1. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist Barbara Mahler speaking on Capitol Hill about PAH pollution in urban lakes. Several polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are probable human carcinogens and they are toxic to fish and other aquatic life. New USGS findings show that coal tar-based pavement sealant is a much larger source of PAHs to urban lakes than previously identified sources, such as vehicle emissions, used motor oil, and tire particles. Additionally, levels of PAHs in the dust of residences adjacent to parking lots with coal tar-based sealants are about 25 times higher than in the dust of residences near other surface types. # The District of Columbia; City of Austin, Texas; Dane County, Wisconsin; and several municipalities in Minnesota have banned the sale and use of coal tar-based products. On April 13, 2011, the Washington State Senate passed what is likely to become the first statewide ban on the use and sale of coal tar sealants. More information is available at http://www.eesi.org/041411_pah

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  2. Experts speaking on Capitol Hill about regulatory and policy issues affecting the nation's electric power system. Investment in electric transmission infrastructure is among the nation's highest energy priorities because a strong grid facilitates development of alternative generation resources, promotes a liquid wholesale power market with minimal congestion and market power, improves reliability and energy security, and advances energy independence overall. The nation is likely to invest more than $300 billion in electric transmission during the next 20 years. By delving into the operation and regulation of the grid and the interstate flows of electricity it supports, the briefing was designed to provide a foundation for discussions about cost responsibility, land use issues, transmission planning, integration of variable renewable energy resources, and other issues that are becoming more important to the future of the power industry. More information is available at http://www.eesi.org/040711_transmission

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  3. Experts speaking on Capitol Hill about water power technologies – including incremental hydropower, ocean, tidal, in-stream hydrokinetic, and pumped storage – as well as geographic areas for potential growth in hydropower capacity, the job growth and economic benefits of hydropower development, and federal policy options to help the industry grow while protecting important environmental values. More information is available at http://www.eesi.org/040611_hydro

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  4. Experts speaking on Capitol Hill about China’s increasing role in advancing renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate policies. More information is available at http://www.eesi.org/040511_china

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  5. Experts speaking on Capitol Hill about the prospects for increased use of natural gas as a transportation fuel. Natural gas has a current price advantage over diesel fuel and gasoline, emits fewer greenhouse gases when burned (per unit energy), and comes from mostly domestic sources at present. However, increasing and sustaining U.S. gas production will rely heavily on unconventional sources (shale gas, coal-bed methane, and tight gas), which face potentially rising costs, require continuous and intensive drilling, and present significant water supply, water quality, wastewater, air quality, land use, and seismic risk issues. The deployment of new vehicle technology and fueling facilities would also face cost and environmental challenges of using a gaseous fuel, including climate change implications of leaking methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. This briefing examined the economic, energy security, and environmental implications of a large-scale shift to natural gas trucks, buses, and cars, and related fueling infrastructure. More information is available at http://www.eesi.org/031611_naturalgas

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Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)


EESI educates Congress on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and climate change. Visit us at http://www.eesi.org.

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