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Energy

The standoff between Big Oil and Big Corn

A decade ago, lawmakers in Washington tried to address a trifecta of thorny challenges with one simple fix that has turned out to be anything but easy to assess. The problems: an overreliance on foreign oil, rising greenhouse gas emissions and tepid economic growth.  A decade ago, lawmakers in Washington tried to address a trifecta of thorny challenges with one simple fix that has turned out to be anything but easy to assess.  The problems: an overreliance on foreign oil, rising greenhouse gas emissions and tepid economic growth.

Minnesota, 7 other states' renewable energy subsidies under fire at WTO

ndia has complained to the World Trade Organization about support given to the renewable energy industry in eight U.S. states, the WTO said.  The complaint alleges the states of Minnesota, Washington, California, Montana, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Michigan and Delaware prop up their renewables sector with illegal subsidies and domestic content requirements - an obligation to buy local goods rather than imports.

State owned Alaska Railroad to become first in U.S. to haul liquefied natural gas

Looking for new business opportunities to counter a drop in revenues, the Alaska Railroad Corp. this month will become the first railroad in the U.S. to ship liquefied natural gas, in a demonstration project that could help deliver cheaper energy to Fairbanks. The state-owned railroad has signed an agreement to borrow two LNG containers from a company based in Vancouver, British Columbia, owned partly by Hitachi in Japan.

U.S. forests are so full of dead trees that some scientists want to burn them instead of coal

The state of California, wracked by drought, has 66 million dead trees across its landscape. They’ve been killed by both the drought itself and by voracious bark beetles, and now they’re just sitting there — destined to either decompose, burn in a wildfire, or be incinerated, for safety reasons, by state fire managers before the next blaze comes along. And it isn’t just California. Raging bark beetle infestations, fanned by warmer temperatures and droughts, have also struck forests in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho in recent years.

The birth and troubled childhood of an American supergrid

It may seem ironic that the pioneer of projects that could lead to the sharpest increase in emissions-free electricity in the United States started in Wyoming, the state that leads U.S. production of coal, ranks in the top 10 for natural gas production and pumps 2 percent of the nation's oil. The project started with a 320,000-acre cattle ranch in Carbon County on Wyoming's southern border. In 2006, Philip Anschutz, the ranch's billionaire owner, put it up for sale.

Is This the Tipping Point For Electric Cars?

Making an electric car is easy. We’ve been doing it for more than a century. Charging them, however, is tough. It requires infrastructure—a grid on the grid—and presents a chicken-egg conundrum: Who wants a plug-in car when there’s nowhere to plug it in? Who wants to build car chargers, when there aren’t enough cars to charge?  Rest easy, Tesla-heads and Nissan Leaf geeks; we’re finally getting there. The number of charging stations in the U.S. has reached a critical mass. The U.S.

Could big changes be in store for ethanol mandate and Renewable Fuel Standard?

One presidential candidate reportedly sought advice from a California agency of how to alter the national Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which sets mandates on the supply of ethanol in our gasoline. Meanwhile the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was called out in a federal report for failing to meet its statutory reporting requirements under the RFS. Both events in August add fuel to the flames of an already divisive topic pitting certain biofuel producers against consumers – such as boaters – who say ethanol is bad for their engines.

Grid study finds new transmission could further cut costs, emissions

A recent study highlighting the renewable energy capacity of the eastern power grid found adding new transmission capacity can help further cut costs and emissions.  the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found the grid serving the eastern half of the U.S. is technically capable of integrating enough wind and solar power into the system to meet 30 percent of the region's yearly energy needs.

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