The Grid: Energy, Resources, Environment, Sustainability | Bloomberg

First U.S. Oil Sands Mine Proceeds Without Pollution Permit

Utah's Book Cliffs -- Utah officials have given a Canadian company the greenlight to begin mining oil sands on a remote plateau in Eastern Utah without first obtaining a pollution permit or monitoring groundwater quality, an action that sets the stage for a possible court battle over the fragile region.

The board of the Utah Division of Water Quality sided with Calgary-based U.S. Oil Sands contends that there was little or no water in the area of the company's proposed mine site and affirmed the agency's earlier decision not to require the permits or monitoring.

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Coming U.S. Oil Gusher Makes Keystone XL Less Important

Need for Keystone XL Shrinking as Industry Looks to Export -- The argument is familiar to just about every American by now: The United States needs to import more Canadian crude oil to secure its energy independence, and building the proposed Keystone XL import pipeline is critical to accomplishing that goal.

Within the U.S. oil industry, however, the hot topic these days is not the nation's need to import Canadian oil—it's the possibility of exporting crude oil produced in the United States. 

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Romney Is More Moderate on Energy Than He Lets on: Khosla

Silicon Valley VC Vinod Khosla

Vinod Khosla, the billionaire Silicon Valley venture capitalist, told Bloomberg TV in 2010 that "there'll be ten Googles in the next ten years in energy." 

While Khosla made no such sweeping predictions when he visited Bloomberg News's San Francisco bureau Oct. 17, his energy investment strategy remains focused on transformative technologies. Two high-profile IPOs have failed so far to live up to the "energy Google" hype. Gevo, a high-tech maker of diesel and jet fuel, closed yesterday at $1.92, down 93 percent from its high of $25.55 in April 2011. Kior, which manufactures oil from biomass, traded at $4.97, down from its September 2011 high of $21.55. "We don't mind failing, but if we succeed, it better be worth succeeding," Khosla said. 

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Coal Shipped to Boilers, Then Atmosphere: Today's Pic

Global Coal Stockpiling

Coal is stockpiled in preparation for loading onto ships for export, at the Newcastle Coal Terminal in Newcastle, Australia. 

Coal fuels about 40 percent of electricity generation worldwide and is responsible for about the same percentage of global carbon dioxide emissions from energy. U.S. coal exports are on track to break their annual record of 113 billion tons, set in 1981, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration

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Apple, FedEx, Toyota Lead in 'Perceived' Sustainability

Brandlogic Sustainability IQ Matrix

Perception doesn't always equal reality. Especially when it comes to sustainability. 

Companies best known for sustainability -- Apple Inc., FedEx Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. -- aren't the ones leading their peers on real, company-wide gauges of sustainability performance. That’s one conclusion reached in a new report published last week by Brandlogic and CRD Analytics that compares how 100 top companies perform, and are perceived to perform, on sustainability. 

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Sustainability Photo

An aerial photograph taken as a forest turns autumnal, in Kashubia, Poland.

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The Past Is Present at Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant

Beyond the cabbage patch and rows of pre-cut Christmas trees, past fruit stands filled with pumpkins and apples, along the bank of the Susquehanna River, sits the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant.

It’s by far the most robust and majestic structure in the neighborhood, an unlikely blend of the Loire Valley Castles in France and Eastern Europe's Communist-era architecture. Events here three decades ago left the plant half-dead, and with it, U.S. nuclear energy policy.

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Romney Can Do Little to Curb Green Rules: Utility CEO

Romney Can do Little to Curb Green Rules, Utility CEO Says

Even if elected president, Republican Mitt Romney can do little to reverse regulations imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency,  according to an executive of a U.S. utility investing in pollution controls.

The EPA’s limits on mercury, sulfur dioxide and other emissions will be “difficult to roll back,” said William Spence, chief executive officer of Allentown, Pennsylvania-based PPL Corp. He cited years of court cases over those regulations as one of the reasons.

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NASA Keeps an Eye on the Earth's Iceboxes

The Calving of Thwaites Ice Shelf

NASA's Operation IceBridge monitors the polar ice caps so that scientists can study how each interacts with the global climate. Between Oct. 11 and Nov. 17, NASA is conducting Antarctic survey flights, including a trip over the Thwaites Glacier on October 15th. 

The Thwaites Ice Shelf, in western Antarctica, is shown here calving. Antarctic sea ice coverage hit a new annual winter maximum earlier this year. This is in contrast to the Arctic, where ice coverage shattered an all-time low in September. Summer Arctic sea ice is disappearing much faster than scientists anticipated amid warming temperatures. 

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Great Lakes at Risk of Major Oil Spill, Report Warns

Great Lakes Region According to Enbridge's Emergency Response

Editors Note: A previous version of this story stated that Enbridge's Line 5 carries tar-sands oil, known as diluted bitumen, or dilbit. It does not, according to Enbridge spokesman Larry Springer. -- Two aging oil and natural gas pipelines running under the sparkling waters of the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan are time bombs that could devastate the upper Great Lakes if they rupture, according to a report issued today by the National Wildlife Federation.

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About The Grid

Nations and companies face rising competition for strategic resources — energy, food, water, materials — and the technologies that make best use of them. That's sustainability. It's about the 21st-century race for wealth, health and long-term security, across the global grid.

Analyses or commentary in this blog are the views of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloomberg News.

Eric Roston, Editor

Tom Randall, Deputy Editor

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