January 25, 2012
Deep underground the rolling foothills of Appalachia in Southwest Virginia lies a trove of uranium deposits. These deposits have remained untouched for a few billion years, but high metal prices and high unemployment rates have renewed interest in the possibility of mining the uranium for use in area nuclear power plants. The Commonwealth of Virginia has had a moratorium on uranium mining for 30 years. But in 2007, two families living near Virginia’s only economically viable uranium deposit in Coles Hill formed Virginia Uranium, Inc. to begin exploring the possibility of exploiting this resource.
The moratorium has left a dearth of hard rock mining technical expertise in the Commonwealth. For this reason, Virginia called in the National Research Council to report on scientific, environmental, public health, and regulatory aspects of uranium mining to help inform the Virginia legislature.
January 24, 2012
They say that numbers don’t lie—which sure is the truth when it comes to the growing movement against industrial shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Yesterday in Albany, more than 800 New Yorkers from across the state were out in force for a Hydrofracking Day of Action, a few hundred more than for the event in 2011.
January 24, 2012
The big number to remember in natural gas in the U.S. is that we consumed 24 trillion cubic feet of it in 2010. That’s a lot of hydrocarbons. Today, entire sectors are making decisions about future energy choices based on how much natural gas we have left to burn. And with the Energy Information Administration's new Annual Energy Outlook, it appears we have been making those choices on false assumptions.
The report, released yesterday, issues new estimates of recoverable natural gas in the Marcellus Shale, a vast formation more than a mile below 8 eastern states, including New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.
January 23, 2012
It is "abundantly clear" that Range Resources knew about the “angular and nonconforming and unpredictable geology” in Parker County Texas, yet they cut corners and polluted Texas drinking water anyway. Now, Matt Pitzarella, Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs has vowed they will strike again.
January 20, 2012
Part of Skip’s presentation described what companies call the Black Swan for the industry. Unlike the Natalie Portman film, a Black Swan, in economic jargon, is a low probability, high-impact event. These include political instability, severe regulatory constraint, and broad systemic risks. In short, the kind of thing that could devastate an industry, even if the chances are remote. Among the systemic risks, Skip tells us, are seismic activity and detrimental public health effects. To alleviate investor concerns, both Skip and fellow panelist Regina Hopper, President & CEO of America’s Natural Gas Alliance, insist that to avoid these risks, the industry must rely on sound science.