May 17 Energy News

May 17, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Options: Seawalls, Flooding, or Emissions Cuts?” • Climate change, it’s fair to say, is complicated. And it’s big. One of the main challenges of responding effectively is simply getting your head around the scale of the problem. A study published in the journal Nature Communications clarifies the situation through cost analysis. [The Maritime Executive]

Dutch surge barrier (Rens Jacobs | Rijkswaterstaat)

¶ “Risk, Doubt, And The Burden Of Proof In The Climate Debate” • This article is an Excerpt from Industrial-Strength Denial: Eight Stories of Corporations Defending the Indefensible, from the Slave Trade to Climate Change by Barbara Freese, published by the University of California Press. © 2020 by the Regents of the University of California. [GreenBiz]

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Way To See How Much Methane Is Being Released From Arctic Lakes” • There’s a new way to see how much methane is being released from Arctic lakes. Using synthetic aperture radar, a research team at the University of Alaska Fairbanks was able to study satellite images differently, giving scientists a new tool to measure emissions. [CleanTechnica]

Methane bubbles under ice (Melanie Engram | UA Fairbanks)

¶ “New Study Could Help Better Predict Rainfall During El Niño” • Researchers discovered a connection between tropical weather events and US rainfall during El Niño years. It helps explain why California received significantly less rainfall than predicted during the 2015 El Niño event while massive flooding occurred in the Mississippi River basin. [Science Daily]

¶ “NASA Explains Sea-Level Rise – And Yes, It’s Real” • NASA science writer Alan Buis published a blog post, “Can’t ‘See’ Sea Level Rise? You’re Looking in the Wrong Place.” We loose 2.5 meters of beach for every inch the sea rises. So what are our options? Either spend a lot of money to combat it with things like higher sea walls or abandon ship and move. [Electrek]

Flood in Key West (Image: Union of Concerned Scientists)

World:

¶ “IEA Sees Unique Opportunity For Clean Energy During Covid-19 Crisis” • In the midst of a pandemic that has shaken energy markets to the core and threatens to send the global economy into a depression, renewable energy is holding steady. In the apt words of ihe International Energy Agency, renewables remain ‘resilient.’ [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Romanian Oil Company Powers Its Gas Stations With Solar Panels” • Romanian oil and gas company OMV Petrom installed solar panels on the canopies that cover the gas pumps at forty service stations in Romania. The output of those solar arrays will offset approximately 10% of the electricity need to operate those service stations. [CleanTechnica]

OMV Petrom station (Image credit: OMV Petrom)

¶ “Canada, EU Raise Concerns To Mexico Over Renewable Energy Policy Dispute” • The European Union and Canada have formally raised concerns to Mexico about rules that they said endanger renewable energy projects, escalating tensions with its government. Mexico had moved to tighten its control over the power industry. [q107.com]

¶ “Union Government Permits Commercial Coal Mining” • In a major reform, Finance News suggests, India’s Union government has decided to permit commercial mining of coal. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said there would be no eligibility conditions for commercial bidders apart from upfront payment with a ceiling. [newsgram.com]

Coal mine (Pixabay image)

¶ “White House Official Urges Britain Not To Hand China Control Of Its Electricity” • The US State Department’s assistant secretary for non-proliferation and international security delivered a stark warning to Britain not to continue to let a Chinese state-run nuclear energy company control a large part of our electricity supply. [Daily Mail]

US:

¶ “As Big Oil Declines, Bill McKibben Says, ‘So Will Its Political Power'” • In a recent editorial, Bill McKibben declared, “Big Oil is not so big anymore.” At least 90 fossil fuel companies are part of the Federal Reserve coronavirus bond buyback program. “But the key point is that,” McKibben reminds us, “as the industry flags, so will its political power.” [CleanTechnica]

Pump jacks (Image retrieved from YouTube)

¶ “Two Multimillion-Dollar Solar Energy Projects Could Come To Lowndes County” • Two 200-MW solar energy projects, potentially with energy storage, could come to Lowndes County, Mississippi, after supervisors unanimously approved resolutions of intent to enter agreements with the companies pitching the projects. [The Commercial Dispatch]

¶ “Groups Sue Over Western Colorado Coal Mine’s Emissions” • Conservation groups filed a federal lawsuit against Arch Coal, based in St Louis, over methane and other toxic air emissions at the company’s West Elk Mine in Colorado’s North Fork Valley. The Sierra Club is one of several groups that filed the suit in US District Court in Denver. [OutThere Colorado]

Grand Mesa at Land’s End in Colorado (Jeremy Janus | iStock)

¶ “Guernsey Braces For Layoffs As Coal’s Decline Quiets The Rails” • For Guernsey, Wyoming, the railroad is the town’s backbone. With less coal mined, there are fewer trains, a decline townspeople say is notable. Recently, BNSF Railway told local and state officials the company would eliminate 87 jobs there as it closes a mechanical shop in July. [Oil City News]

¶ “Trump Administration Forced To Review Coal-mining Threats To Endangered Species Nationwide” • In response to a lawsuit from environmentalists, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement agreed to consult with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to review impacts of coal mining on endangered species. [Center for Biological Diversity]

Have a decidedly lighthearted day.

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