Blackouts in PJM are a growing risk without changes reflecting new realities of winter peak demands

The lessons learned and the second-guessing prompted by the polar vortexes that walloped the Eastern U.S. twice in January taught us that the power grid in the Mid-Atlantic states needs — quickly — to recast the rules by which peak power generators can meet demand during the winter months. Peak demands, at least in the […]

Spinning “Promised Land” to move the ‘needle’ for — or against — fracking

One thing Matt Damon and colleagues are accomplishing with the new movie “Promised Land” about hydraulic fracturing is to increase the public’s understanding — even if just a little bit — of the controversial drilling technique which flushes natural gas to the surface from shale rock formations deep underground. But that’s about it. Advocates of […]

Can shale natural gas producers self-regulate enough to avoid a major setback?

For all the attention focused on newly accessible natural gas supplies from U.S. shale deposits, one hopes the industry is up to regulating its operations enough to avoid a Three Mile Island-type accident in Pennsylvania that the U.S. nuclear power industry and utilities are still paying for 32 years later. With what significant new supplies […]

U.S. EPA monitors showing Fukushima radiation reaching Pennsylvania, Massachusetts

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued the following notice of higher-than-normal background radiation detected in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts: “As a result of the incident with the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, several EPA air monitors have detected very low levels of radioactive material in the United States consistent with estimates from the damaged nuclear […]