Christina Nunez is a Washington, D.C.-based producer of energy content at National Geographic. Previously, she has been a producer, editor and writer at websites including AOL.com and NPR.org.

No sooner had the Interior Department released new fracking rules for public lands on Friday than industry groups announced a lawsuit to halt what they called “a reaction to unsubstantiated concerns.” The new regulations pertain to hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on about 756 million acres of federal and Indian land. They require companies…

Comments Off on Nebraska Ruling Throws Keystone XL Decision Back to State Department

The court case that the Obama administration cited last April in putting off a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline has concluded, lifting a key obstacle for a project that’s been in limbo for more than six years. The Nebraska Supreme Court, overturning a lower court’s ruling, allowed the pipeline’s route through that state to…

Comments Off on Keystone XL Veto Threat: Does ‘No’ Really Mean No?

The White House announced Tuesday that President Barack Obama would veto a Senate bill aimed at greenlighting the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. “If this bill passes this Congress, the president wouldn’t sign it,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. He spoke just a day after deferring comment on the pending legislation, which is the latest…

The indictment of a former coal mining CEO over safety violations Thursday sent a “strong message,” said the United Mine Workers of America. Don Blankenship faces four criminal counts and up to 31 years in prison for alleged safety violations at mines operated by Massey Energy, which he headed from 2000 until his retirement in…

With abundant sunlight and plenty of open space, deserts are an obvious place to put large solar arrays, but there’s a downside: lots of dust, and not enough rainfall to wash it off. A buildup on solar panels can reduce efficiency by anywhere from 7 to 40 percent, according to various research efforts. Cleaning them…

Comments Off on New Gas Plant Venture Aims at Carbon Capture From a Different Angle

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is often promoted as a way for coal power to be made “clean”: Projects such as the in-progress Kemper power plant in Mississippi and the recently announced Petra Nova project in Texas aim to trap the carbon dioxide from burning coal and then store it into underground storage or into…

Comments Off on Your Pants Might Charge Your Phone One Day, Suggests New Tiny-Generator Study

Billing the breakthrough as the “world’s smallest electric generator,” scientists have found a way to translate kinetic energy into power using a material no thicker than a layer of atoms.  Researchers imagine that the bendable, stretchable material could be woven into clothing that might power body sensors, medical devices, or a phone in your pocket.…

Cutting the U.S. greenhouse gas emissions that stoke climate change could save billions in energy costs and boost revenue for the natural gas industry, according to a new report from the World Resources Institute, a research organization that advocates for environmental sustainability. The report, Seeing Is Believing, focuses on five areas that account for 55…

Comments Off on Methane Hot Spot in U.S. Predates Fracking Boom, Study Says

An area in the U.S. Southwest that’s about half the size of Connecticut has emitted the country’s largest concentration of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, according to a new analysis of satellite data. The study, which was released jointly by the American Geophysical Union and NASA, found that between 2003 and 2009, the area released…

Comments Off on U.S. Fuel Economy Hit New Highs With 2013 Models

American cars are using less gas per mile and emitting less carbon dioxide than ever before, according to a government analysis released Wednesday. The average fuel economy of 2013 models is 27.6 miles per gallon for cars and 19.8 miles per gallon for trucks, “both of which are all-time highs,” said the report from the…