Energy is big business and a big issue inextricably linked to politics. Rising gas prices and huge natural gas and oil finds in the U.S. thrust energy into the 2012 presidential arena, but little was said about nuclear power—which supplies about a fifth of America’s power. Although some environmentalists are now advocating for nukes, the question of how to safely isolate existing waste has been plaguing the industry and government for decades.
A proposed wind farm in the Newfound lake area has once again raised familiar themes in New Hampsire: A desire for the Granite state to use more clean energy, versus local concerns over property values, as well as impacts on the environment and tourism. We’ll re-examine these arguments in light of this new proposal.
As summer hits Cape Cod, out come the fishing rods, sailboats, and…. Hockey pucks? In Falmouth, Massachusetts, youth hockey leagues and recreational skaters are carving up the ice in a brand new ice rink this month – one that’s powered by summer sunlight. Independent producer Sarah Reynoldshas the story.
How energy efficient is the Granite State? A new reports says not very, at least in terms of our buildings. Three years after Governor Lynch issued a Climate Action Plan, which included a call for more efficient homes and offices, UNH researchers find the state is way behind where it had hoped to be. We're examining what the problems are, as well as the prospects for future improvement.
The controversial mining method known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", has led to a boom in production of cheap natural gas by getting at what was previously inaccessible pockets of gas contained in shale. Energy companies see it as way to reduce America’s dependence on oil and lower our energy bills, but concerns over environmental safety have others saying we need to slow down and study the issue. We cover all sides of fracking and its potential impacts here in New England.
Dear EarthTalk: Renewable energy production in the solar and wind markets currently receives about $7 billion in government subsidies annually, but is still not competitive against fossil fuels on a large scale. To what extent should the U.S. continue to prop up these industries as they compete against dirty energy?-- Jack Morgan, Richmond, VA
Headlines have quieted down on the Hydro-power project called Northern Pass, but efforts to continue and thwart the project are ongoing. A new study questions the need for Northern Pass’s hydropower, given low natural gas prices. Meanwhile, there’s been activity on land purchases in the North Country that could connect the dots for the project’s final route. We will look at that latest news around Northern Pass.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules Wednesday to control the problem of air pollution coming from wells being drilled by the booming oil and natural gas drilling industry.
Currently, waste products from the drilling operations, which include a mix of chemicals, sand and water, can be pumped into open enclosures or pits, where toxic substances can make their way into the air. The new rules will require this fluid to be captured by 2015, and flared — or burned off — in the meantime.
The rising cost of oil isn't just a hit to the family budget. Businesses are hurt, too. Few are more affected than firms like FedEx. It deploys nearly 700 planes and tens of thousands of trucks and vans every day to deliver packages around the world. And few business leaders are more focused on finding alternatives to petroleum-based fuels than FedEx CEO Fred Smith.
Shortly after Smith founded Federal Express, the 1973 Arab oil embargo almost killed it. The experience imprinted Smith with a keen interest in the price and availability of oil.
A house bill that would consider giving the Public Utilities Commission authority to force PSNH to sell its power plants to open up market competition is getting vocal opposition from business leaders and mayors in the state.
Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier says the move will raise electric rates and scare businesses away from his community.
Shell Oil plans to explore for petroleum off Alaska's north coast this summer. The native people of Alaska have a big stake in both oil revenue and environmental protection. That conflict has played out in recent trips by Inupiats to Washington, D.C., to argue their case.