Tuesday, October 30, 2012
1. The first U.S. Tar Sands project approved
The Utah Division of Water Quality ("the Division") issued U.S. Oil Sands Inc., a Calgary-based Canadian mining company approval to mine oil sands in Book Cliffs, Utah. However, the Division does not require the company to first obtain a permit for groundwater pollution monitoring or a pollution permit. The decision has been challenged by two environmental groups, Living Rivers and Western Resources Advocates, but has thus far been rejected by an Administrative Judge, who has rejected the claims by petitioners. A report on this issue is available here and the order of the judge is available here.
2. Germany's Problem of Excess Renewable Energy and NIMBY
Germany faces a unique problem--during high winds, its wind power generators generate so much energy that they cannot store that they send to their neighbors-the Czech Republic and Poland. However, the two nations are unable to deal with the overload and have decided to disconnect the grids to avoid power outage from surge overflows. This an entirely different problem, which points to the critical need for law and policy to promote renewable technology. A report is available here.