PA High Court Quashes Part of Fracking Law
Pennsylvania’s high court struck down part of a law geared towards easing natural gas production in the Marcellus Shale formation, claiming that the provisions of the measure infringes the state’s constitution. The Supreme Court ruled 4-2 last week that Act 13 unconstitutionally hampers municipalities from governing gas drilling in their jurisdiction. The fracking-regulation statute empowers state officials to act upon citizens rights to clean air and pure water. Inversely, the gas industry called the decision a disappointment saying that it represents a missed opportunity to establish rules for responsible development of shale gas in the country’s fastest-growing gas producing state.
Deepwater Says Offshore Project will Meet Credit Deadline
Deepwater Wind LLC expects its 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island to qualify for a federal tax credit that will expire by the end of the year. Renewable-energy projects must begin construction, or spend at least 5 percent of the anticipated budget, before Jan. 1 to earn the credit, which reimburses as much as 30 percent of costs. According to Deepwater CEO Jeff Grybowski, they are confident that the Block Island project will exceed the 5 percent threshold.
Scientists Turn Algea into Crude Oil in Less than One Hour
Department of energy scientists at the Pacific Northwest national Laboratory has created a process that produces crude oil minutes after it is poured into algae. The reaction is not only rapid, but also continuous since it produces by-product that can be used to grow more algae. In the PNNL process, a slurry of wet algae is poured into a chemical reactor to where the algae undergoes a combining process known as hydrothermal liquefaction and catalytic hydrothermal gasification. After cooking in conditions at 350 degrees Celsius and a pressure of around 3,000 PSI for less than an hour, crude oil comes pouring out along with a water and phosphorus byproduct.
New Equipments Allows Tesla to Bump Annual Production to 35,000 Units
The state of California is allowing Tesla Motors to forgo $37 million in sales and use taxes on $415 million worth of new manufacturing gear which gives the EV company the ability to produce up to 35,000 units per year. Unlike many states, California puts a premium on taxing purchases of manufacturing equipments, keeping major companies from having production facilities there. However, California uses the tax as a way to encourage cleantech startups, like Tesla, by pardoning the hefty levies. This is at least the second time Tesla has used such tax breaks to save money.