Sustainability Blog - The Grid
Bloomberg BNA — The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration proposed $9.78 million in civil penalties against pipeline operators for alleged violations of federal law in 2013, the agency announced April 7.
PHMSA said in a statement that 2013 saw the highest yearly amount of proposed penalties in the agency's history. The agency has proposed more than $33 million in penalties in pipeline enforcement cases since 2009, while seeing the number of serious pipeline incidents resulting in fatalities or major injuries decline each year during that time period, according to PHMSA.
General Electric Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt said his company has been developing fuel cell power for 30 years.
It’s actually been more than 50. General Electric started designing fuel cells for spaceflight in 1962.
It's tax time -- the time of the year when every working American is reminded of the tortures of the U.S. tax code. The head of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee sums it up best:
"The U.S. tax code is a mess -- a rotting carcass that seems to smell worse each year," Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, said at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit in New York today.
Bloomberg BNA — A desire to avoid millions of dollars in Alaska state taxes played a role in Royal Dutch Shell Plc's decision to move a drilling rig, which later broke free from a towboat and ran aground on an uninhabited island in Alaska, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a report.
Shell had decided to move the Kulluk drill rig to Seattle for repairs because it might have been subject to a state property tax had it remained in Alaska waters beyond Jan. 1, 2013, according to the report released April 3 that offered eight recommendations to improve safety.
Here are today's top reads:
Remember the arcade Claw game, where you steer and drop a mechanical claw for a (negligible) chance to win a 10-cent stuffed animal? Well, that's what these guys get to do all day.
With crane-sized claws.
Wind was responsible for 4.8 percent of America’s electricity used in January. That’s the highest January total ever, breaking the record from last January, which broke the record for the January before that, and so on. The chart below shows the latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Association.
America’s rising wind power feels unstoppable. That’s because in many areas of the country wind has reached an important tipping point: becoming cheaper than coal and natural gas. In fact, states getting the most electricity from wind include gas-rich Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado.
Bloomberg BNA — Russia, Denmark and Canada all are trying to prove that their land masses extend to the North Pole, handing the international commission that gives its expert recommendations on such matters its most highly contested issue to date and highlighting the central role the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea will have in determining the future of the rapidly changing region.
The polar region's global status has risen as it has shed its ice cover at a rate of 46,100 square kilometers per year since 1981, with summer sea ice loss accelerating over the past decade in terms of ice extent and thickness. Winter ice extent is also at historically low levels, with 2014 marking the fourth-lowest February ice extent in the satellite record, 910,000 kilometers below the 1981 to 2010 average, according to the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Good morning! Here are today's top reads:
- Risks grow as new nations embrace nuclear power (Bloomberg)
- At quiet rebel base, plotting an assault on South Sudan's oil fields (NY Times)
- Climate change will 'lead to battle for food', says head of World Bank (Guardian)
- Exxon agrees to disclose fracking risks (Wall Street Journal)
- Clinton, Lagarde target glass ceiling for women worldwide (Bloomberg)
- U.S. lags behind China in renewable investments (Climate Central)
- Months after West Virginia spill, a weakened chemical safety bill emerges (National Journal)
- Smog expert: Worsening Saharan dust storms to become an annual spring fixture (Independent)
- Research set to protect beer from climate change (Brisbane Times)
- Climate deniers intimidate journal into retracting paper that finds they believe conspiracy theories (Scientific American)
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