July 6, 2020

Confrontation of The Century – Gas vs. Renewables

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — Last September California affirmed its commitment to supply all of the state’s annual demand for electricity with renewable sources of energy by 2045. New Mexico enacted similar 100 percent renewable legislation. This month Minnesota pledged to be the third U.S. state to achieve 100 percent renewable electrical generation, committing to do so by 2050. The three states are joined by nine other states considering the 100 percent commitment, and 100 American …

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The Ohio River Again At Center of Seminal Industrial Transition

SOMERSET, KY — Ever since I reported and completed a project to suggest a new development strategy for Owensboro, KY. — and met and married one of the city’s great and beautiful civic leaders –I’ve been fascinated by the evolution of the Ohio River Valley. See a ModeShift archive here. Every economic era in American history opened along the river’s banks. Most of those that closed also weakened and died on a river that stretches …

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Water, Energy and the Ohio River Valley’s New Course

ATHENS, OHIO – Few places in the United States better understand the economically essential and ecologically risky accord between energy and water than this southeast Ohio town. Athens, where Ohio University was founded in 1804 as a Northwest Territories frontier institution, was once surrounded by dozens of working underground coal mines. Thousands of miners spent much of the 19th and half of the 20th centuries digging long horizontal and vertical shafts that essentially hollowed out …

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So Much Fracking Wastewater in the Ohio River Valley, Companies Want To Transport It By Barge

Last month, while nosing around the new Utica shale gas fields of eastern Ohio, I learned that the Obama administration was preparing to consider a proposal from the U.S. Coast Guard that would allow barge operators to transport wastewater from shale gas fracking operations on inland waterways. Earlier this month the Coast Guard delivered the proposal to the White House Office of Management and Budget. Sometime later this year the agency is likely to make …

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Frack Or Not To Frack? That’s Just One Question

At the corner of US 31 and County Line Road in Benzie County, one of the more than 9,000 Antrim Shale natural gas wells drilled in Michigan since the late 1980s. Michigan’s Antrim Shale was among the first natural gas reserves in the U.S. developed from hydrocarbon-bearing shales. Photo/Heather Rousseau BENZONIA, MI — It’s apparent why a great number of Americans wonder about the risks of fracking and whether states and the federal government ought …

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U.S. Energy Boom: Reprieve and A Reckoning, Says NYT’s Friedman and ModeShift’s Schneider

North Dakota is producing more than 600,000 barrels of oil daily, second most in the U.S. behind Texas. A tanker truck loads oil aboard a tanker train near Williston, ND. Photo by Keith Schneider Over the weekend Tom Friedman of the New York Times wrote a good piece, Get it Right on Gas, about the short-term promise and potentially long-term economic and environmental peril prompted by the U.S. energy boom. Friedman’s article made quite a …

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The U.S. Energy Boom and Ohio in The New York Times

My interest in the Ohio River Valley, as readers of ModeShift well know, is keen. Today, the New York Times published my latest piece about the billions being invested in mineral leasing for oil and gas drilling. Tomorrow, in the NYT Business section, is another piece I did on Cincinnati’s improved economy and surging riverfront development. You may recall this article on Owensboro Kentucky’s improved prospects for the NYT late last year. I did this …

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Behind New Generation Mineral Leases: More Money, Less Hazards

CALDWELL, Ohio — The day before they received a $280,000 check for leasing their oil and gas development rights to Eclipse Energy, Arthur and Sharon Stottsberry stopped in Marietta to remind their attorney that they had almost an acre more to lease. I caught up with the Stottsberrys as they were leaving Jennifer Garrison’s office, as ebullient and keyed up as a retired senior couple from this part of southeastern Ohio is likely to get …

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China Demand For Food and Energy Is Raising Prices and Consumer Ire in U.S.

Dude! What’s up with the law of supply and demand? The United States Department of Agriculture projected earlier this month that national harvests of wheat, corn, and soybeans — the foundation ingredients of the have-it-your-way American diet — will be strong this year. But prices for bread, meat, and milk at my local Glen’s store here in Frankfort, Michigan are going up by the week. Meanwhile, the Energy Information Administration reports that U.S. oil consumption …

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U.S. Energy Boom Lifts Ohio’s Steel Industry: Latest New York Times Article

CANTON, Oh. – Orders for steel from domestic and export markets plunged so low in May 2009 that the Timken Company’s mill here on Faircrest Street operated for just four days that month. Nearly three years later, with demand for steel soaring and the Faircrest mill operating around the clock, Timken started construction in early March on a $200 million, 83,000-square-foot addition to boost the plant’s production. Just as Ohio’s presidential election has accurately predicted …

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