Last week, Iraq announced that they are holding a fifth bidding round for exploration and development of natural gas fields in the province of Diyala. Located in eastern Iraq, the fields of Diyala are expected to produce more than 750 million cubic feet of natural gas within the next three years. This latest round of bidding for the country’s underdeveloped fields comes at a time where the United States has pressured the country to reduce its dependence on gas imports from Iran.
Berkeley, CA is looking to make strides in the clean energy business. Currently, Berkeley is the only city in the United States that has implemented a ban of Natural Gas in residential and low-rise construction. This natural gas ban is falling in line with the current west coast trend to cut down on fossil fuel dependencies. According to Berkeley City Council member, Kate Harrison, natural gas accounts for 27% of the greenhouse gas emissions.
As the debate over the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing rages on, a new report from the Susquehanna River Basin Commission’s (SRBC) continuous water quality monitoring project does not show evidence of water quality changes as a result of natural gas development. In an article by Kevin Randolph from the Pennsylvania Business Report, he reports that “in January 2010 the SRBC began measuring and reporting water quality conditions in small streams that could potentially be impacted by the natural gas industry.” The SRBC water quality monitoring project monitors specific conductivity, turbidity and water temperature, which would reveal any immediate impacts from natural gas drilling activities. One organization that has a particularly strong interest in this report is the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC).
With an attempt to boost the shipbuilding industry in the U.S., the Energizing American Shipbuilding Act has been reintroduced with bipartisan support. It is being supported by Senator John Wicker (R-Mississippi) and Congressman John Garimendi (D-California). This act would require 15 percent of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports be moved by U.S. crewed and built tankers by the year 2041. It also applies to 10 percent of seaborne crude exports by the year 2033. During this same time, the act would also require an additional 50 U.S. ships be built during the same time-frame. Wicker and Garimendi are supporters of the Jones Act – where cargo ships transporting goods between U.S. ports must be built, owned and operated by U.S citizens.
Alternative energy is certainly an interesting concept in many aspects. Often referred to as “Clean Energy,” alternatives can also include solar, wind and water based production. As our current world tries to push for a change on how power is sourced, there has been an effort and an investment to change from fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gasses towards alternatives to create sustainable and inexpensive options for energy production.