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On The Hunt For Methane Leaks

The 2015 leak at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility near Los Angeles was a grim reminder of how devastating methane leaks can be. The Environmental Defense Fund estimates that the four-month leak will have the same 20-year climate impact as burning nearly a billion gallons of gasoline.

Burning natural gas for electricity is much cleaner than coal. But there's a problem - leaking methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Nearly 2 years ago Colorado implemented rules to try to limit methane leaks from natural gas infrastructure. Now the EPA is proposing to model federal rules on Colorado's. Still finding and plugging leaks remains a challenge nationwide. In Pennsylvania, where thousands of gas wells and pipelines are working the Marcellus Shale, researchers are trying to figure out how much is leaking. For our Inside Energy project, The Allegheny Front’s Reid Frazier tagged along.
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The Future Of U.S. Energy, According To Donald Trump

Donald Trump speaks to a packed arena at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, ND.

With the help of a few more delegates from a handful of states, including North Dakota, Donald Trump finally gathered enough to clinch the republican nomination. And with that news, the official Republican Presidential nominee rolled into Bismarck, North Dakota on Thursday. Continue Reading →

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Getting Paid To Soak Up California Solar

On the trading floor of Arizona Public Service, all eyes are trained on the price of energy in California, especially when customer demand is low, but solar panels are producing the most power.

The people who run our electricity grids are trying to figure out what to do with solar and wind power that is generated when no one needs it. Take California – there’s enough solar there now to serve more than three million homes. But during the day, especially in the spring, demand is low and generation is high. So, that clean power has to be sent elsewhere. Right now, its going across state lines to Arizona. Continue Reading →

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“When the snow’s blowing, we go to work”: The Linemen Who Keep Your Lights On

On a blustery March morning, an Xcel lineman crew in Denver, Colorado replaces an old transformer. Photo by Brian Malone/Inside Energy

Whether your state gets its energy from coal or wind power, someone has to maintain the miles of power lines that deliver electricity to your home. One of those people is Kevin Hinrichs, a lineman with Xcel Energy in Colorado. He's repaired lines in snowstorms and heat waves -- even under gunfire. Continue Reading →

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“Senseless Exposures”: How Money and Federal Rules Endanger Oilfield Workers

Truck driver Ryan Ehlis checks his tires before heading out for a night of hauling crude oil around the Bakken oilfield. Ehlis says being exposed to petroleum gas is an unavoidable part of his job.

Every day, thousands of oilfield workers are exposed to deadly petroleum gases -- despite the fact that safer technologies exist that could protect them. Inside Energy investigates how federal regulations and financial incentives combine to put workers at risk. Continue Reading →

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Methane Leak Spurs Call For Greater Oversight Nationwide

Signs like these asking for the complete closure of the Aliso Canyon Gas Storage facility, which Southern California Gas considers an essential asset, are beginning to appear at rallies held by residents of Porter Ranch.

The massive methane leak in southern California is spurring calls for greater oversight of natural gas infrastructure nationwide. The Environmental Defense Fund says the federal government should look at a Colorado law that regulates inspection and maintenance. Continue Reading →

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