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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...

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...

Ohio counties can’t vote to ban fracking, Husted r...

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...

Solar power in Ohio growing faster than it can be ...

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — Ohio lawmakers have “frozen” state renewable energy standards until 2017, but somebody forgot to tell businesses to stop building on-site solar. There are nearly 1,600 privately owned solar arrays in Ohio with a total generating capacity of more than 120 megawatts. That’s the latest count by Green Energy Ohio, a statewide renewable energy advocacy group, using data from the...

Increased Fracking Water Use in Ohio: Compromising...

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...

Coal’s Slow Demise As A Power Source Leads To Role...

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...

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...

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...