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Friday Finds: Fib, Baby, Fib

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28 April 2011, 3:41 PM
filthy biomass, Googling the environment, MIA oil
More than one million barrels of spilled oil is still unaccounted for in the Gulf.

Drilling more won’t make summer vacation cheaper
Summer is near, which means that trips to the beach and to baseball games, and a fresh round of “drill, baby, drill” are all just around the corner, but that last item won’t make the first two any cheaper to get to, reports CNN Money. That’s because even if we ramped up oil production, the amount would pale in comparison to worldwide consumption. In addition, OPEC would just cut production to offset the extra oil. As oil analyst Tom Kloza told CNN, “It's a simplistic way of looking for a solution that doesn't exist,” adding, “This drill drill drill thing is tired.” We agree.

One million barrels of BP oil still MIA
One year after the BP oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, more than a million barrels of oil remain lost at sea, reports Scientific American. Burning, dispersing, microbe-eating and evaporating have taken care of much of the oil, but it’s anyone’s guess where the rest of it is. Sadly though, one million barrels is just a drop in the bucket for the Gulf coast region, which experiences spills on a monthly, if not daily, basis. Find out how Earthjustice is working to hold these repeat offenders accountable.

Google buys the environment
Google is getting into the green business, and, like all things Google, it’s doing so in a big way. Last week, Google committed to a 20-year contract to buy electricity from a wind farm in Oklahoma, reports Grist. This latest green venture comes on the heels of the company’s announcements to put millions of dollars into a solar plant project and $100 million towards the world’s largest wind farm. It looks like Google is intent on following its unofficial motto, “Don’t be evil.”  

Green energy may not be that clean
Biomass, which includes everything from agricultural waste to manure and is often touted as a renewable energy source, may be fouling the air and harming health, reports the Center for Public Integrity. The Environmental Protection Agency considers biomass to be a renewable energy source that’s carbon-neutral, but burning these materials in power plants can emit toxic pollutants like nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide, though it's not nearly as much as coal plants emit. So far, pollution from biomass plants is not regulated under the Clean Air Act, something that environmental groups are trying to change. Until then, claims that biomass is clean and green may be, well, full of crap.

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