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The false promise of fracking and local jobs

In a surprise decision that led to consternation in the oil and gas industry and elation among fracking opponents, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in December banned fracking in the state. He attributed his decision to unresolved health risks associated with this drilling technique, but the governor surely also weighed the economics and the politics. During the past five years, I’ve researched and written about the economic...

Fracking: So where’s the economic boom that was pr...

CADIZ, Ohio — Rich Moore had never heard of fracking or Utica shale until his union posted a job opening in September. But they are the reasons the formerly out-of-work Detroit pipefitter now lives in a trailer in a cold, muddy Harrison County campground. Moore is one of thousands of transient workers who live in campers, motels and apartments in shale country. They’re here to drill and frack the Utica shale, as well as...

Pipeline Explodes In West Virginia, Sends Fireball...

A gas pipeline in Brooke County, West Virginia exploded into a ball of flames on Monday morning, marking the fourth major mishap at a U.S. pipeline this month. No one was hurt in the explosion, but residents told the local WTRF 7 news station that they could see a massive fireball shooting hundreds of feet into the air. An emergency dispatcher reportedly told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the flames had melted the siding...

8 Solar Trends to Follow in 2015

These are some of the most crucial solar storylines of the past three months, according to GTM Research’s analysts. Every quarter, GTM Research’s solar analysts compile the most important data and findings from the past three months.  The most important charts from the Q4 2014 Solar Executive Briefing covering pricing, installations, financing, policy and business models follow. The new China solar tariff decision...

Turns out the U.S. oil boom was just a fairy tale

With one quick drop in the price of oil, the shale oil boom is officially bust. In less than a week, 61 oil rigs across the United States closed up shop, according to the most recent rig count from Baker Hughes. The U.S. has 1,750 oil rigs still hunting for new oil wells, but that number is expected to fall by another 400 rigs by the time spring rolls around. The whole episode is a wake-up call about just how much of a fairy...

Ohio renewable energy policies spurred growth, now...

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s renewable energy policies sparked tremendous investment in the industry, but recent moves by state lawmakers have slowed that growth and threaten its future, according to a report released Tuesday. Ohio was No. 13 in the country for new capacity and private investment in wind at the end of 2012, according to the Pew report. However, new investment halted in 2013 because of...

Solar Is Creating Jobs Nearly 20 Times Faster Than...

All those senators currently debating in Washington D.C., calling the Keystone XL pipeline approval bill an urgent “jobs creation bill,” are looking for jobs in all the wrong places.   They should be perusing the National Solar Jobs Census 2014, the fifth annual such report compiled by the nonprofit Solar Foundation. What they’d find there puts the pipeline project to shame. Despite attacks on clean, renewable energy...

New – and worrisome – contaminants eme...

Researchers find alarming levels of ammonium and iodide in fracking wastewater released into Pennsylvania and West Virginia streams Two hazardous chemicals never before known as oil and gas industry pollutants – ammonium and iodide – are being released into Pennsylvania and West Virginia waterways from the booming energy operations of the Marcellus shale, a new study shows. Treatment plants were never designed to handle...