Business

7:30am

Fri May 30, 2014
Coal Energy

Coal Power Wary As New Greenhouse Gas Regs Loom

The Naughton Power Plant near Kemmerer, Wyoming, Sept., 2011.
born1945 Flickr - Creative Commons

The predicted effects of continuing to pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at current rates range from dramatic sea level rise to extreme weather to famine and drought. Power plants are among the largest carbon dioxide emitters, and June 2, the Obama administration is scheduled to release new rules regulating those emissions.

Utilities and trade groups are already warning those rules will have some dire consequences of their own.

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6:00am

Thu May 29, 2014
Agriculture

Miscanthus: A Growing Energy Crop

Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa are all working on a project to plant, study and harvest miscanthus for biofuel.
Credit Rick Fredericksen / Harvest Public Media

Miscanthus, a relative of sugar cane that looks like bamboo, could be the Midwest’s next energy crop. But in a region dominated by corn and soybeans, it has yet to fully catch on, even as advocates tout its advantages.

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12:50pm

Wed May 28, 2014
Energy

What’s In A Word: Is It Fracking or Frac’ing?

Fracking vs Frac’ing: On the left, fracking protesters hold a sign outside Fort Collins City Council Chambers. Pictured on the right, the fracturing process at a well site.
Grace Hood (left) / Irekia - Eusko Jaurlaritza (right) KUNC (left)/ Creative Commons (right)

While the media, the public and now the Merriam-Webster Collegiate dictionary all spell it “fracking,” many in the oil and gas industry don’t.

“I would spell it frac’ing,” said Scott Hall, a Denver-based petroleum engineer with decades in the industry.

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5:16am

Wed May 28, 2014
Hemp

Industrial Hemp Could Take Root, If Legal Seeds Weren't So Scarce

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 10:57 am

The hemp seedlings in Ben Holmes' warehouse in Lafayette, Colo., will be ready for harvest in about 50 days. Holmes says that during the peak growing season, the little sprouts can shoot up several inches each day.
Luke Runyon KUNC/Harvest Public Media

The most recent farm bill is allowing a handful of farmers across the country to put hemp, the nonpsychoactive cousin of marijuana, in the ground.

The bill allows small-scale experimentation with the plant. But despite the new law, many farmers say they're getting mixed messages from the federal government.

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5:16am

Wed May 28, 2014
All Tech Considered

Google Is Becoming A Car Manufacturer

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 2:35 pm

Google X is building a few hundred self-driving cars that have no steering wheel, accelerator pedal or brake pedal.
Google

Google is taking a detour into the world of automobiles, by becoming a carmaker.

But not just any car: a car that drives itself. In an effort to create a fully, 100 percent self-driving vehicle — something that needs no human being at the steering wheel — the company is building a car without a steering wheel.

Scientists at the company's research wing, Google X, have been working on this project hush-hush for the past year.

Today's Self-Driving Car

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