Posts Tagged ‘energy’

Pruitt & Crapo ‘Put the Con in Condo’

April 25, 2018

Pruitt & Crapo 'Put the Con in Condo'

A new poster plastered around Capitol Hill (above) points out that Idaho’s Republican Senator Mike Crapo used the same energy lobbyist’s condo that Scott Pruitt bunked at for a fundraising event, and he got an even better deal than Pruitt’s $50 a day: It was free. Senator Crapo is on the Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure — what a coincidence.

The phone number on the poster’s tear-off tabs belongs to the Federal Election Commission. Since Mr. Crapo didn’t claim use of the condo as an in-kind campaign donation, a complaint has been lodged with the FEC.

More:

“EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s Lobbyist-Owned Pad Was GOP Fundraising Hub,” Lachlan Markay, Sam Stein, Daily Beast

“Complaint claims Idaho senator didn’t report donated time at DC condo,” Cynthia Sewell, Idaho Statesman

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Energy Source of the Future: Starpower

April 1, 2018

On April 1, 2008,  the Norwegian energy company Statkraft announced the development of “gamma capturers” that will capture the energy of exploding stars. Stellar energy is clearly the wave of the future.

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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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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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Top image. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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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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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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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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Power Struggle: Electric Utilities Fight Solar Advocates

October 1, 2014

Power Struggle: Electric Utilities Fight Solar Advocates

“As solar technology gets dramatically cheaper, tens of thousands of Americans are putting photovoltaic panels up on their roofs, generating their own power. At the same time, 43 states and Washington DC have ‘net metering’ laws that allow solar-powered households to sell their excess electricity back to the grid at retail prices.

That’s a genuine problem for utilities. All these solar households are now buying less and less electricity, but the utilities still have to manage the costs of connecting them to the grid. Indeed, a new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory argues that, without policy changes, this trend could soon put utilities in dire financial straits. If rooftop solar were to grab 10 percent of the market over the next decade, utility earnings could decline as much as 41 percent.

To avoid that fate, many utilities are now pushing for reforms that would at least slow the breakneck growth of rooftop solar — say, by scaling back those ‘net metering’ laws. And that’s opened up a war with many fronts.”

— “Solar power is growing so fast that older energy companies are trying to stop it,” Brad Plumer, Vox

More:

“Solar Advocates Fight Utilities Over Grid Access,” Jeff Brady, NPR

“Taxes, fees: the worldwide battle between utilities and solar,” Tracy Rucinski and Byron Kaye, Reuters

“Old Energy’ Utilities See Rising Threat from Solar,” Taegan Goddard, Wonk Wire

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Power Up with Bovine Burps

November 3, 2013

Power Up with Bovine Burps

Argentina raises a whole lot of cows, and they raise a whole lot of burps. When you’ve got four stomachs and eat plants all day, gas happens. That gas is mostly methane, and each cow belches about 300 liters of it daily. It’s a polluting greenhouse gas, but it’s also fuel. Argentinos want to use all that gas to power up their cars — or maybe even cook up all that beef.

More:

“Argentine scientists tap cow burps for natural gas,” Maximiliano Rizzi, Reuters

“El gas de las vacas puede alimentar un motor,” INTA Informa

Reuters video here 

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Omnivore, Animated

February 19, 2012

The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce or RSA, home of the amazing RSA Animate series of visually-interpreted lecture videos by Cognitive Media, is running a film contest. Maria Popova at Brain Pickings harvested this brilliant short interpretation of omnivore Michael Pollan’s Food Rules by Marija Jacimovic and Benoit Detalle.

If you find the video tasty, leave a tip beside your plate. Vote for this entry in the RSA/Nominet Trust competition (click here).

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