Energy en Why Solar Power is Such An Underutilized Resource <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Solar power has been in the news and discussed since the 1970’s. So why isn’t being utilized more in the United States?</span></p><p>Germany, a country half the size of Texas, harnesses the sun’s energy for many of its residential homes as <a href="">Mayor Peduto found out earlier this year</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>Joylette Portlock, President of Communitopia and creator of the <a href="">Don't Just Sit There, Do Something About Climate Change</a> web series, thinks that Pittsburgh can better utilize the sun’s rays for energy.</p><p>"The idea of harnessing the sun's energy for power has been around since the industrial revolution started, it's been around for a long time. &nbsp;Just as a country, we've had the notion that fossil fuels were cheaper or more easily available, easier to exploit, and we've really built up the infrastructure around those. &nbsp;And it's only when you get to periods of time, like we saw in the 70's with the oil crisis, where people change their focus and say 'hey, maybe we shouldn't be depending on other countries for our energy,' or <a href="">maybe, 'we should find a fuel that's free</a>.'" Mon, 30 Jun 2014 19:20:03 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 31814 at Why Solar Power is Such An Underutilized Resource Could Drones Make The Energy Business Safer? <p>Small, high-tech drones are being used to make movies, shoot photos for the media and find sick or diseased crops in farm fields across the country — even though the government restricts commercial use.<br /><br />Now, some are saying that drones could make operations safer in an industry Pennsylvania knows well: Energy.<br /><br />Unmanned aerial vehicles, better known as drones, could be used in oil and gas operations for anything that is “dangerous or dirty to do by people,” said Michael Blades, who analyzes the drone industry for the global research firm Frost &amp; Sullivan. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 15:56:01 +0000 Natasha Khan | PublicSource 30725 at Could Drones Make The Energy Business Safer? Peduto Talks About Cleaning Up the City From Top to Bottom, Using Outside Ideas <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Mayor Bill </span>Peduto<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">announced Wednesday that FBI Special Agent Stephen A. </span>Bucar<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;will be&nbsp;</span><a href="" style="line-height: 1.5;"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Pittsburgh's</span></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="">&nbsp;new public safety director</a>.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">He said Bucar brings experience with emergency preparedness, counter terrorism, along with local police experience at the state and municipal levels. And while Bucar has personal ties to this region, he comes from outside Pittsburgh city government.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">“What Bucar gives us is an opportunity to start new,” Peduto said. “We have a lot of work to do to clean up city government, and it starts at the top."</span></p><p><strong><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">Bringing an Outside Approach to City Government and City Development</span></strong></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">From Chicago, to Washington D.C., to </span>Ludwigsburg<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Germany, since Bill </span>Peduto<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> was sworn in as mayor he’s done some pretty extensive traveling in order to gather and share ideas for a new Pittsburgh vision.</span></p><p> Wed, 14 May 2014 22:08:07 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 29204 at Peduto Talks About Cleaning Up the City From Top to Bottom, Using Outside Ideas Is There a Rational Middle When it Comes to Energy Policy? <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">How do you create compromise when it comes to the divisive issue of energy and sustainability? We discussed that question with&nbsp;Gregory </span>Kallenberg<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, creator of <a href="">the Rational Middle Energy Series</a>, which is making a stop in Pittsburgh this week.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The series is made up of 22 films, so viewers can start at whatever level they want, learning about the basics of energy or something deeper like transportation or conservation. Tue, 25 Feb 2014 22:35:28 +0000 Essential Pittsburgh 24976 at Is There a Rational Middle When it Comes to Energy Policy? Chemical Plants Bring Dangers and Jobs for Workers and Community <p></p><p>On a Thursday morning in June, Antionette West was lying on a couch in her trailer not far from a row of chemical plants near the Mississippi River in Geismer, Lousiana, when the house began to shake.</p><p><br />She initially thought there had been an explosion at a vinyl chloride plant about a mile away, where there had been an explosion less than a year before. This time though, she saw black smoke coming from another direction.</p> Fri, 01 Nov 2013 06:13:00 +0000 Reid Frazier 19089 at Chemical Plants Bring Dangers and Jobs for Workers and Community BlueGreen Alliance Holds Energy Roundtable <p>Steel workers and green industry representatives met today to discuss the future of sustainable resources in the United States.</p><p>The panel discussed ways of getting a younger generation of energy leaders and producers, as well as the federal government, more committed to developing a clean economy.</p><p>Some believe dependable Production Tax Credits (PTC) could be the answer.</p><p>Companies that produce wind, geothermal and other types of renewable energy are eligible for a PTC, which provides a 2.2-cent per kilowatt-hour benefit for the first ten years of operation.</p> Fri, 18 Oct 2013 18:48:55 +0000 Michael Lynch 18372 at Student Summit to Teach High Schoolers About Energy Production <p>As new options for energy production become available, it&#39;s increasingly important for informed decision-making by the public regarding energy production.</p><p>The Carnegie Science Center&rsquo;s Chevron Center for STEM education and career development will host high school students from across the region Friday to educate them in a wide variety of technologies used for energy production.</p> Tue, 08 Oct 2013 15:45:12 +0000 Haldan Kirsch 17809 at Environmentalists Call for Tougher Regulation of PA Power Plants <p>Environmentalists are criticizing Pennsylvania power plants for their carbon emissions and are calling for more stringent regulations.</p><p>PennEnvironment’s report shows that, nationwide, the commonwealth has the third highest amount of power plant-borne pollution.</p><p>It comes in anticipation of federally proposed emissions regulations on new plants this year and existing plants next year.</p> Tue, 10 Sep 2013 17:58:00 +0000 Mary Wilson 16281 at Pennsylvania’s Climate Change Future: Read The Missing Report <p>A pair of legally-mandated reports outlining how climate change will affect Pennsylvania are currently a year overdue.<br><br>The state’s Climate Change Act required the publication of both reports in 2009, followed by an update every three years.<br><br>Both documents were due last year, but they’re still under review, and the state Department of Environmental Protection won’t say when they will be released.<br> Tue, 10 Sep 2013 07:30:00 +0000 Marie Cusick | StateImpact Pennsylvania 16228 at Pittsburgh Innovations in Energy <p>When it comes to Pittsburgh’s growing energy landscape, innovation does not usually come to mind right away. But the region has been at the forefront of important energy innovations at the private, federal, and university level for more than 100 years.</p><p>Two events in the coming weeks aim to bring these worlds together, the <a href="">Enterprise Forum Pittsburgh</a> and the 3rd annual <a href="">Energy and Innovation Conference</a>. Fri, 06 Sep 2013 20:01:05 +0000 hmcclain 16117 at Pittsburgh Innovations in Energy How Could OSHA’s New Silica Rules Impact The Natural Gas Industry? <p>Federal labor officials are proposing new rules to help prevent an old hazard of the trade: diseases caused by breathing in silica dust. Silicosis has long been a plight of workers in construction and manufacturing, but concerns have shifted in recent years to those who toil in the growing natural gas industry.<br><br>Sand is an important ingredient in most fracking fluid recipes. It’s mixed with chemicals and water and blasted deep underground where the tiny grains help keep cracks in the shale rock open for all that natural gas to come through.<br> Thu, 29 Aug 2013 14:34:43 +0000 Katie Colaneri | StateImpact Pennsylvania 15653 at Sen. Casey: More Money for Energy Research Needed <p>Funding for the National Energy Technology Laboratory is set to be cut by 20 percent in the upcoming federal budget, and that has U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania upset.&nbsp;</p><p>The Democrat has sent a letter to House and Senate leaders calling for the restoration of more than $80 million in the NETL budget.&nbsp;</p><p>Casey said the funding is important to not only the region’s economy, but also the future of the nation's energy supply.</p> Wed, 21 Aug 2013 19:21:07 +0000 Mark Nootbaar 15221 at Workers Rally for Southwest PA Coal Jobs <p>Boilermakers, utilities workers and politicians rallied Friday in an effort to save southwestern Pennsylvania coal jobs.</p><p>Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA-18) took to the megaphone outside of Boilermakers Local 154 Hall in Pittsburgh to take a stand against the Environmental Protection Agency and its latest regulations that contribute to the closing of two Pittsburgh power plants.</p> Fri, 12 Jul 2013 20:17:47 +0000 Michael Lynch 13029 at United Nations Report Examines "Climate Extremes" Over Past Decade <p>Extreme weather, greenhouse gases, carbon monoxide and glacial melting; all these buzzwords have increasingly entered the public vernacular in the past 20 years.&nbsp;</p><p>Following a UN report by the <a href="">World Meteorological Organization</a>, scientists expect that the topic of global warming and climate change will continue to be a hot issue.&nbsp; The report, “<a href="">The Global Climate 2001-2010: A Decade of Extremes</a>,” cites that the past decade has seen an abundance of greenhouse gas emissions that has caused increased temperatures on both hemispheres, all oceans and an accompanying rapid decline in arctic sea ice and glaciers.&nbsp;</p><p>Director of Science at the <a href="">Carnegie Science Center</a>, John Radzilowicz, has been following the topic of global climate change and was not necessarily surprised by the UN report.&nbsp; He was optimistic, however, that the report was gaining attention and combined a multitude of data pointing to the extremes in weather conditions throughout the world.</p><p> Mon, 08 Jul 2013 22:24:22 +0000 Katherine Blackley 12734 at United Nations Report Examines "Climate Extremes" Over Past Decade Researchers: Solar/Wind Power More Beneficial in Eastern U.S. <p>California has more solar panels soaking up the sun and creating electricity than any other state, but researchers say those panels would be better off in places like cloudy Pittsburgh.</p><p>Carnegie Mellon University researchers said the same is true in western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia when it comes to wind farms.</p><p>Kyle Siler-Evans, co-author of the recently published research paper, said the goal of solar and wind power is to mitigate climate damages and improve health and air quality, but the plants are going out west where they are not needed as much.</p> Mon, 01 Jul 2013 07:30:00 +0000 Jessica Nath 12201 at