Making Energy

Recent Posts

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 →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

North Dakota Officials Accept A Low Carbon Future, But Not On EPA’s Terms

North Dakota officials say the days of freely-emitting carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants are over, and the future is a low-carbon one. This idea is not always popular with North Dakotans who work in the coal industry. Pictured here, a man wears a "Legalize Coal" T-shirt to a North Dakota Department of Health meeting about the Clean Power Plan in Beulah, North Dakota, on November 12, 2015. Beulah is in the heart of coal country in North Dakota.

North Dakota is feeling the heat from the federal Clean Power Plan, which targets carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Under the final version of the plan, the state will have to cut its emissions by 45 percent – more any other state except Montana. Officials say it's unfair and illegal, so they're suing to overturn the rule. But they're also working on a plan to comply. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

CO’s Gold King Mine Spill Renews Interest In Good Samaritans

Mine drainage in Kyler Hollow, in Elk County, Pa.

After Colorado's devastating Gold King Mine spill, federal lawmakers have launched a series of initiatives to clean up mine pollution around the country. They’re looking for guidance from one state with loads of experience cleaning up dirty mines—Pennsylvania. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

CO Debates New Rules To Ease Oil And Gas Tensions

An oil and gas well pad in northern Colorado.

When oil and gas drilling bumps up next to homes and communities, there are tensions. That has long been evident in Colorado, where a handful of cities have fought to ban the practice within their borders. Now, state regulators are considering some new rules which would would give local governments more input over oil and gas development. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Electricity Losses State By State: Interactive

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 6.05.37 PM

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 →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

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

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 7.10.23 PM

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 →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Oil and Gas Development Dims Starry Skies

A pumpjack works throughout the night, bathed in the light from flares and electric lights on oil well pads near Watford City, North Dakota, which also illuminate low-hanging clouds.

Oil and gas development involves a lot of bright lights: from flares to drilling rigs to new housing for workers. That's a concern for star gazers, who have documented an increase in light pollution in oilfields in North Dakota and West Texas. Hear how an observatory in Texas an a national park in North Dakota are trying to tackle the oilfield light pollution problem. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,