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Fracking Giant Sues Dimock Resident for $5M for Sp...

Ever since the dangerous consequences of natural gas extraction via hydraulic fracturing—popularly known as “fracking“—entered the national consciousness, the small town of Dimock, Pennsylvania has arguably been “ground zero” for water contamination caused by the controversial practice. Now Cabot Oil & Gas, the massive energy company responsible for numerous fracking wells near Dimock, is suing...

Electric vehicle batteries may get much more valua...

A new study shows they can help the grid without being degraded. One of the hottest questions among energy nerds these days has to do with the interaction of electric vehicles and the electricity grid. Will EVs remain passive consumers of electricity, like toasters or refrigerators, the way they are now? Or will they be able to communicate with the grid and send power back to it when needed? The answer depends on both...

Trump Eliminates Plastic Water Bottle Ban in Natio...

President Trump has made sweeping efforts to scrap Obama-era environmental protections, but the current administration’s latest moves are oddly specific. The National Park Service (NPS) announced Wednesday that it has rescinded the 2011 “Water Bottle Ban” that allowed parks to prohibit the sale of disposable plastic water bottles. That same day, news emerged that the Trump administration removed a nine-slot...

Donald Trump to scrap rule to protect roads and in...

Republican Carlos Curbelo condemns President’s plans as ‘irresponsible’ and ‘not fiscally conservative’, saying it will lead to taxpayers’ money being wasted. Overshadowed by his decision to describe some of those who took part in the far-right rally in Charlottesville as “very fine people”, Donald Trump announced plans to scrap regulations designed to protect roads and other...

The Dubious Case for Appalachian Coal Subsidies

As technologies for renewable energy and grid management advance, the special position that coal has held since Thomas Edison’s first power plants in the 1880s has become much harder to defend. The call to subsidize coal is a sign of how the economics of power generation have been transformed. Just five years ago, it was renewable sources that needed subsidies to compete, but their costs have been plummeting. Now the US is...

Group aims to reduce solar ‘soft costs’ in Ohio co...

A new program seeks to spur solar energy development in southeastern Ohio by cutting costs and reducing barriers at the local level. The plan will provide technical assistance to help four small towns and rural areas in Appalachian Ohio receive recognition as solar-friendly communities. The Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council (SOPEC) has engaged Sarah Conley-Ballew to help Somerset, Amesville, the city of Athens and the...

Toyota says it’s on the cusp of a major electric v...

The automaker revealed last week that it had achieved a sought-after improvement in existing lithium-ion technology by developing a “solid state” battery. Solid-state batteries — which, as you may have guessed, have solid electrolytes rather than the usual liquid — are more expensive than traditional lithium-ion cells, but they can charge incredibly quickly and store a lot more power. (Plus, they’re less likely to explode.)...

Lithium-ion batteries finally have a rechargeable ...

The rise of electric vehicles and the quest to find solutions to energy storage for the renewables industry have created a breeding ground for tech experts to develop battery technologies. Last week, Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy and the company he currently backs, Ionic Materials, unveiled a solid-state alkaline battery design that they claim would be cheaper and safer than the lithium-ion battery. “What people...

Why Plan? Articles by Jurgen Pape – January ...

Why Plan? February 2017 This is a continuation of my previous editorials from several years ago, then called “Why Plan?” My emphasis now is on the environment. Mahatma Gandhi made many profound statements. One can be applied to the environment: “The future depends on what we do today!” Since water is crucial to everyone (more so than oil), the use or mis-use of it is becoming more of a major factor. Already wars have been...

How Two Bankrupt Companies Are Threatening Tens of...

SEIA’s (Solar Energy Industries Association) Abby Hopper: “If we can’t stop this (Trade Commission) case, we may see a lot of solar workers, including many in manufacturing, in unemployment lines. Let’s be clear: the Section 201 trade case now under consideration at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is about jobs, plain and simple. If the petitioners get what they want, tens of thousands of American solar workers...

Court Tosses an Obama-Era Climate Rule That Trump ...

The Trump administration’s attempt to defend one aspect of Barack Obama’s climate agenda failed as a federal court tossed a regulation to limit harmful chemicals used in air conditioners and refrigerators. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, in a 2-1 decision, ruled Tuesday the Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its authority in prohibiting the use of certain refrigerants that are potent greenhouse gases. In...

No One Is Talking About This Disappearing Coal Job...

A couple of months ago, Donald Trump was cheering a new coal mine in Pennsylvania that will put 70 people to work — good news for a president whose pledge to revive the industry helped get him elected. But a bigger group of coal workers has already suffered sweeping job cuts, and it’s bracing for more. Coal-fired power plants employ more people than mines, and they’re shutting down all over the country. Cheap natural...

Help for coal country addresses tough truth

The future of coal remains murky, if not downright grim, despite an uptick in production in Colorado under the Trump administration, which has rolled back Obama-era regulations the industry considered excessively burdensome. President Trump has promised to bring back coal jobs, but there are a bunch of reasons why experts say that wont’ happen. First and foremost, utilities are increasingly turning to natural gas for power...

EPA Disregards Toxic Weed Killer’s Risks to Childr...

EPA Disregards Toxic Weed Killer’s Risks to Children The Environmental Protection Agency appears poised to approve Dow Chemical’s bid to market a new toxic weed killer based on an agency analysis that failed to consider its danger to children’s health, as federal law requires. This new toxic herbicide would be marketed to farmers to indiscriminately spray on fields of corn and soybeans that have been planted with recently...

Dow Chemical Pushes White House to Kill Risk Study...

WASHINGTON — Dow Chemical is pushing a Trump administration that’s open to scrapping regulations to ignore the findings of federal scientists who point to a family of widely used pesticides as harmful to about 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species. Dow Chemical is pushing the Trump administration to scrap the findings of federal scientists who warn common pesticides will harm 1,800 species. Dave Martin / AP...

Net metering debates rev up, but regulators are sk...

More regulators are also revisiting net metering successor tariffs, according to a recent report Fights over net metering policies are showing no signs of slowing down in the second quarter of this year. According to the latest quarterly report from North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, there are 42 proceedings in 25 states plus the District of Columbia to increase fixed charges or minimum bills on residential solar...

Indiana’s governor just (May, 2017) signed a law t...

Gov. Eric Holcomb just slashed incentives for rooftop solar. In Indiana, solar employs nearly three times as many people as natural gas, according to the Department of Energy. You might think, given the numbers, that legislators would want to protect the state’s nascent solar industry. You would be wrong. On Tuesday, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed a bill that shreds incentives for rooftop solar, delivering a blow to...

Indiana Law Could Ruin Solar’s Future At Sch...

More groups – from utilities to businesses and even schools — are investing in solar energy. Its popularity continues to go up, while costs go down. But a law passed earlier this year by the Indiana General Assembly could spell trouble for the industry. Take, for example, Tri-Creek School Corporation’s solar experiment. As you drive down the county road toward Lowell Middle School, you might be surprised to see three or four...

Read the Draft of the Climate Change Report

A final draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies, which has not yet been made public but was obtained by The New York Times, concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. The report was completed this year and is part of the National Climate Assessment, which is congressionally mandated every four years. Source: New York Times Test of full draft only —...

Leakers Drop Climate Change Report To New York Tim...

Armageddon is upon us. A study warning of the supposedly dire effects of man-made climate change was leaked to The New York Times out of fear that the Trump administration would suppress it. The study was conducted by scientists from 13 federal government agencies as part of the required National Climate Assessment every four years, and it requires permission from the Trump administration to be officially released, which is...