Presidential Debate Highlights 'Agenda Gap' on Energy
In a heated exchange in the second presidential debate, the focus was on who would do the most for the coal industry and who would drill even more for oil and gas on public land. In stark contrast to this discussion, 100 grassroots organizations with 1.7 million members nationwide today issued a "First 100 Days" clean energy agenda for the next President of the United States. The American Clean Energy Agenda focuses on reducing our reliance on coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear power, and supporting rapid expansion of renewable energy.
The first-100-days clean energy agenda is an outgrowth of the American Clean Energy Agenda project, which was unveiled in June 2012 and initially supported by 36 U.S. citizen organizations with more than 1.1 million members nationwide.
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CSI President Pam Solo said: "In poll after poll that we've conducted, it's clear the public supports a truly clean energy future. The public favors energy sources that are not water intensive and do not pose health risks or require unending subsidies from public funds. They understand that it cannot happen overnight and that it will only happen when serious policy making replaces public posturing. The American Clean Energy Agenda is a call for decisive leadership toward a truly clean energy future."
Heather White, chief of staff, Environmental Working Group, said: "It's not the country that's on the wrong track, it's the debate over our energy future. We've heard a lot of talk about a gender gap, but Tuesday night in Hempstead we saw an 'agenda gap' on energy policy. No matter who is elected President, Americans want a clean energy path that protects their communities' health and safety, conserves and protects their water resources and is affordable and reliable. The next President must act quickly to get us there in the first 100 days of his Administration."
The first-100-days clean energy agenda calls on the next U.S. President to:
First, work to establish a much-needed national water policy in order to avert or mitigate the current and future water scarcity problems that face the nation if today's electric generation mix remains unchanged or becomes even more dependent on fossil fuel-fired and nuclear power. Power generation in the U.S. currently accounts for 41 percent of all fresh water withdrawals.
Secondly, the President must establish sustainability criteria to guide the choice and deployment of new electricity generating technologies. Americans require and support a power system that is affordable and reliable, consumes modest volumes of water, substantially reduces public health impacts, improves environmental quality and addresses climate change. The incoming administration should work to eliminate all public support for energy technologies that do not meet these criteria.
Third, the next administration must begin to make energy efficiency and non-combustion-based renewable energy technologies the core of the electric power system and adopt policies and programs that lead to eventual replacement of fossil fuel-fired and nuclear power plants.
Fourth, and finally, the next President must make it a priority to ensure that the United States becomes the acknowledged global leader in job-creating clean energy technologies and in confronting the challenge of climate change.
A related April 25, 2012 ORC International survey conducted for CSI found:
More than three out of four Americans (76 percent) – including 58 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of Independents, and 88 percent of Democrats -- think that the United States should move to a sustainable energy future through "a reduction in our reliance on nuclear power, natural gas and coal, and instead, launch a national initiative to boost renewable energy and energy efficiency."
However, the bipartisan support for clean energy does not mean that Americans think that Washington, D.C., is on the same page with them. More than three out of four Americans (77 percent) – including 70 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of Independents, and 85 percent of Democrats -- believe that "the energy industry's extensive and well-financed public relations, campaign contributions and lobbying machine is a major barrier to moving beyond business as usual when it comes to America's energy policy."
SOURCE Civil Society Institute; and Environmental Working Group, Washington, D.C.
Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process
Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.
Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.
The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content.
In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.
Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.
"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president.
“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.
"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.
Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.
Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.
A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.
The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.