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Energy News Stories

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Global Automakers to Demo EV Fast Charging at EVS26
2012-05-03, MarketWatch/PR Newswire
Posted: 2012-05-28 14:03:28

Global automakers from the United States and Germany will demonstrate fast-charging technology that will enable the recharging of most electrified vehicles with compatible systems in as little as 15-20 minutes. Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche and Volkswagen have agreed to support a harmonized single-port fast charging approach - called DC-fast charging with a Combined Charging System - for use on electric vehicles in Europe and the United States. Live charging demonstrations [were] conducted during the Electric Vehicle Symposium 26 (EVS26) May 6-9. The combined charging system integrates one-phase AC-charging, fast three-phase AC-charging, DC-charging at home and ultra-fast DC-charging at public stations into one vehicle inlet. This will allow customers to charge at most existing charging stations regardless of power source and may speed more affordable adoption of a standardized infrastructure. The International Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has chosen the Combined Charging System as the fast-charging methodology for a standard. The standard is to be officially published this summer. ACEA, the European association of vehicle manufacturers has also selected the Combined Charging System as its AC/DC-charging interface for all new vehicle types in Europe beginning in 2017.

Note: How sad that an Internet search turned up no major media reporting this important and inspiring news. For lots more from reliable sources on new developments in automotive and alternative energy technologies, click here.

Google gets license to operate driverless cars in Nevada
2012-05-07, CNN
Posted: 2012-05-15 15:57:05

Nevada [has become] the first [state] to approve a license for "autonomous vehicles" -- in other words, cars that cruise, twist and turn without the need for a driver -- on its roads. The license goes to Google. Engineer and Google X founder Sebastian Thrun said that the self-driving vehicle project aims "to help prevent traffic accidents, free up people's time and reduce carbon emissions by fundamentally changing car use." He noted that the "automated cars use video cameras, radio sensors and a laser range finder to 'see' other traffic, as well as detailed maps ... to navigate the road ahead." There is no driver needed, though one is typically in the front seat ready to take control if need be. Earlier this spring, Google said it had "safely completed over 200,000 miles of computer-led driving." Nevada issued a special license after demonstrations on state freeways, state highways, in Carson City neighborhoods and on Las Vegas' landmark Las Vegas Strip, the state's Department of Motor Vehicles said in a news release. All such cars on the road are "test" vehicles for now, though the state signaled it intends to be "at the forefront of autonomous vehicle development."

Note: For reports from major media sources on new automotive and energy inventions, click here.

Tesla at 75
1931-07-20, Time Magazine
Posted: 2012-05-08 12:35:43,9171,742063,00.html

Nikola Tesla (pronounced Teshlah) [invented] the Tesla induction motor which made alternating current practical, and the Tesla transformer which steps up oscillating currents to high potentials. Last week was Dr. Tesla's 75th birthday. To Nikola Tesla, all the world's a power house. For 40 years he has been reasoning, calculating and arguing that the earth has a definite electrical resonance. All that men need do to have unlimited power at their command, and that power without the necessity of transmission wires, would be to generate electricity in tune with the earth's. Only possible drawbacks would be the vast expense of installation ... and anyone could tap the current. There could be no financial control of electricity. In Colorado in 1899, Tesla built a huge induction coil by which he generated and, he says, sent out wireless waves the same year Marconi established wireless communication. Tesla claims priority, because he conceived his system six years earlier, in 1893. The theoretical path of Tesla's waves were through the earth, not through the air as Hertzian waves go. [Tesla has commented] "I think that nothing can be more important than interplanetary communication. It will certainly come some day, and the certitude that there are other human beings in the universe, working, suffering, struggling, like ourselves, will produce a magic effect on mankind and will form the foundation of a universal brotherhood that will last as long as humanity itself." Dr. Tesla migrated to the U. S. in 1884 to work for Thomas Alva Edison, whom he soon quit. His naturalization papers he keeps in a safety box, his scientific medals and degrees in old trunks and cupboards.

Note: The above link requires a small payment. To view the full article free, click here. Though Marconi gets major mention in the history books while Tesla is given but a footnote, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1943 "ruled that that Tesla's radio patents had predated those of [Marconi]," as stated in this Chicago Tribune article. There are many intriguing secrets about this mysterious genius. To learn how the government seized his work immediately after his death and lots more, click here. For other verifiable information on incredible new energy inventions based on Tesla technology and more, click here.

Earthquake Outbreak in U.S. Tied to Fracking Wastewater
2012-04-12, San Francisco Chronicle/Bloomberg
Posted: 2012-04-17 09:59:44

A spate of earthquakes across the middle of the U.S. is "almost certainly" man-made, and may be caused by wastewater from oil or gas drilling injected into the ground, U.S. government scientists said in a study. Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey said that for the three decades until 2000, seismic events in the nation's midsection averaged 21 a year. They jumped to 50 in 2009, 87 in 2010 and 134 in 2011. Those statistics, included in the abstract of a research paper to be discussed at the Seismological Society of America conference next week in San Diego, will add pressure on an energy industry already confronting more regulation of the process of hydraulic fracturing. An abstract of the federal study, which was led by William Ellsworth, Earthquake Science Center staff director for the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California, was published online earlier this month. "A naturally-occurring rate change of this magnitude is unprecedented outside of volcanic settings or in the absence of a main shock, of which there were neither in this region," Ellsworth and his colleagues wrote.

Note: Few are aware that Canada's province Quebec has banned fracking. Many other places are considering similar measures.

Power shifts as off-grid options spread worldwide
2012-04-13, San Francisco Chronicle/Bloomberg
Posted: 2012-04-17 09:53:22

An electricity revolution [is] sweeping through power markets and threatening traditional utilities' dominance of the world's supply. From the poorest parts of Africa and Asia to the most-developed regions in the United States and Europe, solar units ... and small-scale wind and biomass generators promise to extend access to power to more people than ever before. In the developing world, they're slashing costs in the process. Across India and Africa, startups and mobile phone companies are developing what are called called microgrids, in which stand-alone generators power clusters of homes and businesses in places where electric utilities have never operated. In Europe, cooperatives are building their own generators and selling power back to the national or regional grid. The revolution is just beginning, says Jeremy Rifkin, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and author of "The Third Industrial Revolution." Disruptive to the economic status quo, the transformation opens up huge opportunities to consumers who may find themselves trading power in the future much as they swap information over the Internet today, he says. "This is power to the people." Within a decade, installing photovoltaic panels may be cheaper for many families than buying power from national grids in much of the world, including the United States, Japan, Brazil and the United Kingdom, according to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Note: For a treasure trove of major media articles showing dozens of amazing new energy technologies which could replace our dependence on fossil fuels, click here.

Solar Flare: What If Biggest Known Sun Storm Hit Today?
Posted: 2012-03-27 08:48:17

A powerful sun stormassociated with the second biggest solar flare of the current 11-year sun cycleis now hitting Earth, so far with few consequences. But the potentially "severe geomagnetic storm," in NASA's words, could disrupt power grids, radio communications, and GPS as well as spark dazzling auroras. The storm ... won't hold a candle to an 1859 space-weather event, scientists sayand it's a good thing too. If a similar sun storm were to occur in the current dayas it well couldmodern life could come to a standstill, they add. That storm has been dubbed the Carrington Event, after British astronomer Richard Carrington, who witnessed the megaflare and was the first to realize the link between activity on the sun and geomagnetic disturbances on Earth. During the Carrington Event, northern lights were reported as far south as Cuba and Honolulu, while southern lights were seen as far north as Santiago, Chile. The flares were so powerful that "people in the northeastern U.S. could read newspaper print just from the light of the aurora," Daniel Baker, of the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, said at a geophysics meeting in December 2010. In addition, the geomagnetic disturbances were strong enough that U.S. telegraph operators reported sparks leaping from their equipmentsome bad enough to set fires, said Ed Cliver, a space physicist at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory in Bedford, Massachusetts. If something similar happened today, the world's high-tech infrastructure could grind to a halt.

Note: For more on this, click here and here. The first article talks about the vulnerability of the world's nuclear reactors to such a storm. If telegraph systems failed in the solar storm of 1859, how much damage do you think such a storm would do to our modern electronics? And why aren't more people talking about this?

Wall Street speculation blamed for gas price spike
2012-03-08, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2012-03-13 16:33:40

Public anger over high gasoline prices is turning to a familiar target - Wall Street. The role of speculative investors in this year's price spike has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks, nowhere more so than in Washington. Nearly 70 members of Congress wrote a stern letter Monday to a federal commission that regulates the country's main market for crude oil, demanding that the commission crack down on speculation. President Obama, his energy policies under attack from Republicans, ordered a fresh look at speculation's role in the market on Tuesday. "This is just another example, in my view, of Wall Street playing the casino," said Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, who signed the letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. "Everyone should be outraged that every time they're filling up their tank, they're paying a premium because of speculation." How big is that premium? One of the trading commission's five members estimated last month that speculative investors were adding 56 cents to the price of each gallon of gas. As a result, Honda Civic drivers pay an additional $7.39 per fill-up, said Commissioner Bart Chilton. Owners of the Ford F150 pickup pay an extra $14.56. Speculative investors include hedge funds and investment banks that buy contracts for the future delivery of oil but never intend to take possession of the fuel itself. They buy and sell strictly as a financial investment, and their presence in the market has swelled.

Note: For lots more reliable information from the major media on energy manipulations, click here.

The extra dollars you're paying at the pump are going to Wall Street speculators
2012-02-28, Chicago Tribune
Posted: 2012-03-06 09:00:23

The current surge in gas prices has almost nothing to do with energy policy. It doesn't even have much to do with global supply and demand. It has most to do with America's continuing failure to adequately regulate Wall Street. Oil supplies aren't being squeezed. Over 80 percent of America's energy needs are now being satisfied by domestic supplies. In fact, we're starting to become an energy exporter. Demand for oil isn't rising. Oil demand in the U.S. is down compared to last year at this time. The American economy is showing only the faintest signs of recovery. Meanwhile, global demand is still moderate. Europe's debt crisis hasn't gone away. China's growth continues to slow. But Wall Street is betting on higher oil prices. Hedge-fund managers and traders assume that mounting tensions in the Middle East will hobble supplies later this year. Wall Street speculators also assume global demand for oil will rise in the coming year. These are just expectations, not today's realities. But they're pushing up oil prices just the same, because Wall Street firms and other big financial players now dominate oil trading. Where there's money to be made, Wall Street will find a way of making it. And when it comes to oil, so much money is at stake that gigantic sums can be made if the bets pay off. Speculators figure they can hedge against bad bets. Financial speculators historically accounted for about 30 percent of oil contracts, producers and end users for about 70 percent. But today speculators account for 64 percent of all contracts.

Note: This article was written by Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future. He blogs at For lots more reliable information from the major media on energy manipulations, click here.

Billionaire helps fund MU energy research
2012-02-10, Columbia Tribune (Columbia, MO's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2012-02-28 10:22:14

The founder of an apparel company has given the University of Missouri $5.5 million to study new sources of clean energy. Sidney Kimmel, founder and chairman of The Jones Group which includes brands such as Anne Klein, Nine West and Gloria Vanderbilt donated the money through his charitable foundation. The money will be used to create the Sidney Kimmel Institute for Nuclear Renaissance, SKINR, which will involve researchers from the MU Research Reactor and physics, engineering and chemistry departments. Mostly, MU scientists will be trying to figure out why excess heat has been observed when hydrogen or deuterium interacts with materials such as palladium, nickel or platinum under extreme conditions. Researchers dont know how the heat is created, nor can they duplicate the results on a consistent basis. Its a chance to turn cold confusion to real understanding and opportunity, said Rob Duncan, MUs vice chancellor for research. Since researchers Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons declared they had observed tabletop energy, scientists have been scrambling to re-create the phenomenon. Once dubbed cold fusion, some now refer to the process as a low-energy nuclear reaction. Some companies have even been trying to find marketplace applications for the excess heat, even though its not consistent. Duncan has called on the scientific community to stop trying to label the phenomenon before figuring out what causes it. The gift, he said, will let MUs research team focus on the pure science without being distracted by trying to find uses for it.

Note: The comment about scientists scrambling to reproduce the cold fusion research of Pons and Fleischmann is not quite the reality. The two scientists were slammed and ridiculed in a coordinated effort to suppress their amazing discoveries, which threatened the huge profits of the oil industry. For lots more reliable information on this, click here and here.

Boulder Votes for Municipal Utility
2011-11-03, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2012-02-28 10:16:07

Voters in Boulder, Colo., narrowly backed the creation of a municipal power authority to replace Xcel Energy Inc., the biggest electricity provider in Colorado. The city can't cut all ties with Xcel right away. The shift to a municipal utility will take at least three years and could be derailed over issues such as how much Boulder will pay Xcel for its infrastructure. Supporters of the move argue that a public utility would allow Boulder, a liberal college town, to embrace renewable energy and sharply reduce carbon emissions. Xcel relies heavily on coal-fired plants. Xcel spent nearly $1 million to try to defeat the Boulder ballot measures, outspending supporters about 10 to 1. "People like a David-and-Goliath story, and that's absolutely what this is," said Ken Regelson, who led a community group supporting a public utility. Nationwide, 16 new public power authorities have been formed in the last decade, including 13 that have taken over from private utilities. Nearly all serve communities of less than 10,000, said Ursula Schryver, a vice president of the American Public Power Association, a trade group. Boulder's population is nearly 100,000. The last large-scale municipalization took place in 1998, on New York's Long Island.

Note: This is significant positive news as the largest city yet in the U.S. has voted to take control of their energy and make it greener. For a more optimistic and detailed description of this major victory, click here.

Miracle material graphene can distil booze, says study
2012-01-27, BBC News
Posted: 2012-02-14 15:58:20

Membranes based on the "miracle material" graphene can be used to distil alcohol, according to a new study in Science [magazine]. An international team created the membrane from graphene oxide - a chemical derivative of graphene. They have shown that the membrane blocks the passage of several gases and liquids, but lets water through. This joins a long list of fascinating and unusual properties associated with graphene and its derivatives. Graphene ... is a flat layer of carbon atoms tightly packed into a two-dimensional honeycomb arrangement. Because it is so thin, it is also practically transparent. As a conductor of electricity, it performs as well as copper; and as a conductor of heat, it outperforms all other known materials. The unusual electronic, mechanical and chemical properties of graphene at the molecular scale promise numerous applications. Andrei Geim and Konstantin Novoselov from the University of Manchester were awarded 2010's Nobel Prize in physics for their discovery [of graphene]. Geim and others have now developed a laminate made from thin sheets of graphene oxide. These films were hundreds of times thinner than a human hair but remained strong, flexible and easy to handle. In another study in Science journal, a different team reports the development of a membrane based on diamond-like carbon. This membrane has unique pore sizes that allow for the ultra-fast passage of oil through it. One expert said it could potentially be used for filtering toxic contaminants out of water or for purifying industrial chemicals.

Note: To read about the exciting potential of this miracle material to create fresh water from salt water, click here. For revealing media articles on amazing energy inventions, most of which are not getting nearly the attention they deserve, click here.

Method for Enhancement of Surface Plasmon Polaritons to Initiate & Sustain LENR (Cold Fusion)
2012-01-16, NASA Website's Technology Gateway
Posted: 2012-01-25 09:20:34

[Video transcript] Narrator: While the world is drastically dependent on fossil fuel, researchers at NASA Langley Research Center are working on another way of producing energy-efficient nuclear power. Senior Resarch Scientist Dr Zawodny: This other form of nuclear power releases energy by adding neutrons. Eventually [the nuclei] gain a sufficient number of neutrons that they spontaneously decay into something of the same mass but a different element. It has the demonstrated ability to produce excess amounts of energy, cleanly, without hazardous ionizing radiation, without producing nasty waste. Narrator: This clean form of energy is ... able to support everything from transportation systems to infrastructure. Dr. Zawodny: The easiest implementation of this would be for the home. It would be ... dual use. It would [produce] heat; and youd derive electricity from it to run your electronics, power the house, power the building, power the light industry. And then the waste heat would be used for environmental control [i.e. heating, air conditioning, etc.] and warm water. Narrator: NASAs method for enhancement of surface plasmon polaritons to initiate and sustain LENR in Metal Hydride Systems, a clean nuclear energy for your power-operated technology.

Note: LENR stands for Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, aka cold fusion. So NASA is now acknowledging cold fusion is real! And their research provides major hope for the future. To see Dr. Zawodny's patent for this revolutionary technology, click here. For more on NASA's involvement in this, click here. For lots more reliable information on the suppression of cold fusion/LENR by the media and the scientific mainstream, click here. For more inspiring news on amazing new energy inventions, click here.

Duke, Google turn hog waste into clean energy
2011-12-26, San Francisco Chronicle/Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2012-01-03 18:04:14

Loyd Bryant used to pump manure from his 8,640 hogs into a fetid lagoon, where it raised an unholy stink and released methane and ammonia into the air. The tons of manure excreted daily couldn't be used as fertilizer because of high nitrogen content. The solution to Bryant's hog waste problem was right under his nose - in the manure itself. A new waste-processing system - essentially a small power plant - installed on his 154-acre farm uses bacteria to digest the waste and burns methane to produce electricity. It also converts toxic ammonia into forms of nitrogen that can be used as fertilizer for more profitable crops. Waste-to-energy systems have been around for at least 15 years. But Duke University, which helped develop and pay for Bryant's system, says this one is the cleanest in existence - and virtually the only one that tackles all of the environmental problems created by animal waste. The system was built with off-the-shelf parts and simple design plans that are free for the asking. It's poised to become the standard for a cleaner waste-to-energy model that brings together farmers, utilities and private companies in an environmentally friendly effort. Bryant saves money on electricity and gets a cleaner farm. Improved air quality in his hog barns also means his pigs will have lower mortality rates and convert feed more efficiently, fattening Bryant's profits.

Note: For reports from reliable sources on exciting new energy developments, click here.

United marks nation's first biofuel-powered commercial flight
2011-11-08, Chicago Tribune
Posted: 2011-11-22 10:04:15

Continental Airlines Flight 1403 made history when it landed at O'Hare International Airport on Monday, becoming the first revenue passenger trip in the U.S. powered by biofuel. The Boeing 737-800 ... burned a "green jet fuel'' derived partially from genetically modified algae that feeds off plant waste and produces oil. In completing the Continental flight from Houston, parent company United Continental Holdings Inc. thus won by a scant two days the competition to launch the first biofuel-powered air service in the U.S. Alaska Airlines is scheduled to begin 75-passenger flights along with its sister airline, Horizon Air, that will take place over the next few weeks using a biofuel blend made from recycled cooking oil. Alaska Airlines officials said the 20 percent biofuel blend its planes will use will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 10 percent. More U.S. airlines are expected to join the effort to fly more cleanly and eventually more economically than the use of traditional, petroleum-based Jet-A fuel allows, based on a crude oil price of $100 a barrel or higher, experts said.

Note: For many inspiring reports on new energy developments from major media sources, click here.

Italian cold fusion machine passes another test
2011-11-03, MSNBC
Posted: 2011-11-08 16:19:00

Italian physicist and inventor Andrea Rossi has conducted a public demonstration of his "cold fusion" machine, the E-Cat, at the University of Bologna, showing that a small amount of input energy drives an unexplained reaction between atoms of hydrogen and nickel that leads to a large outpouring of energy, more than 10 times what was put in. The first seemingly successful cold fusion experiment was reported two decades ago. Two types of atoms, typically a light element and a heavier metal, seem to fuse together, releasing pure heat that can be converted into electricity. The process is an attractive energy solution for two reasons: Unlike in nuclear fission, the reaction doesn't give off dangerous radiation. Unlike the fusion processes that take place in the sun, cold fusion doesn't require extremely high temperatures. In April ... Rossi and fellow physicist Sergio Focardi successfully demonstrated the device for a group of Swedish physicists. At the demo in October, after an initial energy input of 400 watts into each module, each one then produced a sustained, continuous output of 10 kilowatts (470 kW altogether) for three to four hours. Peter Hagelstein, an MIT professor of electrical engineering and computer science and one of the most mainstream proponents of cold fusion research, thinks the process may involve vibrational energy in the metal's lattice driving nuclear transitions that lead to fusion.

Note: For lots more on this exciting development, click here. And for a CBS video segment and another excellent documentary showing top researchers who continue to be very excited about results of ongoing cold fusion experiments, click here. For media reports on other suppressed new energy inventions, click here.

Cold Fusion Experiment: Major Success or Complex Hoax?
2011-11-02, Fox News
Posted: 2011-11-08 16:16:50

A physicist in Italy claims to have demonstrated a new type of power plant that provides safe, cheap and virtually unlimited nuclear power to the world, without fossil fuels or radiation concerns. The only hitch: Scientists say the method -- cold fusion -- is patently impossible. They say it defies the laws of physics. Andrea Rossi doesn't seem to care. He told that his new device takes in nickel and hydrogen and fuses them in a low-grade nuclear reaction that essentially spits out sheer power, validating the strange science. With low energy, it's possible to give a heater a certain amount of energy and to get from the same heater a superior amount of energy, Rossi explained. He claims he demonstrated the device, called an E-Cat, at the University of Bologna in Italy on Oct. 28. Nearly a century ago, in the 1920s, Austrian scientists Friedrich Paneth and Kurt Peters hypothesized a form of nuclear reaction that doesnt produce radiation. And since then, the theory of cold fusion -- or "low-energy nuclear reaction," as its champions now call it -- has popped in and out the public's eyes, notably hitting the cover of Time magazine in 1989. Sterling Allan, CEO of the alternative energy news agency Pure Energy Systems, told he attended Rossis demonstration and the E-Cat is self sustaining.

Note: For lots more on this exciting development, click here. And for a CBS video segment and another excellent documentary showing top researchers who continue to be very excited about results of ongoing cold fusion experiments, click here. For media reports on other suppressed new energy inventions, click here.

Abiotic Oil: A Theory Worth Exploring
2011-09-14, US News & World Report magazine
Posted: 2011-11-08 16:13:41

[Abiotic oil theorists] hold that oil can be derived from hydrocarbons that existed eons ago in massive pools deep within the earth's core. That source of hydrocarbons seeps up through the earth's layers and slowly replenishes oil sources. In other words, it turns the fossil-fuel paradigm upside down. Thomas Gold, a respected astronomer and professor emeritus at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, has held for years that oil is actually a renewable, primordial syrup continually manufactured by the Earth under ultrahot conditions and tremendous pressures. As this substance migrates toward the surface, it is attacked by bacteria, making it appear to have an organic origin dating back to the dinosaurs, he says. That ... raises the tantalizing possibility that oil may not be the limited resource it is assumed to be. In 2008 ... a group of Russian and Ukrainian scientists [said] that oil and gas don't come from fossils; they're synthesized deep within the earth's mantle by heat, pressure, and other purely chemical means, before gradually rising to the surface. The idea that oil comes from fossils "is a myth" that needs changing according to petroleum engineer Vladimir Kutcherov, speaking at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. "All kinds of rocks could have oil and gas deposits." Alexander Kitchka of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences estimates that 60 percent of the content of all oil is abiotic in origin and not from fossil fuels.

Note: For more on the intriguing abiotic oil theory, click here. For key reports from major media sources on promising energy sources, click here.

Study appears to support theory of abiotic oil
2009-11-04, Houston Chronicle (Houston's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2011-11-08 16:11:49

You may have heard of abiotic oil, the notion that oil is not the result of ancient biomass hence the term fossil fuels but rather from compressed methane seeping up from the Earths mantle. Most petroleum engineers spurn abiotic oil as a crackpot idea, but the notion has percolated along and been popularized by books such as Thomas Golds Deep Hot Biosphere. Setting aside the climate issue of burning petroleum, the idea of naturally replenished oil supplies is alluring considering oil is by far the most portable, energy dense fuel around. [A] paper published in Energy & Fuels, a peer-reviewed publication, supports the theory of abiotic oil. For their study geochemists at the Carnegie Institution of Washington combined the key ingredients for the abiotic synthesis of methane in a device and then simulated the high pressures and temperatures near the interface between the Earths crust and mantle. They found it highly plausible that methane could form from chemical reaction in this environment, writing that their experiment strongly suggests that it is likely that, in deep earth geologic systems, some methane generation is inevitable. The theory of abiotic oil holds that rapidly rising streams of compressed methane gas reach the crust from the mantle, and when they strike pockets of high temperature they condense into heavier hydrocarbons like crude oil.

Note: For more on the intriguing abiotic oil theory, click here. For key reports from major media sources on promising energy sources, click here.

Oil boom poses environmental challenge to U.S.
2011-09-04, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2011-09-20 10:10:27

Step aside, Saudi Arabia and Alaska. A major oil boom is under way in the U.S. lower 48 states and Canada. Oil rigs are sprouting across American corn fields and backyards, bringing a surge in greenhouse gas emissions and new public worries about local environmental effects. Oil companies and their supporters are grandly predicting a new age of North American petroleum, and it's no lie. U.S. reserves of oil that is ultra-heavy ... add up to more than 2 trillion barrels, with 2.4 trillion more in Canada - far greater than the conventional Middle Eastern and North African reserves of 1.2 trillion barrels. For decades, these supplies of ultra-heavy oil were viewed as exorbitantly expensive to extract. But in the past few years, a revolution in oil-field technology has made a significant portion of these reserves accessible at competitive costs. [In] 2005 the country's net petroleum imports peaked at 60.3 percent of total consumption. Net imports [shrank] to 49.3 percent by 2010. The number of rigs drilling for oil in the [US] is eight times greater than a decade ago. Already, the price gap between the international oil benchmark ... and the U.S. standard ... has grown in the past year alone to about $20 per barrel. Peak oil ... may be in the offing internationally but is nowhere to be seen in North America. Beckoning are two visions of our future. On one side is a surge of dirty oil that is likely to embolden a new crop of business-as-usual politicians. On the other is the emerging gamut of technologies for energy efficiency and renewable power that have already made California a clean-tech leader. Can America go beyond oil, or will it embrace the old status quo?

Note: Though it may be encouraging that peak oil is not an imminent threat, let us hope that clean energy technologies replace oil-based energy generation before too long.

Man makes drinking water out of thin air
Posted: 2011-08-23 14:41:22

Water out of air? A Texas man has invented a machine that does just that. The drought doesn't worry [inventor Terry LeBleu] because he has invented and patented a new machine. It's called the "Drought Master" and makes drinkable water out of air. "It pulls the air through it, pulls out the moisture, and exhausts the air," LeBleu says. Depending on humidity, the machine can make between five to seven gallons of pure water in one day. All you have to do is plug it in, and one gallon costs only 4 cents in electrical charges. An independent lab took samples of LeBleu's water and found it had no bacteria and is free of metals. Lab techs say it's similar to distilled water. Willie Nelson owns 50 of these machines, including an indoor version. Even Texas Governor Rick Perry owns one. But LeBleu wants his invention to benefit local farmers and ranchers. The machine is quieter than a refrigerator, and you only have to wash the filter every few years. Building one takes only two hours. The oldest model made is still up and running. It's been functioning for a decade.

Note: For a more detailed article, click here.

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