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October 19th, 2012 Archives
Posted: 10/18/2012 6:26 pm EDT Updated: 10/18/2012 8:04 pm EDT
The McIntyres of Butler County, Pa., no longer drink the water piped into their home. They no longer brush their teeth with it, shower or do laundry with it.
"We use water for nothing other than flushing the commode," said Janet McIntyre, after describing her family's wide-ranging health problems -- from projectile vomiting to skin rashes -- that she attributed to the water.
McIntyre and her husband, Fred, were among more than 100 people recently surveyed by the Oil and Gas Accountability Project at Earthworks, an environmental and public health advocacy group based in Washington, for a report published on Thursday, which suggests that widespread contamination of air and water by natural gas drillers in Pennsylvania has triggered an array of health problems, including sinus, respiratory and mood problems.
"We have a serious timing problem," Nadia Steinzor, of Earthworks, said during a press call on Thursday. "Natural gas development is accelerating rapidly, but knowledge about its impacts on the environment and people is coming much slower."
To read the entire article go to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/18/fracking-pollution-pennsylvania_n_1982320.html?view=print&comm_ref=falseShare This Post
By Susie Cagle
They’re not the first to call fracking dirty, but they may be the most vulgar by our count.
A producer at the Hearst Connecticut Media Group, which owns The Stamford Advocate, delivered the bad news that the company has been “forced to block” the word from comments to deter wily readers who might “exploit” it as a euphemism for “its more vulgar cousin.”
(Those nasty readers might be vintage Battlestar Galactica enthusiasts, as the show switched to the clearly more modern “frak” for the new series. No word on whether fans of the Hungarian animated series Frakk, a macskák réme may still express their less-than-vulgar feelings for that loveable orange dog who stumbled his way into all of our hearts in the late ’70s.)
For its part, The Stamford Advocate reported on a pro-fracking demo in New York this week, with fracking in scare quotes (to preserve its purity, obvs).
Texas anti-fracking activist Sharon Wilson railed against the fracking ban on her blog.
Fracking is a real word. It is used by real — often angry — people to describe impacts to their vital natural resources, health and long-term well-being. … Banning all comments using the word fracking effectively prevents a large segment of the populace from exercising their First Amendment right.
Well, shale.Share This Post
By Juliet Eilperin , Updated: October 16, 2012
Is Gov. Mitt Romney telling the truth when he says oil and gas production is down on public land?
Contrary to President Obama’s assertions, Romney’s telling the truth when he says, “Production of oil on public land is down 14 percent and production of gas on public land is down 9 percent.”
To read the entire article go to: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/wp/2012/10/16/the-truth-about-oil-and-gas-production-on-public-land/Share This Post
October 17, 2012, 2:40 pm
One assertion by President Obama about energy achievements in Tuesday night’s campaign debate drew little notice. Refuting Mr. Romney’s charge that he had jeopardized American energy security by vetoing the Keystone XL pipeline for carrying crude oil from Canada, the president said: “And with respect to this pipeline that Governor Romney keeps on talking about, we’ve — we’ve built enough pipeline to wrap around the entire earth once. So I’m all for pipelines; I’m all for oil production.”
According to the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, between the beginning of 2009 and the end of 2011 the United States added a little more than 43,000 miles of oil and gas pipelines – considerably more than the circumference of the earth, which is 24,901 miles. The pipeline statistics are here.
But, as Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post and a few others noted, most of those were natural gas distribution lines to homes, offices and factories, not new pipelines to carry crude oil and natural gas from production fields.
To read the entire article go to: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/17/one-last-energy-fact-from-the-presidential-debate/Share This Post
By Juliet Eilperin , Updated: October 16, 2012
In his remarks, Gov. Mitt Romney implied that President Obama has blocked the Keystone XL pipeline extension from being built. But it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Referring to the project which aims to ship heavy crude extracted from Alberta’s oil sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast, Romney said, “Why the president said no to this pipeline, I will never know.”
In January, Obama did reject a presidential permit which would have allowed the pipeline to cross the U.S-Canada border, arguing his administration could not do the sufficient environmental and regulatory review in order to meet a congressionally-mandated Feb. 22 deadline.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/wp/2012/10/16/the-whole-story-on-the-keystone-pipeline/Share This Post
By Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press October 15, 2012
CALGARY - Building pipelines to connect Alberta crude to West Coast ports is a matter of Canadian sovereignty, says the former CEO of Canada's biggest oil company.
Rick George, who retired from the top job at Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU) in May following a two-decade tenure, makes the argument in his newly released book "Sun Rise: Suncor, the Oil Sands and the Future of Energy."
George was born and raised in Brush, Colo. — "population around 5,000 people with maybe an equal number of cattle and horses" — but he has long called Calgary home and considers himself a "Canadian nationalist."
Currently, the United States buys virtually all of Canada's energy exports — and that gives our southern neighbour too much power, writes George.
"It's not inconceivable to imagine the United States insisting that Canada alter various standards to match its own," he writes.
"Why would we let another country dictate environmental policy and commercial terms to us? That's what happens where energy is concerned, and it's a breach of Canada's sovereignty when it occurs."
To read the entire article go to: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Former+Suncor+says+pipelines+matter+Canadian+sovereignty/7391165/story.htmlShare This Post
Posted by Juliet Eilperin on October 16, 2012 at 9:35 pm
Gov. Mitt Romney accused EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson of blocking new coal plant construction in the United States, saying, “The head of the EPA said you can’t build a coal plant. It’s virtually impossible given the regulations.”
There’s no question that new EPA regulations, including limits on mercury and other toxic emissions, and a proposal to curb greenhouse gas emissions on new power plants have made it harder to build new coal-fired power plants.Share This Post
Mines are not prepared to pay enough to attract Canadian workers, say employment experts
By Peter O'Neil, Vancouver Sun October 15, 2012
The hundreds of “temporary” foreign workers coming from China starting this autumn to work in northeastern B.C. coal mines will end up staying for years, if not decades, predicts the president of a B.C.-based employment agency.
And some of them may end up getting ripped off and even going home in caskets if the B.C. government doesn’t ensure proper regulation, said Kael Campbell, president of the Red Seal Group, a Victoria firm that helps match companies with skilled tradespeople across Canada.
“There is a true shortage of workers in northern B.C.,” said Campbell, a former employment standards officer in the B.C. Labour Ministry. “These Chinese workers are not going to be replaced by Canadians in this current economy. They will likely be nominated by the company for permanent residency and work in northern B.C. for years, if not decades.”
To read the entire article go to: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/metro/Coal+mine+temporary+workers+will+here+years/7388916/story.htmlShare This Post
Bruce Henderson | The Charlotte Observer
last updated: October 11, 2012 11:07:36 AM Posted on Thu, Oct. 11, 2012
Four environmental groups have asked North Carolina's Environmental Management Commission for a ruling that would force Duke Energy to clean up groundwater contamination near ash ponds at 14 coal-fired power plants.
The power plants where contamination has been found include Duke’s Riverbend and Allen plants on the Catawba River west of Charlotte, and its Marshall plant on Lake Norman.
State officials say contamination has been found at all 14 plants, and that they are working to trace its sources. Coal ash contains metals that can be toxic in high concentrations, but some also occur naturally in soil.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/10/11/171218/environmental-groups-petition.htmlShare This Post
on October 17, 2012 at 6:11 PM, updated October 17, 2012 at 8:52 PM
Independent power producers are questioning the fairness of Portland General Electric's bidding process to acquire new electricity resources, and are asking energy regulators to step in to ensure the integrity of the process.
PGE is looking to build or buy a variety of new energy resources, including both baseload power -- likely a large, natural-gas fired power plant that runs year round -- as well flexible resources to meet peak and seasonal demand. It issued a request for proposals earlier this year and is set to announce a shortlist of bidders next month.
PGE is required to put all such acquisitions out to bid, and the perennial complaint from outsiders is that the bid process favors the utility's self build option. There's a lot of money at stake, including the opportunity to earn a relatively low risk but generous authorized rate of return from ratepayers on hundreds of millions of dollars in new investments.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2012/10/fairness_of_pge_bids_to_acquir.html#Share This Post
Failures Among Green Products Manufacturers Spur a Business-Plan Migration to Businesses With More Reliable Revenue
Many entrepreneurs who once envisioned their fledgling clean-tech start-ups becoming the next big thing are now downsizing their dreams.
Newer start-ups attracting investor interest have more modest aims than their clean-tech peers of a decade ago. The new batch expect to generate revenue more quickly and cheaply, and are focusing on making existing industries more efficient and sustainable, building upon the clean-tech infrastructure such as smart meters that have become widespread.
The shift to services and software in clean-tech is happening even as some highfliers of the previous generation flame out. The latest examples include this week's bankruptcy filings by Satcon Technology Corp., SATC -322.89% a provider of power conversion products for renewable energy providers, and battery-maker A123 Systems Inc. AONE -12.73%
To read the entire article go to: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443624204578061022472433316.html?mod=WSJ_Energy_leftHeadlinesShare This Post
Oct 15 - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News - David Slade The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C.
Several subdivision developments in the Charleston suburbs are offering super-efficient "green" homes designed to generate the energy they consume.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.energycentral.com/generationstorage/solar/news/en/26299061/Net-zero-energy-homes-on-the-riseShare This Post
Bankrupt Solyndra, a political football in the presidential campaign, is evidently still paying its lawyers, judging from a $1.5 billion federal suit filed by the solar company against Chinese manufacturers.
In its 52-page complaint, Solyndra makes many of the same arguments advanced by SolarWorld Industries America in its trade case against China. SolarWorld, which employs about 900 making solar cells and panels in Hillsboro, persuaded U.S. authorities to slap tariffs on Chinese solar products.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2012/10/like_solarworld_solyndra_accus.html#Share This Post
Renewable energy road map establishes 17 solar energy zones in six western states. New tack is supposed to spur renewable energy development on federal lands, but some developers remain skeptical.
By Laurent Belsie, Staff writer / October 14, 2012
The United States finally has a road map for developing solar energy on federal land in the West.
The big idea: Seventeen solar-energy zones – about 285,000 acres of public lands in six western states – have been set aside as priority areas for commercial-scale solar development. That way, instead of approving such large renewable energy projects on a case-by-case basis where developers want to build them, the energy zones will guide development to areas that are high in solar energy, close to transmission lines, and have, in the Interior Department's words, "relatively low conflict with biological, cultural, and historic resources."
The road map also excludes 79 million acres of federal land as being inappropriate for development and another 19 million acres as "variance" areas where the government would continue to decide solar projects case by case. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar finalized the roadmap at a signing Friday. The six states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.
Will the new zones work? Since 2009, the Interior Department has authorized 18 utility-scale solar projects on federal lands (as well as seven wind farms and eight geothermal plants). When built, these renewable energy projects are expected to generate 10,000 megawatts of renewable power – President Obama's goal – enough electricity to power 3.5 million homes.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2012/1014/Renewable-energy-US-takes-new-tack-with-solar-energy-zonesShare This Post
Oct 17 - Brian Nearing Times Union, Albany, N.Y.
Wind energy plans continue to blow away in New York, as the industry faces a glut of cheap natural gas, uncertainty over federal support and dwindling financing. The amount of wind power expected to one day plug into the state's electrical grid has fallen by more than two-thirds since 2009 as developers shelve projects.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.energycentral.com/generationstorage/wind/news/en/26329231/Push-toward-wind-power-deflating?Share This Post