The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is set to hold a confirmation hearing today for Dan Brouillette, President Donald Trump's choice to replace Rick Perry as head of the Energy Department. Perry plans to leave office on Dec. 1.
A hand-shaped robot called Pepe, developed by Scottish and Indian researchers, was deployed as part of a pilot project at a Kerala, India, school to promote proper hand-washing among children. Pepe helped improve the rate at which children washed their hands by 40% and doubled the amount of time they spent washing.
Representatives from Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestle are working in Nigeria to establish a market for recycled plastic, as less than 10% of rPET waste is collected and recycled there, writes Yinka Ibukun. Challenges include a lack of regulation mandating use of rPET and plants able to process it, she adds.
Twenty percent of the Earth's fresh surface water is in the Great Lakes, and the resource must be protected, say city leaders in Toledo, Ohio. Algae blooms are a major concern for shallow Lake Erie, with a 2014 bloom cutting off water for 400,000 people in the Toledo area for three days.
A 1989 plan to build a water pipeline from eastern Nevada to serve Las Vegas was the subject of a court hearing this week. The multibillion-dollar line would supply water to the almost 75% of the state's population that lives in the Las Vegas metro area, but residents of eastern Nevada say it could harm their region.
The US pumped 13 million barrels of oil per day, an all-time high, in September and remains on track to establish new production records this year and next, according to the Energy Information Administration. The agency revised upward its oil production forecast for 2019 by 30,000 bpd to 12.29 million bpd and to 13.29 million bpd for 2020.
A regulatory hearing took place in North Dakota on Wednesday to consider Energy Transfer's proposal to double the capacity of the Dakota Access pipeline to 1.1 million barrels per day. Pipeline officials sought to reassure regulators that the expansion would not increase the risk of spills, a claim that opponents, including the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, disputed.
Gone are the days of $100 per barrel oil, making creditors increasingly reluctant to refinance North American oil and natural gas producers, which are facing $93 billion of debt due by 2023, according to data from Moody's Investors Service. "With limited appetite from investors to invest more capital and difficult upcoming bank redeterminations, companies are going to have to be creative or could face some real challenges," said Hugh "Skip" McGee of Intrepid Financial Partners.
The Bureau of Land Management has put on hold operation and production on 130 oil and natural gas leases in Utah in the wake of a lawsuit by environmental groups that claims the agency did not adequately assess the impact on climate before leasing the land. "The BLM has concluded that it is necessary to suspend the referenced leases and complete further environmental analysis," the agency said.
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