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on December 06, 2013 at 6:00 AM, updated December 06, 2013 at 6:09 AM
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The old story that Ohio could be the Saudi Arabia of gas is beginning to look like more than just a pipe dream.
The latest available drilling and production data shows that only a fraction of the horizontal wells drilling into Ohio shale are producing.
Most of the wells are waiting for the completion of new pipelines and new processing facilities.
In the last two years, companies building these facilities and "gathering lines" have pumped as much as $12 billion into Ohio, said Peter MacKenzie, vice president of operations for the Ohio Oil & Gas Association.
MacKenzie was one of three experts to address some of the more than 1,500 people who attended the association's annual exposition at the IX Center. The expo also drew 212 exhibitors.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2013/12/ohio_shale_gas_boom_closer_tha.htmlShare This Post
WASHINGTON — As the State Department readies its final review of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, environmentalists on Monday stepped up their fight against the project.
Representatives from the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, 350.org, League of Conservation Voters and Voices for Progress outlined their concerns in a late Monday morning meeting with Kerri-Ann Jones, the assistant secretary of state for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs.
The closed-door meeting came as the State Department puts the finishing touches on its final supplemental environmental impact statement, following the release of a March draft that concluded that the amount of carbon emissions tied to oil sands development in Canada is unlikely to change much, even if Keystone XL is never built.
The emissions question is critical because President Barack Obama in June declared that he would only approve the $5.4 billion pipeline “if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”
Debating Keystone’s effect
To read the entire article go to: http://fuelfix.com/blog/2013/12/09/keystone-xl-foes-to-feds-rail-wont-pick-up-pipeline-slack/?cmpid=eeflShare This Post
That’s the question in a case that will be argued on Tuesday.
By Matt Mellema
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday in a case about what the Environmental Protection Agency can do to keep states from spewing pollution into their neighbors’ air. EPA v. EME Homer City Generation arises from the “good neighbor” provision of the Clean Air Act. In that provision, Congress gave power to the EPA to reduce the emissions of states that “contribute significantly” to the inability of states downwind of them to meet the law’s standards for air quality. Connecticut, for example, has polluting neighbors: A congressional report found that even if Connecticut turned off every emissions source in the state, pollution from other states would make it fail the test set by federal ozone standards.Share This Post
In a landmark case, the Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday from downwind Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states who want Southern and Midwestern power plants to cut coal-plant emissions.
By Mark Guarino, Staff writer / December 10, 2013
On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that addresses what responsibility states have, or don’t have, in regulating pollution that ends up in other states' skies.
Last year, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that required 28 upwind states in the South and Midwest to cut ozone and fine-particle emissions. The rule, which was finalized in 2011 but never went into effect, was intended to ease pollution blowing into states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
The three-judge appeals panel said the EPA did not provide upwind states enough time to create an emissions-reduction plan, and did not compile sufficient data to pinpoint how much upwind states were contributing to downwind states' pollution problems.
In arguments at the Supreme Court Tuesday, the downwind states opposing the appeals court's ruling – Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont – are expected to argue that upwind states have not done enough to rein in particles responsible for 98 percent of the ozone air pollution in their states, and which contribute to health risks.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2013/1210/How-much-can-one-state-pollute-another-s-skies-Supreme-Court-to-hear-caseShare This Post
UC Berkeley Prof. Daniel Kammen thinks his employer should divest its investment holdings in big oil businesses.
Dec 9, 2013, 11:18am PST
Web Editor- San Francisco Business Times
Kammen, a professor in UC Berkeley's energy and resources group, wrote an op ed in the Daily Californian last week, and republished it Sunday on the university's blog site, saying Berkeley and UC as a whole should pull their money out of companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) and ConocoPhillips Co. (NYSE: COP).
Students at UC Berkeley have already been protesting their school's investment in such companies, just as in the past they agitated for divestment from companies doing work in South Africa during apartheid, or from tobacco businesses.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/search/results?q=Daniel%20KammenShare This Post
Updated 8:05 pm, Monday, December 9, 2013
Sacramento -- After seven years in the making, the $25 billion plan to build two massive tunnels diverting water out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is up for public review. And one thing is clear: You better grab your reading glasses.
The 9,000-page Bay Delta Conservation Plan and 25,000-page environmental impact report pack a hefty punch, particularly considering the public has 120 days to comment on the documents, which state officials said contain significant revisions since first drafts were released this year.
Accompanying executive summaries and brochures on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan's website say the proposal, which has the backing of Gov. Jerry Brown, is an important step in the effort to restore the delta ecosystem and stabilize the water supply for 25 million Californians and 3 million acres of farmland from San Jose to San Diego.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Delta-water-plan-released-for-public-scrutiny-5049769.phpShare This Post
By Dan Walters
Published: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013 - 12:00 am
Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration released two massive documents Monday, detailing its plans to build twin tunnels beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and complete the last link of the water system his father began more than a half-century ago.
Minutes later, opponents of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan declared that they will use every available legal and political process to kill it.
The battle will be joined early next year in a series of hearings on the plan and the accompanying environmental impact report, which together comprise tens of thousands of pages aimed, it’s said, at improving both water supply reliability and the Delta’s environment.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/10/5986337/dan-walters-release-of-twin-tunnels.htmlShare This Post
Posted: 12/09/2013 12:28:19 PM PST | Updated: about 12 hours ago
Ever since he took office three years ago, Gov. Jerry Brown has been trying to build two landmark public works projects to reshape California: a $68 billion high-speed rail system and a $25 billion overhaul of the state's water system, including two massive tunnels under the Delta.
Both have been debated separately so far, with most public attention going to the bullet train plan.
But on Monday, as state officials released a 25,000-page environmental study of the water tunnels plan, critics began to make comparisons between the two, noting that the administration is steaming ahead with both projects, even though neither has anywhere near the funding in place to complete the job.
"Both projects are very questionable," said Jonas Minton, water policy adviser for the Planning and Conservation League, an environmental group in Sacramento. "High-speed rail only has a very small down payment. The water plan doesn't even have that. The public should be very concerned."
If the two projects are linked in the public's mind, that could create big political problems for the water plan, say political experts.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_24687722/california-details-massive-25-billion-water-plan-releasedShare This Post
Environmentalists fearful 'desal' will kill the tiniest creatures
By Steven Greenhut12:36 p.m.Dec. 9, 2013
SACRAMENTO — Critics of the “green” movement often claim that environmentalists put the needs of snail darters and other critters above the well-being of humans. But I’ve never heard even those given to overstatement say that green activists care more about plankton and microorganisms than people.
That might soon change. At a meeting in Newport Beach last month, the California Coastal Commission considered a desalination plant that turns ocean water in tap water. “The commission staff said that open intakes would kill masses of plankton, fish eggs and larvae, and recommended that the company instead be required to construct subsurface intakes just below the seabed,” reported the Los Angeles Times.
The firm that has proposed the plant, Poseidon, argues that such an alternative design is cost-prohibitive and unproven. Nevertheless, the commissioners’ decision to delay a vote will lead to months-long project delays. “Ninety-nine percent of all fish larvae never make it to a mature state,” said Poseidon Vice President Scott Maloni, in an interview last week. But he doesn’t want to be debating the viability of fish eggs. He wants to talk about water – specifically the contribution this technology can make toward meeting water demand.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/dec/09/desal-battle-over-growth-not-plankton/Share This Post
John Diaz Updated 7:20 pm, Friday, December 6, 2013
President Obama made another modest attempt to do something about climate change last week by ordering federal agencies to more than double their use of renewable energy by 2020.
The operative word is modest. There is no hope of doing something truly transformational to meet the No. 1 challenge of our times in a Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where deference to consumer fear, dubious science and the clout of Big Oil continues to rule the day.
The contrast between Washington's foot dragging and California's leadership on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions was cast in high relief during a Tuesday panel discussion on "Climate Change and California's Future" put together by the Public Policy Institute of California.
Participants included Steven Chu, former energy secretary; Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the state Air Resources Board; and George Shultz, whose deep resume of top-level jobs includes a stint as secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/diaz/article/Pace-of-global-warming-adds-to-urgency-to-change-5042485.phpShare This Post
By Morgan Lee8:30 a.m.Dec. 6, 2013
Come the new year, utility customers will be receiving a "climate dividend" from California's cap-and-trade system for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, under state rules finalized Thursday.
California is rolling out the nation's first economy-wide approach for controlling pollution by capping total greenhouse gas emissions and issuing pollution permits that can be bought and sold.
Revenues that utilities generate from auctioning emission allowances will be returned to small-business and residential customers as a credit against their bill, under provisions approved by the California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/dec/06/climate-dividends-coming/Share This Post
By CORAL DAVENPORT
Published: December 9, 2013
WASHINGTON — In a battle that pits the East Coast against the Midwest over the winds that carry dirty air from coal plants, the governors of eight Northeastern states plan to petition the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday to force tighter air pollution regulations on nine Rust Belt and Appalachian states.
The East Coast states, including New York and Connecticut, have for more than 15 years been subject to stricter air pollution requirements than many other parts of the country. Their governors have long criticized the Appalachian and Rust Belt states, including Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan, for their more lenient rules on pollution from coal-fired power plants, factories and tailpipes — allowing those economies to profit from cheap energy while their belched soot and smog are carried on the prevailing winds that blow across the United States.
All the governors on the petition are Democrats. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a Republican and a potential presidential candidate in 2016, has not signed it.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/09/us/politics/eastern-states-press-midwest-to-improve-air.html?src=recgShare This Post
Burbank Water and Power launches a sophisticated system to automatically balance renewables with traditional generation and demand management.
December 6, 2013
For most utilities in California, meeting the state’s renewable portfolio standard of 33 percent is challenging enough. But not for Burbank Water and Power, which has set the bar even higher. The municipal utility could obtain 66 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
To meet the state goal and beyond, BWP is building a single integrated system that will ultimately manage forecasting, control generation, system voltage and switching to optimize available resources. Eventually, it will also be able to integrate storage and real-time demand response.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Burbanks-Utility-Merges-Forecasting-Weather-and-Economics-to-Handle-RenewShare This Post
12/06/2013 @ 1:35PM |2,110 views
Ken Silverstein, Contributor
The production tax credit given to the wind energy industry may run out of gas and not get renewed before year-end. But the subsidy is now fanning the flames on all government largess and specifically which industries are the most worthy of getting the added incentives.
Just how taxpayer money gets doled out is mired in so much intricacy that is difficult to follow. The United States will certainly expand its economy and as such, it will require newer and cleaner fuel sources, as well as the traditional fossil fuels that have met the preponderance of the country’s energy needs. The various fuels are, no doubt, competing for a limited share of the federal pie, which for better or worse, has always fed the American energy sector.
At issue right now is the 2.3 cent per kilowatt hour production tax credit awarded to wind developers. If they tee off this year but the construction continues into next, they still qualify — for 10 years. Altogether, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest analysis is that about $37 billion got awarded to fuels of all stripes in 2010. It says that the wind sector received $4.2 billion of that from the stimulus plan enacted in 2009.Share This Post
Ninety health, environmental and sportsmen’s groups asked the federal government Thursday to clamp down on the release of methane gas by the petrochemical industry, asserting that the United States cannot reach its goal for reducing heat-trapping emissions without addressing the issue.
Led by the Clean Air Task Force, the groups asked the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department to develop federal regulations to plug leaks of methane from oil and gas exploration equipment and the industry practice of burning excess methane, known as “flaring.” The groups are also concerned about leaks of natural gas — whose major component is methane — during transport.
“Climate scientists agree we cannot reach our greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal without curbing methane from the oil and gas industry,” said Sarah Uhl, organizer of the Clean Air Task Force’s Stop the Leaks Campaign. “From the wellhead to customers’ meters, there is leakage all along the system, and it all matters, and it can all be cleaned up cost-effectively.”Share This Post