Biofuel

Trash trucks powered by trash gas reduce emissions by 80-90 percent

Waste Management Inc. owns 1,000 trash trucks that run on natural gas, plus a bunch of landfills that are constantly pumping out natural gas as a natural product of the decomposition of organic waste. Closing the loop on this cycle is a no-brainer, but it took Waste Management a decade to perfect the technology required. Now they’ve got trash trucks that run on gas from the trash they carry.

Critical List: $6 billion ethanol subsidy to end; Wyoming wolves screwed by Senate politics

The Senate is ending a $6 billion subsidy program for ethanol; anti-ethanol food and environmental groups say it's "not a perfect comprise" but that they're "encouraged" by the step. Carbon captured from coal plants can feed biofuel-producing algae. Which is awesome because nobody else wants to eat it. Put that tuna burger down! Overfishing could extinguish five out of eight tuna species.

Critical List: Republicans plan to defund the environment; no one likes the EPA

House Republicans want to defund all kinds of environmental activity -- the EPA, the Department of the Interior, the Forest Service. You know, just anything having to do with the outside. And the USDA thinks that bioengineered bluegrass doesn't fall within its regulatory sphere, which means companies could grow the stuff without any regulation. Exposing mice to air pollution makes them dumber and more depressed. So it's probably good for everyone that the EPA is putting new regulations on coal-fired power plants that should reduced emissions of sulfur dioxide by 73 percent and nitrogen oxides by 54 percent from 2005 levels. Should Republicans succeed in cutting the agency’s budget yet again, this action could be little more than an empty gesture, though.

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