Sumatran elephants are critically endangered. Watch out for the solar flare that’s supposed to hit Earth today! It’s the strongest since 2005. President Obama might pump increased domestic oil and gas production in his State of the Union.
Government energy geeks from the Energy Information Administration this morning released the abridged version of their Annual Energy Outlook. One of the most dramatic bits of the outlook for 2012 is that the EIA cut their estimate of “technically recoverable” shale gas almost in half, from 827 trillion cubic feet to 482 trillion cubic feet. According to the EIA, the decline comes mostly from a lower estimate of resources in the Marcellus shale, the formation that underlies New York and Pennsylvania. The EIA cut its Marcellus estimate from 410 trillion cubic feet in 2011 to 141 trillion cubic feet this …
The EPA will test water in Dimock, PA, and is delivering drinking water to four homes there. Silly Vermont. You wanted to shut down a nuclear plant? Only the federal government can regulate nuclear power! For biofuels, seaweed could be the new corn.
The State Department denied TransCanada’s permit application for the Keystone XL pipeline. President Obama agreed, saying that he was rejecting the permit because Republicans wouldn’t stop trying to force the pipeline forward. Republicans are responding to this by looking into legislation that would force the pipeline forward. They’re also asking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to come testify on yesterday’s decision next week. House Republicans ALSO want to promote ethanol derived from … natural gas and coal. And they want to classify it as renewable fuel. What? It’s ethanol!
The Obama administration appears to have bought the hype about abundant natural gas. In a report last week, it endorsed the "safe and environmentally responsible" extraction of the fuel via hydraulic fracturing.
New York City promises to double the percentage of waste diverted from landfills within the next five years. Increasing shale gas production could squash renewable energy development. The Obama administration released a draft plan for protecting the country's oceans. Scientists are fiddling with photosynthesis in order to make biofuel.
Natural gas companies are looking into "super fracking," which uses larger, deeper cracks and draws power from our planet’s yellow sun. West Virginians, Pennsylvanians, and Ohioans are all hoping that Shell will choose to build a petrochemical refinery in their state, because the plant promises jobs. Maybe it's time to abandon Ulysses S. Grant's laws for federal land, which dictate that hard-rock mining is the best use for any plot.
New York State is considering whether and how to move forward with hydrofracking in the state, and by TOTAL COINCIDENCE the natural gas industry has spent $1.3 million -- a fortune in state-level campaign finance -- in donations to the New York legislators who will decide its fate. According to an analysis by Common Cause New York, most of the money went to candidates for state legislature. Republicans received more than twice as much as Democrats.
The Obama administration will announce today that it's limiting uranium mining near the Grand Canyon. And the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a major environmental case in which the Sacketts, a couple backed by the conservative property rights group Pacific Legal Foundation, claim the EPA unfairly restricted their use of the property by determining that it was a wetland. A Japanese whaling ship is holding three activists who boarded it to protest its activities. Is there a bubble in shale gas stakes?