energy

Nuclear Energy
7:23 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Hanford Vapors: It's Still Difficult To Track Down The Solution

Handheld air monitors are used in the Hanford Nuclear Reservation's tank farms to help keep workers safe. But a human nose can detect far less concentrated chemicals, than this high-tech machinery.

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 7:46 am

Since the spring, a run of workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have needed medical attention from exposure to chemical vapors. On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Energy led a bus load of journalists to points across the site to show off what they’re doing to keep workers safe.

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Environment
6:18 am
Wed June 18, 2014

U.S. Offshore Wind Energy Area Would Nearly Double Under New Plan

The Department of the Interior is proposing a large expansion of U.S. efforts to make energy from offshore winds, with a plan centered off the Massachusetts coast. Here, a 2010 photo shows a sunrise over Nantucket Sound.
Julia Cumes AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 8:55 am

A large swath of the Atlantic Ocean could soon be used to generate electricity, as a U.S. agency proposes opening more than 1,000 square miles of ocean to wind energy projects. The area is off the coast of Massachusetts, which has been working on the proposal with federal officials.

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Nuclear Waste
7:31 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Washington State, Energy Department Continue Talks Over Hanford Tank Cleanup

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:46 am

  Washington state and the U.S. Department of Energy just gave themselves a 40-day deadline. They need a clear cleanup plan for leaking tanks of radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

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EarthFix Reports
7:06 am
Thu June 12, 2014

How Crowdfunding May Help Build Solar Roadways

Scott and Julie Brusaw stand on a 12x12-foot parking lot, the first installation of their Solar Roadways project. The Brusaws hope to oneday pave over the nation's roadways with solar panels. They have raised more than $2 million on a crowdfunding site.
Courtesy of Solar Roadways

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 5:21 pm

You’re moving slowly through rush hour traffic. Instead of asphalt, your car is driving on top of specially designed solar panels. That’s the vision of one Northern Idaho couple. It’s a vision that’s coming closer to reality thanks to their successful crowdfunding campaign.

For nearly 10 years, engineer Scott Brusaw has been chipping away at his idea to change the nation’s roadways.

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EarthFix Reports
7:04 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Under New EPA Rules, Washington To Face Deepest Mandatory Cuts In CO2 Emissions

Washington has one of the lowest CO2 emissions levels from electricity generation in the country, since it's home to only one coal-burning power plant. Under new EPA rules, Washington is on the hook to cut those emissions by more than any other state.
Michael Werner

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 3:02 pm

SEATTLE -- Under the new rules released by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, each state has a specific percentage by which it has to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.

The average of all the individual state-level cuts will be CO2 emissions from power plants 30 percent below 2005 levels.

"It’s a goal that we can, should and will meet, in part because we’ve already taken early action in our state," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told EarthFix.

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Oil Trains
8:23 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Despite Confidentiality Concerns, BNSF Will Report Oil Shipments To States

File photo of a BNSF locomotive pulling a shipment of crude oil

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 4:14 pm

BNSF Railway said Friday it will comply with Saturday's federal deadline to provide states with information about the frequency and routes of oil trains from North Dakota and Montana.

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EarthFix Reports
7:23 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Regulators Discuss The Future Of Coal-Fired Power In The West

This image of the coal-fired plant in Colstrip, Mont., was made in the 1980s by Montana native David T. Hanson. It was part of an exhibit at Modern Museum of Art in New York.
David T. Hanson http://www.davidthanson.net/

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 6:34 pm

SEATTLE -- The Obama administration’s new rules to cut carbon emissions fueled energy sector leaders' conversations about the future of coal in the West during their gathering here this week.

The Western Conference of Public Service Commissioners on Wednesday wrapped up its conference -- a gathering of the people who decide where the region's power comes from and how to regulate it.

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Courts
7:22 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Court-Ordered Negotiations Between Feds, Washington State Are Up

File photo of a nuclear waste storage tank at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 6:17 pm

This week is the deadline for the State of Washington and the U.S. Department of Energy to reach an agreement on how to clean up radioactive tank waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The two sides can’t agree on a timeline.

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EarthFix Reports
8:15 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Vancouver City Council Votes 5-2 To Oppose Northwest's Largest Oil Terminal

Hundreds turned out for a Vancouver City Council hearing on a resolution opposing the Tesoro-Savage oil terminal, proposed for the Port of Vancouver.
Cassandra Profita

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 4:00 am

Hundreds gathered at the Hilton Vancouver Convention Center and stayed late into the night Monday for a Vancouver City Council hearing on a resolution opposing what would be the Northwest's largest oil-by-rail shipping facility.

More than 140 people signed up to testify at the hearing. At 11 p.m., more than four hours after the hearing began, the council voted to extend the meeting even later to take additional testimony.

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EarthFix Reports
7:40 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Local Coal? A Mom And Pop Coal Mine Near Seattle Looks To Get Back To Work

This photo, probably taken between 1905 and 1910, shows a group of coal miners at the early entrance of a mine near Newcastle, Washington. Coal mining could return to eastern King County under a proposal that many residents oppose.
Museum of History & Industry, Seattle http://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/imlsmohai/id/7029/rec/5

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 5:27 pm

BLACK DIAMOND, Wash. -- Environmentalists have launched a full-on offensive against coal export terminals proposed for Washington and Oregon, but they might want to take a look closer to home.

A small open pit coal mine just outside of Seattle is looking to get back in business.

The John Henry Mine, formerly the Black Diamond Mine, has been in operation on and off since the late 1800s, but it closed down in 1999.

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EarthFix Reports
8:04 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Propane And Butane Export Terminal Proposed For Longview, Wash.

Natural gas flares from a flare-head at the Orvis State well on the Evanson family farm in McKenzie County.
Tim Evanson / Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/23165290@N00/9290351154/in/photolist-f9XtJb-f9Xtn3-f9HdQe-f9XtBQ-f9HdVH-f9WcRY-f9HeKc-f9Hecp-f9Xujo-f9HdZk-f9XsYw-fbdE6G-f9XtNu-f9Hf5D-f9Hfdx-f9Hfrg-f9HfkR-f9HdED-f9Vdzb-

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 12:49 pm

Nearly 30 percent of the gas released during crude oil production in the Bakken oil fields is flared off – burned into the air and essentially wasted.

This week, a Houston-based company proposed building a terminal in Longview, Wash. that would collect some of those gases and export them.

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EarthFix Reports
8:02 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Oregon Wave Energy Project Sinks

More than 100 energy buoys like this were planned to be deployed in Pacific Ocean near Reedsport, Ore. After canceling the larger of two phases of the project in March, the company behind the endeavor has now dropped the entire venture.
Ocean Power Technologies

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 5:15 pm

Plans to deploy Oregon’s first commercial wave energy project have been formally dropped by the company.

After spending millions on the project off the coast of Reedsport, Ore., Ocean Power Technologies pulled the plug and will focus on another project in Australia.

Kevin Watkins, a company representative, said this would have actually been the first such project in the Western Hemisphere — but they had trouble securing adequate funds.

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Arctic drilling
10:52 pm
Sun April 6, 2014

Coast Guard Blames Kulluk Grounding on Shell Oil's Complacency, Risk Taking

The Kulluk, hard aground off Alaska's Sitkalidak Island in January 2013
U.S. Coast Guard

A US Coast Guard investigation blames Shell Oil's complacency and risk-taking for an oil rig running aground on a remote Alaskan Island on New Year's Eve 2012.

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EarthFix Reports
7:29 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Puget Sound Tidal Energy Project Approved By Feds

A crew deploying a "sea spider" in 2011 to collect data from the floor of Puget Sound in Admiralty Inlet. That test was one of many steps that led the way to federal energy regulators' approval of a tidal energy project in that location.
Credit EarthFix Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Puget Sound tides may soon be generating power. A proposal for the world’s first grid-connected tidal energy project received a federal license Thursday. The project has been almost eight years in the making.

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Black Gold
12:06 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Turning Food Waste Into Fuel Takes Gumption And Trillions Of Bacteria

The digester eggs at Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn contain millions of gallons of black sludge.
Courtesy of New York City Department of Environmental Protection

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 10:12 am

Every year, Americans send millions of tons of food to the landfill. What if you could use all of those pizza crusts and rotten vegetables to heat your home? That's already happening in one unlikely laboratory: the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn.

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