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What It Really Means to Require Solar Panels on Al...

Mandates like one recently passed in San Francisco introduce new expenses for developers, but promise long-term payoffs for occupants. San Francisco’s groundbreaking solar rooftop mandate sounds great on paper. The city has made distributed renewable energy a basic requirement for almost all new construction — and other cities are already expressing interest in adapting the policy. The mandate doesn’t just...

In the Birthplace of U.S. Oil, Methane Gas Is Leak...

Some wells sunk since 1859 leak methane into homes and water “Citizen scientists” join regulators in race to map lost sites A mail box sits on an abandoned well pipe near blooming peonies, logs snag on metal casings rising out of a creek, children swing next to rusted pump jacks. In Pennsylvania, birthplace of the U.S. oil industry, century-old abandoned oil wells have long been part of the landscape. Nobody gave...

Coal Isn’t Dying Because There’s a War...

I never cease to be amazed how people with an agenda massage facts, or omit them, in order to support their cause. It comes up in the investing world, where these agendas often lead to money-losing decisions. Being able to detect this sort of nonsense is good over the long run for your investment portfolio. I was reminded of this recently when I read a report from the American Action Forum. The report says that just five year...

We flew over 8,000 oil and gas wells. Here’s...

Drive by an oil or gas well pad, maybe out West, and it may not look like much. You’ll see a couple of storage tanks, some pipes, maybe a see-sawing pump jack. For a different and more eye-opening view, fly over one of these industrial sites with an infrared camera. Chances are you’ll now see dark plumes of methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, pouring from the facility or piece of equipment. We did exactly that...

Rural Pennsylvanians Say Fracking ‘Just Ruined Eve...

Feeling abandoned by state regulators, hundreds endure contaminated well water they blame on fracking This story was originally published by the Center For Public Integrity. AVELLA, Pa. — Sixty years after his service in the Army, Jesse Eakin still completes his outfits with a pin that bears a lesson from the Korean War: Never Impossible. That maxim has been tested by a low-grade but persistent threat far different than the...

EPA Bans Fracking Wastewater from Sewage Treatment...

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has banned fracking wastewater from public sewage plants, citing the inability of these plants to handle toxic and radioactive pollutants. Clean water and public health advocates, along with more than 30,000 Americans, had submitted comments in favor of the EPA rule, finalized earlier this week. “Allowing toxic, radioactive wastewater to be treated at the same place as dirty...

Hot mess: states struggle to deal with radioactive...

Potentially dangerous drilling byproducts are being dumped in landfills throughout the Marcellus Shale with few controls This story was produced in collaboration with the Ohio Valley ReSource, a public media partnership covering Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. The Marcellus Shale has transformed the Appalachian Basin into an energy juggernaut. Even amid a recent drilling slowdown, regional daily production averages enough...

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Ohio PUC chairman seeks balance...

As Ohio pursues parallel — and contrary — paths in response to U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, one central person who will help determine the state’s energy future is Asim Haque, chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. But the quirky energy politics of this purple state are not going to make it easy. Haque on May 9 was elevated to chairman of the commission by Gov. John Kasich (R) following...