Enviroman's blog

U.S. making great strides in energy independence

Energy has always been a touchy subject in the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />U.S. especially during a Presidential election year. This year is very different. We have cancelled the blame game, because we are quietly turning the corner when it comes to energy dependence. Politics aside, no single political party can claim responsibility either. If you doubt that we've made progress consider what has happened in the last six years when it comes to our dependence on foreign energy alone.  

Residential Natural gas bills in U.S. declining

Great news for U.S. consumers. Residential natural gas bills continued to decrease mainly because the wholesale price of natural gas in the U.S. has continued to slide. The reason that the price of wholesale natural gas is declining is because of huge shale natural gas finds in the U.S. and warmer weather. U.S. consumers are in great shape compared to people in Europe and Asia where wholesale prices are two times and three times the price of natural gas in the U.S. The biggest reason why natural gas prices are lower in the U.S. is becauses there are hundreds of producers compared to a few in Europe and Asia. Think Russia and Norway, which supply natural gas via long pipelines

Not So Obvious Reasons for High Gasoline Prices in the U.S.

Think high gasoline prices and you can ramble off a number of reasons: Iran's nuclear program and threats of war in the Persian Gulf, speculators jacking up the price, greedy oil companies and the current administration not allowing companies to drill. You'd be right about Iran and speculators, but miss the boat when it comes to the real reason--lack of oil pipelines to supply refineries.  

Getting it right: why the NRC Chairman said "No" to a Nuclear Power Plant

Four of the five commissioners at the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Commission voted to approve the first new nuclear power plant reactors in a generation on Thursday February 9, 2012. However, NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko voted against the Vogtle license.  He alone wanted a binding commitment from Southern Company that it would make safety changes prompted by the March 2011 nuclear disaster in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Japan. Are you saying to yourself "What's wrong with that?"

We wandered what was really behind Chairman Jaczko’s ‘No” vote and so we dove into the NRC’s site to find out. What we came up with is quite unbelievable and alarming. The NRC’s Chairman wrote a 12 page dissent that details why he did not vote “yes”. What it boils down to is that he wanted the license for the Vogtle project to contain a license condition that would require Southern Company to implement safety changes that come out of the Japanese nuclear accident review.

Facebook and Twitter can play vital role in electricity-natural gas disaster planning

Generating electricity these days will increasingly depend on adequate and affordable supplies of natural gas. That's because electric power generators are using more natural gas then coal. Luckily, the U.S. has plenty of natural gas and most of it is on shore in shale formations. There is also a good network of pipelines to transport the gas where it is needed. That's the good news.

Radon in your home is 2nd highest cause of lung cancer

Most people associate smoking cigarettes with lung cancer. But the second cause of lung cancer is breathing in Radon over a prolonged period of time in your home. You actually increase the odds of getting lung cancer by smoking in a home that has high concentratios of radon. The good news is that you can take care of excessive radon levels at home very easily and for little money.

Electricity and Natural Gas Prices lowest in 10 years

Although the economy is mediocre at best, at least natural gas and electricity prices are at their lowest levels in 10 years. Since the U.S. is relying on natural gas to produce more electricity, it follows that electric prices follow natural gas prices. The low natural gas prices are due to mild early winter temperatures in most of the U.S., strong natural gas production primarily from shale gas, and high storage levels in the ground that can be called upon. Even if the weather gets very cold, that storage should see us through.

The Why behind Going Green

Years ago I remember national campaigns to get people to quit smoking. Sure there were compelling medical reasons to quit smoking. But what really made people quit in my opinion is that it became "uncool" to smoke as well. Today, Going Green" is cool, but I sometimes think it's equated with "buying" green only. I think that a lot of bologna and Gong Green has been hijacked by many companies looking to make a buck off of you buying something.

Is EPA toying with Electricity Reliability?

Is the EPA about to leave Americans in the dark?

That’s the charge from the agency’s critics, who claim a soon-to-be-issued mercury rule for utilities will shut down enough power plants to make reliable electric service a thing of the past. EPA supporters, meanwhile, call the argument a scare tactic from those trying to protect outdated coal-fired power plants.

Shale Gas Revolution by David Brooks

I found this great article in the New York Times by OP-Ed columnist David Brooks. It really captures many of the themes that I have been talking about for years with respect to energy and the environment. It pits energy against the environment, but as my fellow writers like Live Ammo will tell you in a future post the stakes are a great deal higher. Nevertheless we think the article is a good read for all of you homeowners who care about this country and we we are heading.

Renewable Energy Portfolios largely responsible for utilities continuing to add solar

Why are electric utilities adding more solar energy projects to their portfolios? Answer: State Renewable Energy Portfolios are forcing them to. Utilities in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Arizona, California, Nevada, Florida and New Jersey are adding solar energy projects to their power generating portfolios in greater numbers. These additions represent a four-fold increase in 2011 over 2010, going to 1,276 MW from 285 MW. This is based on solar plants currently operating, permitted or being constructed.

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