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San Diego to get million dollar-solar energy project from the Obama Admin

Imperial County, just east of San Diego, has been approved to connect a 250-megawatt solar-power project to California’s energy grid something that will generate power for about 75,000 homes, according to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

The solar project is expected to create more than 250 jobs during construction and add approximately $5 million in sales tax to the job-starved state.

“Through smart site(ing) of projects, early environmental review and a coordinated approval process, Interior is helping to stand up a renewable energy economy, spurring innovation, job-creation, and investment in the private sector,” Secretary Salazar said about the CSOLAR Development project. “When constructed, this solar project will add to a growing, sustainable energy strategy that will power our local communities and economies.”

This new energy plant represents the Obama Administration’s commitment to solar, wind, geothermal and transmission projects.


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“The solar project itself will be constructed on private, fallowed farm lands near El Centro,” said Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey. “This transmission line will be placed in an area already designated as a transmission corridor. The entire project is sited in a perfect spot for renewable energy development in the California desert.”

The Interior Department’s continued commitment to responsible development of renewable energy was able to move this project forward after conducting an extensive environmental review with the Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessments (EIR/EA).

The EIR/EA worked jointly with the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, Department of Energy and County of Imperial, to meet the ecological requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading on San Diego to get million dollar-solar energy project from the Obama Admin – San Diego County Political Buzz |

Obama asks lawmakers to end oil subsidies to ease gas prices

President Obama released a letter today addressed to the nation’s top four lawmakers, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi, encouraging them to immediately draft legislation to end government subsidies to the oil industry.

The letter pointed out that American families are feeling the pain of surging fuel prices and the need for lawmakers to address the issue immediately.

“The recent steep increase in gas prices, driven by increased global demand and compounded by unrest and supply disruptions in the Middle East, has only added to those struggles,” Obama wrote.

While Obama said there is no “silver bullet” to bring down the cost of fuel in the short term, eliminating unwarranted tax-breaks for oil and gas companies could free up $4 billion per year to invest in alternative energy.

Commodities traders say taking money from oil and gas companies will do only one thing – force companies to pass the cost onto the consumers.

Oil and gas companies continue to face an uphill battle from the Obama Administration when it comes to drilling domestically. Shell Oil is the latest victim of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and will scrap their plans to drill this summer in the Arctic Ocean.

Shell spent five years and roughly $4 billion on their plans only to meet road block after road block from the EPA. Shell paid the government $2.2 billion for the leases only to have the EPA conclude that drilling would be hazardous for people who live in the area. The nearest village is 70 miles off shore and has a population of 245 native Alaskans.

Also a month ago the President came under fire for giving Brazil $2 billion to explore for oil and even said “America will be your best customer.” And more recently the Obama Administration gave Columbia a $2.84 billion loan to expand and build oil refineries in their country.

Obama also claims that CEO’s of the big oil companies stated that high fuel prices means they will make enough profit to invest in domestic exploration and no longer need subsidies.

According to American Petroleum Institute (API) President and CEO Jack Gerard, “It’s no surprise the administration is proposing yet again to raise taxes on the U.S. oil and natural gas industry. But it’s still a bad idea and comes at one of the worst times in our economic history.” He goes on to explain that the industry is among the nation’s largest job creators and pays more than $100 million per DAY in taxes to the government.

More speeches

Last week the President spoke to more than 1,000 students at elite Georgetown University (one of the most expensive colleges in America) and reminded them of his presidential bid when soaring gas prices help secure a White House victory.

“Remember, it was just three years ago that gas prices topped $4 per gallon…You had all kind of gimmicks and outraged politicians – they were waving their three-point plans for $2 a- gallon gas (drill, baby, drill),” Obama told the students.

Today’s letter reaffirmed Obama’s push for reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil that leaves the U.S. vulnerable to price fluctuations.

“Without a comprehensive energy strategy for the future we will stay stuck in the same old pattern of heated political rhetoric when prices rise and apathy and neglect when they fall again,” Obama said.

The President called on lawmakers to focus on a new energy plan and referred to oil-base fuel as “yesterday’s energy sources,” and the need to “invest in tomorrow’s” 21st century clean energy. “That’s the key to helping families avoid pain at the pump and reducing our dependence on foreign oil,” he finished.

One thing is certain, high fuel prices hurt economically-challenged families who are unable to purchase “the green cars” the President often speaks of as the solution to the energy crisis.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading on Obama asks lawmakers to end oil subsidies to ease gas prices – San Diego County Political Buzz |

U.S. taxpayers foot the bill to upgrade Mexican truck emissions

Now that the Obama Administration has okayed the Mexican trucking industries to do business in America, pesky environmentalists want those trucks to operate within U.S. standards. Lucky for the Mexican truckers, the U.S. taxpayer will pick up the tab to upgrade foreign-owned trucks ensuring their emissions meet environmental standards.

According to air-quality regulators, state or federal agencies cannot force trucks purchased and manufactured in Mexico to operate within the much-higher air-quality standards inside the U.S.

So clearly another problem with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) presented itself. However, the folks at the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) decided to implement a new program.

They decided to approach Mexican truck drivers with a compromise, the U.S. taxpayer will pay the approximately $1,600 to install a new catalytic converter that will reduce the harmful diesel emissions by 30 percent and the Mexican truck drivers can drive in the U.S. knowing they are not unnecessarily polluting the environment.

The environmental agency in Arizona simply went to the federal government (who is flush with borrowed cash) and created a new federal grant program. Problem solved- no need to have the Mexican government pay to have the trucks upgraded in order to travel and trade freely in the U.S., nope the taxpayer is happy to pick up the bill.

“It’s about establishing this relationship on environmental issues,” says ADEQ Director Henry Darwin. “It’s especially important on air quality because you can’t stop the air from moving across the border.”

Darwin says the best solution is to use the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) money to fix the Mexican big rigs.

However, independent U.S. truckers are not entitled to the same deal.

“If I don’t pass my smog test I have to pay to fix my truck in order to get it registered,” says Tom Matthews of San Diego. “Not only are these rigs getting taxpayer money to upgrade their trucks, but they are competing with me for work. That’s just plain wrong.”

While Mexico does very little to protect the environment, it remains to be seen if retro fitting their fifth-wheeler trucks will change anything in the grand scheme of things. For example Mexico still burns its trash and the majority of the cars on the road are big-time polluters.

But Darwin contends, “That it’s really the first step.”

Matthews just wishes he could get the same deal.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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