Energy

US Senate approves controversial oil pipeline, clash with president Barack Obama looms

After weeks of sometimes fierce debate, the bill passed with 62 votes to 36, with nine Democrats defying US president Barack Obama to support a project that would transport crude from Alberta's oil sands to refineries along the US Gulf Coast.

Worry for Solar Projects After End of Tax Credits

In addition to the tax credit, the existing solar thermal plants have benefited from heavy government support in the form of loan guarantees — $1.2 billion in the case of the Mojave plant — but that program is no longer active. As a result, utility-scale development, which accounted for almost two-thirds of the nation’s solar capacity installed last year, according to industry estimates, could drop off.

Energy offers $55M for efficient vehicle technology

The Energy Department is offering more than $55 million to companies, universities and laboratories to develop and deploy fuel efficiency vehicle technology. The grants are meant to increase the efficiency of the country’s vehicle fleet, reducing petroleum use and help attain the Obama administration’s goal of making electric vehicles’ pricing on par with traditional vehicles by 2022.

Bid to end Keystone debate fails

The Senate on Monday failed to end debate on legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, making it likely that a final vote on the measure won't take place until next week. In a 53-39 vote, the Senate fell six votes short of the 60 needed to end debate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) switched his vote from yes to no, a procedural move that allows him to bring up the motion again.

Community college to create fracking degree program

A southwestern Illinois community college has received the go-ahead to create a petroleum drilling technology, or fracking, program. "There's a huge need for petroleum workers, and we can't fill them fast enough," said Robert Conn, former dean of instruction at Lincoln Trail College and current dean of instruction at Wabash Valley College in Mount Carmel, Ill.

Princeton Researchers Aim To Push Toward Fusion Energy

"Fusion is an expensive science, because you're trying to build a sun in a bottle," Williams said. This endeavor in the New Jersey woods, known as the National Spherical Torus Experiment, was created to study the physics of plasma, in the hopes that one day humans will be able to harness a new source of energy based on the reactions that power stars.

The winners and losers of cheap oil

If the U.S. can continue investing in energy-production innovations, we can outlast OPEC’s attempt to ultimately regain control over global oil supply. Unfortunately, this endeavor will strain domestic energy companies. Analysts estimate that the break-even point for U.S. energy companies is anywhere from $45 to $80 per barrel of oil.

Canada still expecting Keystone approval

Canada’s government is still expecting the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, despite recent doubts about the project from President Obama. Greg Rickford, Canada’s minister for natural resources, said Wednesday that he supports the State Department’s process, even though it has taken more than six years, and believes it will result in an approval.

Senate advances Keystone bill

Legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline cleared a procedural hurdle on Monday in a 63-32 vote, overcoming a filibuster and setting up debate on the controversial bill. The Senate is expected to begin debate on the bill on Tuesday, but votes on amendments aren't expected until sometime next week.

Chevy Tips Bolt EV Concept With 200-Mile Range

Last week's CES had a number of car-related announcements, but Chevrolet waited until this week's North American International Auto Show to show off its latest electric vehicle innovations. The General Motors-owned car maker today introduced the Bolt EV concept—a long-range, all-electric vehicle designed with a 200-plus-mile range and a starting price tag of $30,000.

Low Fuel Prices Will Help Schools Fund More Technology

An investment firm estimates that schools will experience a $2 billion savings in lower fuel prices for the current fiscal year. Schools can spend this "found money" on "technology and consumables such as digital content," according to an article on THEJournal.com. "However, what could turn out to be a boon for some states could have detrimental effects on other states."

Keystone on the brink

Senators pushing a bill to force approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline scrambled Wednesday to keep the project alive — a day after the White House threatened to veto the bill. The main Republican and Democrat who support the pipeline met the past two days to plot a strategy for the bill’s passage.

Expect nonstop energy drama in 2015

President Barack Obama’s administration will spend 2015 taking on energy controversies from fracking to smog, from interstate air pollution to coal-burning power plants — and in December, his negotiators will head to Paris to try to reach a global agreement on climate change. In between all that, he just might make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline.

2014’s innovations in technology far-reaching

It was the year that we landed on a comet and launched a new era in NASA space exploration, turned to science to find a possible cure for Ebola, made robots and drones topics of everyday conversation and watched as Silicon Valley continued its rapid transition to the wearable computing revolution.

Americans Want America To Run On Solar and Wind

So popular, in fact, that they easily cross the partisan divide that polarizes Americans on so many other issues. About 80 percent of Americans said they want solar and wind energy to “increase a lot,” and another 10 percent or so want it to increase somewhat. “In order to get 90 percent, that means a lot of Republicans like solar and wind—more than coal. Everybody likes those sources. This is non-partisan.”

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