How Wind and Solar Will Blow Up Power Markets
Many people are asking how much of our power we can get from wind and solar. With ongoing double-digit growth rates, optimists are starting to get very excited. Pessimists are looking for flaws in the argument. And pragmatists are making plans for accommodating wind and solar in the power mix.
Firmly in the optimist camp is Mark Jacobson, the Stanford professor who has been modeling a “wind-water-sun” system to see what it would take to run states...
Old coal mines still taint Ohio waterways
The images of Colorado’s Animas River over the past week have been jarring: An abandoned gold mine was breached, causing it to spew tainted water that has dyed the river yellow-orange all the way into Utah.
That water contains toxic chemicals, including arsenic, manganese and cadmium, all known to cause health problems for people. The cleanup likely will take years.
The issue of abandoned mines and their legacy of water pollution is not unique to...
Ohio counties can’t vote to ban fracking, Husted rules
Residents of three counties won’t be voting this November on whether to allow fracking, based on a ruling Thursday by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.
In a letter to the boards of elections in Athens, Fulton and Medina counties, Husted said that the courts already had decided this issue, and that only the state has the authority to regulate oil and gas activity in Ohio.
All three counties had planned to have questions on their ballots this November...
Increased Fracking Water Use in Ohio: Compromising Watershed Integrity?
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The water footprint of hydraulic fracturing is increasing in Ohio and around the nation, according to new findings from the U.S. Geological Survey.
A USGS report found an average horizontal gas well consumed more than 5 million gallons of water in 2014, up from around 177,000 gallons in 2000.
Melanie Houston, director of water policy and environmental health with the advocacy group Ohio Environmental Council, says the fracking of...
Coal’s Slow Demise As A Power Source Leads To Role Reversal With Natural Gas
Before this year, natural gas had never accounted for more electricity generation than coal in the U.S. That is no longer the case.
In April, 31 percent of electricity generation came from natural gas while 30 percent came from coal, according to data analyzed by the research firm SNL Energy and compiled by the U.S. Department of Energy. This one percent difference marks a long-anticipated role reversal for these two electricity generating fossil fuels,...
Hidden dangers of abandoned wells
Our view: State’s made progress in plugging old wells, but must do more
America’s recent petroleum boom is concentrated in a handful of oil- and gas-rich states, including Ohio. Many of these states have large numbers of abandoned wells from decades past. Plugged improperly or never plugged at all, these wells sometimes leak, threatening our drinking water, streams, lakes and soil. They can even explode when natural gas collects in buildings.
Shallow Fracking Wells May Threaten Aquifers
An analysis finds that thousands of oil and gas hydraulic fracturing wells are less than a mile deep
Several thousand near-surface hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, operations for oil and natural gas production in the U.S. pose a potentially significant risk of contaminating drinking water sources, according to a new analysis. This first national assessment of fracking focused on well depth raises particular concerns about fracking wells less than a mile...
Shell Oil will drop its membership in ALEC, citing differences over climate change
Shell Oil will not renew its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council, citing differences with the controversial corporate lobbying group over the issue of climate change.
“ALEC advocates for specific economic growth initiatives, but its stance on climate change is clearly inconsistent with our own,” said Curtis Smith, a spokesman for Shell. “We have long recognized both the importance of the climate challenge and the...
Environmentalists fear launch of strip mining in Ohio state wildlife area
Black bears, turkeys, seldom-seen birds, river otters and other creatures occupy the woods, grassy expanses and wetlands of the 18,011-acre Egypt Valley Wildlife Area in eastern Ohio.
Soon, the animals will share their home with machinery and men who will chisel a deep hole spanning 741 acres to extract coal.
The Belmont County wildlife area will be the first Ohio Department of Natural Resources property to be mined after an Ohio Supreme Court ruling...
State Policies to Increase Low-Income Communities’ Access to Solar Power
Supportive state and national policies for solar power, coupled with more available and affordable technology, have spurred a strong solar market. Residential photovoltaic solar installations increased 60 percent from 2012 to 2013, reaching 792 megawatts of electricity. Market projections of solar panel investments for the first quarter of 2014 anticipate another 60 percent increase in solar installations. Moreover, some analyses project that more than 1...