The Obama administration imposed strict carbon emissions limits on states. But that rule’s likely to be undone when Donald Trump assumes the presidency. So states like North Dakota are wondering what’s next for emissions, and moving forward with plans of their own.
Inside Energy recently made a video about what the Clean Power Plan means for you. In that video, we used a lot of numbers: 98 quadrillion Btu (the total energy used in the United States last year), 100 lightning bolts (the amount of energy each American used last year…ish), 150,000 (the number of people employed in the U.S. Coal industry), and more. In the video, we had mere seconds to share those numbers. But at Inside Energy, we like to get real nerdy about energy. So we’re sharing the stories behind those numbers.
No matter the intent of environmental agreements and regulations, the world will likely continue to burn coal for decades, especially in developing countries. So, is there a way to use the CO2 emissions instead of just sending them up the smokestack? Inside Energy’s Leigh Paterson reports.
Nationally, coal production is down and being challenged by market forces and new federal regulations. Ironically, Wyoming’s rise to dominance as the country’s top coal-producing state started 45 years ago with another regulation: The Clean Air Act of 1970.
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.
Replacing coal with natural gas to produce electricity wouldn’t significantly reduce carbon emissions, according to a study released today by University of California Irvine in conjunction with Net Zero and Stanford University.
“Fossil fuel” is not exactly an obscure term. Most people have the basic understanding that fossil fuels–coal, oil and natural gas–were formed from the buried remains of ancient plants and animals, submerged under heat and pressure for hundreds of millions of years. But, just because they’re formed by the same process, doesn’t mean they are all one and the same.
Larry Baxter of Sustainable Energy Solutions, describes Cryogenic Carbon Capture as “the biggest, worst blizzard you’ve ever been in. CO2 flakes everywhere.” He says this technology could help stop climate change but is is nowhere near to becoming part of our energy landscape.
Inside Energy is a collaborative journalism initiative of partners across the US and supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting