Energy

Wastewater Heat
6:12 am
Fri August 3, 2012

King County Opens The Door For Heat Energy From Wastewater

This sewage pipe was installed in 1905 near Discovery Park. King County wants to partner with the private sector to harness the heat energy from wastewater for use in buildings.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn Northwest News Network

The Department of Energy estimates that 350 billion KWH of energy are flushed down drains in the form of heated water. King County is one of the first counties in the nation to try to do something about all that wasted heat energy. EarthFix’s Ashley Ahearn reports.

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Northwest Renewable Energy
5:00 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Northwest Utilities Exceed Green Power Minimum

Northwest utilities mostly bought wind power to achieve compliance with green energy requirements.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Electric utilities in the Northwest have overachieved in meeting requirements to add renewable energy to their portfolios. That's according to fresh regulatory filings.

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American West's "Megadrought"
4:19 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Study: "Megadrought" The New Normal In The West

This tower in a ponderosa pine forest near Sisters, Ore., gathers data on forest productivity and soil processes that influence the carbon dioxide and water vapor exchange with the atmosphere.
Beverly Law

The drought that hit the West from 2000-2004 is not only the worst in 800 years, but it could be the new “normal."  That’s according to new research in the journal Nature Geoscience.

You’d have to go back to the middle ages to find a period as dry as 2000-2004 in the American West. Snowpack decreased. Crop productivity in much of the west went down by 5 percent. And that’s not the worst of it, the researchers say. Grasses, plants and trees suck up about 30 percent of our CO2 emissions in North America. In the Northwest, that percentage is even higher.

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Coal Export Support
6:29 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Pro-Coal Alliance Launches Ad Campaign

A campaign is kicking off in the Northwest to build support for coal exports. The Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports includes major mining companies, railways and labor groups, all signing on to support coal export terminals in Oregon and Washington. The group is launching newspaper, radio, and television ads.

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Northwest Natural Gas Prices
5:18 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Natural Gas Utilities Expect Continued Low Prices

Oregon's three natural gas companies expect prices to drop this winter.
Kevin Mooney

Natural gas customers in the Northwest will pay even less to heat their homes this winter. That was the message Thursday from Oregon's three largest natural gas utilities. They issued their prediction at a meeting of the state’s Public Utility Commission.

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Coal Export Poll
6:17 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Poll Finds Support For Northwest Coal Export Projects, But Many Are Undecided

A new poll finds that most residents in the Northwest are supportive of transporting coal through the region for export to Asia. DHM Research conducted the poll for Earthfix.

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Hanford's Employee Concern Program Reviewed
5:32 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Report Reviews Hanford Program On Worker Concerns

A view of the 65-acre Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant Project on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Department of Energy

A new federal report says managers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation respond appropriately to most concerns brought up by employees. But the study says sometimes officials at the southeast Washington site don’t explain well enough to employees how they resolve each concern. The report also says initial interviews with concerned employees were often incomplete or too abbreviated to do a proper investigation later.

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Coal Terminal
6:04 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Coal Export Study Warns of Train Congestion

A new study has found that increased coal train traffic could adversely affect Pacific Northwest communities. Reporting for EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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Coal Terminal
6:34 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Columbia River Towns May Team Up To Export Coal - Part 2

We brought you the story of the Northwest’s only coal export proposal that would rely on two different ports on the Columbia River, with a profile of the Eastern Oregon town of Boardman, where coal would be be delivered by train and loaded onto Columbia River barges. Now, EarthFix reporter Cassandra Profita takes a look at a port near Clatskanie Oregon, where that coal would be transferred to ocean-going ships for delivery to Asia.

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Washington Coal Terminals
5:53 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Columbia River Towns May Team Up To Export Coal

Only one of the Northwest’s various coal export proposals would rely on two different ports. That has residents in a pair of Columbia River towns in wondering if coal will be good for their communities. EarthFix reporter Courtney Flatt has the first part of our story in Boardman.

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