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Category Archives: Energy

Fracking Confirmed as Cause of Rare “Felt” Earthquake in Ohio

Seismological Society of America – “A new study links the March 2014 earthquakes in Poland Township, Ohio to hydraulic fracturing that activated a previously unknown fault. The induced seismic sequence included a rare felt earthquake of magnitude 3.0, according to research published online by the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA). In March 2014, a series ofContinue Reading

Arrival of the Fukushima radioactivity plume in North American continental waters

John N. Smith, Robin M. Brown, William J. Williams, Marie Robert, Richard Nelson, and S. Bradley Moran.  Arrival of the Fukushima radioactivity plume in North American continental waters. PNAS 2014 : 1412814112v1-201412814. “The large discharge of radioactivity into the northwest Pacific Ocean from the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactor accident has generated considerable concern about the spread ofContinue Reading

Brazil is the 8th largest total energy consumer and 10th largest producer in the world

“The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that in 2013, Brazil was the eighth-largest energy consumer in the world and the third-largest in the Americas (North America, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America), behind the United States and Canada. Total primary energy consumption in Brazil has increased by more than one-third in the past decadeContinue Reading

Renewable Energy Review: Finance Mechanisms

Ernst and Young Editors: “Developers, manufacturers, investors and other renewable energy industry stakeholders need updates on the latest and greatest finance mechanisms available today. Since 2003, global consultancy Ernst & Young has released its Country Attractiveness Indices, which ranks global renewable energy markets by analyzing investment strategies and resource availability. The indices are updated on aContinue Reading

EPA Announces First National Regulations to Safeguard Disposal of Coal Ash

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) … announced [December 19, 2014] the first national regulations to provide for the safe disposal of coal combustion residuals (coal ash) from coal-fired power plants. The final rule establishes safeguards to protect communities from coal ash impoundment failures, like the catastrophic Kingston, Tenn., spill in 2008, and establishes safeguards toContinue Reading

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 greatContinue Reading

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