Archive for the ‘energy’ Category

Why there are twice as many solar jobs as coal jobs

March 23, 2018

“The past decade has seen a revolution in residential solar systems. Cheap panels and creative financing options have led to a massive increase in solar installations– and that increase is driving an employment boom. At the same time, the coal industry is experiencing a major downturn. But despite the current political rhetoric, it’s a downturn that’s been in the works for nearly 100 years. Automation, technical advances, and more recently, the rise of cheap natural gas have led to a significant drop in demand, one that the industry may never recover from.”

A Vox video.

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How to Win Over Republicans On Renewable Energy

November 27, 2017

Gun-totin,’ Trump-votin’ Tea-Party environmental activist Debbie Dooley:  “If you think fossil fuel is not damaging the environment, pull your car in a garage, start up your engine, and inhale the exhaust fumes for a few minutes and see what happens.”

Ms. Dooley runs Conservatives for Energy Freedom, and advocates for the expansion of renewable energy. She explains how to explain renewable energy to her fellow conservatives: “If you lead off with climate change, they’re not going to pay a bit of attention to anything else you say.”

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Energy Sector Jobs

May 4, 2017

Energy Sector Jobs
Last year 1.9 million Americans were employed in electric power generation, mining and other fuel extraction activities, according to a Department of Energy report. In short, there are twice as many people working in solar energy than in coal:

Oil: 515,518
Natural gas: 398,235
Solar Energy: 373,000
Coal: 160,000
Bioenergy: 130,677
Wind: 101,738
Nuclear: 76,771
Hydroelectric: 65,554
Geothermal: 5,768

Another 2.3 million jobs were in energy transmission, storage and distribution (powerline and pipeline workers, etc.) and more than 900,000 retail jobs (gas station workers and fuel dealers, et al.). If workers involved in manufacturing and installing energy-efficient products are included, the total number of energy-related jobs totals 6.4 million.

More:

“Today’s Energy Jobs Are in Solar, Not Coal,” Nadja Popovich, New York Times

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Coal Mining Museum Goes Solar

April 7, 2017

Coal Mining Museum Goes Solar

The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum in Harlan County is switching to solar power, reports the Washington Post:

“’We believe that this project will help save at least $8,000 to $10,000 off the energy costs on this building alone, so it’s a very worthy effort and it’s going to save the college money in the long run,’ Brandon Robinson, communications director of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, which owns the museum, told WYMT.”

“’It is a little ironic,’ said Robinson, ‘But you know, coal and solar and all the different energy sources work hand-in-hand. And, of course, coal is still king around here.’”

— “Kentucky Coal Mining Museum in Harlan County switches to solar power,” Travis M. Andrew, Washington Post

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Rick Perry Named Secretary of ‘Oops’

December 14, 2016

Rick Perry Named Secretary of 'Oops'

President-elect Donald Trump nominated former Texas governor Rick Perry as Secretary of  Energy, a department GOP candidate Perry would have abolished if he could have remembered what it was:

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Standing Rock

November 22, 2016

“Mni Wiconi: The Standing at Standing Rock,” a short film by Lucian Read about the Native American people of the Standing Rock  community who oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline project. “Mni Wiconi” means “Water is Life” in the Sioux language.

This week, some people are choosing to join them for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Updates:

“Medics Describe How Police Sprayed Standing Rock Demonstrators With Tear Gas and Water Cannons,” Alleen Brown, The Intercept

“Police defend use of water cannons on Dakota Access protesters in freezing weather,” Derek Hawkins, Washington Post

“Trump owns stock in Dakota Access parent company,” Harper Neidig, The Hill
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BP’s Bill for the World’s Largest Oil spill: $61.6 billion

July 14, 2016

BP’s Bill for the World’s Largest Oil spill: $61.6 billion

On April 20, 2010, a well blowout a mile under the Deepwater Horizon exploration ship sent a surge of oil and gas up to the rig, setting it on fire and killing 11 crew members. The well leaked for 87 days, and 3.19 million barrels of crude oil poured into the Gulf of Mexico. BP just totaled up the amount of legal bills, damage settlements, restoration costs, and fines it has paid to hundreds of lawyers, 400 local governments, thousands of claimants and the federal government, and the tab comes to $61.6 billion.

More:

“BP’s big bill for the world’s largest oil spill reaches $61.6 billion,” Steven Mufson, Washington Post

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National Power Grid Attacked by Terrorist

June 13, 2016

National Power Grid Attacked by Terrorist

“A single monkey caused a nationwide blackout in Kenya after falling on to a crucial piece of equipment.

The monkey fell on a transformer at the Gitaru hydroelectric power station last Tuesday, electricity provider KenGen [Kenya Electricity Generating Company] said in a statement.

The transformer then tripped, resulting in the loss of 180 megawatts of power and triggering a blackout across Kenya.

Power was restored almost four hours later and the monkey survived its adventure, KenGen said.”

— “Kenya nationwide blackout caused by rogue monkey,” BBC News

Many of Kenya’s businesses had already installed backup generators due to previous monkeys.

More:

“Monkey stumbles into hydroelectric power plant and triggers 4-hour blackout across Kenya,” Ben Guarino, Washington Post

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Image (“Monkey Holding High-Tension Lines, after Ohara Koson”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Another Temp Job for Sarah Palin?

September 13, 2015

Another Temp Jpb for Sarah Palin?

Sarah Palin, former Miss Wasilla, once part-time Temp-Governor of Alaska, losing GOP Vice Presidential candidate and failed Fox News commentator, told CNN’s Jake Tapper she’d like to be Secretary of Energy in President Trump’s cabinet so she could dismantle the agency. Mrs. Palin is pretty good at demolishing things — look at what she did to John McCain’s presidential campaign.

Despite lack of evidence, Senator McCain thought Mrs. Palin knew lots about energy. The “Energy Secretary Palin” idea was first mentioned by Newt Gingrich during his 2011 quest for the GOP presidential nomination, probably to quash talk of putting her in the VP slot. And while Mrs. Palin has occasionally opined about abolishing the agency, John McCain suggested it as far back as 1994.

Sarah Palin is, quite literally, in bed with Big Oil — her husband Todd worked for BP in the North Slope oil fields of Alaska for 18 years and only resigned after his wife left the governorship. And back in the days of high-priced oil, royalty payments from Alaska oil and gas producers kept her state’s government running despite Governor Palin’s budget disasters.

But perhaps Mrs. Palin wants to abolish an agency she heads simply due to her proclivity for short-term jobs. She was appointed to her first state job on the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in 2003 and quit after 11 months; elected Governor of Alaska, she assumed office in December 2006 and resigned in July 2009 after serving 20 months, much of that time spent on her failed vice presidential campaign. Sarah Palin was hired as a Fox News Commentator in 2010, dropped in 2012re-hired, and dropped again in 2015, and had reality TV shows on TLC  and the Sportsman Channel, both cancelled after one season.

What Mrs. Palin really knows about energy policy would fit on a “Drill-Baby-Drill” bumper sticker. She has no idea what the job involves and confuses it with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). But Sarah Palin does have one prerequisite to be Secretary of Energy: Good Hair.

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What Santa and Putin Have In Common

August 10, 2015

What Santa and Putin Have In Common
Santa Claus and Vladimir Putin have something in common: They both live in Russia. If the UN says so, anyway.

Russia has submitted a formal bid to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) claiming more than 463,000 square miles of Arctic Ocean seabed, including the North Pole. Russia says that the underwater Lomonosov and Mendeleev Ridges under the Arctic are extensions of the country’s continental shelf. In December, Denmark claimed most of the same territory, saying the Lomonosov Ridge is an extension of Greenland. Norway and Canada are preparing similar claims. Russia made a symbolic stunt claiming the Pole in 2007, putting a titanium flag on the sea floor under the ice cap.

Why would anyone want the Arctic seafloor, anyway? Oil and gas. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates there are reserves of 90 billion barrels of oil and 1,670 trillion cubic feet of natural gas there, 22 percent of the world’s unrecovered oil and natural gas, and with Global Warming it’s becoming more accessible.

Another nation with interests in the Arctic is ineligible to file a UN claim, since it’s not a signatory of the Convention on the Law of the Sea: The United States of America.

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