Archives for April, 2012

In life there will be most of us, and there will be the one percent. There will be those of us who fly in coach, and there will be those of us who have their own private jets. There will be those of us who enjoy our small homes, and those of us who dwell…

Comments Off on Arctic Oil Drilling Opens as Pitfalls Pondered Miles Away

Nearing record highs in March, gasoline prices have dropped for most of April across the U.S. and on average are cheaper than they were a year ago. As pump prices ease, federal prosecutors are turning up the heat in the BP oil spill case, arresting an ex-engineer accused of obstructing justice by deleting potentially damaging e-mails. And as the…

Comments Off on TUfast Eco: With Innovation to Victory

It was just two years ago when a couple of young highly motivated students at the Technical University of Munich in Germany decided to found the TUfast Eco team and build a car for Shell Eco-marathon Europe. Building race cars for the Formula Student has already become a tradition at our university, but designing a…

Comments Off on Cherrypicking the Evidence in the Energy Jobs Debate

Can jobs be more than a talking point in the debate over energy? It’s not just a rhetorical question. It’s not a surprise that jobs and the economy consistently show up as the number-one issue for voters this election year. It’s also no surprise that the both sides of the energy debate use estimates of…

By Brendan Schoenman, 2012 Human Impacts Institute Environmental Leadership Intern, and Tara DePorte, Founder and Executive Director, Human Impacts Institute As United Nations’ Rio+20 conference on sustainable development approaches, youth around the world have the opportunity to speak with a unified and influential voice on the issues that will be discussed in June. The United…

Comments Off on As Half the U.S. Contemplates Hydraulic Fracturing, First Liquefied Natural Gas Export Plant Approved

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Monday approved the first large-scale liquefied natural gas export terminal in the lower 48 states despite record falling gas prices. Shipping from the $10 billion Louisiana plant is projected to begin as early as 2015. The Cheniere plant is the third liquefied natural gas plant in the works in Louisiana. Others are planned elsewhere in the country. The plants…

Every night, something unusual happens in Samuel Kimani’s home on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. Samuel, 48, lives with his wife Mary and their three children. Their family supports itself day-to-day through their main source of income, their cow Baraka, whose milk is collected daily and sold directly to customers for about $1.80 a day.…

Comments Off on Study Predicts Grim Ecological Effects for Proposed Amazon Dams

Proposals to build more than 150 hydroelectric dams on Andean tributaries of the Amazon River could have catastrophic ecological impacts, causing the first major breaks between the tributaries and the Amazon and leading to widespread forest loss, according to a study published today in the scientific journal PLoS ONE. The study by researchers at the…

Comments Off on Air Pollution from Fracked Natural Gas Wells Will Be Regulated Under New U.S. Rules

Under a new rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, new oil and gas wells that are hydraulically fractured—or “fracked”—will have to use new equipment to capture the gases that escape, rather than releasing them into the air or burning them off. Hydraulic fracturing has been in use since the 1950s, but in the past…

Comments Off on Oil Spill Report Card Shows a Need for Cramming Ahead of Arctic Drilling

The U.S. government announced Wednesday that it had finalized plans for $60 million in Gulf Coast restoration projects following the Deepwater Horizon disaster. But it has a broader to-do list ahead in order to boost its grades on the mediocre “report card” issued on its efforts two years after the worst oil spill in U.S.…