Environment

Energy
12:01 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Is U.S. Energy Independence Finally Within Reach?

A worker hangs from an oil derrick near Williston, N.D. The state now produces 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day, and production continues to rise.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 8:17 pm

Rising gas prices have been the big energy story of the past several weeks. But many energy experts say that's a sideshow compared with the really big energy event — the huge boom in oil and natural gas production in the U.S. that could help the nation reach the elusive goal of energy independence.

Since the Arab oil embargo of 1973, energy independence has been a Holy Grail for virtually every American president from Richard Nixon to Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama.

But now, it might just be within reach.

The Shale Gale

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Environment
11:10 am
Tue March 6, 2012

WL WWTU increasing its green efforts

January was a record month for processing food waste at West Lafayette's waste water treatment plant.

Utility director Dave Henderson says 36-tons was collected from the Purdue Memorial Union and dining courts on campus.

He says along with the 26,000 pounds of fats, oils, and grease that were processed in January, the plant was able to generate 20% of the electricity needed for its operation.

Henderson says that saved the city more than $5,000.

He says the utility will continue to look for ways to increase the amount of power the plant produces in-house.

Law
4:00 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Deal Reached On Gulf Oil Spill Victims

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 10:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Lawyers for BP, and thousands of people affected by the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill, had been expected, for a long time, to be in a New Orleans courtroom this morning for a civil trial. Instead, they're reviewing a deal to settle the case.

BP estimates it would pay nearly $8 billion in the settlement. In exchange, the company would avoid revisiting, in a courtroom, what led up to the drilling rig explosion that killed 11 men and poured massive amounts of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

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Environment
3:25 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Lafayette Wastewater Treatment Plant Improves Efficiency

The Superintendent of Lafayette’s wastewater treatment plant says it’s more efficient than four years ago.

Brad Talley says the Water Pollution Control department has taken steps to reduce electrical and natural gas consumption.

Natural gas consumption is down by 50-percent and electrical consumption by about 40-percent since 2007.

He says that has made the facility more environmentally friendly.

He says the savings come as the amount of flow has increased by nearly 10-percent.

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The Salt
2:51 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Weird Winter Has Gardeners Itching To Plant, Despite The Risks

Plant now, and in a month your spinach might look like this. It's a hardy plant that can survive late frost.
iStockPhoto.com

Right about now, gardeners are aching to get out and plant. Usually, in the February dregs of winter, that desire is dashed by cold, wet, maybe even frozen soil. But this year is different.

Here in Washington, D.C., snowdrops came up almost a month ago, and the daffodils have been blooming for two weeks. It's tempting to think that if these harbingers of spring showed up three weeks ahead of schedule, it's safe to plant early, too.

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U.S.
3:57 pm
Sun February 26, 2012

What Happens If The Keystone XL Pipeline Isn't Built?

A mock oil pipeline near Cushing, Okla.
Brent Baughman/NPR

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 7:56 am

Part two of a two-part series on the Keystone XL pipeline

Gas isn't like a rare bottle of wine that fetches a high price just because it's rare. But at the same time, no one can agree what drives gas prices. Demand for gasoline in the U.S. is at its lowest point in more than a decade; domestic oil production is at an eight-year high.

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Environment
5:01 pm
Sat February 25, 2012

Ranchers' Land Becomes Ground Zero In Energy Fight

Rancher Randy Thompson is fighting to keep the Keystone XL pipeline from being built in Nebraska.
Guy Raz NPR

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 7:38 am

Part one of a two-part series on the Keystone XL pipeline

Gas prices are spiking once again; the cost of a gallon of regular unleaded is about 12 percent higher than it was a year ago. But winter typically isn't the time for a rise in gas prices. Demand for gasoline is at a 14-year low and domestic oil production is at an eight-year high.

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The Two-Way
5:27 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Monsanto Reaches Settlement On Agent Orange Class-Action Suit

A proposed settlement has been reached in a big class-action lawsuit against Monsanto. The case is connected to the company's production of the controversial herbicide "Agent Orange," the defoliant the military sprayed over Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.

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Environment
8:52 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Purdue considers public comment on Energy Master Plan

Public comments on Purdue’s Comprehensive Energy Master Plan are being reviewed by university administrators.

The proposal aims to improve energy efficiency while still meeting heating and cooling needs on campus.

A hearing was held last night in Stewart Center, allowing the community members to give feedback in person.

In addition, the university has been fielding written comments on the plan since it was made available to the public January 10th.

Krulwich Wonders...
4:40 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Is That A Starfish On My Face?

Jason de Caires Taylor jasondecairestaylor.com

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 9:50 am

The problem is we don't see the problem.

Because coral reefs sit below the water line, when they start to disintegrate (from pollution, overfishing, climate change, ocean acidification ... the list is long) most of us wouldn't notice. Or — and here's an irony — the more we notice, the more they disintegrate.

Some coral reefs are so overvisited, they are harmed by our attention.

What to do? Well, this is where the sculptors and weavers come in.

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