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blogging on earth

Congress lets bans on outer continental shelf drilling expire

In July, President Bush lifted the executive ban on outer continental shelf (OCS) drilling, putting pressure on Congress to follow suit.

In the face of increased fuel costs and a weakened economy, lawmakers in both chambers have demonstrated a willingness to compromise on the issue. The House was able to pass a compromised energy bill on Sept. 16, by a vote of 236 to 189. The legislation would allow drilling 160 kilometers (100 miles) from shore and would provide states the option to drill 80 to 160 kilometers (50 to 100 miles) from their own coasts.

25 Sep 2008

Electrical failure shuts collider down for the winter

Well, it had a short run: Only nine days after going online Sept. 10, CERN's Large Hadron Collider has already gone south for the winter, due to an electrical failure Friday. The LHC was always scheduled for winter shutdown and maintenance, due to the costs of fuel, but that wasn't supposed to happen until the end of November. Now, CERN says, the necessary inspections and repairs will likely not be completed much before that scheduled shutdown date.

24 Sep 2008

Brazil says 'no thanks' to OPEC

I didn't know you could do that. 

Back in August, Iran had invited Brazil to join OPEC, but Brazil declined, saying it had "other priorities." And now, Saudi Arabia has invited Brazil into the cartel.

17 Sep 2008

Energy's the hot topic this week on the Hill

UPDATE: The House energy bill, which will allow offshore drilling and gives states incentives by sharing the revenues from drilling leases with them, passed yesterday (Sept. 16). The Senate bill is still pending, but a vote is likely sometime this week.

 

16 Sep 2008

The Big Turn-On

Tuesday, Sept. 9, 11:30 a.m. EDT — Fourteen years in the making, the $8 billion Large Hadron Collider comes online Wednesday at last (although, when you think about it, that's not really that long to wait for a machine that may reveal some of the mysteries of the universe).

The switch-on is provoking strong public reaction: Scientists are excited and eager to see what the LHC can do; alarmists are worried about the end of the world. And one person made a funny rap.

09 Sep 2008

Around the world in the Solar Taxi

We can build it. We have the technology.

One thing you can say about the Solar Taxi is that it’s eye-catching. I showed pictures of it from a press conference Wednesday to my co-worker. “Hey, I saw that on the street this morning and wondered what it was,” she says. “That’s the solar car?”

04 Sep 2008

Gustav and the rising waters

Right now, Hurricane Gustav is lashing the Gulf Coast with its Category-2 (177 kph/110-mph) winds. Around 11 a.m. this morning, the hurricane made landfall, slamming into the coast about 110 kilometers to the southwest of New Orleans instead of driving straight into the city.

01 Sep 2008

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