Environment

Environment
11:00 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Energy Talk Rescheduled

Former Assistant Secretary for Policy in the U.S. Department of Energy Sue Tierney was scheduled to speak in Louisville tonight at 6:30, but bad weather on the east coast has forced a cancellation.

I spoke with Tierney last week about sustainable energy, as well as coal’s future in the United States’ energy mix and differences between Chinese and American energy policies.

Environment
5:30 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

High Ozone Levels Expected This Weekend

Louisville Metro Government has issued the season’s first air quality alert .

The threshold for calling an alert is 101 on the Air Quality Index, which measures air pollution on a scale of 0 to 500. The ozone level is forecasted to be 104 this weekend.

APCD spokesman Tom Nord says the weather, rather than unexpected pollution, prompted this weekend’s alert.

Environment
11:30 am
Fri May 18, 2012

EPA Releases Results of Soil Testing to Black Leaf Chemical Site Neighbors

A sign on the fence surrounding the former Black Leaf Chemical site in Louisville's Park Hill neighborhood.
Erica Peterson WFPL

The Environmental Protection Agency has sent letters to homeowners in Louisville’s Park Hill neighborhood who live near the former Black Leaf Chemical site and had their soil tested earlier this year.

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Environment
11:14 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Former Federal Energy Official Says U.S. Needs a Balanced Energy Mix

Coal-producing states like Kentucky are warily eying federal regulations that have begun moving the country away from fossil fuels.

Even so, Sue Tierney says she thinks coal will be around for awhile, though it will be cleaner and make up less of the nation’s energy mix. Tierney was the Assistant Secretary for Policy in the U.S. Department of Energy under President Bill Clinton. She’s giving a talk on what she calls “sustainable energy” in both the U.S. and China next week.

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Environment
2:33 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Air Pollution Control District Plans to Revisit Permit Fees Soon

Louisville’s Air Pollution Control District is considering raising the fees industries pay for certain types of permits.

Many of the fees companies pay to the Air Pollution Control District are based on the tons of various pollutants they emit every year. But as both technology advances and tightening federal regulations reduce air pollution, Louisville’s air is getting cleaner and the fees paid to the district are getting smaller.

District Spokesman Tom Nord says that’s a ‘good news, bad news’ situation for the agency.

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Environment
5:31 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Task Force Recommends Gradual Merger Between MSD, Louisville Water

A task force commissioned to study Louisville’s utilities is recommending a gradual merger between the Metropolitan Sewer District and the Louisville Water Company. The group issued its recommendations to Mayor Greg Fischer today.

Fischer ordered the analysis after a state audit of MSD showed egregious waste and inefficiencies. The group was tasked with studying the operations of Louisville Water, MSD and Metro Public Works and identifying ways the entities could collaborate.

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Environment
3:05 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

Coal's Share of U.S. Electricity Generation Continues to Decrease

The federal government has released its short-term energy outlook, and the news isn’t good for coal.

This time last year, about 44 percent of America’s electricity was generated from coal. Now, that share has fallen to 36 percent. The news was predictably rosy for natural gas: low prices and increased environmental controls on coal mean more plants are burning gas, and natural gas has continued to expand its generation share.

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Environment
5:15 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Facing Federal Action, Kentucky Moves to Increase Reclamation Bonds for Surface Mines

Coal companies will have to pay more to mine coal in Kentucky under new regulations issued by the Energy and Environment cabinet. The state took action after the federal government threatened to take over the state's surface mining program.

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Environment
7:00 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Utility Task Force Hasn't Ruled Out Potential Merger Between MSD, Louisville Water

The utility task force studying a potential collaboration between the Metropolitan Sewer District, Louisville Water Company and Metro Public Works is nearing the end of its work.

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Environment
6:15 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Paper Argues Energy Prices Should Reflect External Costs

A new paper by a progressive think tank argues energy prices are too low. The authors examine the external costs that result from different fuels and conclude that the country’s energy mix would change if consumers were forced to pay more.

The paper lays out the case for more expensive energy, arguing that ratepayers aren’t paying for the external costs of fossil fuels when they flip a light switch or fill up at the pump.

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