April 10, 1989 |
An explosion apparently caused by natural gas ripped a 40-foot section from a motel Sunday, injuring 31 people. The blast occurred four minutes after someone phoned Montana-Dakota Utilities and reported a strong smell of natural gas, said Dick Blee, the acting Billings fire chief. Firefighters controlled the blaze within three hours. "We have witnessed a miracle," Fire Department Capt. Marvin Jochems said after searchers accounted for all 60 people registered at the three-story Super 8 Motel.
January 22, 2010 |
Utility regulators have approved $350 million in rebates to encourage Californians to install water-heating systems powered by solar energy. The state Public Utilities Commission on Thursday established the California Solar Initiative Thermal Program, which will be funded using $250 million to replace natural-gas-powered water heaters, with $25 million set aside for low-income customers. An additional $100.8 million will be used to swap out water heaters powered by electricity. The rebates could reduce the cost of a solar water heater by 15% to 25%, industry experts said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 15, 2011 |
A music video about "fracking"? Last week, Time magazine named a funny video about the natural-gas extraction process called fracking the No. 2 most creative video of 2011. It may be fun to say, but fracking is hard on the environment and local water safety, and that's the message behind this video, which has now gone viral and has over 200,000 views on YouTube. “It's a word you hear but you don't exactly know what it means or what it all entails. So I think it helps get people interested in the topic, and hopefully, if they watch the video, they'll go read an article about it or find out more information about what it is and what the effects are,” says Lisa Rucker, an editor in Los Angeles for production company Pictures in a Row. She called from a set in Kentucky where she was helping to shoot a commercial.
February 6, 2014 |
California hasn't completely escaped the effects of the polar vortex. Although the Golden State avoided the freezing snowfalls that affected regions farther east, power plants in the Southland are now grappling with low supplies of natural gas brought on by cold weather that won't quit. That has prompted the state's electric power grid operator, known as the California Independent System Operator, to issue a Flex Alert asking for voluntary energy conservation on Thursday until 10 p.m. PHOTOS: Richest and poorest cities in America The operator, which normally issues such alerts during the hot days of summer when air conditioners are on full blast, is working closely with California gas companies to ensure "the reliability of the electric and gas systems in California.
January 3, 2012 |
Political leaders from both parties argue that natural gas could save our economy, the environment and promote our national security. Is this so? Or is it just a dream? It turns out that the way one develops natural gas will determine whether it is a serious help to our energy and climate problems, or a dangerous extension of bad habits. On the face of it, natural gas looks terrific. The United States — and many other countries — have abundant domestic supplies. The cost, per delivered unit of energy, is about a third of that of oil. It is cheap and fast to build power plants fueled by natural gas. And when burned, it emits only half as much carbon as coal.
April 13, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama signed an executive order Friday creating an interagency task force to coordinate oversight of the country's booming natural gas development, a step that eased industry concerns about the relatively high number of federal agencies involved in the process. The task force will be chaired by White House energy adviser Heather Zichal and have "deputy-level representatives” from the departments of Defense, Energy, Interior and Commerce and the Environmental Protection Agency, among others.