energy

Dim The Lights
10:13 am
Tue December 31, 2013

The End Of The Bulb As We Know It? Not Quite

Bruce Cudmore is the purchasing manager at Carr Sales
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 10:09 am

January 1 is the end of the era of your standard, soft white Edison-designed incandescent bulb in the United States. Or at least, in theory.

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Energy Efficiency
9:27 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Heat Pump Water Heaters A Hot Commodity, But Not For Everyone

Diagram of a heat pump water heater
New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 11:51 am

Electric water heaters eat up a lot of power -- and can take up about a fifth of your electricity bill. But there’s a hot new thing in the water heater world.

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Sustainable Architecture
7:09 am
Thu November 7, 2013

A House You Could Heat With A Hair Dryer

The Ritchie family - builder Sloan, wife Jennifer, Paxton and Sienna - outside Seattle's first Passive House
Aaron Leitz Photography

At the forefront of energy saving home construction is movement called Passive House. Passive houses are so air tight, builders say they can be heated with a hair dryer.

Buildings consume an estimated 42 percent of America’s energy – more than any other sector. Moving to a more sustainable future compels more energy efficiency in new building construction

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Environment
3:44 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Pacific Coast Action Plan On Climate And Energy Ambitious, But Lacking Legal Value

Steve Scher talks with David Roberts, energy and politics writer for Grist, about the ambitious new climate change agreement brokered by Washington Governor Jay Inslee along with the governors of California and Oregon and the Premier of British Columbia. However, the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy has no legal value, leading critics to question its significance.

Environment
11:53 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Hydrofracking: The Controversy Behind Mining For Natural Gas

Alex Prud’homme's book "Hydrofracking: What Everyone Needs to Know."

Steve Scher sits down with Alex Prud’homme, writer and journalist, to talk about his new book, "Hydrofracking: What Everyone Needs to Know."  Prud’homme explains the basics of the controversial method of mining natural gas and outlines both sides of the debate. 

Pensions
11:55 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Mayors Argue To Cut Fossil Fuel Stock, But Skeptic Urges Softer Approach

A historic gas pump in Issaquah, Wash. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn wants his city to divest from fossil energy companies.
John Ryan

Investment advisors from across the country met on Friday in Seattle in hopes of cutting fossil fuels from the stock portfolios they manage.

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Energy
12:43 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Proposed Power Lines Tangle With Native American History

Four humanlike figures were painted in a cave in Washington hundreds or even thousands of years ago.
Colin Fogarty Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 3:25 am

Imagine running power lines through a cathedral. That's how archaeologists describe what the Bonneville Power Administration proposes doing in the Columbia River Gorge in Washington state. The federal electricity provider is trying to string a new transmission line near a cave that contains ancient paintings, a site considered sacred by Native Americans.

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Puget Sound Energy
5:41 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Washington’s Largest Coal User Unfazed by Obama’s Climate Plan

President Barack Obama wipes his face as he speaks about climate change, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, at Georgetown University in Washington.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

President Barack Obama’s wide-ranging plan for action on climate change, announced Tuesday at Georgetown University, includes regulating carbon emissions from existing coal-burning power plants for the first time. In the Pacific Northwest, relatively little coal is used, but one of the region’s biggest coal consumers is sticking with its plans to keep relying on the dirtiest of all fossil fuels.

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Renewable Energy
10:38 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Wash. Rated First In Renewable Energy, But Will State Meet Its 2020 Renewable Energy Goals?

Flickr Photo/Isaac Viel

  Washington state ranks number one in the nation for our use of renewable energy sources according to an analysis by Slate Magazine. The ranking includes hydroelectric power but the state’s own 2020 renewable energy goals do not. Ross Reynolds speaks with Jessica Finn Coven, the director of Climate Solutions, about whether Washington’s on track to meet our 2020 renewable energy goals.

Ready For Arctic Oil Spill
5:16 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Shell's Arctic "Beer Can" Passes Federal Test In Puget Sound

The Arctic Challenger lowering its containment dome into Puget Sound during tests in March
TJ Guiton

Shell Oil Co. had to postpone its Arctic drilling until 2014 after one of its oil rigs ran aground off the Alaska coast this winter, but Shell’s efforts to open a new frontier of oil exploration in the Arctic Ocean continue in Puget Sound.

The oil giant passed a key test with federal regulators in March in the waters off Anacortes, Wash., north of Seattle.

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Investigation Long Overdue
5:11 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Safety Problems Old And New At Anacortes Oil Refineries

Chemical Safety Board chief investigator Bob Hall in Burlington, Wash., in April 2010, when he said investigating the Tesoro refinery blast would take 18 months
KUOW/John Ryan

The Shell Oil Co. refinery in Anacortes, Wash., sprang a leak last week. Shell quickly shut down the equipment that was boiling oil to make gasoline, but the shutdown led to a release of toxic gases.

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Greens Disappointed
7:16 am
Fri March 15, 2013

US Blames Shell For Mishaps, Remains Committed To Arctic Drilling

The Kulluk drill rig arriving in Dutch Harbor, in western Alaska, on Mar. 5. From there, it will be loaded on a heavy-lift ship and hauled to a dry dock in Asia.
KUCB Photo/Stephanie Joyce

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar had some tough words for Shell Oil Thursday as he announced the results of an investigation into Shell's Alaskan accidents in 2012. But he did not announce the tough consequences that environmentalists were hoping for in the wake of Shell’s year of Arctic mishaps.

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Caps A Year Of Mishaps
4:52 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Shell Cancels Arctic Drilling For 2013

The Shell's Kulluk oil rig, with three tugboats and an escort ship, on its way from Kodiak Island to Dutch Harbor, Alaska.
U.S. Coast Guard Photo/Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis

Shell Oil Co. has put Arctic drilling on hold. The company announced Wednesday that it will not attempt to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean this year. The announcement comes after a year of accidents and setbacks for Shell’s Arctic drilling efforts.

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Energy & Environment
9:00 am
Thu February 21, 2013

The Price Of North Dakota's Oil Boom

A winter sunrise across an oil field in North Dakota.
Credit Flickr photo/Adam Schreiner

North Dakota is booming. The state's unemployment rate is just 3.2 percent — well below the national average of 7.9 percent. Officials are trying to keep pace with a population surge brought on by oil industry jobs that have made North Dakota the country's number two oil-producing state. But what will extracting millions of barrels from the Bakken oil field mean for the region's environmental and economic future? Writer and reporter Richard Manning joins us with the story of North Dakota's oil boom.

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Arctic Drilling In Doubt
5:06 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Shell's Arctic Vessels: To Asia For Major Repairs, Anacortes Area For Tests

The semi-submersible Mighty Servant 3 carrying an oil rig in 2006. Shell plans to use similar ships to haul two Alaskan oil rigs to Asia.
Wikimedia Commons

UPDATE: Shell plans to use three tugs to tow the damaged Kulluk oil rig to Dutch Harbor in Alaska's Aleutian Islands, where it will await a longer trip to an unnamed Asian drydock. Shell and the US Coast Guard have disbanded the joint command formed after the Seattle-bound rig broke free from its sole tugboat, then ran aground. Officials said the Kulluk's outer hull was damaged but not breached. They did not specify the degree of damage, saying only, "The outer hull did receive damage as expected with a vessel being aground during adverse weather." 

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