Energy

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.

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.

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