Jordan Wirfs-Brock

Jordan Wirfs-Brock is Inside Energy's data journalist.

Recent Posts

Massive Gas Leak Points To Vast, Aging Natural Gas Infrastructure

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Methane is spewing from an underground natural gas storage field in southern California called Aliso Canyon at a rate of 50,000 kg per hour – the equivalent of 5 million full-grown cows. The leak is causing health problems, air traffic detours, and mass evacuations. And because methane is a potent greenhouse gas, its contribution to global warming is like having three extra coal-fired power plants. This isn’t just California’s problem: In addition to those direct consequences, Aliso Canyon is a wake-up call about the challenges facing our natural gas infrastructure. U.S. energy strategy, as outlined by the new Clean Power Plan, hinges on the idea that burning natural gas has a smaller carbon footprint than burning coal. Continue Reading →

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Citizen Science On The Rez – Kids, Science And North Dakota’s Oil Boom

The University of Colorado Team stands with Prairie Rose Seminole on a bluff overlooking Lake Sakakawea, observing  native plants and the changing landscape.

North Dakota’s Fort Berthold Indian Reservation is at the heart of the Bakken oil boom. When anthropologist Jen Shannon first visited the tribes there, it was to return religious artifacts. But the relationship grew. Next came an oral history project, then a film. And now, a more unusual request - help kids do science projects to understand their changing community. Continue Reading →

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Electricity Losses State By State: Interactive

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As part of our IE Questions project, Inside Energy investigated how much energy is lost as electricity travels from a power plant to the plug in your home. In the U.S., five to six percent of the energy in electricity is lost during transmission and distribution, but that varies widely state-to-state and year-to-year. See how your home state measures up. Continue Reading →

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Lost In Transmission: How Much Electricity Disappears Between A Power Plant And Your Plug?

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How much energy is lost along the way as electricity travels from a power plant to the plug in your home? This question comes from Jim Barlow, a Wyoming architect, through our IE Questions project. To find the answer, we need to break it out step by step: first turning raw materials into electricity, next moving that electricity to your neighborhood, and finally sending that electricity through the walls of your home to your outlet. Continue Reading →

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Hacking The Grid: Rural Colorado And The Realities Of Cybersecurity

Steve Metheny, of the Delta-Montrose Electric Association, illustrates the utility's back-up to the back-up, a floor to ceiling map of their service area and infrastructure.

Cybersecurity experts like to divide the world into two categories: Those who have been hacked, and those who have been hacked but just don’t know it yet. As the electric grid gets digitized, it becomes increasingly vulnerable to hackers. We know hackers are getting onto the grid. So how big of a threat do they really pose? Continue Reading →

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Things You Always Wanted To Know About Electric Cars But Were NOT Afraid To Ask

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We asked: What have you always wanted to know about electric vehicles? And you answered. You gave us questions. Great questions. Lots of them – everything from where to charge up, what to do with a used battery, and why electric cars aren’t outfitted with solar panels. Continue Reading →

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