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Plugged In

Plugged In

More than wires - exploring the connections between energy, environment, and our lives

Guest Post: Why Obama Rejected Keystone XL

Keystone XL should be approved. It is an economic, geopolicitcal, and even an environmental no-brainer, but it was still rejected. Why? Many are claiming that President Obama was swayed by the protestors outside the White House, or by environmental groups, or that he just hates oil and doesn’t want to create jobs...

February 1, 2012 — Scott McNally

State of the Union 2012: energy use and the military

In his 2012 State of the Union Address, President Obama laid out several key points for his energy policy in the coming year. Natural gas and domestic oil production got a shout-out in the address as part of the President’s vision of supporting domestic energy resources, something that several Republican lawmakers were pleased, and perhaps surprised, to hear.What I thought was more interesting was the President specifically calling out how big of a consumer of energy the U.S...

January 30, 2012 — David Wogan

North America Losing Its Oil Edge

For good or bad, from 1980-2010, North America lost some of its oil production edge.Thirty (two) years ago, this region of the world represented 20% of the world's crude oil production.

January 29, 2012 — Melissa C. Lott

Guest Post: Shale Gas - The Low Carbon Option?

It may be surprising to hear that hydraulic fracturing is not the cause of water contamination , but what may be even more surprising is that shale gas produced using fracking may have lower life cycle greenhouse gas emissions than conventional gas.According to a recent Environmental Science and Technology report, “shale gas life-cycle [greenhouse gas] emissions are 6% lower than conventional natural gas”There are several reasons why shale gas could have lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but perhaps the most significant reason is that multiple horizontal wells (used when tapping shale gas) can be drilled from a single well pad...

January 27, 2012 — Scott McNally

No New Uranium Mines Near Grand Canyon

By Melissa C. Lott and Robynne Boyd The arm wrestling match over job creation and environmental conservation continues.One example is the recent announcement regarding new uranium mining near the world's most famous gorge...

January 23, 2012 — Melissa C. Lott

The Wrong Time for This

An open letter to the knuckleheads at the International Telecommunication Union:Dear Knuckleheads:I’m hearing that you guys are considering dropping the Leap Second – the second added every year or so to Coordinated Universal Time to make sure CUT, kept by incredibly accurate and complex atomic clocks, squares as closely as possible with astronomical time, kept by the incredibly accurate and complex universe...

January 18, 2012 — Scott Huler

Electric Sky, Traffic Light Design, and Other Reasons for Paying Attention

The world is trying to remind you to keep your eyes open, to take nothing for granted. Don't ignore the quotidian: look there for breakthroughs.Consider the electric sky created by a German electric engineering firm to mimic the changing cloudscape of life under the real blue sky...

January 6, 2012 — Scott Huler

Waste-to-energy: from pit latrines to biogas

I'll readily admit that I don't know nearly enough about the world of sanitation, and I know that I'm not the only one that feels that way. We'll readily talk in great lengths about which types of food are best to eat, whether or not our produce is organic, or if our animals were humanely slaughtered...

January 5, 2012 — David Wogan

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