Ten mishaps in just eight months at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant are raising doubts about the operator's ability to tackle the crisis and prompting concern that another disaster could be in the making. Even more troubling, a typhoon is forcasted to hit the area this weekend.
Some of the largest pension funds in the U.S. and the world are worried that major fossil fuel companies may not be as profitable in the future because of efforts to limit climate change, and they want details on how the firms will manage a long-term shift to cleaner energy sources.
A panel that advises Vermont state policymakers on activities at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant on Wednesday passed a resolution urging prompt dismantlement after the reactor closes next year. Entergy, the owning company, has not said how long the process should take, but federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission rules indicate it can take up to 60 years.
Following a request to suspend operations at Presque Isle Power Plant in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, official say the plant should remain operating through at least 2014 to maintain reliable electricity service in the region.
The United States cut its energy-related carbon dioxide pollution by 3.8 percent last year, the second biggest drop since 1990. The only recent year with a bigger percentage drop was in 2009, when America was in a large recession. American cars and factories released their lowest levels of CO2 since 1994.
Dressed in white hazmat coveralls and carrying a dosimeter, documentary film director Robert Stone ventured into the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant's exclusion zone a year after a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered meltdowns in three reactors. As he encountered abandoned homes, shops and toppled cars in the scene in his new film "Pandora's Promise," Stone asked a traveling companion, "So, are you still pro-nuclear?"
General Motors says it will start selling a Chevrolet Impala sedan next summer that runs on both natural gas and gasoline. The company says both fuels are needed because there are few natural gas filling stations in the U.S. GM says the Impala will be the only factory-produced full-size car that runs on both fuels.
French President Francois Hollande had promised to maintain the ban imposed by his predecessor, even though France had been named among the most promising European countries for shale gas extraction. The French, who rely largely on nuclear energy, pay roughly 50 percent more per month for energy than Americans.
A contract allowing Kentucky Power Co. to buy electricity produced by a biomass-fueled plant has been approved. The Kentucky Public Service Commission reported the utility has said the deal is needed because of reduced power production at the company's Big Sandy plant in Lawrence County.
The largest organization representing companies involved in Pennsylvania's natural gas drilling boom have attacked proposals to raise taxes on the industry by various challengers to Governor Tom Corbett. The Marcellus Shale Coalition issued a statement criticizing tax proposals that it said were being touted by gubernatorial candidates.
Lawmakers have blocked a proposal that could have allowed greater amounts of ethanol to be blended into the gasoline sold for most vehicles. The decision by a legislative panel halts a proposed rule change that would have allowed stations to sell fuel containing 15 percent ethanol. The decision is essentially a temporary moratorium. The full Legislature can decide whether to permanently block the rule when it convenes in January.
A 2006 Missouri law already requires regular gasoline to contain 10 percent ethanol, which generally is made from corn. The Department of Agriculture implemented that law with a rule capping the ethanol content at 10 percent. The department now wants to amend its rules to sell regular gasoline containing up to 15 percent ethanol.
The plant's owners pointed to a number of reasons for the planned shutdown, including low electricity prices from a surplus of natural gas and the need to invest significant capital to meet environmental regulations and to operate and maintain an aging plant.
UPS is spending $50 million to more than triple the current number of liquefied natural gas fueling stations it owns. The delivery company is trying to capitalize on the enormous amounts of natural gas that has been unlocked in the U.S. Natural gas is cheaper than gasoline and creates less pollution, but has been underutilized because it requires additional infrastructure.
Design changes at a new radioactive waste disposal plant at the country's most contaminated nuclear site in south-central Washington were not properly verified to ensure safety, the U.S. Department of Energy's Inspector General concluded. The audit was highly critical of the design change process at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation's $12.2 billion vitrification plant.
According to the American Chemistry Council, the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) slipped 0.3 percent in August, following an upwardly revised 0.2 percent gain in July. During July, chemical production was lower in all seven regions for the second consecutive month.
Texas-based KiOR, Inc. has announced that it will double the production capacity at its biofuels production facility in Columbus, Mississippi. KiOR estimates the project — called Columbus II — will cost about $225 million and take about 18 months to construct and start up.
The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded an $857,000 grant to the George County Board of Supervisors to make roadway and water improvements to accommodate the construction of a wood pellet plant near Lucedale, Mississippi.
South Dakota-based Poet LLC and its Dutch partner say a cellulosic ethanol plant being built in Iowa will open early next year. By next summer, Poet-DSM Advanced Biofuels should have any glitches worked out at the $250 million Emmetsburg plant.
Fracking is dramatically increasing the recoverable reserves of America carbon-based energy supplies. but yesterday I just paid $4.15 to fill up my car at the USA gas station in Cardiff, Calif. There is a huge disconnect between supply and the price at the pump.
New results have proven that certain microorganisms are capable of producing natural gas under industrial conditions. The method, based on microorganisms known as Archaea, converts climate-damaging CO2 and hydrogen into storable methane (natural gas). A recently completed pilot study has demonstrated how quickly microorganisms can respond to sudden peaks in power generation and produce high quality natural gas.
A massive solar project in the Mojave Desert will hook up to the power grid this weekend, and could start supplying electricity to homes by the end of the year. The plant has 170,000 heliostats, each with the capacity to power one home. Ben Tracy reports.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees hydroelectric projects in the U.S., issued 125 preliminary hydropower permits last year, up from 95 in 2011. Preliminary permits allow a company to explore a project for up to three years.
The man hired by billionaire Larry Ellison to turn Lanai into a renewable energy laboratory has already done something similar at the University of California, San Diego. The school generates 92 percent of its own power, drawing on gas turbines, methane from the campus wastewater treatment plant, solar panels and other sources.
New revelations of contaminated water leaking from storage tanks at the tsunami-ravaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant have raised alarm, coming just weeks after Japanese officials acknowledged that radioactive water has been seeping into the Pacific from the plant for more than two years,