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The Hidden Risk in the Fracking Boom

Are pipeline safety regulations keeping pace with the flood of natural gas? At 10:40 a.m. on Monday, January 21st, a pipeline carrying natural gas ruptured in rural Noble County, in southeastern Ohio, producing a fireball that surged 120 feet into the air and engulfed the Noll family home, with 12-year-old son Nash inside. The boy’s grandfather rushed into the inferno and rescued him, says Noble County Emergency Management...

Forum: Small-scale renewable energy has value

It seems Cherryland Electric Cooperative (CEC) leaders have launched a campaign to diminish and discourage efforts to deploy small, local renewable energy systems. In a Jan. 22 forum piece in the Record-Eagle, and more recently in the February issue of their Country Lines publication, CEC officials have editorialized against small-scale renewable installations. In both pieces, CEC posits that local, small-scale systems are...

Join us for the 2019 Ohio Solar Congress

Saturday, March 9 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Ohio University, Baker Center 1 Park Place Athens, OH 45701 Click here to RSVP! The Ohio Solar Congress is a free public conference that brings together solar supporters from across the state to learn and discuss the current state and future for solar energy in Ohio. The day will include a series of presentations about solar technology and policy topics as well as ways to get involved...

Judge rules coal company can eliminate Kemmerer re...

Retired coal miners from Kemmerer likely lost their company health benefits Friday when a judge decided that Westmoreland Coal Co. could eliminate retirement health care and a union contract in order to sell the Kemmerer coal mine to a Virginia businessman. Judge David R. Jones of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston said he would not enter a final order on the matter until Tuesday, giving the United Mine Workers of America...

How transmission helped keep the lights on during ...

Tens of millions of Americans experienced record cold weather at the end of January as Arctic air inundated much of the Midwest and Eastern U.S. However, the power system and electricity markets worked as designed, keeping the lights (and heat) on when customers needed it most. And the value of transmission in keeping the grid reliable and affordable was on full display. This success demonstrated how renewable energy and...

‘It’s About Economics’: Two Coal...

Trump is losing his rallying cry to save coal. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted on Thursday to retire two coal-fired power plants in the next few years despite a plea from the president to keep one of the plants open. Earlier this week, the president posted an oddly specific tweet that urged the government-owned utility to save the 49-year-old Paradise 3 plant in Kentucky. It so happens that the facility burns coal...

China Is Building a Solar Power Station in Space

This would take solar power to a whole new level. Front Row Seats China’s Academy of Space Technology is working on an orbital power plant that would capture solar energy in space and beam it back to Earth. The plant would be able to harness solar power even when it’s cloudy back on Earth, since its photovoltaic array would be floating high above any terrestrial weather. With plans to launch a test facility before 2025,...

The Green New Deal Is What Realistic Environmental...

In the 21st century, environmental policy is economic policy. Opinion Everyone is lining up to endorse the Green New Deal — or to mock it. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand have all endorsed the resolution sponsored by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts. Conservative critics predictably call it “a shocking document”...

IEEFA U.S.: 5 ways utilities are driving the rapid...

Technology gains pose a major threat to baseload power providers The utility industry, broadly speaking, has a checkered history on renewable energy development, often having fought state renewable energy portfolio standards, curtailed residential net energy metering for solar and brought into question the reliability of wind and solar. But a new dynamic is at play now, especially around solar-plus-storage projects. Here,...

Help Protect Perry State Forest from Coal Mining!

To: Friends of Perry State Forest <friendsofperryforest@gmail.com> Thanks to everyone that joined us for our meeting on Saturday! I’m attaching notes from the meeting, which summarize what we discussed along with next steps. On Saturday, we approved an organizational structure document, which is also attached. As you know, ODNR will hold its second public meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, February 26 at New Lexington...

For a Climate Reporter, a Dreaded Question: ‘Then ...

When temperatures dip, we hear it over and over. Here’s the answer — and why it matters. Times Insider explains who we are and what we do, and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together. What were the temperatures where you live yesterday? What about last week? A month ago? What were the daytime highs and lows two years ago last Tuesday? If I’ve stumped you, that’s the point. Most of us might...

One thing you can do: Rethink the roses

Another Valentine’s Day is here, and we all know what that means: paper Cupids, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and the classic bouquet of red roses. Lots and lots of roses. This year, Americans are expected to spend $1.9 billion on flowers alone, according to the National Retail Federation. But those beautiful blooms may come with an environmental price tag. Most of the fresh flowers sold in the United States are grown in...

Since Trump tariffs, solar jobs have atrophied

Solar jobs slip for the second year in a row, says The Solar Foundation annual report. This week, an advocacy group called The Solar Foundation released its ninth annual solar jobs report. In 2018 the industry contracted, shedding 8,000 solar jobs, or a loss of about 3.2 percent from 2017. The solar industry employed 242,343 people in 2018, the report said. The solar industry is the largest renewable energy employer in the...

Investigation: Clorox Selling Pool Salt Made From ...

You might be shocked to learn that a Clorox product used to treat swimming pools came from fracking wastewater. Public Herald has discovered that Eureka Resources, a company based in Pennsylvania, has been treating wastewater from shale gas development — a.k.a. “fracking” — and packaging the crystal byproduct as “Clorox Pool Salt” for distribution since 2017. The way it works is fracking wastewater gets trucked to Eureka...

Concern about climate change among conservative Re...

Voter concern about global warming hits highest level ever in new survey. In the past 14 months, concern about climate change among conservative Republicans — and among all voters — has hit its highest level ever. A new survey published by the climate change communication programs at Yale and George Mason University (GMU) reports “an increase in Republican understanding of the reality of human-caused global warming, worry...

Economics professor discovers concerning effects f...

Oil and gas “boomtowns,” such as Ohio’s Belmont County, may be bearing the costs of drilling without reaping all of its benefits, according to a newly published paper by Dr. Amanda Weinstein, assistant professor of economics at The University of Akron. Weinstein, along with coauthors Mark Partridge and Alexandra Tsvetkova from The Ohio State University, researched the flow of money in energy boomtowns...

Lakes are shedding winter ice at record pace

Skating, ice fishing, and lake culture could disintegrate for millions within decades For hundreds of years, Shinto priests living on the banks of Lake Suwa, in the Nagano Prefecture of Japan, watched the surface of the lake freeze solid each winter. Partway through the winter, the ice would crack and refreeze, creating a long, jagged ridge stretching from shore to shore: the footprints of a god walking across the lake to...

We need an ecological civilization before it’s too...

In the face of climate breakdown and ecological overshoot, alluring promises of “green growth” are no more than magical thinking. We need to restructure the fundamentals of our global cultural/economic system to cultivate an “ecological civilization”: one that prioritizes the health of living systems over short-term wealth production.  We’ve now been warned by the world’s leading climate scientists that we have just twelve...

Has U.S. shale oil entered a death spiral?

The bad news coming out of the shale oil fields of America could all be put down to slumping oil prices. That is certainly a big factor. But as investment professionals like to say, when the tide goes out, we all find out who’s been skinny-dipping. The pattern of negative news from shale country is not just related to price, however. Oil production, it seems, is being overstated industry-wide by 10 percent and 50 percent in...

‘Inkjet’ solar panels poised to revolu...

What if one day all buildings could be equipped with windows and facades that satisfy the structure’s every energy need, whether rain or shine? That sustainability dream is today one step closer to becoming a reality thanks to Polish physicist and businesswoman Olga Malinkiewicz. The 36-year-old has developed a novel inkjet processing method for perovskites—a new generation of cheaper solar cells—that makes it possible...