26 May 2017
2017/05/26 – Why the constant earthquakes? Iceland is slowly being torn apart – Iceland Magazine
In an average week Iceland’s national monitoring seismic network detects around 500 earthquakes.
The reason for this seismic activity is the location of Iceland on top the Atlantic ridge, the divergent boundary between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates: As the two plates drift in opposite directions Iceland is in effect slowly being split apart.
19 Dec 2016
Obama issues mining rule despite Trump’s threat to repeal it
The Interior Department’s Stream Protection Rule aims to prevent or mitigate harm to streams and other waterways from mountaintop removal mining, among other mining practices.
“The responsible rule released today represents a modern and balanced approach to meeting the nation’s energy needs,” outgoing Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement.
“Regulations need to keep pace with modern mining practices, so we worked closely with many stakeholders to craft a plan that protects water quality, supports economic opportunities, safeguards our environment and makes coalfield communities more resilient for a diversified economic future.”
Trump called the rule “excessive” in a September speech on his energy agenda and pledged that it would be repealed under his presidency. Last week he announced that Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke (R), a critic of the mining rule, would be his nominee for Interior secretary.
Trump would have to undertake an extensive rulemaking process to formally undo the regulation.
Many last minute regulations taking place. Environmentalists like this. Coal companies do not. Typical…
15 Dec 2016
Chemical leak makes water “undrinkable” in Corpus Christi
A chemical used in making asphalt leaked into the water supply. Resident are being warned to not drink the tap water.
7 May 2016
Firefighters: Solar panels are risky during fires
The weight of residential solar panels is equivalent to an extra layer of shingles. That may not sound like much, but firefighters say the extra weight could make your roof collapse much faster in a fire.
Firefighters say solar panels limit access to do vertical ventilation, which could impact the time it would take to put out a fire.
“If we were to throw a ladder to the roof and the ladder would puncture the solar panels,” said McAllister, “that could cause an electrocution to the members who were putting the ladders on the roof.”
Seems to be an unintended consequence of the solar panels.
23 Mar 2012
EPA Gets Epic Smackdown from Supreme Court [Fiscal Times]
When Mike and Chantell Sackett bought land in Idaho zoned for residential construction and acquired the necessary permits for building a home, they believed their dream of owning a custom-made house would become a reality. Instead, the EPA sent the Sacketts into a five-year nightmare of regulatory war over the supposed status of their lot as a wetland, and demanded that the Sacketts entirely undo their work on the land to comply with the Clean Water Act.
The Sacketts tried to appeal but were threatened with fines of up to $37,500 per day, and when they tried to go to court to appeal that, they discovered that the EPA had to allow them to go to court. The Sacketts sued in federal court, and yesterday finally prevailed in a unanimous Supreme Court decision that has far-reaching implications for the EPA and overreaching government intrusion.
Anytime you get a unanimous decision from the high court against a government agency, there is some devious regulating occurring.
15 Feb 2012
Energy Conversion Devices files for bankruptcy as solar energy lags [Detroit Free Press]
In the latest setback for the solar energy industry, Auburn Hills-based Energy Conversion Devices said today that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and intends to sell its assets, including its main subsidiary United Solar Ovonic.
ECD has lost more than $765 million during the last two years.
No mention of government subsidies – thank goodness.
27 Dec 2011
To Survive, Some Biofuels Companies Give Up on Biofuels [Technology Review]
Same old story. They received millions of US government money. Unproven technology. High cost of production. No guaranteed market. Yada, yada, yada.
So they are changing direction from producing fuel from cellulosic sources (grass, wood) to producing other products with corn. And then there is this at the bottom of the article.
The use of corn for fuels and chemicals is controversial, in part because growing and processing corn releases significant amounts of greenhouse gas, and in part because using corn for fuel may affect food markets.
Who cares about greenhouse gas now? They are losing their shirts and are willing to do environmentally “risky” procedures to make a profit. Imagine that.