The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.
Floridians will vote on a constitutional amendment that is couched in pro-solar power language but would actually give utilities, which are funding the ballot measure, more power to block rooftop solar development in the Sunshine State.
Amendment 1, if approved by 60 percent of voters in November, would write people’s right to own or lease solar panels and other equipment into the state constitution.
But it would also make it unconstitutional to require a utility’s non-solar customers to subsidize those who do go solar. Those subsidies have helped make home solar affordable and are the best incentive to push the fast-growing energy source to widespread use.
The more than 400 natural gas storage facilities across the country should phase out the flawed well designs like the one that produced the massive leak at Aliso Canyon last year, a federal report released on Tuesday said. That was among the 44 recommendations for reducing the risk of future calamities.
The Aliso Canyon leak, which emitted about 90,000 metric tons of methane into the air and forced thousands of residents to evacuate Los Angeles’ Porter Ranch community, was traced to a common and problematic “single-point-of-failure” well design.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has unanimously ruled unconstitutional a section of state law that lets companies seize private land for certain natural gas projects, with potentially major implications for one of the biggest proposed pipelines in the state.
Under the original rule, passed in 2012, any company has the authority to take private land through eminent domain for the purpose of storing natural gas underground.
The justices decided on Sept. 28 that this section of the law unconstitutionally lets private companies profit from taking people’s land with no direct or obvious benefit to Pennsylvanians. The oil and gas companies argued the projects could benefit the state by creating new jobs, for example, but the justices were not convinced.
SEAFORD, VA. — It looks like a mad scientist’s lab, something straight out of a sci-fi novel. Valves turn in every direction. Tubes are stacked halfway to the ceiling. Tiny bubbles dance in large vats of water.
But what’s happening in a hangar of the York River Treatment Plant is real, part of a grand experiment that could help keep this coastal region from continuing to subside and eventually being claimed by the rising sea. Over the next 15 months, tests will determine whether millions of gallons of wastewater can be purified to drinking water quality and injected into the ground.
If successful, the project of the Hampton Roads Sanitation District could start to replenish a giant aquifer that thousands of industries and half a million households in the area are sucking dry.
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2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
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