Balance/Durability — Lead Poison Impacted Bald Eagle Return

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It’s friday today. welcome to balance, a newsletter that follows the growing global battle over the future of sustainability. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

Bald eagle populations have rebounded from near extinction in recent decades, following the government’s decision to ban the pesticide DDT in 1972.

But the national bird of prey has recently fallen victim to another enemy – poisoning by lead bullets, according to a new study.

The study, published in the Journal of Wildlife Management, found that poisoning from eating dead carcasses or parts contaminated with lead ammunition reduced population growth by 4-6% per year in the Northeast. East. Hunters often “dress” a deer they have killed with lead ammunition, leaving contaminated organs behind, the study found.

“Hopefully this report will add insights that will force hunters, as conservationists, to think about their ammunition choices,” Krysten Schuler, assistant research professor at Cornell University, said in a statement.

Today, we’ll look at the Biden administration’s efforts to boost carbon-free electricity on public lands. Next, we’ll cross the ocean to Europe, where ongoing tensions between the United States and Russia are exacerbating electricity price spikes in Europe.

For Equilibrium, we are Saul Elbein and Sharon Udasin. Please send any advice or comments to Saul at [email protected] or Sharon at [email protected] Follow us on twitter: @saul_elbein and @sharonudasin.

Let’s go.

Federal government approves third key solar project in California

The Biden administration announced approval of a third major solar project in California on Thursday, part of an ongoing campaign to achieve carbon-free electricity generation nationwide by 2035.

Lighting public land: The Oberon project, authorized by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), will help meet the 2020 Energy Act goal of allowing 25 gigawatts of renewable energy on public lands by 2025, said the agency in a press release.

Along with two other recently approved projects – Arica and Victory Pass – Oberon’s construction will bring solar power generation on California public lands up to 1,000 megawatts.

Building a carbon-free future: “The Oberon Solar Project underscores the Biden administration’s commitment to achieving carbon-free electricity by 2035,” BLM California State Director Karen Mouritsen said in a statement.

“BLM California continues to make many contributions to the nation’s renewable energy portfolio, identifying public lands with significant solar and wind energy potential and significant geothermal energy resources,” Mouritsen added.

National solar surge amid state solar conflict: The BLM announcement comes amid an internal dispute unrelated to solar power in California, as we discussed on Thursday. This dispute involves a proposal from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which would reduce payments to residential customers on solar rooftops that sell excess electricity back to the grid.

The Solar Rooftop Battle has garnered support from people like Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskTesla Suspends Cybertruck Production Through Early 2023: Balance/Sustainability Report – Minivans Will Go Electric, Seek New Fans Hillicon Valley: Amazon’s Alabama Union Fight – Take Two MORE, basketball legend Bill Walton and actors Edward Thornton and Mark Ruffalo, who are mobilizing all Californians to fight politics.

MORE ENERGY, MORE JOBS

Unlike the piecemeal contributions of solar rooftops, vast solar PV fields like Oberon have massive power generation capacity.

  • Oberon will produce up to 500 megawatts of renewable energy – enough to power 142,000 homes – and will have 200 megawatts of battery storage capacity, according to the Home Office.
  • Arica and Victory Pass, meanwhile, will be able to power the equivalent of 132,000 homes, generating a total of up to 465 megawatts of electricity with up to 400 megawatts of battery storage.

Strengthen the desert: Oberon’s construction will take place in an area identified as suitable for renewable energy development, as part of BLM’s Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan land use plan, according to the agency. The project is expected to create eight permanent jobs and 750 unionized construction jobs, according to the press release.

Last words: “The Oberon Solar Project is another example of how our public lands play a key role in contributing to the nation’s renewable energy portfolio,” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning.

“We are grateful for the collaboration among tribal governments, local communities, state regulators, industry, and other federal agencies that shape responsible development on America’s public lands for the benefit of current and future generations,” said she added.

Europe stuck amid US-Russian tensions

As tensions between the United States and Russia continue to mount, Europe has little ability to penalize Moscow – as the continent gets nearly a third of its natural gas from Russia, the Wall reported. StreetJournal.

What is going on? A little. Earlier this week, the United States and Russia argued over Moscow’s deployment of more than 100,000 troops along the Ukrainian border – which also happens to be a main artery for natural gas consumed in Europe, according to the Newspaper.

The Senate on Thursday voted to strike down a bill sponsored by the senator. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill’s Morning Report: Biden takes it on the chin Tucker Carlson expands influence on Cruz’s Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill GOP Dems bloc MORE (R-Texas), which allegedly imposed sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that carries Russian gas to Germany, reports the Journal.

Meanwhile, Western officials have accused the Kremlin of withholding supplies in recent months to pressure European regulators to approve the pipeline, according to the Journal.

Why did the Senate vote against the pipeline? The Biden administration and its allies have argued that the bill will do little to stifle Russian influence as construction of Nord Stream 2 nears completion, The New York Times reported. On the contrary, they argued, the sanctions could drive a wedge between the United States and Germany, according to the Times.

“If this bill passes, it won’t make the Nord Stream pipeline any less likely,” the senator said. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDemocrats block Cruz’s Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill Democrats rush to crush Cruz’s Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill Each state’s population center, visualized MORE (D-Conn.) told The Times. “That won’t stop Russia from invading Ukraine. In fact, it will do the exact opposite.

“It will make the completion of Nord Stream more likely, and it will be a gift to Russia, dividing us from our European allies just when we need to stand in solidarity with them in order to deter Russian aggression,” Murphy added. .

The energy policeman intervenes: The Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) warned on Thursday that high energy prices and consumer pain justified the introduction of mandatory gas storage quotas for European companies, reported CNN.

“We believe there are strong sealing elements in European gas markets due to Russia’s behavior,” IEA chief Fatih Birol told reporters, as quoted by CNN.

Birol pointed out that “current low flows of Russian gas to Europe coincide with heightened geopolitical tensions over Ukraine,” according to CNN. Birol added that “the current storage deficit in the European Union is largely due to Gazprom”, referring to the Russian state gas company. .

FRANCE TAKES SPECTACULAR STEPS

In an effort to deal with the fallout from soaring prices, the French government has taken the decision to force nuclear power giant Électricité de France SA (EDF) “to eat higher energy prices”, reported the Journal in another article.

Specifically, the French government reached a deal with EDF that would ensure electricity prices would not rise by more than 4% in 2022 – a move that EDF says could slash $8.82 billion from its profits of 2022, according to the Journal.

The move sent shares of the company – more than 80% of which are held by the French government – plummeting on Friday, according to the Journal. The 15% drop in EDF shares was one of the company’s steepest declines since its Paris IPO in 2005, the Journal reported, citing data from FactSet.

The alternative could have been worse: Without the change, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said prices would have jumped more than 35% on February 1, Le Journal reported, citing Le Parisien newspaper.

Because France generates more than 80% of its electricity from nuclear power, the country has been partly shielded from the price spikes that hit Europe in the second half of 2021, according to the Journal. That said, electricity prices are still influenced by the price of gas.

And elsewhere in Europe? The Spanish and Italian governments have tried to soften the blow to customers with subsidies, tax cuts and support for low-income households, according to the Journal.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are pressing the UK Prime Minister Boris JohnsonBoris Johnson’s energy dispute in Europe is fueling an outbreak of realism about climate policy to take immediate action, before an expected 57% price hike occurs in April, the Journal reported.

Follow up Friday

An overview of the issues we explored this week.

Production of Tesla’s Cybertruck could experience delays

  • While Tesla is the world’s top electric car maker, it has largely missed out on the pickup truck segment, which has become profitable and popular in the United States, Reuters reported. So far, Ford and Rivian remain in the lead in this niche sector.

Telemedicine can boost surgical care for underrepresented groups: study

  • Following ‘Medical Monday’, a new study indicates that telemedicine can increase surgical care for underrepresented patients. The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, found that black patients used telemedicine more than white patients, even when in-person consultations increased, while women were more likely to do so than men. men.

Coastal ecosystem destabilized by climate change: research

  • The study shows that ecological communities in the rocky intertidal zone have become less stable – linked to a decrease in resilience – over the past decade. “Climate change threatens to destabilize ecological communities,” lead author Bruce Menge said in a statement.

Please visit The Hill’s sustainability section online for the web version of this newsletter and more stories. We’ll see you on Monday.

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