7 Top Eco News Stories

February 19, 2016

This week in Eco News: a potential Supreme Court nominee, a satellite, a solar plant and a whole lot of methane.

supreme court

Supreme Court

Sri Srinivasan, nominated for DC Circuit Court Judge by President Obama in 2012, was confirmed to that position in a unanimous vote by the Senate. This could put pressure on Senators pledging to refuse any nominee Obama suggests for Supreme Court Justice to replace Antonin Scalia. Srinivasan is viewed as a moderate and has a mixed record on environmental matters. As a lawyer he defended fossil fuel interests like Exxon Mobile, but he also sided with environmental groups in a number of cases as a Circuit Court Judge. For example, he recently cut part of an EPA rule that limited a company’s liability for emissions released during malfunctions. (Politico)

satellite recieverUS Methane Emissions

A new study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters indicates a 30% or more increase in methane emissions from sources in the US. Measured using satellite data and surface observations, these estimates are significantly higher than those published by the EPA, which measures emissions based on expected rates of leakage. (Climate Central)

European Space Agency

The Europe Space Agency launched a satellite on Tuesday to collect better data on climate change and weather patterns. The Sentinel-3A satellite is part of the Copernicus Earth project and will focus on water levels and water temperatures. (Reuters)

aston martin

Aston Martin

Aston Martin is teaming up with LeEco, a Chinese consumer electronics company, to build an electric car. Aston says the car will be on the market by 2018. LeEco was previously known as Letv, and is the primary backer of Faraday Future, which may collaborate with Aston on projects down the road. (WSJ)


apple computerApple issued $1.5 billion in green bonds on Wednesday, giving investors the opportunity to finance clean energy, energy efficiency and energy storage projects. (Reuters)

SoCal Gas

State officials announced Thursday that the methane leak at Southern California Gas Company’s storage facility in Aliso Canyon was sealed. It is estimated that in the 16 weeks since the leak began, 80,000 metric tons of methane
escaped into the atmosphere. (LA Times)

concentrated solar power

Concentrated Solar Power

Megalim Solar Power is constructing a 787-foot-tall concentrated solar power tower surrounded by 50,000 moving mirrors to generate 121 MW of electricity in Israel’s Negev Desert. The tower incorporates steam turbine generators built by General Electric, is the tallest CSP tower in the world, and is expected to meet 1% of electricity demand for the country. (Reuters)

-Aidan Kelly

Photo Credit: Flickr/NCinDC, Flickr/fdecomite, Flickr/David Villarreal Fernández, Flickr/Daniele Pieroni, Flickr/alex lang

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