There’s political stalemate in Washington between Democrats and Republicans on what to do about global warming. But now the issue of global warming and environmental regulations is also splitting some Democrats, as many on the left are being critical of the Obama administration for slow-walking new rules relating to things like appliances.
The fracking boom has led to low prices and high supplies of natural gas in the United States, which makes consumers and manufacturers who use natural gas very happy. But prices overseas are much higher, so there are 19 applications to sell liquefied natural gas overseas, and many are watching to see what the Obama administration will decide.
There’s a ton of money to be made for gas producers, and the natural gas could replace coal, which is growing as an export to Europe. Since natural gas is cleaner, many argue that allowing exports would be good for the environment.
But there is opposition from domestic manufacturers who don’t want to see natural gas prices go up. The article linked above points out that “Paul Cicio, president of the Washington-based trade group Industrial Energy Consumers of America, has called for delaying approvals for some new export terminals to avoid a domestic price shock.”
Stay tuned . . .
Posted in: Renewable Energy
Tags: exporting natural gas, fracking, fracking boom, gas boom, gas export issues, gas industry, gas industry risks, Gazprom, hydraulic fracturing, hydraulic fracturing risks, Industrial Energy Consumers of America, liquefied natural gas, Paul Cicio, producing shale gas, shale gas, shale gas boom
With natural gas being so cheap, there’s a push from producers to showcase how compressed natural gas can be used in cars. The issues involve things like trunk space since the fuel requires much more space, and also fueling stations. Trucking companies are setting up fueling stations for well-defined routes, but for someone who wants to buy a car we’re a very long way off.
With all the options surrounding alternative fuel vehicles, it seems like these are a long shot in the short term.
With tax credits and lower prices from manufacturers, particularly lease deals, we’re starting to see an increase in sales for electric cars. Automakers have a huge incentive to sell these vehicles in order to comply with regulatory mandates.
A carbon emissions tax is a huge long-shot in today’s political climate, but that’s not deterring former congressman Bob Inglis.
Girls just want to have fun. Or at least they don’t want to have as many babies as before. This is true in places like the United States, where a Western lifestyle has changed behavior, but also in other parts of the world where women are becoming more empowered and making the decision to have fewer children. Thus, the population around the world is aging.
This will present some challenges for economic growth, but the article explains that efficiencies could save us there.
More importantly, population explosion is one of the biggest challenges we have for the environment, so this trend could actually be a very good thing.
There are all sorts of opinions on the Keystone Pipeline. Many environmentalists are very much opposed, while many people concerned with weaning ourselves off of Mid East oil are in favor of it, even with all the new oil American is producing through fracking. The Arkansas oil spill complicates the issue of course.
Here’s T. Boone Pickens discussing natural gas, oil and the pipeline.
Here’s a new kind of hybrid car that might just start another revolution in car design.
Hybrids and plug-in hybrids offer incredible potential, and we’re seeing progress with hydrogen fuel cells as well. But with compressed air you have a novel approach that produces ZERO emissions when in that mode. That’s pretty impressive. Expect to hear much more about this, as it’s also much more practical than things like the AIRpod, which relies totally on compressed air but doesn’t have the size and range of this hybrid.
If we are going to make it as a society, we are going to have to make some tough, potentially gross decisions. One of those decisions centers around the toilet. A standard toilet in the average American household uses five gallons of water per flush and is flushed four times per day per person; that comes out to an average of 30 thousand gallons of water per year for a family of four.
If you want to reduce the water used by your toilet, you have four options.
Option 1: Get a low flow toilet.
There are a variety of low flow toilets on the market, and they way better than you think. Sure, some of them may have flushing problems for bigger “loads,” but with a little research, you can find the right one for you. Additionally, many of these models use different amounts of water for solid and liquid waste.
Option 2: Try to flush half as often.
If you have a standard toilet you would be saving around 15,000 gallons. With a low flow toilet, you would save around 5,000 additional gallons per year.
Option 3: Flush only for solid waste:
Option 4: Compost that crap!
If you want to almost completely eliminate the water that passes through your toilet each year, you could consider a composting toilet. With a composting toilet you take what normally passes through your toilet and simply bury it, or even use it to fertilize your flowers. Contrary to what you may think, composting toilets can be rater sophisticated and do not smell if properly maintained (as with any toilet). However, it is entirely understandable if you don’t want to go quite that far. However, if you are interested in this option, you could check it out here .
However you choose to save water, just be sure it works for you. Good luck!
If you are reading this blog, chances are pretty good you are concerned with the environment. Unfortunately, many of us don’t do as much as we can as far as conservation goes. Most typically, this is because we either don’t know what we could do, or we think measures are overly difficult or expensive. These inhibitions are not completely unfounded. Installing solar panels can be quite expensive, and gray water systems can be quite an ordeal. There are a plethora of simple changes that we each can make that are simple, inexpensive, and can positively impact the environment. This is the first of a series of articles that provide you with such solutions.
Today’s topic is reducing or eliminating unneeded lighting. In less sophisticated circles, this is known as ‘turning off the freaking lights when you leave the room.” I know I may sound like your parents when you were a kid, but I am going to put you on the spot. Are there any unneeded lights on in your house right now? If you are anything like me, the answer is probably yes. However, if you have more than just a few lights on, don’t feel too bad. Energy use is often overlooked because, unlike physical waste, it does not sit around our house until we take it out. In the United States, approximately 50 percent of electricity is produced by coal-fired power plants. These plants emit sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, and heavy metals (including mercury).
Turning off unneeded lights is simple and free. In fact, it is better than free; it can save you money. It is simply a matter of changing habits. While the exact level of energy conservation depends on the type of bulbs you are currently using, your region, and the size of your dwelling, it is a reliable rule that if you are not using a light, you should turn it off.
If the environmental benefits are not enough to entice you, energy conservation through lighting can be a very frugal option. A very nice breakdown can be found here. Using natural lighting may also have health benefits. Many people find transitioning to natural light from artificial calming. This calming effect may be caused by renewed exposure to full spectrum lighting, which is very difficult to recreate via artificial light sources.
The hardest thing about turning off lights is breaking bad habits. Here are a few tips to help you change your behavior and save money.
I hope you found these suggestions helpful. Check out the site next week for your next Simple Way to be a little more green.