Obama Vows to Side with EPA on Energy Tax Bill

Posted on April 11th, 2011 by

Obama Will not Pass Energy Tax Prevention Act

President Obama has vowed to veto the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011 if it manages to pass through the Senate. The Act, already gone through the House vote, aims to curb EPA power over the Clean Air Act that allows the agency to tax carbon dioxide emissions. Proponents of the Energy Tax Prevention Act claim the EPA’s regulations cost Americans their jobs and unnecessary expenses on behalf of businesses. Those who support the EPA’s authority to tax greenhouse gas emission say it is a vital function of the Clean Air Act and such regulation is necessary to contain climate change.


GE Goes from Solar Investor to Manufacturer

GE announced the company’s intentions to build the largest solar panel factory in the United States by 2013. The factory will be capable of producing panels worth 400-MW of electricity per year. Although the factory is not yet under constructions, customers are already lined up such as NextEra Energy, who plans to buy 60-MW worth of the thin-film cadmium telluride panels. Although the panels are less efficient compared to conventional panels with an efficiency rate of 16-20 percent, they are cheaper to produce, making them attractive to developers.


Concrete Boom Pumps Headed for Japanese Nuclear Plants

Two of the world’s largest concrete boom pumps are on their way to Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant to help keep the nuclear reactors cool. The pumps departed from Los Angeles International Airport and Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport on Russian Antonov cargo jets, one of the world’s largest aircrafts. Each pump weighs approximately 190,000 pounds and can reach over 227 feet. The machines are typically used to pour concrete for bridges and high-rises and they will provide accurate reach to hotspot in the reactors. Furthermore, the pumps can operate from 1.2 miles away, keeping the operator safe from exposure. Eleven such pumps, also made by Putzmeister, were sent to contain the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.


World’s First Fuel Cell Olympics this Week

The first-ever A World in Motion Fuel Cell Olympics will be held this Thursday, April 14, during the SAE International 2011 World Congress in Detroit, Michigan. Sponsored by the GM Foundation, the Fuel Cell Olympics invite student teams to compete in several events using small car models powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The technology used in the cars will be available to educators and young engineers to promote clean energy.  Basically, distilled water is the source of the fuel and a reversible fuel cell electrolyzes the water to separate H2 molecules that power the electric motor. Distance, weight, accuracy and speed will all be judged during the various events.


Chu Increases Funding for SunShot

Secretary Steven Chu increased the previously announced $110 million toward the SunShot Initiative to $170 million. The project aims to reduce the cost of solar energy systems by 75 percent until it is closer to $1 per watt before 2020. Advancing energy grid integration, increasing research and development and discovering new materials for PV panels will all help lowering the costs.




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