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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How Different Spillway Gates Work

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Published on 1/11/2023 (21 days ago) Hydroelectric, Video

 

My Energy Story

IntroductionThe most frequent question I get asked is: “How did you end up doing this?”Most people can’t imagine why or how someone would become a huge champion of fossil fuels, of all things.And growing up, I never imagined I would devote my life to this cause.So, for those of you who are interested, here’s what happened.Part 1: Deciding to become a practical philosopher Sometimes people assume that I became a fossil fuel champion due to some combination of 1) fossil fuel industry money and 2) my personal background—e.g., my family was involved in fossil fuels, or I grew up in some pro-fossil fuel area.Both couldn’t be more wrong.I became a fossil fuel champion before I even knew anyone in the industry, let alone had a financial connection.I had no family connection to fossil fuels.And I...

Published on 1/11/2023 (21 days ago) Alex Epstein Corner

 

How Long Would Society Last During a Total Grid Collapse? - YouTube

A summary of how other systems of infrastructure (like roadways, water, sewer, and telecommunications) depend on electricity and how long each system could last under total blackout conditions. This video was guest produced by my editor, Wesley, who is also the actor in the blackout scenes ;) Practical Engineering is a YouTube channel about infrastructure and the human-made world around us. It is hosted, written, and produced by Grady Hillhouse. We have new videos posted regularly, so please subscribe for updates. If you enjoyed the video, hit that ‘like’ button, give us a comment, or watch another of our videos!WATCH VIDEO ON YOUTUBE ...

Published on 1/11/2023 (21 days ago) Climate Change

 

Six climate breakthroughs that made 2022 a step toward net zero

The damage caused by climate change over this past year was at times so immense it was hard to comprehend. In Pakistan alone, extreme summer flooding killed thousands, displaced millions and caused over $40 billion in losses. Fall floods in Nigeria killed hundreds and displaced over 1 million people. Droughts in Europe, China and the U.S. dried out once-unstoppable rivers and slowed the flows of commerce on major arteries like the Mississippi and the Rhine.In the face of these extremes, the human response was uneven at best. Consumption of coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, rebounded in 2022. Countries like the U.K. and China seemed to back away from major climate pledges.But all of this gloom came with more than a silver lining. In fact, it's all too easy to overlook the steps toward a...

Published on 1/11/2023 (21 days ago) Climate Change

 

Already struggling, farmers face another challenge with diesel shortage

As if this year hasn’t been rough enough on the agriculture community, farmers can now add “global diesel shortage” to their hardship bingo card for 2022.Just weeks after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed an executive order to continue drought relief efforts for farmers in that state, reports of what some are calling a devastating diesel shortage and the higher prices that come with it are rolling in to accompany farmers into the already harsh winter season.“I’m harvesting soybeans that aren’t even worth harvesting right now,” Oklahoma farmer Tim Heinrich said last month.Heinrich, who runs a 3,000-acre operation in north central Oklahoma, says a modern combine like the one he uses typically needs about 150 gallons a day to get the job done – a job that might ultimately cost him more in fuel...

Published on 1/11/2023 (21 days ago) Oil/Gas

 

States bank big bucks as Fed attempts to fight inflation

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — State governments emerging from the coronavirus pandemic built historic cash surpluses as inflation in prices and wages drove up sales and income tax collections.Now many states are reaping another reward: banking millions of dollars off those surpluses as the Federal Reserve fights inflation with higher interest rates."We're catching both ends of it," said Missouri Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick, a Republican.First, "we received a lot of extra money," he said. "Now, nominally, we're benefiting from the increase in interest rates from the Fed."Missouri is hardly alone. States ranging from Democratic-led Massachusetts to Republican-led Texas as well as politically divided Minnesota all are sitting on large surpluses that are swelling even further thanks to favorable...

Published on 1/11/2023 (21 days ago) Montana Legislature

 

Rising EV battery costs are delaying affordable electric cars — and it'll get worse before it gets better

After a decade of decline, the price of electric car batteries jumped seven percent this year, BloombergNEF reported last week.The about-face threatens the future of more affordable EVs and intensifies the industry's race to find a cheaper way to electrify. It also raises the question of whether, in making this shift, automakers are entering a new era of uncertainty — and bringing car-buyers with them.This year, the high cost of battery materials — especially lithium, nickel, and cobalt — sent shock waves through the auto industry. As automakers competed to ramp up EV offerings, lithium alone skyrocketed 500%, according to McKinsey.Those costs are largely to blame for the fact that electric cars aren't affordable for the masses yet. The average new EV cost a whopping $65,041 in November,...

Published on 1/11/2023 (21 days ago) Solar, Wind & EV's

 

The race to make electric cars cheaper is making electric cars more expensive

The auto industry's scramble to make more affordable electric cars has actually driven the price of these vehicles up — at least in the short term. The industry is desperate to build less expensive electric vehicles for the masses because (alongside concerns around range and charging availability) price is one of the biggest barriers to mass EV adoption. The new EVs cost an average of $65,041 in November, according to Kelley Blue Book, while gas cars averaged $48,681 that month.Automakers say they are doing all they can to introduce cheaper EVs. For instance, the Chevrolet Equinox SUV EV, to launch in 2023, should start around $30,000. Many have long been targeting that number, though Tesla somewhat tapped out of the race this year. Elon Musk told investors earlier this year his company...

Published on 1/11/2023 (21 days ago) Solar, Wind & EV's

 

Big Growth in Electric Heat Set Stage For Blackouts in US South

(Bloomberg) -- The states hit hardest by blackouts in last week’s winter storm have significantly increased reliance on heating homes with electricity over the last decade, putting more strain on the power grid when temperatures plummet.The number of households using electric heat in Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina increased by about 20% from 2009 to 2020, according to government data that survey a sample of households. The generating capacity of power plants in the region, meanwhile, has remained relativity flat and increasingly dependent on natural gas.Those trends played out in dramatic fashion on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24 when temperatures in the region plunged to around 10F (-12C), millions of people cranked up their heat and flows of natural gas plummeted along the East Coast...

Published on 1/11/2023 (21 days ago) Energy Crisis

 

Duke Energy had problem with power source equipment pre-blackout, officials confirm

Before rolling blackouts across the Carolinas on Christmas Eve, some equipment that Duke Energy relies on to generate power for millions either stopped producing energy or produced less than expected, officials have confirmed.In messages to customers and the public over the last week, Duke Energy officials have pointed to high electricity demand that placed “unusual strain on the energy grid” amid freezing temperatures.But the utility now says that unresponsive generating units played a role in the power shortage that led the company to begin rolling outages on Dec. 24 with little notice to residents.WRAL, in Raleigh, first reported the generator problems on Wednesday. Previously, as The Charlotte Observer reported Sunday, officials indicated equipment issues may have contributed to...

Published on 1/11/2023 (21 days ago) Energy Crisis

 

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