant To Stop Production

June 28, 2013 2:13 pm | by Chuck Bartels, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A $40 million wind turbine factory in northeast Arkansas that opened in 2010 with plans to employ more than 700 people announced Friday it would end production and lay off 40 workers. Germany-based Nordex SE, parent company of Nordex USA, said the company had not received enough orders due to an uncertain U.S. market, overcapacity in the industry and an unstable outlook for a federal tax production credit.

IEA: Global Renewable Energy Growing Fast

June 26, 2013 2:20 pm | by Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer | News | Comments

Renewable energy is growing fast around the world and will be the second biggest source of electricity, after coal, by 2016, according to a five-year outlook published Wednesday by the International Energy Agency. Developing countries are building more wind, solar and hydro-electric power plants to meet rising power demand and combat local pollution problems.

Report: Plant Explosion Released Toxic Chemicals

June 26, 2013 10:08 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The deadly June 13 explosion and fire at the Williams Olefins chemical plant in Geismar released more than 62,000 pounds of toxic chemicals during the accident that killed two workers and injured 114 others, according to a report filed with state environmental regulators.

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Power Plant Limits At Center Of Obama Climate Plan

June 25, 2013 1:59 pm | by Josh Lederman, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama's national plan to combat climate change will include the first-ever regulations to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, as well as increased production of renewable energy on public lands and federally assisted housing, environmental groups briefed on the plan said Monday.

Boost For Cars Or Bust? Ethanol Debate Heats Up

June 24, 2013 2:00 pm | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press | News | Comments

It's a dilemma for drivers: Do they choose a gasoline that's cheaper and cleaner even if, as opponents say, it could damage older cars and motorcycles? That's the peril and promise of a high-ethanol blend of gasoline known as E15. The fuel contains 15 percent ethanol, well above the current 10 percent norm sold at most U.S. gas stations.

Families Skeptical Of Pratt Cancer Study Findings

June 24, 2013 10:01 am | by Stephen Singer, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

For jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney, a long-simmering dispute over worker illnesses was settled by a massive 11-year study that found no elevated risk of brain cancer at its plants. But for dead workers' relatives who first raised concerns years ago, the matter is far from closed.

EPA Levies $2.5M Penalty Against U.S. Cement Maker

June 20, 2013 10:26 am | by John Miller, Associated Press | News | Comments

The EPA levied a $2.5M penalty against a big cement maker and required the company to invest $30M in pollution controls at plants in nine states alleged to have violated the federal Clean Air Act. Ash Grove Cement Co.'s penalty was announced Wednesday by the EPA and U.S. Department of Justice, part of a deal in which the Overland Park, Kan.-based company also will spend $750K to mitigate effects of past excess emissions.

After The AR Spill: The Future Of The Oil Industry

June 19, 2013 1:14 pm | by Al Jazeera | Videos | Comments

In the wake of a ruptured pipeline that coated an Arkansas town in oil over two months ago, residents are complaining about illnesses that could be related to the spill. Al Jazeera take a look at the environmental controls being placed on the U.S. oil industry and what their possible impact on public health could be.

GE CEO: China Will Drive Energy Tech

June 18, 2013 12:46 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Fossil fuels are still the number one energy source. Andy Serwer, managing editor for Fortune asks GE what that means for the company today, as well as five years from now. At the Fortune Global Forum in Chengdu, China, GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt says that future energy development will be focused in China.

U.S. Official: Solar Plane To Help Ground Energy Use

June 18, 2013 10:06 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

The plane parked outside the airport looks more like a giant exotic insect or maybe an outsized toy. When it's in flight, there's no roar of engines. It's strangely quiet. And as it crisscrosses the U.S., the spindly plane doesn't use a drop of fuel. Day, and even night, it flies on the power of the sun.

Company Drops Plans For NV Solar Project

June 17, 2013 2:10 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Chinese-backed company is dropping plans for a major solar project near the Colorado River resort town of Laughlin, Nev. ENN Mojave Energy LLC has informed Clark County officials that it's terminating its agreement to purchase 9,000 acres after it was unable to find customers for the power that would have been generated there.

Blast At LA Plant Kills 1, More Than 70 Hurt

June 14, 2013 10:02 am | by Stacey Plaisance, Associated Press | News | Comments

The blast sent workers on a mad scramble to escape the plant, said a worker, some of them by clambering over gates. Outside the plant, witnesses saw towering flames and felt the ground shudder. A body was found by hazardous materials crews moving through the site after the blast, state police Capt. Doug Cain said.

Chevron CEO: Responding To Safety Concerns

June 11, 2013 12:25 pm | by Wall Street Journal | Videos | Comments

Chevron CEO John Watson discusses energy production in the wake of BP's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Watson says energy companies are taking a more proactive approach to safety, securing their systems, and operations before government regulators come knocking.

IEA: Energy Emissions Rose To Record High In 2012

June 10, 2013 10:13 am | by Karl Ritter, Associated Press | News | Comments

The world's energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose 1.4 percent in 2012 to a record high of 31.6 billion tons, even though the U.S. posted its lowest emissions since the mid-1990s, the International Energy Agency said Monday. In its annual World Energy Outlook report, the Paris-based IEA said top carbon polluter China had the largest emissions growth last year, up 300 million tons, or 3.8 percent, from 2011.

Nation's First Floating Wind Turbine Launched

June 5, 2013 1:44 pm | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

VolturnUS, the nation's first floating wind turbine designed to generate electricity from ocean winds, was launched as demand for clean and alternative energy grows. Developed at the University of Maine, the technology has the potenial to power the U.S. 4 times over. Terrell Brown reports.

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