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More Money To Fight Over, More Money To Fight With: North Dakota Politics Transformed

North Dakotans for Common Sense Conservation, the official group opposing Measure 5, links to, the website sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute.

North Dakota has always been a friendly, easy place to vote. It is the only state in the country without voter registration, and precincts are small enough that poll volunteers often recognize people who come through the door. "It’s kinda like a reunion," said Bonnie Fix, who's been working elections here since 2001. "Kinda like a family picnic." Running for office in North Dakota has historically been equally low-key--and low budget, with winning candidates for state offices raising less than a few thousand dollars each. But the oil boom has changed all that. Continue Reading →

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EPA Lowers The Bar In Defining Biofuels

Switchgrass, a cellulosic biofuel crop.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's move to change the definition for what qualifies as a cellulosic biofuel has caused some controversy. According to Energy Global, the new rule essentially allows energy products that are 75 percent cellulosic to qualify as a 100 percent cellulosic biofuel. Continue Reading →

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Renewable Storage Is Key

In 2020, when 33% of California's electricity is supposed to come from renewable sources, the net load curve will look like a duck.

As we talk about the future of renwable energy, there's one aspect that should be at the forefront of the conversation: storage. We've already figured out how to capture wind and solar energy, but it's equally important to figure out the best way to store this energy and use it when it's needed. Continue Reading →

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Low-Carbon Equals Low-Pollution


It's not exactly news that many scientists agree that switching to low-carbon technologies to produce energy would help reduce pollution. But as we consider these technologies, questions arise regarding the cost of building new plants, the materials necessary and whether they would cause other types of pollution. A study, released this week in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences journal, set out to answer these questions and arrived at a simple conclusion: taking all these factors into consideration, low-carbon technologies are still the answer to a greener planet. Continue Reading →

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Oil Engineering Boom: Plenty Of Students, Not Enough Teachers

Colorado School of Mines petroleum engineering professor Carrie McClelland helps one of her smaller seminar classes work through a group project.

The country needs trained petroleum engineers, and students are flooding into mining schools and tech programs around the country looking for a way to cash in on the nation’s energy boom. The trouble is those high paying jobs are also luring would-be teachers and even current teachers away from academia and into the oil fields. Continue Reading →

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