Green-tech news harvest: Rising oil prices, ethanol plant cancellations, grease bandits

Also of note: possible ocean-cooling effect in climate change; fertilizer tech; growing demand for energy-efficient cars; and more scrutiny for bioplastics.

Here is a sampling of green-tech and energy news over the past few days:

  • Goldman's Murti says oil 'likely' to reach $150 to $200 -- Bloomberg
    Oil is now at about $120. Will $200 drive more investment in clean tech ?
  • Grease bandits strike as biofuel demand rises -- The Christian Science Monitor
    Grease thieves are driving up behind Burger Kings to steal material to make biodiesel. Says a cop: we see it all the time now.
  • Poet cancels ethanol plant -- Greentech Media
    The gold rush mentality in ethanol seems to be fading fast. Poet cancels a planned Minnesota plant because of lengthy permitting process.
  • Will global warming take a short break? -- ScienceDaily
    Improved climate predictions suggest a reduced warming trend during the next 10 years. An interesting note to this study, on the potential cooling effects of oceans, is how scientists are trying to communicate with a general public: "Just to make things clear: we are not stating that anthropogenic climate change won't be as bad as previously thought," they say. Andrew Revkin at the The New York Times' Dot Earth blog wonders how this study, if it pans out, could impact climate crusaders.
  • In search of new fertilizer tech (no, really) -- Wired Science
    Get reacquainted with nitrogen, the Conde Nast publication starts a series of blogs on fertilizers which, along with grains, are shooting up in price and are also being scrutinized for their environmental impact in farming.
  • Solar power to clotheslines, bills make strides for a greener Hawaii -- The Honolulu Advertiser
    Hawaii considers a bill that would require new buildings to have solar hot-water heaters. This shows the impact of high oil prices in a state that has to import nearly all of its energy.
  • 'Sustainable' bioplastic can damage the environment -- The Guardian
    Once again, we see that what is "green" is not unequivocally good. The Guardian finds that U.K. stores are bagging a variety of bioplastics, PLA, because they require special yet thinly available industrial composters. Some environmental benefits are questioned.
  • As gas costs soar, buyers flock to small cars -- The New York Times
    This and other articles on first-quarter auto sales focus on the shift from trucks and SUVs to cars, and how poorly U.S. manufacturers are faring. If high gas prices continue, it could boost electric cars such as the Think City, as well as plug-in hybrids.
 

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