Weekly News Roundup

The US financial crisis is this week’s big news with Lehman Brothers filing for bankruptcy, insurance firm A.I.G being bailed out by the federal government (following their earlier bailouts of two other giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae), and Merrill Lynch to be acquired by Bank of America.

Will this crisis affect federal funding and tax credits on the renewables sector? To be sure banks and other lenders will tighten their standards in financing any projects and investments, which unfortunately is always badly needed especially in the clean tech sector.

We will just have to wait and see some of the industry analysts’ projections after this crisis…if those financial analysts still have their jobs. For now, here’s this week’s news:

Lehman effects on solar
The effects of Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy filing on some of Evergreen Solar’s stocks is uncertain but Evergreen officials said they are preparing all legal remedies to protect the company and its shareholders.

Citgo guilty on oil spill
Citgo Petroleum Corp. is said to have pleaded guilty in violating environmental laws in a massive 2006 oil spill at its refinery in southwestern Louisiana, the Associated Press reported. Citgo is fined $13 million, said to be the largest fine ever for a criminal misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act.ebay’s green marketplace
eBay launched this week its new internet shopping site called WorldofGood.com, where products, producers and sellers are verified by various third parties called Trust Providers to meet a core set of ethical and environmental standards. The site’s products will also be available on eBay.
No more NPE detergents
Valet Services Laundry has stopped using Nonylphenol Ethoxylate (NPE)-based detergents in their laundry operation. The company said they are the first major hospitality commercial laundry in the United States to become NPE-free.

Cheesy biomethane plans
Kraft Foods has completed its waste-to-energy projects at manufacturing facilities in Lowville and Campbell, which now produce biomethane to replace 30-35 percent of each plant’s annual
natural gas purchases in a year. The facilities use wasted whey as feedstock.

Biobutanol in India
UK-based biotech company Green Biologics Ltd. signed a deal with Indian ethyl acetate producer Laxmi Organic Industries to develop and construct a commercial scale demonstrator for sugar-based biobutanol in India.

And in ICIS News (which requires subscription):
Nearly 900 substances, with 380 new entries, have been included in the latest amendment to Europe’s dangerous substances directive according to the European Commission.

The proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could subject some 18,000 US chemical and plastics production facilities to costly new regulations.

Start-up company Sapphire Energy raised more than $100m from investors to bring its algae-based biofuel production up to 10,000 bbl/day.

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