November 9, 2011–The agency says the remaining 17 sites covering ~285,000 acres in six states have the best solar gain and energy transmission traits, the fewest conflicts with environmental, cultural, and historic resources, and the best compatibility with each state's efforts. Public meetings commence Nov 30 and a 90-day public comment period ends Jan. 27, 2012. A variance process could be used to approve additional solar development elsewhere.
November 9, 2011–Researchers at Southern Methodist University, funded by Google, have estimated relative geothermal potential in the US with a new map based in part on oil and gas drilling data. Google says the newer geothermal technologies that are being explored in the US and other countries suggest there may be decent geothermal prospects in all 50 states.
November 2, 2011–Climate scientist Michael Mann wins bid to join emails lawsuit; BP and other Gulf oil spill CEOs won't testify before House committee; Republican House freshmen disappointed by Supercommittee's secrecy; Obama admin to issue disclosure rules for fracking on federal lands; WRI/Transparency Int'l panel on climate policy corruption, Nov. 3, 2011, in DC; proposed FOIA rule would let gov't deny existence of records; and bill to improve pipeline safety and increase access to info passes Senate.
October 26, 2011–As part of its push to improve the nation's power system, the Obama administration is trying to expedite construction of 7 transmission lines, in various stages of planning and design, spanning 3,100 miles in 12 states.
October 12, 2011–Numerous allegations of health damage from people in the US and around the globe, the common threads in the descriptions of health damage (often appearing to involve the neurological, immune, and/or endocrine systems), and the evidence from thousands of published studies that address a wide range of electrical, magnetic field, and radio-frequency impacts suggest this could be a major public health issue that warrants coverage.
October 12, 2011–The topic of federal loan guarantees for energy projects has become prime media territory with the bankruptcy of the solar company Solyndra after it received one of these loans. As of September 30, 2011, DoE has issued about $40 billion for solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels, nuclear, energy efficiency, energy storage, battery storage, or transmission projects.
September 28, 2011–The Geological Survey of Canada states the best prospects are in British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon, and the westernmost portion of the Northwest Territories, with some good potential also in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, and modest prospects in many other parts of the country.
September 21, 2011–Dam inspections began before the Dec. 2008 spill incident of 5.4 million cubic yards of coal-ash slurry in Tennessee. Afterward, the initial draft engineer's report of the pre-spill inspection noted several eroded areas needed to be fixed "immediately;" the word was subsequently struck from the report.
August 31, 2011–The US Dept. of Agriculture will award more than 900 grants worth a total of about $11.6 million to individuals and companies around the country for projects such as installing photovoltaic solar panels for a barn, improving energy efficiency of greenhouses, and installing a geothermal system for an agricultural building.
August 24, 2011–Oil Change International invites you to look up campaign donations from energy companies to members of Congress with data sourced from the Center for Responsive Politics and the Federal Elections Commission.