Posted on May 19, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘In their development plans, power providers are not taking into account climate change impacts …’
Renewable energy sources may be less susceptible to climate change impacts.
FRISCO — The Western power grid is vulnerable to projected global warming impacts, and should be climate-proofed to minimize the risk of future power shortages, according to a new study by two Arizona State University engineers.
Their findings show that extreme heat waves and droughts and related changes in precipitation, air and water temperatures, air density and humidity, are all factors in the energy equation, and that those changes could significantly constrain the energy generation capacity of power plants. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, energy, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, climate change impacts, energy, global warming, renewable energy, western power grid | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Habitat exchange scheme eyed as key component in efforts to protect dwindling western birds
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is ordering state agencies to boost greater sage-grouse conservation efforts. Photo courtesy USFWS.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is calling for an all-out state effort to protect greater sage-grouse by stepping up coordination among state agencies, improving habitat on state-controlled lands, and boosting the role of the state’s oil and gas commission.
The new conservation push, announced in a May 15 executive order, also outlines a market-based habitat exchange program that would let ranchers and other landowners buy and sell conservation credits to developers, including the oil and gas industry with the goal of mitigating “residual impacts” to sage-grouse habitat. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, Colorado, endangered species, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Colorado, conservation banking, endangered species, Greater sage-grouse, habitat exchange, oil and gas drilling, ranching | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 15, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Scientists say more study needed before the next big spill
Oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster approaches the Alabama coastline. Courtesy U.S. Navy.
FRISCO — Fallout from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster is still rippling through the Gulf of Mexico — and through the scientific community studying the effects of the largest oil spill on record.
Along with 210 million gallons of crude oil that leaked from BP’s failed deep-sea well, cleanup workers applied 1.84 million gallons of chemical dispersant intended to break down the oil and prevent it from reaching the shoreline in massive quantities. Continue reading
Filed under: BP Gulf oil spill, coral reefs, Environment, gas drilling, Marine biology, oil drilling | Tagged: BP Gulf oil spill, Deepwater horizon oil spill, dispersants, Gulf of Mexico | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 13, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A new study raises more questions about public health risks in oil and gas development zones.
Findings confirm health risks to people living near oil and gas wells
FRISCO — Careful air sampling near active natural gas wells in Carroll County, Ohio showed the widespread presence of toxic air pollution at higher levels than the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe for lifetime exposure, according to scientists from Oregon State University and the University of Cincinnati.
The study reinforces the need for more extensive air quality monitoring in fracking zones around the country, where exposure to the poisonous emissions are likely to lead to increased risk of cancer and respiratory ailments. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: air pollution, fracking, Ohio, oil and gas, PAHs, pollution, public health | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 11, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Conservation groups say Arctic oil disaster nearly inevitable
Is Shell Arctic-ready?
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — In a decision heralding all but certain disaster for Arctic ecosystems, the federal government today approved the basic outlines of Shell’s proposed multi-year offshore oil exploration plan in the Chukchi Sea.
Using two vessels, the giant oil company wants to drill up to six wells in an area known as the Burger Prospect, more than 140-feet deep, about 70 miles northwest of the village of Wainwright.
The approval came just two years after the Department of Interior found that Shell tried to rush into its offshore drilling program without being “fully prepared in terms of fabricating and testing certain critical systems and establishing the scope of its operational plans.” Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Arctic drilling, energy, Environment, oil spills, Shell | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 6, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Does an oil train run through your town?
Critics say proposed phaseout is too slow
FRISCO — Just a few weeks after the Obama administration took some tentative steps to improve oil train safety, yet another such train was blasted off the rails by a massive explosion.
The latest disaster in North Dakota underscores the need for more immediate and assertive action to improve safety, according to conservation advocates like Earthjustice attorney Kristen Boyles.
“Again another derailment and explosion of a train carrying crude. Again another community evacuated and its people counting their blessings this didn’t happen half a mile down the track in the middle of town,” Boyles said. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, oil drilling | Tagged: energy, Environment, oil train explosion North Dakota, oil train safety, oil trains | 3 Comments »
Posted on May 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Atmospheric CO2 levels measured at Mauna Loa.
Big coal-burning states stand to gain the most
FRISCO — Obama administration officials have said all along that, with cutting heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions, the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan will lead to huge health benefits for states, potentially saving thousands of lives and millions of dollars in health care costs.
A new Harvard-led study confirms those claims after comparing three different scenarios for power plant carbon standards. Under the biggest cuts, the study projected the regs could prevent 3,500 premature deaths in the US every year, with a range of 780 to up to 6100. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, energy, Environment, global warming | Tagged: clean power plan, climate policy, EPA, public health | 1 Comment »