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oil

NOAA quantifies oil danger from shipwrecks

In the 1970s, mysterious oil spills began to plague hundreds of kilometers of California’s Central Coast. The spills usually occurred in winter, during large storms, and — with the exception of a few tarball events, like one that afflicted Point Reyes National Seashore in the winter of 1997-98 — little oil was seen on the beaches or in the water.
 

03 Nov 2013

Three Cheers for Peak Oil!

After decades of back-and-forth, the debate about peak oil boils down to two points of contention: Is peak oil real, and is it cause for concern? But instead of arguing tired positions that don’t seem to be converging on consensus, maybe it’s time we shift our tack and instead see what we can do to bring about the peak as soon as possible.

08 Jun 2009

Crystal Ball EARTH: Energy: Oil and gas around the world

Energy is a combined product of natural resources, human ingenuity and economy; it is also an engine for economic and social development. This is truer now than ever before because the global economy is more integrated and populations are growing, and with that, competition, challenges and prospects are also rising.

01 Dec 2009

Crystal Ball EARTH: Energy: A fool's look into the future

In the 1985 classic “Back to the Future,” Doc Brown, the mad scientist played by Christopher Lloyd, queries his time-traveling visitor, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), in 1955 about the future of America with the simple question of who was president. The answer of Ronald Reagan appeared astounding and ridiculous, as his name was on a movie poster at the time.

04 Dec 2009

Voices: Natural gas can lead the way

Much of the debate concerning energy, climate and the economy involves how to manage the transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources. In this context, it may seem ironic to promote one fossil fuel over another, but natural gas is an inexpensive, abundant and relatively clean fuel that can lead the transition away from coal and oil, while achieving significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants over the next two decades. In short, increased use of domestic sources of natural gas needs to be an essential component of U.S. energy policy.

01 Feb 2010

Obama asks EPA to reconsider state-set emissions standards

Just a week into his presidency, Barack Obama has already set out to reverse several of Bush’s policies, including policies on long-contentious climate and energy issues.

26 Jan 2009

As Green As It Gets: Algae Biofuels

It’s hard to think of a humbler organism than algae, or a less-likely prospect to become savior of our energy future. “Algae fuel” does not conjure up images of power, big business or high-tech gadgetry; it suggests a modest picture of a murky pond covered by a greasy, greenish film. But unassuming algae, some researchers think, have the potential to become the ultimate in “green” fuel, powering everything from cars to jets — and perhaps putting an end to one of the more bitter battles in the biofuels industry: the “food versus fuel” debate over how best to use arable lands.

13 Feb 2009

Coal-to-liquids: Can fuel made from coal replace gasoline?

Amid all the attention to the converging of three energy-related crises — climate change, resource depletion and international extremism funded by the energy trade — a surprising energy choice keeps rearing its head: coal. That especially includes liquid fuels made from coal, which can be a substitute for gasoline, jet fuel and just about any other transportation fuel on which we currently rely.

08 Apr 2009

The quicker oil picker upper

After the Cosco Busan container ship crashed into the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge last November and leaked more than 58,000 gallons of fuel into the bay, the U.S. Coast Guard deployed floating containment booms and absorbent pads to mop up the mess. Such technologies have been used to clean up oil spills for two decades. Soon, however, oil spill cleanup crews may have a more high-tech tool: Researchers have developed reusable sheets of nanowire “paper” that absorb oil without soaking up any water.

28 Aug 2008

New York's Dirty Secret: The effort to clean up America's largest oil spill

Wedged between the hard-bitten boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, N.Y., lies a six-kilometer-long slip of sickly green water called Newtown Creek. Dubbed the most polluted waterway in America, this tidal tributary of the East River has no natural headwater: The water that feeds the mostly stagnant creek is a combination of industrial wastewater, stormwater runoff and, after a hard rain, raw sewage.

28 Aug 2008

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