• Oil spillsLargest-ever simulation of the Deepwater Horizon spill

    In a 600-ft.-long saltwater wave tank on the coast of New Jersey, a team of NJIT researchers is conducting the largest-ever simulation of the Deepwater Horizon spill to determine more precisely where hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil dispersed following the drilling rig’s explosion in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

  • Water safetyCoal-fired power plants may affect your drinking water

    When you get a drink of water from your fridge or sink, do you think about where that water came from? A new study takes a national look at whether coal-fired power plants are unintentionally affecting drinking water treatment plants.

  • Oil spillsExamining the safety of using dispersants in oil spill clean ups

    A new study of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill recovery efforts makes a series of recommendations to federal agencies on how to safely clean up after spills.

  • Man-made earthquakesFracking Linked to earthquakes in the Central and Eastern United States

    Small earthquakes in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Texas can be linked to hydraulic fracturing wells in those regions, according to researchers. While relatively rare compared to earthquakes caused by wastewater disposal in oil and gas fields in the central United States, the researchers  have identified more than 600 small earthquakes (between magnitude 2.0 and 3.8) in these states.

  • Energy securityNew device creates electricity from snowfall

    Researchers and colleagues have designed a new device that creates electricity from falling snow. The first of its kind, this device is inexpensive, small, thin and flexible like a sheet of plastic.

  • Energy & healthSaving millions of lives by rapidly shifting to renewable energies

    Reducing global air pollution can prevent millions of premature deaths according to an international team of scientists. The most significant contribution would be the rapid phasing out of fossil fuels, which is currently being discussed mainly to abate climate change.

  • Hemispheric securityVenezuela announces major energy rationing amid new power outages

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced that the government will reduce the length of the country’s workday and keep schools closed as it attempts to ration electricity in the face of continued power cuts.

  • Energy securityOffshore wind energy potential not exploited by U.S. energy companies

    When it comes to wind energy, the United States is sitting on a gold mine, so to speak. It’s a moment of untapped potential that, if harnessed properly, could transform the way the U.S. uses energy, one expert says.

  • Man-induced earthquakesGeothermal plant caused South Korea’ 2017 tremor

    A rare earthquake in South Korea was triggered by the country’s first experimental geothermal power plant, government officials said Wednesday. The southeastern port city of Pohang was rattled by a 5.4-magnitude earthquake in November 2017— the second-most powerful tremor ever in the normally seismically stable South.

  • Energy & geopoliticsNew geopolitical power dynamics created by renewables

    Political and business leaders from around the world have outlined the far-reaching geopolitical implications of an energy transformation driven by the rapid growth of renewable energy. In a new report, experts say the geopolitical and socio-economic consequences of a new energy age may be as profound as those which accompanied the shift from biomass to fossil fuels two centuries ago.

  • Considered opinion: Guyana turmoilGuyana at risk: Ethnic politics, oil, Venezuelan opportunism and why it should matter to Washington

    By Evan Ellis

    On Friday, 21 December, the government of Guyana, a strategically important but often overlooked country, imploded. A member of parliament from a small centrist partner in the governing coalition, supported an opposition no-confidence motion against his own party’s leadership. His move ended the government’s fragile 33-32 majority in the 65 seat National Assembly, setting the stage for new national elections within 90 days. The collapse of the government is the first shot in a destabilizing fight between Guyana’s ethnically Indian and African communities to control the spoils from a tidal wave of oil money as production from the offshore Liza field begins in 2020. To exacerbate the situation, the collapsing socialist regime of neighboring Venezuela continues to assert claims on part of that oil and a third of Guyana’s national territory.

  • Oil spillsInexpensive super-absorbent material offers solution for ocean oil spills

    A super-absorbent material developed by Penn State scientists could dramatically reduce the environmental impact of oil spills on oceans and allow recovered oil to be refined normally. The synthetic material, called i-Petrogel, absorbs more than 40 times its weight in crude oil, and effectively stops the oil from spreading after a spill, according to the researchers.

  • Man-induced earthquakesFracking-related water storage tied to earthquake risk

    In addition to producing oil and gas, the energy industry produces a lot of water, about 10 barrels of water per barrel of oil on average. New research has found that where the produced water is stored underground influences the risk of induced earthquakes.

  • TransportationRevisiting federal safety regulations for liquid petroleum gas distribution systems

    Current federal safety regulations for small distribution systems used for propane and other liquefied petroleum gases (LPGs) should be improved for clarity, efficiency, enforceability, and applicability to risk, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences.

  • Nuclear powerThe nuclear industry is making a big bet on small power plants

    By Scott L. Montgomery

    Until now, generating nuclear power has required massive facilities surrounded by acres of buildings, electrical infrastructure, roads, parking lots and more. The nuclear industry is trying to change that picture – by going small. Efforts to build the nation’s first “advanced small modular reactor,” or SMR, in Idaho, are on track for it to become operational by the mid-2020s. The debate continues over whether this technology is worth pursuing, but the nuclear industry isn’t waiting for a verdict. Nor, as an energy scholar, do I think it should. This new generation of smaller and more technologically advanced reactors offer many advantages, including an assembly-line approach to production, vastly reduced meltdown risks and greater flexibility in terms of where they can be located, among others.