Energy

Towards the end of the year in 2008, gas prices dipped to a similar low.  oil gas pump price
Nicholas Eckhart / Flickr/Creative Commons

The price of gas is at a new low this week, with Ohio’s average around $1.99 per gallon, down about 80 cents from last month and down about $1.38 from the 2013 average.

Brian Bull / WCPN

 A report from a conservation group names the Lake Erie watershed among the top ten “special places” that need to be protected, but not everyone agrees on what the lake and its tributaries most need to be protected from.

Driving Electric

Dec 29, 2014

“Electricity is the thing ... no whirring and grinding gears …  no water-circulating system to get out of order — no dangerous and evil-smelling gasoline and no noise.”  That’s what Thomas Edison said about electric cars over a century ago.  University of Dayton professor Bob Brecha and some of his colleagues have been taking this to heart.  Here’s Bob with some thoughts on driving electric.

West Virginia To Allow Fracking Underneath The Ohio River

Dec 9, 2014
erjkprunkczyk / Flickr/Creative Commons

West Virginia is selling hydraulic fracturing or fracking rights under the Ohio River, and the effects of that decision will be monitored by the other states in the Ohio River Valley.

About 50 Quaker protesters showed at two PNC bank branches in Springfield Saturday.
Wayne Baker / WYSO

Several local Quaker activists participated in a “Flood PNC” protest in Springfield Saturday morning. The Earth Quaker Action Team organized demonstrations in 12 states and the District of Columbia to ask PNC Bank to stop financing mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachian areas.

The U.S. EPA says the process involves mining companies blowing the tops off of mountains in order to extract an abundance of coal. After the coal is extracted, toxic waste is often dumped into the environment, harming water supplies and wildlife.

A House Made of Straw

Nov 28, 2014
Bob Brecha

When University of Dayton professor Bob Brecha and his wife decided to have a home built awhile back, they were intrigued by the idea of having straw as the key ingredient; stacks of it, covered by mud plaster. And if that sounds flimsy, possibly cold, listen to his story of the making of a strawbale house in Yellow Springs.

 

Lucas County Choppers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A legislative panel reviewing Ohio's renewable energy law while state mandates are on a two-year hiatus is kicking off with testimony from the state's top utility regulator.

Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chairman Tom Johnson addresses the Energy Mandates Study Committee Monday.

The panel was created in May to part of a bill delaying enforcement of state mandates for alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind.

The United States, China, Ohio and Climate Change

Nov 14, 2014
Han Jun Zeng / Flickr Creative Commons

The United States, China and Ohio might seem like an unlikely grouping, but that’s how University of Dayton professor Bob Brecha is making sense of the climate change agreement made during the President’s visit to China this week.

Science now tells us that climate change is real. We are witnessing the effects around the world, from heat waves to extreme rain and snow. Although we’ve been working on international climate agreements for decades, very little has been accomplished.

James Marvin Phelps / Flickr Creative Commons

Environmentalists have traditionally been very skeptical of nuclear power, but recently some climate scientists have been gaining attention because of their support for nuclear power as a tool to help reduce carbon emissions. University of Dayton professor Bob Brecha is doubtful that this is a constructive path for sustainable energy.

A Pennsylvania gas well.  fracking drilling
Gerry Dincher / Flickr/Creative Commons

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A new study suggests that fracking triggered hundreds of too-small-to-be-felt earthquakes in eastern Ohio late last year, months before the state first linked seismic activity to the oil-and-gas extraction technique.

The study, in the journal Seismological Research Letters, identified nearly 400 tremors on a previously unmapped fault in Harrison County between Oct. 1 and Dec. 13, 2013. That included 10 quakes of magnitudes of 1.7 to 2.2 — significantly more intense than expected, though still minor.

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