Monday, July 26th, 2010
(Reuters) – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will unveil as early as Monday a slimmed-down energy bill seeking to make offshore drilling safer and convert trucks to run on domestic natural gas.
The full Senate could begin consideration of Reid’s bill on Tuesday and Democrats would like to pass it by the early part of the following week. (more…)
Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
The natural gas grid has been referred to as “the other grid,” taking the back seat while the electric “smart grid” receives significant attention. Although not in the spotlight – and receiving zero funding from the Obama administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) – the gas grid has reason for celebration, due to the industry’s near flawless tenure in (more…)
Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
Many energy experts contend natural gas is the ideal fuel as the world makes the transition to renewable energy. But since much of that gas will come from underground shale, potentially at high environmental cost, it would be far better to skip the natural gas phase and move straight to massive deployment of solar and wind power.
For several years, many voices, including Texas energy baron T. Boone Pickens, have been touting natural gas as the best energy source to form a bridge between the current fossil-fuel economy and a renewable energy (more…)
Monday, June 28th, 2010
Natural gas will play an increasingly important role in powering the U.S., doubling its share of the energy market from 20 percent to 40 percent within several decades, according to a report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A key reason behind the rise of natural gas is the increasing extraction of gas from underground shale deposits, a controversial practice that poses significant environmental risks. (more…)
Friday, May 7th, 2010
Carbon dioxide emissions dropped significantly in the United States in 2009. The economy played an obvious role; not so obvious was the influence of power generation and its increasing efficiency.
Emissions of CO2 have been trending down for the last decade by about 0.9 percent. But the 2009 drop was far more dramatic — seven percent — the largest decline since the Energy Information Administration began keeping energy data more than 60 years ago.
This tells us a lot about just how bad economic conditions were (As if we needed to be told!). (more…)
Wednesday, April 7th, 2010
China’s offshore oil and gas company CNOOC agreed in early April to buy 3.6 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year until 2030. The Australian LNG energy project is operated by BG Group. Though the precise value for the deal is confidential, Australian officials confirmed estimates its worth about AU$80 billion (S$103 billion) — the country’s biggest single company-to-company contract ever.
The latest CNOOC deal now makes China the world leader of investments in clean energy. For 2009, China spent $35 billion, double what the U.S. did at $18.6 billion ranking second. China plans to spend even more in the year ahead, ramping up projects in renewable energy, including wind power and solar PV manufacturing, clean water and non-renewable energy sources, such as natural gas and oil. In total more than $162 billion was invested in clean energy worldwide, reports the Pew Research Center Trust.
Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
The Obama administration is proposing to open vast areas of open water along the Atlantic coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, and off the northern coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling.
The proposal would end a longtime moratorium on drilling from Delaware to central Florida and would affect nearly 167 million acres of ocean and open 24 million acres in the eastern Gulf to development.
It would also authorize steps toward determining how much oil and natural gas lies off the coast of the Middle Atlantic and Southern states.
While the dramatic policy shift may gain some Republican support for the administration’s energy and climate initiatives, it is expected to alienate many environmental groups and Democrats who oppose expanded offshore drilling because of potential environmental impacts.
Monday, March 29th, 2010
Hydro fracturing is a profitable method of natural gas extraction that uses large quantities of water and chemicals to free gas from underground rock formations. But New York City’s concerns that the practice would threaten its water supply have slowed a juggernaut that has been sweeping across parts of the northeastern United States.
The highly productive method of natural gas extraction known as “hydro fracturing” has spread rapidly across the United States in recent years, opening up vast new reserves in Texas, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and other states.
Last fall, however, the process — also known as “fracking” — ran headlong into opposition from New York City. And for now at least, stiff resistance from the city, which fears the contamination of its pristine water supply in upstate New York, seems to have slowed the momentum behind this highly touted — and highly controversial — drilling technique. (more…)
Thursday, March 25th, 2010
Daniel B. Botkin’s new book, Powering The Future: A Scientist’s Guide to Energy Independence, offers a balanced look at the issues surrounding our future energy resources. In his own words, Botkin provided CleanTechies with an overview of his vision:
“We hear so many opinions about how to solve America’s energy problem that it is hard to know what to believe. As an ecologist with a background in physics, and as previously as chairman of the Environmental Studies program at the University of California, Santa Barbara, I have long been interested in how energy is obtained and used in natural ecosystems, how energy from our environment affects us, and how we affect our environment in our pursuit of energy.
“For my work, I had to keep up with energy issues, and in doing so noticed some odd contradictions that began to occur around 2002. Solar and wind were already providing energy in many parts of the world, but environmental economists I worked with kept telling me a very different story. (more…)
Monday, March 1st, 2010
When New York State’s environmental agency came out with a draft environmental review of drilling in the Marcellus Shale in September, it set off a flurry of action for environmentalists, industry advocates and the general public.
People were given 30 days — later extended to 90 — to digest the highly technical 800-plus-page document and submit comments. They could also voice their opinions at four public hearings.
At stake was the future of gas drilling in New York’s portion of the Marcellus Shale, which could produce vast amounts of natural gas, but which some residents fear also could contaminate drinking water sources and the air.
Since the comment period ended on Dec. 31, New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation has been assembling and evaluating the public’s response, which included a stinging analysis of the plan by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. DEC officials aren’t saying when the final version of the review will be unveiled, but two department representatives, Yancey Roy and Maureen Wren, did agree to walk us through the process. (more…)