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.

Tech Companies Breaking Up With ALEC Over Climate Change

Oct 13, 2014
A Paulding County wind farm. Ohio Republicans connected to ALEC sponsored a bill to roll back the state's renewable energy standards.
David Grant / Flickr/Creative Commons

Many big tech companies are breaking up with the national organization ALEC, or the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC is a group geared towards crafting free-market-based model legislation that’s introduced into state legislatures, usually by conservative Republicans—and Ohio is now caught in the middle of the dispute.

The Great Miami River is connected to the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer, where Dayton gets its water.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Human-caused climate change is expected to have devastating effects across the country and world. The Midwest is somewhat insulated from extremes of drought or rising seas, but a recent report finds Ohio could see costly effects ranging from flooding to dangerous extreme heat spells by the end of the century.

What is Sustainability?

Jun 26, 2014
photologue_np / Flickr Creative Commons

Sustainability has become a buzzword in contemporary society, but University of Dayton professor Bob Brecha thinks sustainability is a matter of survival,  something citizens should things about in a deep and serious way.

In the dictionary, to sustain means “to keep in existence," also “to support from below”, or “to keep from falling or sinking”. That’s more direct than we often state it.

Coal is shipped by barge down the Ohio River.
MoToMo / Flickr

A bill that puts the state’s renewable energy standards on hold for two years is headed to Ohio governor John Kasich’s desk. That comes just as the federal government has proposed new limits on emissions from power plants.

Is Energy Independence Likely For The US?

May 20, 2014
gas pump
futureatlas.com / Flickr Creative Commons

There has been a buzz in the media over the past couple of years about impending US energy independence. University of Dayton professor Bob Brecha has some thoughts on how likely this scenario is.

Many of us have seen or heard news stories predicting that the U.S. will become the world’s leading oil producer within a decade, and that North America as a whole could become a net exporter of oil in two decades’ time. Energy independence — a goal of U.S. administrations since the energy crises of the 1970s — may be within reach.

A bill that would put a hold on Ohio’s energy efficiency and renewable standards is making its way through the state legislature after late-night passage in the state senate last Thursday. While opponents of the 2008 standards say they are costly for consumers, some are arguing the current standards are good for business and save money in the long run.

Freeze On State Energy Standards Closer To Passage

May 8, 2014

A measure to overhaul Ohio’s energy policies is on its way to the House after the state Senate held a vote very early Thursday morning. The bill would freeze the state’s efficiency and renewable standards for two years.

The standards, which have been in place since 2008, require utilities to achieve a certain amount of energy efficiency and use a certain amount of renewable sources by 2025.

New Ways of Thinking

May 6, 2014
Mike Baker / Flickr Creative Commons

When thinking about how much we are willing to do to prevent climate change, University of Dayton professor Bob Brecha wonders if we worry too much about economics alone.

Questions and comments often come up when I start talking about renewable energy. They go something like this: “I would like to install solar panels, but the payback time is just too long.” Or, when I bought a hybrid car ten years ago, friends said, “That’s nice, but how long will it take for gas savings to make up for the extra cost?”

State officials remind eligible Ohioans that they can get help managing energy costs this winter through a payment assistance program.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio says the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus allows eligible Ohioans to pay utility bills based on a percentage of household income.

Customers must receive their primary or secondary heat source from a company regulated by the utilities commission and have a total household income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level to qualify.

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