Malheur County Geothermal Plant Exceeding Expectations

Mar 5, 2013

Operators of a geothermal power plant in Malheur County say that facility is producing more electricity than originally anticipated.

Shell Cancels Arctic Oil Drilling

Feb 28, 2013
Photo by Sara Francis / US Coast Guard

Shell Oil has put Arctic drilling on hold. The company announced Wednesday that it will not attempt to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean this year. The announcement comes after a year of accidents and setbacks for Shell’s Arctic drilling efforts. KUOW’s John Ryan reports from Seattle.

RICHLAND, Wash. – Problems at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation will be a key issue in the confirmation hearings for the next Secretary of Energy. That’s what Oregon Senator Ron Wyden said after he toured the southeast Washington site Tuesday.

Wyden chairs the Senate committee that will consider President Obama’s pick to replace Energy Secretary Steven Chu. The Oregon Democrat toured Hanford’s tank farms, where millions of gallons of radioactive waste is stored. Two of those tanks have possible leaks.

Callum Black / Wikimedia Commons

 A Seattle think tank is questioning the financial stability of a company that wants to build two coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest.

Wyden Leads Sharp Debate Over Natural Gas Export

Feb 13, 2013

Should the U.S. export its abundant supply of shale gas? Oregon Senator Ron Wyden tackled that question in a hearing today. It’s his first since he took over chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Amelia Templeton of EarthFix reports.

U.S. Department of the Interior website

 The Secretary of Interior has formed a task force to determine if coal companies are underpaying royalties for coal mined on public land and sold in Asia. And it has confirmed it is investigating one coal company for potential criminal wrongdoing.

Idaho Nuclear Task Force Issues Final Report

Feb 7, 2013
Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

The Idaho nuclear task force presented its final report to lawmakers Wednesday afternoon. It’s raising concerns from environmentalists who say it leaves the door open to transporting radioactive material into the state.

Earthfix reporter Aaron Kunz has more.

  U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced in a letter Friday he will step down from his position at the end of this month.

Photo by Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The Northwest is on the verge of becoming a gateway for crude oil. Three different developers have plans to use docks on Grays Harbor, Washington to transfer crude oil from trains to ships. Other projects are getting off the ground in Tacoma, Vancouver, BC and on the lower Columbia River. There was a huge turnout Wednesday night at an introductory public workshop in Aberdeen, Washington. Correspondent Tom Banse reports the response indicates crude-by-rail may be the region’s next big environmental controversy.

A proposal to generate power from Puget Sound tides moved one step closer to approval with the release of a new government review. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.