Archive

Posts Tagged ‘environment’

American-made steel is cleaner than steel made in China

April 22nd, 2009 1 comment

Happy Earth Day!

Since today is Earth Day I thought I would share in something that is near and dear to my heart, Steel.  As a product of the American Middle Class and third generation of Steel Mill Workers in Birmingham lets just say the post below is a hot topic for me. China’s Pollution Problem

Growing up in a state that has weak environmental laws that barely expand the basic laws the Federal Environmental Agency demands has always been issue for my community.  We have come a long way and still have further to go.  But one country is not doing its share of keeping the environment clean.

American Steel is Cleaner than Chinese Steel

TreeHugger’s John Chamber’s has reported on AAM’s recent study of China’s steel industry.  Chambers notes that steel production in China creates 5 times more sulfer dioxide, 18 times more particulate matter and 3 times more nitrogen oxides per ton of steel than that of production in the United States.

graphic comparing china to us steel production.jpg

Moreover, carbon emissions for each ton made in China are twice that of their American counterparts. The American steel industry has worked hard to cut their environmental footprint. The reduction of greenhouse gases means industry has surpassed Kyoto target by 240%. Plus, the Chinese companies can expect smaller fines for non-compliance of environmental standards for the iron-based resource from their centralized governments. The maximum fine in China is $14,000.00 compared to $450,000.00 in the United States.

Read the report.

Steel isn’t the only thing China is polluting with. You might want to Check out what the Brits are saying about pollution in China too.  Somewhere else too look is the Australian’s chatter on the topic.

A 2007 New York Times Article puts the pollution in Bejing in Perspective:

As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

No country in history has emerged as a major industrial power without creating a legacy of environmental damage that can take decades and big dollops of public wealth to undo.

But just as the speed and scale of China’s rise as an economic power have no clear parallel in history, so its pollution problem has shattered all precedents. Environmental degradation is now so severe, with such stark domestic and international repercussions, that pollution poses not only a major long-term burden on the Chinese public but also an acute political challenge to the ruling Communist Party. And it is not clear that China can rein in its own economic juggernaut.

Public health is reeling. Pollution has made cancer China’s leading cause of death, the Ministry of Health says. Ambient air pollution alone is blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Nearly 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water.

Chinese cities often seem wrapped in a toxic gray shroud. Only 1 percent of the country’s 560 million city dwellers breathe air considered safe by the European Union. read more…

With all the problems China is inflicting on the world, why not buy American Steel?

$1 Gallon Gas by 2009

December 6th, 2008 No comments

Oil Executive Joe Petrowski, CEO of Gulf Oil is predicting $1 a gallon gas in early 2009.  In an article at TheBostonChannel.com shares a perspective on the oil & gas industry.  Petrowski stated that the industry often overreacts. Read more about the Gulf Oil wholesaler’s statements.

Though my pocket will certainly enjoy the break in fuel prices, but gas prices this low will effect American Crude oil prices.  Oil and Gas producers likely can’t afford to produce at rates that low long-term.  I don’t want to give out any ideas – some company’s may not be able to weather the cost of production – thus creating another gap.  With prices so low the “Drill-Baby-Drill” days of Sarah Palin wont be feasible.

I’m not saying raise prices of fuel – I am pointing out the cost of inflation.  Also I would like to point out the obvious that when Wall-Street and the Auto Industry get bailed out the Oil and Gas industry will be next.  Just when hope is insight the real work has just begun.  I am no economist but throwing money at Wall-Street and the Auto Industry is only part of the solution – some fundamental change has to be made. When in times of peril we turn to the Government to solve the problem – to paraphrase Sharat (@ravehead) – “recovery will not come from expensive/shiny titles, but from the ranks”.

Ireland Cars Go Green: 10% All Electric by 2020

December 1st, 2008 3 comments

With reports of Gas Prices Dropping Ireland Announces that by 2020 10% of cars will be all electric.  Businesses will be able to write off 100% of the cost in taxes.  Though gas prices are dropping it still isn’t stopping European law makers from making dramatic changes in the environmental policy.  The change will have a high cost with changes to infrastructure to handle the increase in electric vehicles as well as a decrease in revenue growth from petroleum.

According to Gas2.org:

The Irish government has announced radical plans to introduce more than 250,000 electric cars onto the nation’s roads by 2020, a staggering ten percent of the total vehicles in the country.

If the scheme is successful, Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI), the state energy agency, estimates an annual cut in CO2 emissions of around 350,000 tonnes. Transport currently accounts for more than a third of Ireland’s carbon emissions, higher than any other sector.

Under the plan, launched last week, businesses will be eligible to join an Accelerated Capital Allowance Scheme, allowing them to claim a 100 percent tax write-off when they convert their fleet to EVs.

However, officials are under no illusions over the scale of the challenge to wean the country’s drivers off their dependence on fossil fuels. According to SEI chair Brendan Halligan, “We will need to alter our attitudes towards electric vehicles and accept that there is no other way forward.”

The Irish scheme follows earlier news of a German plan to introduce one million EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles over the next eleven years.

As a supplement to the article above the Irish Examiner reported this:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

More than 250,000 electric cars to grace roads by 2020

By Seán McCárthaigh

MORE than 250,000 electric cars will be on Irish roads by the end of the next decade.

And, in an incentive to have 10% of all Irish-registered vehicles powered by electricity by 2020, the Government will be offering a 100% tax write-off to businesses.

Energy Minister Eamon Ryan yesterday expressed confidence the new tax allowances could see Ireland become a major test centre for car manufacturers.

The incentives come under the Accelerated Capital Allowance Scheme, designed to encourage firms to switch to more energy-efficient equipment.

A special taskforce is also being established which will examine the infrastructure necessary for a national roll-out of electric vehicles, especially the availability of battery-charging facilities.

The state energy agency, Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI), is also to set up a €1 million project to research, develop and promote the use of electric vehicles, including public demonstrations of electric cars.

SEI has also published a buyer’s guide and developed a calculator to help motorists estimate the cost of switching from petrol and diesel models.

However, an SEI report published last May revealed there are few immediate economic benefits for motorists to change to electric or hybrid cars due to their high purchase cost, even though they cut down on CO2 emissions and have lower running costs.

SEI estimates CO2 levels in the Republic could be cut by 350,000 tonnes if the target of 10% of car-owners switch to electric models over the next few years.

Transport accounts for 35% of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions — the largest of any sector including industry and private households.

SEI chair Brendan Halligan admitted a significant amount of work was still necessary for electric cars to gain widespread acceptance. “We will need to alter our attitudes towards electric vehicles and accept that there is no other way forward,” he said.

Mr Ryan, who jointly announced details of the new plans with Transport Minister Noel Dempsey said the Government expected considerable international investment to result from the new plan which would also help Ireland reduce its annual €6bn bill for fossil fuels.

But Fine Gael’s energy spokesperson Simon Coveney criticised the Government’s plans, claiming the 10% target for electric cars by 2020 was unambitious and inadequate.

“It is both feasible and realistic to aspire to achieve the complete replacement of petrol and diesel engine driven cars with electric vehicles within 15 years,” said Mr Coveney.

He pointed out that other countries had already set such targets.

Also interesting, also from Gas2.org, “In a conference on the future of electric transportation, the German government has detailed a major plan to put one million electric and plug-in hybrid cars on the country’s roads within the next 11 years.”