Evidence is mounting that there is a connection between the hydraulic fracturing—or fracking—method for extracting natural gas and earthquakes.
Consider this item from EcoWatch this week: “On Monday, Northeast Ohio experienced at least four earthquakes in Mahoning County, just south of Youngstown. Can anyone guess what was nearby? – A fracking site with seven drilling wells. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ordered the Texas based energy company, Hilcorp, to halt all fracking operations in the area.”
Also on Monday, a ClimateProgress article explored the idea that as fracking operations grow in Ohio, “so do earthquakes.”
Coincidence? It’s possible, but quite possibly not. Ohio is merely the latest place to make this connection: Other sightings on the fracking-earthquake circuit have occurred in the U.K., the Netherlands, British Columbia, East Texas, Oklahoma and even California.
Yes, everyone values solar power—except maybe Big Oil—but how much is it actually worth in terms of dollars and cents? At least the start of an answer came last week from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
Minnesota is the first state in the nation to craft a “value-of-solar” formula for calculating the value of solar power generated by consumers. The big deal is that the methodology is not just about how much solar power is worth to the utility company and its customers, but to society and the environment, according to a ThinkProgress article.
Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a way to make those ubiquitous plastic shopping bags that litter both land and seascapes useful — by converting them into diesel, natural gas and other petroleum products.
According to a ScienceDaily article, the conversion “produces significantly more energy than it requires and results in transportation fuels — diesel, for example — that can be blended with existing ultra-low-sulfur diesels and biodiesels.” Other products, such as natural gas, naphtha (a solvent), gasoline, waxes and lubricating oils such as engine oil and hydraulic oil also can be obtained from shopping bags, researchers said.
Carbon capture and storage technologies designed to reduce emissions are getting a better reception in the U.S. than in Europe, according to Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM), a Norwegian firm that tests CCS technology.
A CNBC report based on interviews with TCM executives says the U.S is a “more welcoming place” for CCS technology, at least at the moment, because Europe is recovering from a debt crisis and recession.
The nation’s first offshore wind farm on the Pacific Coast cleared a crucial federal hurdle after Seattle’s Principle Power received approval to move forward on a commercial lease for the proposed $200 million, 30-megawatt project.
Principle Power received the go-ahead this month from a Department of the Interior agency to lease 15 square miles of federal waters, 18 miles from Coos Bay, Ore. If the lease request gets final approval, the WindFloat Pacific project would anchor the first offshore turbines in federal waters on the West Coast. It also would be the first in the nation to use triangular floating platforms instead of single piles driven into the ocean floor.
Maybe we should just file this one from the continuing fracking saga under the “just do as I say, not as I do” file.
But it’s still pretty delicious: According to various news reports, including the Wall Street Journal, Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil’s chairman and CEO, is part of a lawsuit seeking to block construction of a 160-foot water tower adjacent to his and his wife’s Bartonville, Texas home. The tower will supply water to a nearby hydraulic fracturing site.
The 62.5-megawatt peak power wave energy generation project will be built off the coast of Victoria, Australia, using the PowerBuoy wave energy converter technology of Ocean Power Technologies (OPT).
Project construction will occur in three stages, with the first stage producing approximately 2.5-megawatt peak power. Once completed, the project is expected to produce enough electricity to power 10,000 homes. Because it also contributes to Australia’s goal of 20 percent renewable energy by 2020, the project is getting “significant grant support” from ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency).
It’s usually a bad thing to “gum up the works,” but in the case of the safety issues confronting lithium ion batteries, maybe gum is the solution.
Washington State University researchers have developed a chewing gum-like battery material that could dramatically improve the safety of lithium ion batteries.
A WSU group led by Katie Zhong, Westinghouse Distinguished Professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, recently reported on their work in the journal, Advanced Energy Materials. And they have filed a patent on the substance.
The conventional wisdom these days is that solar is a very hot play indeed. A list of cleantech stock picks for 2014 has First Solar (a solar manufacturer) and SolarCity (a solar installer) at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, and further down the list are a solar holding company, Renewable Energy Trade Board, and a solar equipment company, Meyer Burger.
There are many reports that the solar market is heading for a “second gold rush” this year; there’s little to dispute the fact that solar is definitely in, especially for investors.
It could be that the gold rush is already on.
ExxonMobil is not the kind of company that throws money away. There’s always a plan behind its largesse.
When the oil giant stepped into a small Brooklyn library’s crowd-funding campaign in a big way, suspicions immediately arose about the motives of both sides—including whether Mellow Pages should accept the donation, and even whether it was real—and a somewhat complicated view of life in 2014 ensued.
Mellow Pages is an independently-run library and reading room located in Brooklyn, NY; it focuses on providing limited-print fiction and poetry to the neighborhoods of Bushwick, East Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant.
The story of how this unlikely pair found each other was told in a recent article in The Awl.
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it just might be that beauty is also in the eye of the shareholder.
Joseph Halford and Hung-Chia Hsu, two economists at the University of Wisconsin, say that one way to increase a company’s stock price is to hire a hot or hunky CEO.
Yes, just when you thought that our society could not get more superficial, it does.
Scrooge is alive and bah-humbugging better than ever this Holiday Season in much of corporate America and the Republican Party—especially when it comes to the minimum wage wars. But, unlike the conclusion of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, no redemptive change of heart is at hand.
An HBR Blog item last week by Peter Cappelli notes it was not all that long ago that companies worried about whether their employee practices were fair. “One of the functions of human resource departments was to advocate for the interests of employees.”
Times have certainly changed. Shareholder activism as well as court cases sympathetic to shareholder interests have meant that the vast majority of companies pay more attention to maximizing stock prices, often at the expense of their employees.
Here’s a refreshing idea that reaches beyond emergency preparedness for the most precious of commodities – water.
Blue Can Pure Water comes in recyclable single serve aluminum cans with a 50-year, shelf-life.
“Our philosophy is to reduce the use of plastic bottles with a sustainable product rather than legislative bans. Our vision is to scale our technology globally, taking on mounting consumer waste by putting a dent in the 63 billion plastic bottles entering oceans and landfills annually,” says Angela Morente Cheng, a co-founder of Blue Can.
Ratepayers in Washington State could save a cool $1.7 billion over 17 years if the Columbia Generating Station (CGS) nuclear power plant at Hanford is closed.
A 212-page economic analysis released last week by McCullough Research of Portland, OR notes that the CGS on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is the only nuclear facility that was actually completed out of the five plants begun there during the long and tangled history of Hanford. In addition, it contains a General Electric boiling water reactor that’s similar to those that were destroyed during the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan.
But the study is not about the risks of nuclear generation; it focuses on the economics of the CGS and its possible replacement with other energy suppliers.
Companies are realizing that there is both an internal price and an opportunity when it comes to carbon pollution.
An odd juxtaposition, perhaps, but a white paper from CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) North America makes the point that once a company establishes an “internal carbon price,” it can be used as an incentive and a core strategic planning tool.