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Energy : In the News

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Rendell leaves governor's mansion, returns to Philly law firm

The Wall Street Journal reports that former Gov. Ed Rendell has returned to his old law firm in Philadelphia. He also plans to write a book and push for investment in infrastructure.

Mr. Rendell is rejoining his old law firm, Ballard Spahr LLP in Philadelphia, where he said he’ll advise clients on a wide array of issues, including energy, higher education, health care and public-private partnerships for infrastructure investment.

Original source: The Wall Street Journal
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Coal is still king in PA, but alternative energy, deregulation are changing the landscape

Coal provides more than half of Pennsylvania's electricity, but the growth of alternative power sources and deregulation of electric utilities is altering the energy landscape, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

At play in the energy debate is geography. On one side: the state's still-thriving coal towns, largely in the southwest. On the other: former industrial regions, such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Allentown, that after decades of job loss see fresh economic opportunity. At a former U.S. Steel site in Bucks County, for example, a wind-turbine manufacturer employs 265.

But deregulation of the electricity market makes the battle relevant to all Pennsylvanians. It has given them more choice over who supplies their electricity, and how much of it -- if any -- they want to come from alternative sources such as solar and wind power.

Original source: The Philadelphia Inquirer
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Obama: Business owner from southwestern PA illustrates American Dream

CNN writes about Brandon Fisher, whose business in southwestern PA makes drilling equipment and who was honored during President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday for his role in rescuing 33 men trapped in a Chilean mine.

Fisher became involved in the rescue effort when the company that distributes his custom-made drills in Chile put the Chilean government in touch with him. Eventually Fisher's drill bits widened the hole leading to the miners to a size that allowed them to be extracted from underground one at a time in a specially designed cage.

Original source: CNN
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Legal firm adds attorneys to focus on energy law

The Legal Intelligencer reports that law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, which has offices across the state, has hired five attorneys who specialize in traditional and renewable sources of energy.

When it comes to energy and the Keystone State, utilities have been less of a focus than has renewable energy and natural gas. Pennsylvania -- particularly in the western and northeastern parts of the state -- has been a hotbed for firms looking to get a piece of the Marcellus Shale pie. A number of out-of-state firms have opened or grown offices in Pittsburgh and homegrown firms have added depth in their energy, corporate and litigation practices, all related to the growth of the natural gas industry in the state.

Original source: The Legal Intelligencer
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Gov. Corbett appoints advisor to focus on energy policy

The Daily Review reports that Gov. Tom Corbett has appointed an advisor to coordinate energy policy.

(Patrick) Henderson has been director of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee chaired by Sen. Mary Jo White, R-21, Oil City.

"This is one person whose job it is to develop and coordinate energy policy," said Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley.

The drilling boom for natural gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale formation is one reason why this job is being created, he added. But Mr. Henderson's portfolio will cover policies concerning clean coal technology, nuclear power and alternate energy as well.

Original source: The Daily Review

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Farm Show Complex full of energy-saving additions

The Reading Eagle reports that this year's Pennsylvania Farm Show is taking place in a venue with new energy-saving features, from a wind turbine to aerators on faucets.

Over the past nine months, the Pennsylvania Farm Show complex has gone through a $3.6 million upgrade designed to save on energy and money.

All told, the upgrades are expected to save Pennsylvania more than $300,000 a year, said Patrick J. Kerwin, executive director.

Energy improvements will also save 1,650 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, he said.

Original source: Reading Eagle
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Penn State to build wind turbine and demonstrate how wind can power schools

Penn State plans to build a new wind turbine, conduct research on it and help Pennsylvania schools build their own turbines, the Centre Daily Times reports.

Penn State is part of a group of five states participating in the latest U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America program. The university will not only be collecting data from the turbine it’s installing, but will be working with K-12 schools across the state that want to set up their own small-scale turbines to provide hands-on learning for students.

Original source: Centre Daily Times
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Researchers develop methane-producing microorganism that could turn biomass into energy

The Vancouver Sun reports that scientists, including researchers at Penn State, have created a microorganism that produces methane. This could mean a new way to convert biomass to energy.

They introduced a gene into the DNA of the methanogen. The gene caused it to express an enzyme that breaks down esters, which are found in nature and are also used as solvents for paints and paint thinners.

The researchers found that the altered DNA allowed the methanogen, whose name is M. acetivorans, to consume the esters and produce methane from them.

In simple terms, they've expanded the number of items that the organism can eat without waiting for other organisms to partially digest it for them. Then they burp up methane as they digest the new stuff.

Original source: The Vancouver Sun
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Water-supply regulation agency releases proposed regulations for natural gas drilling

The Delaware River Basin Commission released long-awaited proposals for rules to govern natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania and other states, the Associated Press reports.

The Delaware River Basin Commission published the long-awaited regulations on its website. They govern a range of drilling activities, including water withdrawals, well pad siting and wastewater disposal, and require drilling companies to post a bond of $125,000 per well to cover the plugging and restoration of abandoned wells and the remediation of any pollution.

Original source: Associated Press
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PA legislator, voted out of office, pushing algae's potential to create fuel

State Rep. David Kessler got voted out of office last month, but is already working to bring algae-based fuel to Pennsylvania, WFMZ reports.
"We're talking about weaning ourselves off of foreign oil," Kessler said of his business venture, which is rooted in algae. "It's a blue green algae called TerraDerm."
In May, Kessler secured a $175,000 state grant to study the possibility of bringing that technology to Pennsylvania. Now, the results are in and positive.

According to the study, the initiative could bring more than 3,000 jobs to the state. It's also passed the first phase of testing for the military at the U.S. Air Force Labs in Ohio.
Original source: WFMZ
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Natural-gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to upstate New York receives federal approval

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved a planned transmission line to carry Marcellus Shale gas from Pennsylvania to upstate New York, The Leader reports.
Empire Pipeline’s new 15-mile-long, 24-inch pipeline will carry Marcellus Shale gas produced in Pennsylvania north to Corning, where it will connect with the Millennium Pipeline.
The Millennium Pipeline runs across the Southern Tier and helps supply gas to New York City and New England.
Original source: The Leader
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West Chester University to get $4.7 million to expand geothermal energy system

The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that the U.S. Department of Energy will give West Chester University $4.7 million to heat more buildings with geothermal energy.

The university, which belongs to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, will use the grant to put three buildings on its geothermal system, which it says will reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 4.7 million pounds per year.

Original source: Philadelphia Business Journal
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PA is No. 3 in U.S. for number of solar projects, says gov't survey

A recent government survey shows that Pennsylvania is one of the top states for generating solar power, EarthTechling reports.

The EPA highlighted new data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) latest open photovoltaic survey, which ranks Pennsylvania third nationally in the number of solar projects operating today and fourth in installed capacity. According to NREL, the state now has 2,434 projects that account for 38.5 megawatts of generating capacity–enough to power about 5,800 homes–second only to California and New Jersey.

Original source: EarthTechling
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Halliburton discloses fracking chemicals, but not specific amounts

Halliburton's disclosure of the chemicals used in its fracturing technology reveals both the toxic and benign, reports the Associated Press on WSJ.com.

A new Halliburton website provides information on the chemicals the company says are in its three most commonly used solutions in the state, where drilling crews are rushing to exploit the Marcellus Shale, the biggest known deposit of natural gas in the nation.

Halliburton does not say how much of each chemical has been pumped into the ground or identify the wells where they are used, nor does it reveal the exact concentration of each chemical in an overall solution. In general, water makes up the lion's share. Sand comprises about 6 percent while chemical cocktails amount to less than 2 percent.

Many of the chemicals, including hydrochloric acid, methanol and acetic acid, are toxic in high enough doses, and appear in everyday household and industrial solvents, cleaners and adhesives.

Original source: Associated Press
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Manheim farm breaks ground on cutting-edge manure-processing plant

Kreider Farms broke ground on an innovative manure processing facility that will produce renewable energy, reports American Agriculturalist.

But Bion's first Pennsylvania project got underway this week with the groundbreaking of an innovative dairy nutrient management facility at Kreider Farms. The Lancaster County facility was lauded by state agriculture and environmental officials. The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority had previously approved Bion's $7.75 million low-interest loan financing for its phase one project.

The phase one project may also yield up to 60,000 carbon credits, estimates Rowland. And he adds, "This technology can be installed and paid for without subsidies."

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection approved the nutrient credit certification plan. Bion's investment is expected to be recovered via 130,000 nitrogen credits and 16,250 phosphorus credits. Verified nutrient credits will then be sold to offset the discharges of regulated nitrogen sources facing much higher remediation costs, such as municipal wastewater treatment plants in the Susquehanna River watershed.

Original source: American Agriculturalist
Read the full story here.

130 Energy Articles | Page: | Show All
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