BP Oil Spill Update & Proposed American Power Act Announced

Posted on May 14th, 2010 by

The proposed American Power Act is introduced, a new containment structure has been deployed to try and stop the oil leak in the Gulf and the first tissue brand to use 100 percent Green-e certified renewable electricity has been identified.

Senators John Kerry & Joe Lieberman introduced a much anticipated energy and climate change bill that’s focused on curbing US greenhouse gas emissions and alter the way Americans look at the energy consumption. The bill pushes for expanded nuclear power production, incentives cleaner coal, money for the development of additional alternative energy sources and programs that will help the US move to low-carbon economy. The carbon initiatives have received much of the attention because the bill calls for an emissions reduction from 2005 levels of 17% by 2020, 42% by 2030 and 83% by 2050. A greenhouse gas tax was included in the legislation but, if passed, wouldn’t come into effect until 2016.

While many are skeptical about the chances that this bill passes the Senate before the congressional elections in November, the announcement was made to keep the efforts at the forefront of all energy debates. So stay tuned for continuing developments.

The oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is still a thorn in the administration’s side as efforts to stop the pipeline from sending 210,000 gallons of crude oil into the Gulf every day have continued. With the first containment dome operation on pause, a new “top-hat” oil containment device has been lowered to the sea floor. The new structure is much smaller than the 40 story 100ton containment done. This one stands a 5-foot-tall, 4-foot-diameter structure, weighs less than 2 tons. The hope is that this new structure will keep most of the water out during the capping process which would allow engineers to pump in methanol to keep the ice-like hydrate crystals from forming.

Cascades Tissue Group, the fourth largest producer of tissue paper in North America has announced that they have signed a new wind energy production agreement which will allow the company to offset 100 percent of the electricity used to manufacture its North River line of commercial towel and tissue products. This makes Cascades the first tissue brand to use 100% Green-e certified renewable electricity for one of its product lines. So the additional annual purchase 20,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of Green-e certified renewable energy credits will reduce the company’s indirect carbon emissions by over 43 million pounds which is an equivalent to taking 3,745 cars off the road each year. The wind energy credits will be sourced from the Charles City Wind Farm located in northern Iowa.

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