Carp, coal, cow poo and more!

Dear readers, I've been remiss in my postings the past few days. My apologies! To make up for it, I've got a slew of good stories today. From John Flesher with the AP in Michigan:

Supreme Court rejects emergency Asian carp measure

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to order emergency measures that might prevent Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes, despite a warning that the exotic fish pose a "dire threat" to the region's environment and economy... Read more. 

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From Rona Kobel, with the Chesapeake Bay Journal:

Methane digester helps dairy farmer convert manure into moolah

The anaerobic digester that Steve Reinford installed on his Pennsylvania dairy farm three years ago cost a million dollars, but he can already count the ways it pays for itself.

Energy from the digester, which turns cow manure into methane, powers about 100 homes in the Central Pennsylvania valley where Reinford raises his 500 dairy cows. While the rest of us pay the power company, Reinford doesn't; they send him a check every year.

He's able to use his digester and its many byproducts to heat his home and milk house, make bedding for his cows, fertilize his fields, dry his corn and pasteurize the milk he feeds his calves - saving him money and making him feel like the environmental steward he had always hoped to be... Read more.

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From Michael Hawthorne with the Chicago Tribune:

Two coal-burning plants to power down early

Built during the early part of the last century to satisfy Chicago's growing demand for electricity, two of the nation's oldest coal-fired power plants will shut down amid concerns about lung-damaging air pollution and competition from cleaner, less-expensive energy sources.

A combination of economic realities and steady pressure from environmental leaders, federal regulators, community groups and Chicago aldermen nudged Midwest Generation to speed up closure of the Fisk plant in Pilsen and the Crawford plant in Little Village... Read more.

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A double-whammy - two Fellows at once! From Jeff Barnard and Matthew Daly with the AP:

 

Obama plan for spotted owl targets rival bird

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — To save the imperiled spotted owl, the Obama administration is moving forward with a controversial plan to shoot barred owls, a rival bird that has shoved its smaller cousin aside.

The plan is the latest federal attempt to protect the northern spotted owl, the passive, one-pound bird that sparked an epic battle over logging in the Pacific Northwest two decades ago.

The government set aside millions of acres of forest to protect the owl, but the bird's population continues to decline — a 40 percent slide in 25 years... Read more.

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From Cassandra Profita with Oregon Public Broadcasting's Ecotrope:

Can freight bikes replace trucks?

Portland’s B-Line delivery service is pedaling past bicycle couriers into a world where bikes can actually replace urban truck and van deliveries.

The company launched in 2009 with two electric-assisted “freight bikes” that can each deliver 700 pounds of goods in a 45-square-foot trailer. The fleet has since tripled in size to six trikes making an average of 10 routes a day.

Seven hundred pounds might not be a lot for a semi or a box truck, but in the world of bicycle delivery, it’s huge. Most cargo bikes max out at 100- or 200-pound deliveries.

“To my knowledge, nobody in the world is doing the volume of delivery by bikes that we’re doing,” said company co-founder Franklin Jones... Read more.