Monday, March 26, 2007

Energy news quick clicks

  • U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns just announced the availability of $176.5 million in loan guarantees and $11.4 million in grants to support investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements by agricultural producers and small businesses. The program was established under the 2002 Farm Bill. Grant applications must be submitted to the appropriate USDA Rural Development state office by May 18. Loan applications and loan/grant combinations are due by July 2.
  • Institutional investors like Merrill Lynch and Calpers have asked Congress to pass rules cutting global warming pollution 60-90 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. "To tap American ingenuity and drive business to a leadership position in the low-carbon future, we need regulations to enable the markets to deploy capital and spur innovation," said Fred Buenrostro, chief executive officer at Calpers.
  • The Associated Press reports that high demand for corn to produce ethanol is driving up the cost of livestock. Corn is a major animal feed and will raise prices for beef, pork, and chicken, according to the USDA.
  • Canadian business leaders are stepping up efforts to reduce carbon dioxide pollution. CEOs from the nation's leading companies have formed the Environmental Leadership Initiative and appointed a task force to develop a plan for national emissions reductions. Critics include the Sierra Club, who question whether any real changes will be made with one-third of the task force representing the fossil fuel industry.

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