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Hawaii to Test Smart Water Heaters as Grid Resources

November 22, 2014 by Jeff St. John

Hawaii and Smart Water Heaters

Hawaiian Electric is trying out all sorts of distributed energy assets to help it manage its solar-impacted island electricity system, including behind-the-meter batteries, and smart-meter-enabled energy disaggregation. But one of the cheaper grid tools at its disposal could be the ubiquitous electric water heater.[read more]

Study Finds no Energy-Related Water Contamination in Bakken Region, But...

November 20, 2014 by Jared Anderson

Bakken Fracking and Water Risk

Oil and gas development in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and Montana has not impacted shallow water resources, according to a new study. However, the age of the groundwater sampled and the sample locations indicate additional research should be conducted to fully evaluate energy production impact.[read more]

Why Hydraulic Fracturing is Not Necessarily Contaminating Water or Using More Water Per Unit of Oil Production

November 19, 2014 by Roman Kilisek
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Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Usage

The 2014 US Midterm Elections significantly altered the balance of power in the US Congress. This, however, has not been the only big result from Election Night 2014. Voters in some communities in California, Ohio, and perhaps most surprisingly in Texas, chose to enact bans on fracking.[read more]

New Report Shows Remarkable Reduction in Water Use by Power Plants

November 17, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard
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Power Plant Water Reduction

Among all the things that we use less of today than in 1970 – paper maps, postage stamps, and cameras without a phone are some of the items that immediately come to mind – water is the next thing that should be added to that list, according to the newest report released by the U.S. Geological Survey.[read more]

A Key Lesson from Superstorm Sandy: We Still Need a Rainy Day Fund

November 7, 2014 by Steven Cohen

We now live in a in a more crowded country where people are more frequently in the pathway of hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, forest fires, droughts and other natural and human-made disasters. When a disaster occurs every month, we can no longer consider them an emergency, but a regular, routine event.[read more]

A New Flank in China's War on Pollution? Controlling Emissions from Ports and Shipping

November 5, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

China Pollution Prevention

As President Obama and other Asia-Pacific leaders gather in Beijing for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, climate change and air pollution will undoubtedly be on the agenda. This summit provides an important opportunity to address the pollutants from China's ports and shipping system.[read more]

Water Trading: Studies Call for Market-based Water Use System

October 30, 2014 by Roman Kilisek

Water Use and Markets

The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institute and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment have recently hosted a forum on the ongoing water crisis in the United States. This resulted in the release of two interesting new discussion papers.[read more]

Heading in the Right Direction: Shenzhen Pushes Green Shipping

October 24, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

China Green Shipping

We can celebrate a recent announcement by the Shenzhen government to subsidize green measures for their ports. The port of Shenzhen is a major global shipping center, but ships going in and out of the world’s third busiest port also produce an incredible amount of environmentally damaging exhaust.[read more]

Getting the Salt Out

October 23, 2014 by Energy @ MIT
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Solving Salt Problems

The boom in oil and gas produced through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is seen as a boon for meeting U.S. energy needs. But one byproduct of the process is millions of gallons of water that’s much saltier than seawater, after leaching salts from rocks deep below the surface.[read more]

A Climate Mitigating Energy Strategy

October 23, 2014 by Jim Baird

Belaboring the obvious, Haewon McJeon, an economist with the U.S. energy department and lead author of a new report in the journal Nature, 'Climate change: A crack in the natural-gas bridge' says in a Scientific American article, "The climate change problem requires a climate change solution.”[read more]

Legislation Introduced to Address the Rising Impacts of Urban Flooding

October 19, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Urban Flooding Legislation

Urban flooding is a serious and growing problem. “Around 20-25 percent of all economic losses resulting from flooding occur in areas not designated as being in a “floodplain,” but as a consequence of urban drainage,” according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.[read more]

The High Cost of Hurricanes [INFOGRAPHIC]

October 19, 2014 by Tom Schueneman

Hurricane Damage Risk

The past ten years have seen a spike in catastrophic hurricanes in the Atlantic basin, causing more than $300 billion of damage, over 2000 deaths, and displacing hundreds of thousands of people. Cities along the east coast and Gulf states are becoming more vulnerable to future large hurricanes.[read more]

Upcoming US Arctic Council Chairmanship Should not Focus on Military Security

October 17, 2014 by Roman Kilisek

The Arctic and the Military

Even though these developments seem to push military security on the US Arctic agenda, it better serves US interest to comprehend Russia’s moves in the Arctic as rational and expand the use of confidence-building measures, as well as prioritize climate change during its Arctic Council Chairmanship.[read more]

Short-Circuiting Sea Level Rise

October 14, 2014 by Jim Baird
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Sea Level Rise Cycles

Sea level rise can be short-circuited with energy systems that pay for themselves with the power they generate. The heat of global warming is going principally into the oceans; mainly in the top, mixed, layer of the tropical seas.[read more]

California Drought Leads to Less Hydropower, Increased Natural Gas Generation

October 12, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy
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Drought and Fuel Source Changes

The drought in California continues to increase in severity since California's governor declared a state of drought emergency in January 2014. As of September 30, 58% of the state was classified as experiencing exceptional drought, the most intense drought category.[read more]