AlterNet: New Process Treats Wastewater, Captures Carbon and Makes Renewable Energy
Cleaning up municipal and industrial wastewater can be dirty business, but engineers at the University of Colorado-Boulder have developed an innovative wastewater treatment process that not only mitigates carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, but actively captures greenhouse gases as well.
The treatment method, known as microbial electrolytic carbon capture (MECC), purifies wastewater in an environmentally friendly fashion by using an electrochemical reaction that absorbs more CO2 than it releases while creating renewable energy in the process.
Lab Equipment: Ultrasonic Wave Technique Makes Wind Energy Cheaper
Engineers from the University of Sheffield have developed a novel technique to predict when bearings inside wind turbines will fail, which could make wind energy cheaper.
The method, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A and developed by mechanical engineering research student Wenqu Chen, uses ultrasonic waves to measure the load transmitted through a ball bearing in a wind turbine. The stress on the wind turbine is recorded, and then engineers can forecast its remaining service life.
Bay Area News: CPUC Eyes Broad Probe of PG&E
State regulators on Monday took the first steps toward a wide-ranging probe into PG&E's culture and how the company governs itself, the latest fallout from a fatal explosion in San Bruno -- and an effort that could radically transform the company.
PG&E's principal regulator, the state Public Utilities Commission, on Monday proposed a full-fledged investigation into the utility, whose offerings include gas and electricity service over a vast stretch of northern and central California, including the Bay Area.
A commission vote as soon as Aug. 27 would be the next step to launching the investigation into PG&E's "organizational culture, governance, policies, practices and accountability."
Christian Science Monitor: As Oil Prices Keep Tumbling, Frackers Feel the Pain
Oil prices are plummeting toward a threshold below which U.S. oil faces serious economic headwinds.
On Monday, CNBC released a new oil survey demonstrating that an overwhelming number of experts forecast that oil prices will continue to fall, and will remain so low for the remainder of the year that the cost of extracting shale oil will exceed what producers can get for it on the market. Although some questions remain about what the break-even point is for producers, experts agree that the range falls somewhere between $30 per barrel, at the absolute lowest, to $65 per barrel.
Climate Progress: Clinton Says She Opposes Arctic Drilling
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is making a firm commitment to oppose offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean, her campaign confirmed to ThinkProgress on Tuesday.
Her announcement comes just one day after the Obama administration gave final approval to oil company Royal Dutch Shell to begin exploratory drilling off the coast of Alaska, a decision environmentalists have sharply criticized. The Arctic’s environment is too fragile and remote to justify the high risk of an oil spill there, activists say.
Clinton seemed to resonate with those concerns on Tuesday. On Twitter, she called the Arctic a “unique treasure,” and said offshore drilling would pose an unacceptable risk.