Tag: emissions

The Fracking Revolution

By Daniel Benjamin Beginning in 2005 natural gas production in the United States has risen sharply. This has caused natural gas prices to fall, lowering energy costs and expanding natural gas consumption at the expense of coal. The new natural gas also fuels the turbines that serve as backup power for new wind and solar power installations. The source of these events is the rapidly spreading use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract natural gas from shale. This technique entails the injection of water, sand, and small amounts of chemicals deep underground to fracture the shale and release the natural gas it contains. Concerns have arisen, however, over the potential adverse effects of fracking—events said to range from groundwater contamination… View Article

Energy Solutions in Pursuit of a Problem

By Benita M. Dodd Georgians are nervously watching petroleum prices climb amid ongoing unrest in oil producer Libya. Under the Gold Dome, legislators are again subjected to the perennial push for home-grown alternatives to fossil fuels. Just this week, German experts took a new tack at the Capitol with a promising presentation on renewable sources of energy and their economic benefits. The temptation is great, but legislators must focus on commonsense policy that promotes cost-effective, clean energy. Germany has made remarkable inroads into renewable energy generation. Renewables have grown from 4 percent to about 10 percent of Germany’s energy portfolio over the past decade, German scientist Christine Woerlen told legislators. Not the least of the benefits, according to Woerlen, is… View Article

State Needs to Come Around to Roundabouts

By Dan Winn Even a transportation novice observing the graceful traffic flow around Ellijay’s bustling town square in Northeast Georgia would come away mystified that there are so few circular intersections, or “roundabouts,” in the state and the nation. Like Ellijay’s 2-year-old roundabout surrounding a memorial to slain warriors, these traffic devices have a whole lot more than grace going for them. As a more efficient method of moving traffic through most intersections, they have the potential to save this nation millions of gallons of gasoline and millions of hours in commute time, all while reducing traffic deaths and injuries. A roundabout, in its simplest form, is a circle of road that surrounds a raised island in the middle of… View Article

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