Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pollution from Natural Gas Drilling

Today's New York Times has this piece on the pollution being generated by natural gas production in the US. As noted below, the prospect of extracting natural gas and using that to provide energy for the country is an exciting one, not least because it gives us a chance to pollute less. (Natural gas use results in less CO2 emissions and by pulling it out of the ground and using it here at home we can be sure that the cleanest technologies are used.) However, it's not perfect. Groundwater contamination has happened in some places, ruining wells and even blowing up whole houses. It sounds like technological improvements are on the way but even then there are likely to be complications. I'm very excited to see the natural gas industry develop here in the US but I hope that environmental agencies at the state and Federal levels will be keeping a close eye on it as it does so.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Solar & wind energy under development in Maryland

Nice to see Constellation Energy, the hegemonic energy provider to us in the Baltimore area, embracing some renewable energy sources. I guess there were finally enough Federal subsidies to make it worthwhile! This article says that nothing is set, particularly with respect to the planned solar array, but it sounds like steps are being taken. I have to say that I like the natural gas portion balancing the solar array, too, with so much of the Northeast looking like it'll be producing lots of natural gas in the not-too-distant future. I just hope the extraction is relatively clean and doesn't suck down too much water....