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Oil Train Derailment Causes Huge Fire in West Virginia
February 18, 2015 02:17 PM - Judy Molland, Care2

A huge fire is burning out of control in West Virginia and 1,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, after a train carrying crude oil derailed. When the accident happened, on the afternoon of Monday, February 16, crude oil began pouring into a river that supplies drinking water. Officials noted that at least one of the derailed tanker cars fell into the Kanawha River. The area is about 30 miles from the location where 10,000 gallons of a coal industry chemical called crude MCHM spilled and tainted the drinking water supply a little over one year ago.

Plant turns cow manure to ethanol
February 11, 2015 07:53 AM - Leon Kaye , Triple Pundit

Tulare County, California, recently surpassed nearby Fresno County as the top agriculture-producing county in terms of economic value within the U.S. It’s also the country’s top dairy producing county. The result has been more investment and economic growth in a rapidly booming area already home to 450,000 people.

But there is also a downside to the local dairy industry’s continued surge: The San Joaquin Valley suffers from some of worst air pollution in the U.S., and cow effluent is a threat to the region’s already troubled watersheds.

Why you should throw out your old TV
February 6, 2015 02:44 PM - Nsikan Akpan, Science/AAAS

We may think we’re a culture that ditches our worn technology at the first sight of something shiny and new, but a new study reveals that we keep using our old gadgets well after they go out of style. That’s bad news for the environment—and our wallets—as these outdated devices suck up much more energy than their newer counterparts.

Airline industry makes strides in adopting sustainable biofuels
February 5, 2015 08:38 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

Air travel emits more than 650 million metric tons of carbon pollution annually – equivalent to the pollution from 136 million cars – making the increased use of sustainable biofuels a critical to reducing the industry’s carbon footprint. According to a first-of-its-kind scorecard released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the industry is making strides in adopting sustainable biofuels, with some airlines doing better than others as they incorporate these new fuels into their fleets. Air France/KLM is by far the leader of the pack.

Study Finds Leaks in Boston's Natural Gas Pipelines
February 2, 2015 04:37 PM - S.E. Smith, Care2

A team of researchers led by Kathryn McKain of Harvard University has recently discovered that approximately three percent of the natural gas delivered to Boston leaks directly into the atmosphere, taking with it a heavy load of methane, a known greenhouse gas. Their study doesn’t just have significant environmental implications: It’s estimated that the city is losing around $90 million to leaks every year. Correcting leaks is a relatively straightforward task, though it would require some investment in natural gas infrastructure and consumer education. However, these costs would be mitigated by the substantial savings offered if Boston was able to cut down on its methane problem.

Germany overtakes the UK in offshore wind energy
February 1, 2015 08:37 AM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen

Germany will this year for the first time connect more new offshore wind installations than Britain after energy operators scrapped a string of projects planned for UK waters.

Despite having more installed offshore capacity than the rest of the world combined, the UK’s lack of new wind farms through 2015 means it will now be outstripped by Germany – a nation with access to territorial waters less than a tenth of the size of the UK’s.
 

Jet Fuel from Algae?
January 29, 2015 08:52 AM - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

A common algae commercially grown to make fish food holds promise as a source for both biodiesel and jet fuel, according to a new study published in the journal Energy & Fuels. The researchers, led by Greg O’Neil of Western Washington University and Chris Reddy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, exploited an unusual and untapped class of chemical compounds in the algae to synthesize two different fuel products, in parallel, from a single algae.

Fracking has been with us for more than 60 years. It is evolving.
January 28, 2015 07:50 AM - U.S. Geological Survey

Two new U.S. Geological Survey publications that highlight historical hydraulic fracturing trends and data from 1947 to 2010 are now available.

Hydraulic fracturing is presently the primary stimulation technique for oil and gas production in unconventional resource reservoirs. Comprehensive, published, and publicly available information regarding the extent, location, and character of hydraulic fracturing in the United States is scarce. 

“These national-scale data and analyses will provide a basis for making comparisons of current-day hydraulic fracturing to historical applications,” said USGS scientist and lead author Tanya Gallegos.

Effects of wood fuel burning have less of an impact on CO2 emissions than previously thought
January 26, 2015 08:36 AM - Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

The harvesting of wood to meet the heating and cooking demands for billions of people worldwide has less of an impact on global forest loss and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than previously believed, according to a new Yale-led study. Writing in the journal Nature Climate Change, a team of researchers, including Prof. Robert Bailis of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES), concludes that only about 27 to 34 percent of wood fuel harvested worldwide would be considered “unsustainable.” According to the assessment, “sustainability” is based on whether or not annual harvesting exceeds incremental re-growth.

Electric range-extended trucks can double fuel economy
January 26, 2015 04:54 AM - Phil Covington , Triple Pundit

When it comes to electric vehicles, we hear plenty about electric cars being launched into the consumer market but not too much about commercial vehicles. Maybe that’s because not too many people have to concern themselves with what type of delivery or garbage truck they are going to buy next. Nevertheless, such considerations matter, since the electrification of commercial fleets promises considerably larger efficiency gains than cars.

Four-year-old California company Wrightspeed, started by Tesla co-founder Ian Wright, has developed a technology that zeros in on a specific niche of the commercial fleet market, bringing both fuel savings and emissions mitigation for commercial fleet operators.

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