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Thanks to a readers suggestion, I just stumbled across some great articles featured on Circle Of Blue Waternews which address our nations current energy supply strategies, developmental trends, and energy's dependence on water.
Last week, Circle of Blue Waternews, an excellent globally focused water crisis news hub, posted a series of 6 great articles focused on current energy trends and the environmental and water concerns that are forcing these sources to adapt or shift all-together.
These articles ended up being a part of Circle of Blue's excellent "Choke Point: U.S. series looking at the conflicts between energy production and our water resources. Check 'em out!
Deep Frack Dilemma
Natural gas, say energy industry executives and policy makers in a number of states, could be the fuel of the 21st century. Natural gas, they assert, burns much more cleanly than coal or oil, yielding half the carbon emissions of competing fossil fuels. And new drilling technology enables developers to tap deep gas-bearing shales in the U.S. and globally. A single prodigious gas well prompted a record-setting state lease sale in May that put Michigan at the frontline of deep shale development. (Read more)
Thermal Power Stations Neen Makeover
Water constraints are making old operational practices in the energy sector no longer possible. Three-fourths of the electricity generated in the United States is thermally-driven, according to the Government Accountability Office, an arm of Congress that investigates federal spending. Burning fuel to drive a turbine creates excess heat that must be removed for the plant to function. Because water has been historically cheap and abundant, most plants use it as a coolant. (Read more)
Coal Sucks Water
The United States produces 1 billion tons of coal a year, most of it burned in the nation's 600 coal-fired utilitiies. In the competition between energy and water, coal is in a league by itself. Roughly half of the 410 billion gallons of water withdrawn every day from the nation's rivers, lakes, and aquifers is used to mine coal, and cool electric power generating stations, most of which burn coal. (Read more)
EPA and State Department Square Off on Tar Sands Pipeline
Before July 16, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued its 18-page letter directing the State Department to more carefully assess the considerable risks of the $7 billion Keystone XL oil pipeline from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was expected to issue a presidential permit approving construction in the fall. (Read more)
Tar Sands' Soiled Oil
Energy producers are spending $15 billion a year to triple oil production from the bitumen-saturated tar sands of northern Alberta, Canada, which are the largest source of oil imports to the U.S. pipeline companies. These companies are spending $31 billion to ship oil from Alberta to U.S. refiners in the Heartland, Great Lakes and Gulf coast. Refiners are spending more than $20 billion to expand refineries to process tar sands oil into transportation fuels. (Read more)
Water Scarcity Prompts Different Plans to Reckon With Energy Choke Point in the U.S.
On November 14, 2007, as Georgia’s worst drought in a century drained lakes, left power plants without cooling water, and had farmers and industrialists searching for solutions, Governor Sonny Perdue sought the highest assistance at his disposal. “Thank you Lord for the rain to come,” the governor prayed. “God we need you. We need rain.” (Read more)
This is by no means a complete collection of water-energy articles from Circle of Blue as they have continued publishing more great stories. To see the latest from Circle of Blue check out their website: http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/.
Hattip to April Ingle from Georgia River Network