Coal-Based Generation Projected To Increase Nearly 9 Percent in 2013; Worst 5 States for 2012 Coal-Based CO2 Pollution Are TX, FL, PA, IN, OH.
WASHINGTON, DC///May 23, 2013///After a major fall-off in carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution from coal-fired electric power plants of 13.1 percent between 2005 and 2012, the first quarter of 2013 has seen a substantial jump in carbon dioxide emissions from coal – a 7.1 percent increase in the first three months of 2013 compared to the same period last year, according to a new Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) analysis of recent data from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The drop in carbon dioxide emissions between 2005 and 2012 is due in large part to greater reliance on natural gas, the rapid development of wind energy, moderate demand, and the closure of aging coal plants to avoid pollution control requirements.
Global warming emissions from coal-based electricity are projected to continue to increase throughout 2013, as rising natural gas prices encourage more use of coal. The latest projections from the EIA indicate that coal-based generation will increase 8.7 percent this year compared to last, although it is not expected to return to the peak levels of 5 to 10 years ago.
Available online at http://www.environmentalintegrity.org, the EIP report also highlights the five states and power plants that were the worst offenders when it came to CO2 emissions in 2012. Texas emitted the most tons of CO2 in 2012 from its coal-based electricity generation: 251 million tons, virtually unchanged from 2005, and more than twice the amount emitted by electric generators in any other single state. The second worst offender was Florida, followed by Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio. These five states accounted for nearly a third of total CO2 emissions from power plants in the U.S. last year.
Environmental Integrity Project Director Eric Schaeffer said: As natural gas gets more expensive, coal is finding its way back into the U.S. electricity generation picture, and that means higher carbon dioxide emissions. Although power companies plan to retire 45 gigawatts of coal capacity through 2016 due to low natural gas prices, the increased availability of renewables, moderate demand, and the cost of complying with long delayed Clean Air Act rules, a change in just one of those factors (natural gas prices) can encourage plant operators to squeeze more generation out of remaining coal plants.”
The Energy Information Administration projects that natural gas prices will increase about 34 percent above 2012 levels while prices for coal remain flat, making it attractive to power companies with the capacity to switch to cheaper fuels.
Additional highlights of the EIP report include the following:
* With natural gas prices at unusually low levels in 2012, gas-fired generation reached a new height of 1.23 billion megawatt hours in 2012, an increase of more than 60 percent since 2005, while electricity from coal declined nearly 25 percent over the same period.
* Wind powered generation, which releases no greenhouse gas emissions at all, climbed to nearly 141 million megawatt hours in 2012, a more than sevenfold increase from 2005. It is expected to increase an additional 30 percent by 2014.
* Demand for U.S. electricity is expected to increase only about 1 percent according to the EIA, following flat demand over the last seven years.
Schaeffer added: “Natural gas releases about half as much carbon dioxide as coal when burned for electricity, but its price can swing widely and that volatility encourages companies to hang on to dirty and inefficient coal plants. It is time for states who have been slow to embrace energy efficiency or no-carbon renewables like wind and solar to step up if we want to decrease global warming emissions in the long term.”
Additional state-specific findings in the report include the following
* States that still depend on coal emit far more carbon dioxide per megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity generated than those with a more diverse mix of fuels and renewable sources of power. Kentucky was the worst offender in 2012 when it comes to power plants emitting the most carbon dioxide per MWh. It emitted more CO2 than any other state, nearly twice the national average, and more than four times the state-wide emission rate for California’s power plants.
* Second on the list of states emitting the most CO2 per MWh was Wyoming, followed by West Virginia, Indiana and North Dakota.
* The five states with the lowest CO2 emission rates for the amount of electricity produced are: Idaho (lowest), Washington, Vermont, Oregon and Connecticut.
Emissions data was obtained from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Markets Program Database, while net generation data was obtained from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest reports.
The Environmental Integrity Project (http://www.environmentalintegrity.org) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established in March of 2002 by former EPA enforcement attorneys to advocate for effective enforcement of environmental laws. EIP has three goals: 1) to provide objective analyses of how the failure to enforce or implement environmental laws increases pollution and affects public health; 2) to hold federal and state agencies, as well as individual corporations, accountable for failing to enforce or comply with environmental laws; and 3) to help local communities obtain the protection of environmental laws.
Horde of feral cats by Greg Homel
(Washington, D.C., March 29, 2013) Despite public opposition, the Florida legislature is moving towards approving legislation that would authorize the public hoarding of cats by feral cat activists, in the face of potential public health and property value impacts, as well as predicted high mortality for native animals. The cost of cleaning up these areas could also fall on Florida taxpayers.
The Florida House passed H.B. 1121 on Wednesday, March 20 and the Florida Senate Committee on Agriculture is set to vote on S.B. 1320 on Monday, April 1. Both bills remove a significant impediment to public cat hoarding by making it much easier for irresponsible people to dump unwanted cats in hoarding areas without penalty, and by suspending liability for individuals who maintain the hoarding areas.
These public cat hoards are often cited by feral cat activists as an alternative to euthanasia of cats, but given the rate at which cats can reproduce, the result will likely be a rapid increase in Florida’s feral cat problem. Spay/neuter efforts will be unlikely to keep pace with the increase in cat abandonment and reproduction if the legislation were to pass.
The State effort was opposed by American Bird Conservancy (ABC), a leading bird conservation organization; Florida Defenders of Wildlife, a leading Florida wildlife advocacy group; People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (who described the bill as a disaster for cats), and by the Florida Veterinary Medical Association.
“This is shocking. Hoarding of animals in homes is prohibited in most places but we now have Florida encouraging it in public places such as city parks. There is no question that the health of local citizenry – including children - is being put at risk, property values in the hoarding areas will be impacted and local wildlife will continue to be devastated,” said Grant Sizemore, Cats Indoors Program Manager for ABC.
Sizemore pointed out that studies show that 62-80 percent of all feral cats carry the parasite responsible for the very serious blood disorder, toxoplasmosis – a disease of special concern for pregnant mothers. It can be contracted by coming in contact with areas that the cats have defecated on. Even more seriously, cats are also the leading transmitter of rabies among domestic animals in the U.S.
Sizemore pointed out further that: “Even if the threat of serious disease is not off-putting, the fact is that one in five Americans - about 48 million people - engage in birdwatching. None of those people will want to live in an area that has a state-sanctioned cat hoarding area. We continually get calls from people asking what they can do to get rid of the feral cats that kill the wildlife in their backyards that they so enjoy watching. It is not inconceivable that when word gets out to the wildlife community, birdwatchers may begin to avoid Florida as a birding destination with potentially significant economic impacts to small businesses."
Sizemore said that dozens of studies, mostly peer-reviewed and published in scientific journals document both the health and wildlife impacts of the 60 million feral cats and 60 million owned cats that have access to the outdoors. The most recent such study came from scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which named outdoor cats as the single greatest cause of direct, human-caused mortality for birds and mammals. The study, which is described as the most comprehensive analysis of information on the issue of outdoor cat predation, found that bird and mammal mortality caused by outdoor cats is much higher than has been widely reported, with annual bird mortality now estimated to be 1.4 to 3.7 billion and mammal mortality likely 6.9 – 20.7 billion individual animals.
American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. ABC acts by safeguarding the rarest species, conserving and restoring habitats, and reducing threats, while building capacity in the bird conservation movement.
Universal Pictures in association with Relativity Media, Aggregate Films, DumbDumb and Stuber Productions present an R rated, approximately 105 minute, crime, comedy, directed by Seth Gordon, screenplay by Craig Mazin and story by Jerry Eeten with a theater release date of February 8, 2013.
NAPLES, Fla., July 5, 2012 -- Naples, Florida has been a playground for retirees for decades. Now like so many of their generation, another mature couple is following that lead. He was born in South Africa - she in the Netherlands.
These world travelers later met in the United States. Now they're coming to Naples to enjoy a tropical retirement. But don't think you'll find this couple in the slow lane:
they're the fastest land animals on Earth. On July 7, 2012, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is welcoming two older cheetahs to live out their golden years in the historic botanical garden and nationally accredited zoo.
Long known for their husbandry expertise with felids, Naples Zoo was chosen over other well-known institutions to care for these mature cats. In the Serengeti, a male cheetah lives an average of just over 5 years. Outside the wild, a cheetah can double or triple that lifespan. The Zoo's two new cheetahs are already 12 and 13 years old!
With a limited number of cheetahs in the nation, there were many choices for where these two could live. "Southwest Florida can be proud the Species Survival Plan(R) selected our nationally accredited facility for their care," stated Naples Zoo's Executive Director David Tetzlaff. "Our staff looks forward to welcoming these elegant cats."
Their new home is in the northern gardens in a modified habitat with glass viewing walls. Along with lounging in grassy open spaces or resting under shady trees including a historic Red Cedar, the cheetahs will also enjoy sitting atop a small hill like ones seen on the African veldt.
Cheetahs are well known for their speed and can run faster than 100 feet a second. That's an end zone to end zone touchdown in 3 seconds! But this speed comes at a cost.
Their respiratory rate climbs to 150 breaths per minute, while heat production skyrockets more than fiftyfold. Unable to disperse the heat, cheetahs must catch their prey in about 300 yards - if not, they go hungry.
Cheetahs are also fast eaters. And they need to be. Their lithe build is no match for scavenging lions, leopards, and hyenas. Besides stealing a meal, these predators will kill adult cheetahs and their cubs. In some areas nearly three-quarters of cubs die in the first 8 weeks of life - before they even leave the den. On average in East Africa, a mother is able to rear less than 2 cubs to independence in her entire lifetime. To help cheetahs in the wild, the Naples Zoo supports the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia.
Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization cooperating in conservation programs both in and outside the wild for endangered species including offering guests a full day of fun presentations and wild cruise through islands of monkeys, lemurs, and apes. More at www.napleszoo.org or www.facebook.com/napleszoo.
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THOUSANDS DEMAND ST. PETERSBURG POLICE STOP SHOOTING DOGS
Explosive campaign on Change.org calls on St. Petersburg Police Department to immediately adopt non-lethal standard operating procedures for canine encounters in wake of tragic shooting of 12-year-old family pet.
WASHINGTON, DC – More than 3,000 people have joined a popular campaign on Change.org calling on the police department in St. Petersburg, Florida, to stop using lethal force on dogs.
Nancy Smith, a member of the volunteer group Hand4Paws, launched the campaign on Change.org after hearing that a St. Petersburg police officer had shot and killed Boomer, a 12-year-old arthritic golden retriever owned by couple Roy and Lauren Glass. Smith had been taking action online for animals for more than two years, but because of her own senior golden retriever, Boomer’s story felt even more personal, inspiring her to start the petition on Change.org. Boomer was only the latest in a series of dog killings by the St. Petersburg police.
“Seven dogs have been shot by St. Petersburg officers this year,” said Smith. “In just a few weeks, more than 3,000 people have signed our online petition campaign on Change.org. The animal community is extremely passionate and thousands more worldwide are sure to join if the police don’t stop this deadly trend by immediately improving their officers’ training on dog handling techniques and adopting a clear policy that lethal force should only be used as a last resort.”
The campaign is in support of Boomer’s owners, Roy and Lauren Glass, who want to see their local police department change the way it deals with dogs.
“The grief is real, severe, and continuing, passing from sorrow to anger,” said Roy Glass. “With the help of others, we established the ”Boomer’s Voice” Facebook page and a campaign on Change.org to improve pet handling in police training and education and to sponsor and promote legislation to provide a means of statutory redress for the deliberate or reckless injury of killing of pets by others. Many fine and caring people from all walks of life have joined in our effort.”
“What these pet lovers have accomplished in just a few days is remarkable,” said Director of Organizing Stephanie Feldstein of Change.org, the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change. “By using social media and Change.org, Nancy and Hand4Paws have managed to recruit thousands of people demanding action from the St. Petersburg Police Department. Change.org is about empowering anyone, anywhere to demand action on the issues that matter to them, and it has been incredible to watch Nancy’s campaign take off.”
The U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services Office recently issued a publication on dog-related police incidents, stating that “the use of a weapon is seldom required in dog-related incidents or encounters.”
Live signature totals from Nancy Smith’s campaign:
St. Petersburg Times coverage of the campaign:
For more information on Hand4Paws, please visit:
Hand4Paws is a group of world wide animal activists that use social media to promote animal rights and fight for animal welfare. Hand4Paws informs the rest of the world and brings together people that take action and give a voice to the animals. All work is done on a volunteer basis, just people who truly care.
For more information on Change.org, please visit:
Change.org is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by more than 400,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.
Melbourne, Florida – National Solar Power today announced, after a deliberative, exhaustive and comprehensive search process, it has narrowed its list to four communities in Florida to become the home of the world’s largest solar farm. The announcement means Gadsden, Hardee, Osceola and Suwannee counties are in the running to host the landmark $1.5 billion renewable energy project.
“We have been impressed by all of the communities we have considered. After careful consideration, we’ve determined the Sunshine State will provide the most attractive site for our first solar project,” said National Solar Power CEO James Scrivener. “Our friends in Georgia and North Carolina were deeply interested in this project. The communities we have visited and considered in those states remain viable options for our company’s growth plans in the future.”
In June, the company announced seven communities (including the Florida counties along with Sumter and Tatnall counties in Georgia and Guilford County in North Carolina) were in the running to become home of the world’s largest solar farm.
The company established a set of criteria in selecting its community partner for the solar farm location including:
- Finding ideal available sites with adequate supply of undeveloped land that can properly meet infrastructure needs related to the establishment of the solar facility;
- Receiving appropriate business, government and community support;
- Qualifying for appropriate economic development and tax incentives; and
- Access to a qualified work force.
“All of the communities we have considered would make excellent homes for the kind of solar project we will establish,” Scrivener added. “The communities in North Carolina and Georgia are great places with excellent opportunities for success. That’s why we will keep our talks with them ongoing as we consider the future growth of our company and this exciting solar industry.”
The first phase of the project is expected to be up and running within six months of breaking ground. Hensel Phelps Construction Co., a world leader in construction that rebuilt the Pentagon after the 9-11 attacks in 2001, will design, build and operate the solar farms for National Solar Power.
By converting the natural power of the sun into electricity, National Solar Power’s planned 400-megawatt farm will be capable of providing enough renewable energy to power roughly 32,000 homes.
National Solar Power was established to meet the growing demand in the utility market for renewable energy generation by providing utilities with cost-effective solar solutions. The company has entered into power supply agreements for more than 3,000 megawatts of solar farms in the Southeastern United States. With these agreements, the company is well positioned to be a market leader in utility-scale solar production.
A market leader in utility scale solar power solutions, National Solar Power is uniquely positioned within the marketplace to offer cost effective solar power solutions on the utility scale. With more than 30 years of industry experience, National Solar Power’s founders have been involved in the solar and utility energy marketplace and witnessed renewable energy gaining in popularity and affordability. National Solar Power has executed power supply agreements for more than 3,000 Megawatts of Solar Farms in the Southeastern United States. Learn more about National Solar Power at www.natlsolar.com.
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NEW YORK, NY--The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals®), at the request of the Humane Society of the United States and Alachua
County Animal Services in Alachua County, Fla., is collecting and documenting
forensic evidence of more than 500 cats found living in deplorable conditions at
a so-called ‘sanctuary.’
A search warrant was executed early June 7 by the Alachua County Sheriff’s
Department at the Haven Acres Cat Sanctuary near High Springs, Fla., north of
Gainesville, to seize the animals due to evidence of cruelty and neglect.
The cats were housed in unsanitary wire pens dotting the eight-acre property.
They are being transferred to an emergency shelter where they will be examined
further by veterinarians and receive any necessary medical care. Responders say
many of the cats are underweight and appear to be suffering from medical
ailments such as upper respiratory infections and parasite infections.
The ASPCA deployed its forensic team, which includes Dr. Jason Byrd, education
director of the University of Florida/ASPCA Veterinary Forensic Sciences Program
in Gainesville; Amanda Fitch, ASPCA forensic analyst at the University of
Florida's Maples Center for Forensic Medicine; and Lerah Sutton, ASPCA forensic
science fellow at the Maples Center. They are mapping cats’ locations, assisting
veterinarians in documenting wounds and overall conditions of the cats, and
removing any deceased cats for necropsies. Dr. Julie Levy, also of the
University of Florida, is on scene providing emergency veterinary treatment for
Also on the scene is the ASPCA’s fully equipped “Mobile Animal Crime Scene
Investigation (CSI)” unit, a specially-designed vehicle outfitted with
state-of-the-art forensics tools and medical equipment tailored for animal
patients. The ASPCA’s Subaru Outback, a donation from Subaru of America, Inc.,
has also been deployed to transport vaccines and other medical support.
The seizure of the cats is the result of an investigation initiated by Alachua
County Animal Services following tips that animals were being neglected and
living in cruel conditions. According to its web site, the sanctuary was
established in 2003 by “three individuals driven by a strong desire to help the
many stray, feral, and unwanted cats in Alachua County.”
The HSUS and UAN (United Animal Nations) will provide ongoing, daily care for
the animals until their custody is decided in an upcoming disposition hearing.
Other groups assisting include The Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the
University of Florida (on-scene and continued medical treatment) and PetSmart
Charities (donations of food and much-needed supplies).
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty
to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and
serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters
strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of
cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit
corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty,
community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered
in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic
outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking
veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information,
please visit www.aspca.org.
To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/aspca.
To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to http://www.twitter.com/aspca.