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FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | July 11, 2013
The present and former owners of a Hagerstown cement plant have agreed to pay a $700,000 fine and beef up emission controls at the facility to settle alleged air pollution violations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday. The proposed federal court consent decree requires Holcim Inc. to install "advanced pollution controls" at the Hagerstown manufacturing facility, which employs about 100 workers. The company, based in Waltham, Mass., also pledged to spend at least $150,000 on replacing an outdated piece of plant equipment with one that emits less pollution.
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NEWS
June 19, 2013
Regarding Gov. Martin O'Malley's decision to petition the EPA fuel standards on behalf of the Carnival Cruise Line, I urge Carnival to move its operations from Baltimore to Beijing or Somalia ("O'Malley lobbies EPA on fuel rules," June 16). Maryland doesn't need to suck up to any corporation trying to pull off an economic development blackmail scheme on it. It's also clear that the United States doesn't need a future president who is so quick to compromise the state and nation's well being in the name of a big polluter and political contributor.
NEWS
June 11, 2013
The latest word on climate change is not good — world emissions of carbon dioxide from energy use rose 1.4 percent last year to set a new record, according to the International Energy Agency. At this pace, the agency reports, global temperatures could rise a startling 9 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, which would be disastrous for all nations. And yet this latest report has received minimal attention in the United States, at least outside the climate science community and its usual advocates.
NEWS
By James Lilliefors | April 8, 2013
Last December, an American milestone passed virtually unnoticed. Forty years earlier, Harrison Schmitt became the 12th and last person to walk on the moon. Mr. Schmitt and the 11 men who preceded him - beginning with Neil Armstrong in 1969 - had this in common: All were employees of the United States government. Some have argued that sending men to the moon may not have been the most prudent use of American resources or ingenuity. But the realization of President John F. Kennedy's dream of a U.S. moon walk before the end of the 1960s became a symbol of the scientific and imaginative leadership of this country and what Kennedy termed our "freedom doctrine" during the Cold War. Now, the United States has an opportunity, even an obligation, to mobilize its resources and knowhow to achieve a more practical, and pressing, end. Increasingly under siege by destructive and deadly weather events - wrought, many scientists believe, by man-made climate change - we need to make a national commitment to weather research, including the fields of geo-engineering, weather modification and storm mitigation.
NEWS
April 1, 2013
It isn't hard to recognize an example of false economy in the average household budget. The vegetable gardener who spends $500 on supplies to produce $12 in produce, the inexpensive home repair that falls apart in a month or the avid shopper who saves $5 online but pays an extra $20 in shipping and handling. Yet for some reason many of us are blind to the false economy of providing gasoline at the cheapest price possible regardless of its impact on our lives and society. To put it bluntly, humans have been subsidizing the cost of gas by accepting - without direct charge - the air pollution gas-burning vehicles generate.
NEWS
February 9, 2013
Mike Tidwell is correct that the evidence for global climate change is indisputable and that carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels and alterations in the earth's ecosystems is the primary cause ("Forecast calls for pain," Feb. 6). Since the carbon already in the atmosphere will persist for a thousand years, we must stop and not merely reduce greenhouse gas emissions if we are to stabilize the current status. I agree that society must put a price on carbon dioxide emissions for the universal harm they do. In so doing, as the price increases, clean, non-carbon energy sources will become competitive in the marketplace.
FEATURES
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | February 7, 2013
A consortium of Northeastern states including Maryland has agreed to reset a power plant emissions cap to current levels and to tighten it annually starting in 2015, an action officials said would increase investment in energy efficiency and slightly raise electricity prices, besides cutting pollution. The change amounts to a 45 percent reduction in the cap's ceiling, which has far exceeded actual pollution levels because of improved energy efficiency, increased renewable power generation, mild weather and the slumping economy.
NEWS
February 7, 2013
For all the hysteria generated by climate-change deniers over how reducing greenhouse gas emissions would be disastrous for consumers and the economy, Maryland and the other eight states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative are demonstrating that it isn't. The decision announced today to lower the cap on carbon dioxide by nearly 45 percent in those states should send a clear message to Washington that cap-and-trade can work. Since 2009, Maryland has been part of the RGGI coalition that limits greenhouse gas emissions by coal-fired power plants.
FEATURES
Laurel Peltier and Guest blogger | January 18, 2013
What if you could be greener and save money at the same time? Well, you can.  By switching your home's power to “green” electricity, you can reduce your household's contribution to climate change by 24 percent while also shrinking your utility bills. So what?  Though electricity changed the world for the positive, its big downside is that most U.S. power plants are powered by coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel that spews carbon dioxide (CO¿), sulfur dioxide and mercury into the air. Power plants are the #1 source of man-made CO2 emissions in the U.S., accounting for 41 percent.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | January 7, 2013
The Maryland Public Service Commission said Monday that it will give energy customers a choice on smart meters, but it hasn't decided yet whether to allow a total opt-out or to make the alternative a smart meter installed in a way to limit radio-frequency emissions. "Although we have not found convincing evidence that smart meters pose any health risks to the public at large, we acknowledge a good-faith belief on the part of some ratepayers to the contrary," the commission said in its order.
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