Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” touted by industry as the technological saving grace to our nation’s energy woes, has caused much concern to the environmental community during recent years. Amidst claims that burning natural gas is a less carbon-intensive source of electricity and heat, frackers have had to defend their business against assertions that their activities cause earthquakes, air and water […]
The global fossil fuel divestment movement has been gaining a lot of steam over the past year, enough to elicit a response from one of the largest oil companies in the world – ExxonMobil. In a blog posted to their website, the oil giant attempted to explain why the continued use of oil, gas, and coal to power our economies is the only viable way forward, while dismissing both the potential of renewable sources of energy and the costs imposed by a changing climate. The reality is that fossil fuels still provide the lion’s share of the global energy supply, but the assertion that it has to be this way couldn’t be farther from the truth. In the blog post, Exxon outlines their case for fossil fuels, stating “divestment represents a diversion from the real search for technological solutions to managing climate risks.” Exxon’s idea of a technological solution to managing a climate risk, of course, is the natural gas boom currently underway in the United States. In addition to creating plenty of jobs along the supply chain and accounting for a sizeable chunk of the nation’s GDP, natural gas is supposedly responsible for the return to 1990’s emissions levels that the US has experienced over the past few years. Even ignoring the obvious environmental risks to soil, air, and groundwater associated with natural gas production, fugitive methane emissions from drilling sites are often understated and likely have a greater […]
Good news for lovers of renewable energy. According to figures released last June, wind and natural-gas ran roughly neck and neck for the title of New Energy Leader 2012. Then, according to Financial Energy Regulatory Commission figures published by Business Insider wind pulled ahead at the end of the year, ultimately installing 10.7 MW of new energy to 8.7MW of natural gas: American-based wind manufacturers remain undercapitalized — with the exception of towermaker Trinity Energy, which saw an explosive +60% 2H2012 — so it’s a bit difficult to trade on the trend. The big gust in new wind capacity was partially attributable accelerated installation ahead of the “wind cliff” manufacturers were facing — the government’s tax credit was set to expire. But it has been renewed for at least year, which could mean the trend will continue to sail along. Huge thanks to all Green Americans who pushed Congress to extend the wind-energy Production Tax Credit (PTC). Because Congress only extended the credit for one year, we’ll need to push again at the end of 2013.