Maryland is about to become the third US state to ban fracking

March 28, 2017 by  
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Maryland’s House of Delegates overwhelmingly passed a bill to ban hydraulic fracturing , or fracking , earlier this month, and now the state’s Senate has also approved the measure. This was the final obstacle for the bill; Governor Larry Hogan has said he will sign it. Once he does, Maryland will become the third US state to ban fracking , and the first state with gas reserves to ban it through legislation. Maryland joins Vermont and New York to ban fracking, or the practice of injecting water, chemicals, and sand into the earth to break up rock, releasing natural gas . Vermont achieved a ban with legislation, New York with an executive order. Maryland’s legislation is historic because the state is the first with gas reserves to ban fracking through legislation. The Senate approved the measure with 35 to 10 votes. Related: Maryland House passes bill to ban fracking According to The Baltimore Sun, many people were surprised when the governor announced his support for the ban this month after the House passed the bill. Hogan said in a news conference, “I urge members of the legislature on both sides of the aisle and in both houses to come together and finally put this issue to rest.” Fracking had the most potential in Maryland’s Garrett and Alleghany counties, according to The Washington Post. Advocates of the practice said fracking offers an energy source cleaner than coal – natural gas doesn’t send as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when burned – but opponents say fracking potentially contaminates water sources and emits greenhouse gas emissions. Maryland’s Sierra Club director Josh Tulkin said the state’s ban is a big step towards a clean energy economy. Senator George Edwards, a Republican of Garrett County, was among the ten who voted against the measure. He suggested an amendment to continue a fracking moratorium to 2027 instead, but lawmakers rejected the amendment. Garrett County resident Ann Bristow told The Washington Post, “This vote confirms the power of participant democracy. Never believe when someone tells you that an organized movement can’t produce change against overwhelming odds. We are proving otherwise.” Via The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun Images via Don’t Frack Maryland Facebook and chesapeakeclimate on Flickr

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Head of EPA Scott Pruitt calls Paris Climate Accord a "bad deal"

March 28, 2017 by  
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Don’t count on Scott Pruitt , head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , to do much environmental protecting. Weeks after rejecting scientific consensus about the role of carbon dioxide in driving global warming, the nation’s top environmental official doubled down on Sunday by describing a landmark accord to curb the planet’s industrial emissions as a “bad deal” for the United States. “You know, what was wrong with Paris was not just that it was, you know, failed to be treated as a treaty, but China and India, the largest producers of CO2 internationally, got away scot-free. They didn’t have to take steps until 2030,” Pruitt said in an interview with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos. “So we’ve penalized ourselves through lost jobs while China and India didn’t take steps to address the issue internationally. So Paris was just a bad deal, in my estimation.” There’s plenty to nitpick about Pruitt’s stance, which mischaracterizes the positions of China and India, both of which officially ratified the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change in late 2016. For one thing, China is the world’s No. 1 polluter, but India comes in fourth after the United States and European Union. Neither does the 2030 cutoff give China or India special latitude. All 197 countries that have committed themselves to the pact are legally bound to develop plans to curtail greenhouse-gas emissions through 2025 or 2030. And while there’s no legal requirement that specifies how much countries should cut, they must report every two years on their efforts to mitigate emissions levels, which are subject to technical and peer review. Related: EPA chief says carbon dioxide is not a ‘primary contributor’ to global warming Far from getting away “scot-free,” China and India are making inroads in their energy policies. Although it continues to be bogged down by inefficient coal power plants that contribute to its infamous smog, China has been expanding its renewable-energy capacity at a breakneck pace. Even as President Donald Trump decried climate change as a “Chinese hoax” , the Chinese government announced that it intends to spend more than $360 billion through 2020 on renewable power sources like solar and wind, slashing carbon emissions and creating over 13 million jobs in the renewable energy sector in the same time frame. India, in the meantime, has pledged to obtain at least 40 percent of its electricity from non-fossil-fuel sources by 2030. To nudge itself closer to that goal, the South Asian nation is planning 33 solar parks in 21 states, with a capacity of at least 500 megawatts each—no mean feat for a country where millions still have no access to electricity . Indeed India currently houses the world’s largest solar power plant in a single location , a title once held by Topaz Solar Farm in California. For anyone who has been paying attention, however, Pruitt’s statements shouldn’t be too surprising. The former attorney general of Oklahoma has long boasted close ties to the oil and gas industry. He also sued the EPA—the very same agency he now heads—a stunning 14 times , frequently in tandem with companies that donated money to campaigns he was affiliated to. Related: New EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s emails reveal troubling oil-industry ties Pruitt noted on Sunday that President Trump will soon be signing a new executive order that will halt the implementation of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan , an Obama administration policy designed to, among other things, rein in America’s greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent by 2030. “With respect to this executive order that’s coming out on Tuesday, this is about making sure that we have a pro-growth and pro-environment approach to how we do regulation in this country,” Pruitt said. Pro-growth? Debatable. Pro-environment? Not a chance. + ABC News Via Huffington Post Photos from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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Head of EPA Scott Pruitt calls Paris Climate Accord a "bad deal"

The Birthplace of Fracking Just Banned Fracking

November 6, 2014 by  
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One of the quieter surprises of this week’s elections took place in Denton, north Texas, pop: 123,000. The city is home to some 272 active fracking wells, with 212 additional wells within it’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, and it sits within the Barnett Shale, one of the largest natural gas fields in the nation. Denton invented fracking, but on Tuesday, residents voted 58.64 percent in favor of a ban on hydraulic fracturing in the city . That sound you hear? That’s the stampede of panicked oil and gas industry attorneys. Read the rest of The Birthplace of Fracking Just Banned Fracking Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: air pollution , ban , barnett shale , denton , drilling , fracking , fracking ban , gas , hydraulic fracturing , lone star state , natural gas , oil , texas , water pollution

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Studio Gang is Transforming a Dirty Coal Power Plant Into a Green Arts College

November 6, 2014 by  
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Studio Gang Architects just unveiled plans to transform a decommissioned coal-burning power plant in Wisconsin into a clean green school. Beloit College commissioned Studio Gang to develop the site between its existing campus and the riverfront, and the project will “…transform an outmoded source of electricity into a wellspring of human energy”, as described by studio founder Jeanne Gang . The design will retain the structure’s original tile and brickwork while adding an isothermal envelope to provide heating—channeling kinetic energy from the nearby river through pipes within the walls to keep the building at a constant, comfortable temperature year-round. Read the rest of Studio Gang is Transforming a Dirty Coal Power Plant Into a Green Arts College Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: art college , arts college , Beloit , Beloit College , chicago , coal plant , coal-burning power plant , isothermic heating , kinetic energy , power plant , power plant art college , power plant college , river , river energy , river heat , riverbank , studio gang , studio gang architects , Studio Gang Beloit College , wisconsin

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Studio Gang is Transforming a Dirty Coal Power Plant Into a Green Arts College

Bulgaria Officially Bans Hydraulic Fracturing for Natural Gas

January 19, 2012 by  
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The country of Bulgaria just thwarted Chevron and took a big step forward for the environment by banning hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) for natural gas, making it the second European nation to do so — France is the other . Lawmakers in the Bulgarian parliament voted 166-6 to ban fracking and placed a $65 million fine for any company found to break the ban. Chevron corporation is outraged at the decision in light of their recent plan to explore possibilities of fracking in the Bulgarian Balkans in order to extract the 300 billion to 1 trillion cubic meters of shale gas estimated to be locked under the mountain range. Read the rest of Bulgaria Officially Bans Hydraulic Fracturing for Natural Gas Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: banned , bulgaria fracking , chevron fracking , european fracking ban , fracking , fracking ban , fracking opposition , fracturing , france fracking , hydraulic fracturing , hydraulic fracturing for natural gas , method for natural gas extraction , natural gas , natural gas extraction , what is fracking

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Bulgaria Officially Bans Hydraulic Fracturing for Natural Gas

Glasgow University Creates the World’s Smallest Greeting Card For Chinese New Year

January 19, 2012 by  
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Everyone loves to a receive greeting card. Whether it is for a birthday, an anniversary or a celebration, they let us know we are being thought of by our nearest and dearest. But what happens when the card is so small, you can’t even read it? This is exactly what a team from the  James Watt Nanofabrication Centre at the  University of Glasgow have done to celebrate the  Chinese New Year (and to show off their world leading nanotechnology). The team has created a greeting card that is so small, it is invisible to the naked eye! Read the rest of Glasgow University Creates the World’s Smallest Greeting Card For Chinese New Year Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: chinese new year , James Watt Nanofabrication Centre , James Watt Nanofabrication Centre nanotechnology , James Watt Nanofabrication Centre world’s smallest greeting card , nanotechnology , University of Glasgow , University of Glasgow nanotechnology , University of Glasgow world’s smallest greeting card , world’s smallest greeting card

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Glasgow University Creates the World’s Smallest Greeting Card For Chinese New Year

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