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Category Archives: Energy

NY Governor Cuomo Announces Ban on Fracking

New York Times: “The Cuomo administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State, ending years of uncertainty by concluding that the controversial method of extracting gas from deep underground could contaminate the state’s air and water and pose inestimable public-health risks. “I cannot support high volume hydraulic fracturing in the great state of New York,” said Howard Zucker, the acting commissioner of health. That conclusion was delivered publicly during a year-end cabinet meeting called by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in Albany. It came amid increased calls by environmentalists to ban fracking, which uses water and chemicals to release natural gas trapped in deeply buried shale deposits.”

New GAO Reports – Defense Infrastructure, Hanford Cleanup, Higher Education, NRC, Tax Filing Season

Defense Infrastructure: Risk Assessment Needed to Identify If Foreign Encroachment Threatens Test and Training Ranges, GAO-15-149: Published: Dec 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 16, 2014. Hanford Cleanup: Condition of Tanks May Further Limit DOE’s Ability to Respond to Leaks and Intrusions, GAO-15-40: Published: Nov 25, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 16, 2014. Higher Education: State Funding Trends andContinue Reading

Gasoline prices tend to have little effect on demand for car travel

EIA: “The U.S. average retail price per gallon of regular motor gasoline has fallen 28% from its 2014 peak of $3.70 per gallon on June 23, to $2.68 per gallon on December 8. However, this price decline may not have much effect on automobile travel, and in turn, gasoline consumption. Gasoline is a relatively inelasticContinue Reading

Economic and Budgetary Effects of Producing Oil and Natural Gas From Shale

CBO – “Recent advances in combining two drilling techniques, hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, have allowed access to large deposits of shale resources—that is, crude oil and natural gas trapped in shale and certain other dense rock formations. As a result, the cost of that “tight oil” and “shale gas” has become competitive with theContinue Reading

California drought, visualized with open data

USGS News release: ” A newly released interactive California Drought visualization website aims to provide the public with atlas-like, state-wide coverage of the drought and a timeline of its impacts on water resources. The U.S. Geological Survey developed the interactive website as part of the federal government’s Open Water Data Initiative. The drought visualization page features high-techContinue Reading

Almost all U.S. nuclear plants require life extension past 60 years to operate beyond 2050

“When nuclear power plants are built, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has the authority to issue initial operating licenses for a period of 40 years. Beyond that, the reactors need license renewals, and the NRC has granted 20-year license renewals to 74 of the 100 operating reactors in the United States. These reactors may now operateContinue Reading

U.S. oil reserves continue rising, surpass 36 billion barrels for first time since 1975

“U.S. crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves rose for the fifth consecutive year in 2013, increasing by 9% from the 2012 level to 36.5 billion barrels, according to the U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves, 2013 report released yesterday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). U.S. crude oil and lease condensate provedContinue Reading

Pennsylvania’s natural gas production has more than quadrupled since 2009

EIA QUICK FACTS “Pennsylvania was the fourth largest coal-producing state in the nation in 2012, and the only state producing anthracite coal, which has a higher heat value than other kinds of coal. Pennsylvania’s annual gross natural gas production, primarily from the Marcellus Shale, exceeded 2 trillion cubic feet in 2012, a 72% increase overContinue Reading

What Do Banks Do with All that “Fracking” Money?

Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Matthew Plosser: “Banks play a crucial role in the economy by channeling funds from savers to borrowers. The ability of banks to accomplish this intermediation has become an important element in understanding the causes and consequences of business cycles. In a recent staff report, I investigate how a positive depositContinue Reading

A User’s Guide to the Shale Gas Drilling Boom

Smith, James L., The Option to Hold a Petroleum Lease by Production: A User’s Guide to the Shale Gas Drilling Boom (November 28, 2014). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2531997 “Most oil and gas leases allow the operator to extend possession for an indefinite period by establishing production in paying quantities. We show how thisContinue Reading

Reducing aerodynamic drag on tractor trailer trucks results in major fuel savings

American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics. “Small modifications to tractor-trailers could save billions of gallons of gasoline each year.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 2014. “Each year, the more than 2 million tractor-trailer trucks that cruise America’s highways consume about 36 billion gallons of diesel fuel, representing more than 10 percent of the nation’s entireContinue Reading

U.S. gasoline prices this Thanksgiving are the lowest since 2009

EIA: “U.S. retail regular-grade gasoline prices continue to decline, averaging $2.82 per gallon (gal) as of November 24. This average is 47 cents lower than a year ago, and the lowest price heading into a Thanksgiving holiday since 2009. Traditionally, the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the most traveled times of the year in theContinue Reading