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Category Archives: Energy

Beige Book Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions By Federal Reserve District January 2017

Overall Economic Activity – “Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicated that the economy continued to expand at a modest pace across most regions from late November through the end of the year. Manufacturers in most Districts reported increased sales with several citing a turnaround versus earlier in 2016. Growth in the energy industry was mixed; two Districts reported weakness in coal production but others reported improvements in coal, oil, or gas activity. Most Districts said that non-auto retail sales had expanded, but several noted that sales over the holiday season were disappointing and reports in more than one District suggested that growth in e-commerce had come at the expense of bricks-and-mortar retailers. All Districts reported varying degrees of growth in employment and a majority described their labor markets as tight. Residential construction and sales were generally mixed, although San Francisco reported strong real estate market activity throughout the 12th District. Financial conditions were stable. Firms across the country and industries were said to be optimistic about growth in 2017.”

2016 marks three consecutive years of record warmth for the globe

“With a boost from El Nino, 2016 began with a bang. For eight consecutive months, January to August, the globe experienced record warm heat.  With this as a catalyst, the 2016 globally averaged surface temperature ended as the highest since record keeping began in 1880, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). The… Continue Reading

Impending extinction crisis of the world’s primates: Why primates matter

Impending extinction crisis of the world’s primates: Why primates matter. Science Advances 18 Jan 2017: Vol. 3, no. 1, e1600946 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600946. “Nonhuman primates, our closest biological relatives, play important roles in the livelihoods, cultures, and religions of many societies and offer unique insights into human evolution, biology, behavior, and the threat of emerging diseases.… Continue Reading

EPA released its annual Toxics Release Inventory

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today its annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis, which shows releases of toxic chemicals into the air fell 56% from 2005-2015 at industrial facilities submitting data to the TRI program.  In Florida, the analysis shows a 56 percent decrease of reported chemical releases from 2005 to 2015…The report shows… Continue Reading

Treepedia maps trees in cities throughout the world

Treepedia – Exploring the Green Canopy in cities around the world – Using the power of MIT digital research applications and Google Street view users may choose a city from the list included to date, and search by specific location(s) to identify the differences in green space within a city and in comparison to other… Continue Reading

EPA Notifies Fiat Chrysler of Clean Air Act Violations

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued a notice of violation to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. and FCA US LLC (collectively FCA) for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act for installing and failing to disclose engine management software in light-duty model year 2014, 2015 and 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500… Continue Reading

Valuing Climate Changes: Updating Estimation of the Social Cost of Carbon Dioxide

“The social cost of carbon (SC-CO2) is an economic metric intended to provide a comprehensive estimate of the net damages – that is, the monetized value of the net impacts, both negative and positive – from the global climate change that results from a small (1-metric ton) increase in carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions. Under Executive Orders… Continue Reading

NYT – Falcons, Drones, Data: A Winery Battles Climate Change

Jackson Family Wines is among California winemakers employing both high-tech and old-school techniques to adapt to hotter, drier conditions: “On a misty autumn morning in Sonoma County, Calif., Katie Jackson headed into the vineyards to assess the harvest. It was late in the season, and an army of field workers was rushing to pick the… Continue Reading

Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force report January 2017

“On January 6, 2017, the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) Task Force released the second installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review report titled “Transforming the Nation’s Electricity System.” The second installment (QER 1.2) finds the electricity system is a critical and essential national asset, and it is a strategic imperative to protect and enhance the value of the electricity… Continue Reading

House moves forward rules to ease constraints to sell federal lands

Washington Post: “House Republicans on Tuesday changed the way Congress calculates the cost of transferring federal lands to the states and other entities, a move that will make it easier for members of the new Congress to cede federal control of public lands. The provision, included as part as a larger rules package the House approved… Continue Reading

WaPo – Russian operation hacked a Vermont utility – updated

Correction to WaPo story via Washington Post – Russian government hackers do not appear to have targeted Vermont utility, say people close to investigation – “U.S. officials are continuing to investigate the laptop. In the course of their investigation, though, they have found on the device a package of software tools commonly used by online criminals… Continue Reading

Earthquake Track

“Earthquake Track was created to make understanding earthquakes easier. It contains information on earthquakes since the year 1900. New earthquakes usually appear on the site within a few minutes. All Earthquake Data Courtesy USGS” Today: 5.7 magnitude earthquake near Hawthorne, Nevada, United States Today: 5.6 magnitude earthquake near Nereju Mic, Vrancea, Romania See also related… Continue Reading