Methane is the source of the gas we burn in stoves. You can also use it to make plastics, antifreeze or fertilizer. It comes out of underground deposits, but it also seeps up from swamps, landfills, even the stomachs of cows.
And while methane is valuable, a lot of it gets up into the atmosphere, where it becomes a very damaging greenhouse gas.
For the first time, the Obama administration is taking action against wind farms for killing eagles.
In a settlement announced Friday, Duke Energy will pay $1 million for killing 14 golden eagles over the past three years at two Wyoming wind farms. The company says it pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
The case is a first to be prosecuted under that law for a wind company by the Obama administration, which has been a champion for pollution-free wind power.
The EPA's decision not to force oil companies to replace E10, gasoline mixed with 10 percent ethanol, with E15, had a big impact on a lot of businesses. For manufacturers of motorcycles, motor boats and outdoor power equipment, it was good news. But for gas station owners who invested in expensive blender pumps, the decision hurt.
Colorado and California both just proposed new regulations for oil and gas production in their states. Both states have been pushed by environmental concerns to establish rules tougher than federal requirements. If Colorado's proposal goes ahead, it would be the first state in the nation to directly regulate methane. California also says its proposed rule would be the toughest in the nation. It regulates the engineering technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
A top executive for SandRidge Energy says the company plans to spend $350 million next year to drill another 100 horizontal wells and build associated infrastructure in the Mississippian Lime formation in Kansas
David Lawler, executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Oklahoma-based firm, says that plan should make people understand the company's interest in the Kansas formation.
Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant successfully removed some radioactive fuel from one of the damaged reactors on Monday. It's an important first step, but there's a long way to go before the situation at the plant can be said to be completely under control
Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:30 pm
Workers at Japan's Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power station successfully completed the first day of a delicate operation to remove radioactive fuel rods from a reactor damaged in the March 2011 tsunami.
The fuel rods were removed from the Unit 4 reactor, which was offline at the time the tsunami smashed into the plant, overwhelming its backup systems. Although Unit 4 was spared the fate of three other reactors that melted down, a fire in its containment building weakened the structure.