energy

Grounded Drilling Rig Remains Stable In Alaska

Jan 3, 2013
Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg / U.S. Coast Guard

A grounded oil drilling rig remains in stable shape off the coast of Alaska Wednesday. Shell Oil’s Kulluk ran aground on New Year’s Eve on an island in the Gulf of Alaska. The vessel hasn’t spilled any oil so far, according to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

Congress Extends Key Tax Credits for Wind, Biofuels

Jan 2, 2013
Steve Wilson / Wikimedia Commons

A last minute deal passed by Congress to avoid the fiscal cliff extended a key tax credit for the wind power industry. The tax credit has helped turn wind energy into a more than $10 billion industry in the Northwest. It expired on the 31.

Wind Power Tax Credit to Expire Soon

Dec 31, 2012

Some clean energy jobs will disappear from the Pacific Northwest in 2013. Industry leaders say that’s a consequence of letting a wind tax credit expire on Monday. Reporting for EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

Not Easy To Find Room For Ocean Energy

Dec 13, 2012
Photo courtesy OPT

It goes without saying that the Pacific Ocean is vast. So it may come as a surprise to hear the sea described as "crowded." Perhaps even too crowded to make room for the nascent industry of wave and tidal energy. Taxpayers and investors have pumped tens of millions of dollars into finding ways to turn the ocean's power into electricity. Correspondent Tom Banse reports high stakes negotiations to identify wave energy sites on the Oregon Coast are finally getting somewhere.

Seattle Firm Wins Grant To Build Offshore Wind Platform

Dec 13, 2012

Seattle company Principle Power wants to take turbines out to sea. The feds today awarded the company 4 million dollars to design an offshore wind power facility. It would be anchored off the Oregon coast near Coos Bay. Amelia Templeton reports.

Coal Export Opponents Dominate Vancouver Hearing

Dec 13, 2012

About 700 people gathered in Vancouver, Washington, Wednesday to comment on a coal export terminal that could be built near Bellingham.

Where Coal Divides, Community Remains

Dec 12, 2012
Photo by Ashley Ahearn

The largest coal export facility on the West coast is proposed to be built near Bellingham, WA. Some people see it as an opportunity to create jobs. Others worry about the potential environmental impacts of dusty coal trains and climate change. It’s an issue that’s dividing communities around the Northwest.

EarthFix’s Ashley Ahearn went to Bellingham, Washington to visit one community at the center of the coal export debate.

Hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in utility savings are the big benefits of a new power agreement announced Friday in Northwest Washington.

Hundreds of people attended Tuesday's public hearing in Spokane about a proposed coal export terminal in the Northwest. The meeting brought out strong emotions, and raised a moral question about how the hearings are run. Paige Browning reports the event focused on the proposed Gateway Terminal for Whatcom County, which would ship coal to Asia.

The Department of Energy released a study today/ Wednesday that finds exporting natural gas would benefit the U.S. economy. That may clear the way for the feds to grant licenses to 15 proposed export terminals, including two in Oregon. Amelia Templeton of Earthfix reports.

U.S. Department of Energy

The federal government plans to release a major document early next week that could guide a couple of decades worth of cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. This is important because it maps out decisions like where to bury the radioactive waste, and how much to leave in place.

Callum Black / Wikimedia Commons

A series of public meetings about a proposed coal export terminal kicked off Thursday night in Boardman.

Idaho Task Force Considers Nuclear Waste

Dec 3, 2012
Aaron Kunz / Boise State Public Radio

A task force in Idaho today issued a first draft of recommendations that could include the shipment of spent nuclear waste into the state.

High-tech batteries could be a solution to storing renewable energy. They could also help electric cars drive farther before needing to recharge. A Washington laboratory is joining a nationwide team of scientist and industry professionals to advance battery performance.

Photo courtesy Link Transit

In the last couple years, you've seen mass-produced, 100 percent electric cars take to the streets in the Northwest. In the same vein, now come the first battery powered buses. And we're not talking about trolley buses that get juice from overhead wires, as correspondent Tom Banse explains.

The environmental review process for the largest coal export terminal on the West Coast is underway. Public meetings are being held around the state to get feedback from citizens. EarthFix’s Ashley Ahearn was at the most recent hearing in Ferndale, Washington, which took place Thursday night.

U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy still has work to do to improve its own safety culture. That’s the upshot of a recent study on the federal agency that heads environmental cleanup of nuclear waste across the country, including the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington.

Northwest Public Radio

About half of the energy you use comes from heating and cooling your home. So, what if a smart thermostat could help you use less? An energy innovation can help you change your thermostat even if you’re miles away from home.

Basher Eyre / Wikimedia Commons

Updating your home can have a dramatic effect on energy savings. One Central Washington couple reduced their energy use by about one-third.

Dept. of Energy

The Northwest's second geothermal power plant has entered service. A Boise-based company called U.S. Geothermal built the project at Neal Hot Springs, near the small town of Vale in eastern Oregon.

A major water rights agreement in the Klamath Basin is set to expire in December 31st. Amelia Templeton from our EarthFix team reports that farmers, tribes, and power company PacifiCorp are getting behind an extension.

A global wind company with offices in the Pacific Northwest has announced more layoffs. Vestas says it will cut an additional 3,000 jobs by the end of next year. That nearly doubles the number of jobs the wind turbine company had planned to eliminate.

Governmental agencies have begun the environmental review process for the largest proposed coal export terminal in the Northwest. It would be located near Bellingham, Washington. If it’s built the Gateway Pacific Terminal would draw trains from across the region, carrying coal from Wyoming and Montana to be exported to Asia.

And those trains would come through Seattle. That would lead to more traffic, according to a new report from the Seattle Department of Transportation. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

Proposal For 2014 Would Change Oregon's Energy Standards

Oct 26, 2012
U.S. Army Corps

Even as voters decide this year’s ballot measures, initiative activists are already preparing for 2014. One new measure filed in Oregon would allow more power from hydroelectric dams to be part of the state’s renewable energy requirements.

The environment hasn’t been a big issue during this presidential campaign. It mainly comes up in the context of energy independence.

Photo by Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Natural gas production in North America has increased so dramatically that no fewer than 17 companies have now applied to export the fuel overseas. Two gas export terminals are proposed in the Northwest - one near Coos Bay, Oregon, and the other at the Port of Astoria. This week, federal energy regulators are getting an earful of public testimony. Correspondent Tom Banse reports on the possible effects all this could have on the price you pay for natural gas.

The prospect of coal exports has stirred controversy in the Northwest this year. But near Astoria last night, it was natural gas exports that drew a capacity crowd. Correspondent Tom Banse reports what happened when federal regulators invited comment on a proposed natural gas export terminal at the mouth of the Columbia River.

Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

An alliance of Northwest power utilities kicked off a campaign this month to curb energy use by college football fans. EarthFix Reporter Aaron Kunz has more.

Governmental agencies announced Tuesday plans to conduct a joint environmental review of a proposed coal export facility near Longview, Wash.

Northwest states lead the nation in energy efficiency, according to a new report out today.

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