DISCLAIMER: News content on this website is not to be construed as a reflection of the Montana Public Service Commission or Dr.Bukacek PSC, Commissioner Elect's personal opinions or platforms. The news information provided is soley for informational purposes and is meant to help educate on all the many topics related to energy and the PSC.

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New, environmentally friendly method to extract and separate rare earth elements

A new method improves the extraction and separation of rare earth elements—a group of 17 elements critical for technologies such as smart phones and electric car batteries—from unconventional sources. New research led by scientists at Penn State and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) demonstrates how a protein isolated from bacteria can provide a more environmentally friendly way to extract these metals and to separate them from other metals and from each other. The method could eventually be scaled up to help develop a domestic supply of rare earth metals from industrial waste and electronics due to be recycled.In order to meet the increasing demand for rare earth elements for use in emerging clean energy technologies, we need to address several challenges in the supply...

Published on 1/20/2023 (11 days ago) Solar, Wind & EV's, Rare Earth Mining

 

Fires becoming deadlier as firefighter recruitment wanes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fires feeding off modern materials found in people’s homes are burning faster and becoming deadlier at the same time that fire departments across the country are struggling to retain and recruit firefighters, officials said Thursday.Officials with various firefighting-related agencies were in Washington to call attention to fire-related problems roughly a year after two deadly fires days apart in 2022 — one in Philadelphia and one in New York — killed 29 people. They’re also recommending a number of ways to deal with the problem.Last year nearly 2,500 people died as a result of fires, including 96 firefighters, according to U.S. Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell. More than 1 million structures caught fire and more than 7.5 million acres burned in wildfires last...

Published on 1/20/2023 (11 days ago) Solar, Wind & EV's

 

E-bike batteries raise safety concerns amid rise in fires: 'Very hard to examine'

The growing popularity of e-bikes in the United States in recent years has led to a rise in fires and other hazards, local and federal officials are warning.At least 19 people died in the United States in 2022 because of fires or overheating incidents related to battery-powered products such as e-bikes, scooters and hoverboards, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said this week.In New York City alone, fires caused by lithium-ion batteries powering these micro-mobility devices, also known as light electric vehicles (LEVs), have been responsible for at least 208 fires this year, resulting in 142 injuries and six deaths, a spokesperson for the New York Fire Department said.In 2021, there were 104 fires caused by these batteries, 79 injuries and 4 deaths, according to city data. In...

Published on 1/20/2023 (11 days ago) Solar, Wind & EV's

 

State Electricity Generation Fuel Shares

Percent of the net electricity generated within the borders of each state in 2021: State Nuclear (%) Coal (%) Natural Gas (%) Petroleum (%) Hydro (%) Geothermal (%) Solar - PV (%) Wind (%) Biomass and Other (%) Alabama 32.2 18.8 37.6 0.0 8.8 0.0 0.3 0.0 2.2 Alaska 0.0 13.7 41.0 14.9 27.7 0.0 0.0 2.1 0.6 Arizona 29.1 13.2 44.4 0.0 5.4 0.0 6.2 1.5 0.2 Arkansas 22.5 35.6 32.1 0.1 7.3 0.0 0.8 0.0 1.7 California 8.4 0.1 49.0 0.0 7.2 5.8 17.4 7.9 4.0 Colorado 0.0 41.6 25.5 0.0 2.8 0.0 3.1 26.5 0.4 Connecticut 39.0 0.6 55.6 0.2 0.7 0.0 0.7 0.0 3.2 Delaware 0.0 6.8 85.8 0.5 0.0 0.0 1.5 ...

Published on 1/20/2023 (11 days ago) General

 

Texas oil patch gears up for more growth and spending with the Permian leading the way

What a difference a few years make in the Texas oil patch.Oil and gas production keeps growing, the sector has been adding jobs at a torrid pace, and most companies have been investing more.In a December survey by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, almost two-thirds of oil and gas executives reported an increase in capital spending compared with a year earlier — and almost two-thirds expect to increase spending in 2023.“Like it or not, oil and gas is here to stay for a very long time,” an executive from an exploration and production firm told the Dallas Fed. “Our request is simple: Get out of our way and we will deliver cheap energy.”For the 12 months ending in October, crude oil production rose 7% in the U.S., reaching 12.38 million barrels daily. Texas’ daily production hit almost 5.2...

Published on 1/20/2023 (11 days ago) Oil/Gas

 

Energy Shift The Advantages of Nuclear Energy in the Clean Energy Shift

Nuclear in the Energy ShiftThe world’s population is projected to increase to 9.7 billion by 2050 and as the population grows, so will our energy needs.According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), global energy consumption will rise 40% by 2050, and electricity consumption will more than double. Meeting the rising demand for energy while protecting the environment will require clean energy sources that are powerful and reliable—and nuclear fits the bill.The above infographic from Standard Uranium highlights the advantages of nuclear energy and its role in the clean energy transition.The Advantages of Nuclear EnergyFrom cleanliness and reliability to safety and efficiency, seven factors make nuclear power essential to a clean future.1. Carbon-free EnergyNuclear power plants...

Published on 1/20/2023 (11 days ago) Nuclear

 

Thousands protest in Germany against coal mine expansion

Thousands of people are demonstrating in persistent rain to protest the clearance and demolition of a village in western Germany that is due to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.ERKELENZ, Germany -- Thousands of people demonstrated in persistent rain on Saturday to protest the clearance and demolition of a village in western Germany that is due to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. There were standoffs with police as some protesters tried to reach the edge of the mine and the village itself.Swedish climate campaigner Greta Thunberg joined the demonstrators as they protested the clearance of Luetzerath, walking through the nearby village of Keyenberg and past muddy fields. Protesters chanted “Every village stays” and “You are not alone.”Organizers said about 35,000 people...

Published on 1/20/2023 (11 days ago) Coal

 

A Big Green Mess In Germany With Coal A Stunning 31% Of Electricity Production

Police Start Clearing German Village Condemned for Coal MineThe Associated Press reports Police Start Clearing German Village Condemned for Coal MinePolice in riot gear began evicting climate activists Wednesday from a condemned village in western Germany that is due to be demolished for the expansion of a coal mine.Some stones and fireworks were thrown as officers entered the tiny hamlet of Luetzerath, which has become a flashpoint of debate over the country’s climate efforts, on Wednesday morning. Police spokesman Andreas Mueller said the attacks on officers were “not nice” but noted that most of the protest so far had been peaceful.By Wednesday afternoon dozens of activists remained camped out in Luetzerath, some in elaborate tree houses, as police slowly moved through the village...

Published on 1/20/2023 (11 days ago) Coal

 

2022 was one of the warmest on record as Earth heats up

DENVER — Earth's fever persisted last year, not quite spiking to a record high but still in the top five or six warmest on record, government agencies reported Thursday.But expect record-shattering hot years soon, likely in the next couple years because of "relentless" climate change from the burning of coal, oil and gas, U.S. government scientists said.Despite a La Nina, a cooling of the equatorial Pacific that slightly reduces global average temperatures, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calculates 2022's global average temperature was 58.55 degrees (14.76 degrees Celsius), ranking sixth hottest on record. NOAA doesn't include the polar regions because of data concerns, but soon will.If the Arctic — which is warming three to four times faster than the rest of the...

Published on 1/20/2023 (11 days ago) Climate Change

 

House votes to ban sales from Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China

The House on Thursday passed a bill to ban sales from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China.The legislation passed with bipartisan support in a 331-97 vote, with 113 Democrats joining Republicans in backing the measure.Entitled the “Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act,” the bill would prohibit the sale and export of crude oil from the reserve to any entity under control of the China Communist Party.Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is “meant for true energy supply disruptions, like those caused by hurricanes and natural disasters, not to help China.”...READ FULL ARTICLE...

Published on 1/20/2023 (11 days ago) Oil/Gas

 

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