Energy News: Greenpeace Ordered Away From Shell, Where's The Cheapest Gas In The World, More

Plus, the US Army wants billions of dollars of renewable electricity, osmotic power using wastewater and not salt water, and the USGS' take on fracking's potential impact on New York State's water supply (not good).

Greenpeace Issued Pre-Protest Injunction Against Shell
Greenpeace has been issued a restraining order by a federal judge in Anchorage, prohibiting its activists from attempting to board any Shell drilling rigs, in anticipation of expansion of Arctic oil drilling. LA Times says, "Any attempt by small boats or renegade divers to impede the towing of the massive drilling rig into the sometimes turbulent and icy waters of the Arctic Ocean could be 'extremely dangerous and possibly life-threatening,' the company argued."

Which all makes it sound like the health and safety of the activists is behind the injunction—hardly the case. Obviously, considering that boarding the drilling vessels is already illegal, the restraining order just adds another level of illegality to any planned actions.

Venezuela, Saudi Arabia Top List of World's Cheapest Gasoline Countries
Some perspective on gasoline prices: MSNBC has a list of the top 10 cheapest places in the world to buy gasoline. In Venezuela, $0.18 per gallon. In Saudi Arabia, $0.48 per gallon. In Libya, $0.54 per gallon. The most expensive-of-the-cheapest is Algeria at $1.20 per gallon.

Remember, when all environmental factors are figured in, gasoline really should probably cost about $15 per gallon these days.

US Army May Spend $7 Billion on Renewable Energy Contracts Over Next Decade
The US military has been a big supporter of alternatives to fossil fuels lately, with the latest draft request for proposal illustrating that. Renewable Energy World reports that the US Army intends to buy renewable energy—not build and own renewable energy facilities, rather purchase the electricity—worth $7 billion over the next decade. "Projects may be located on or near any federal property located within the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, territories, provinces or other property under the control of the United States," REW says.

Researchers Make Wastewater Power Generator
A take off of osmotic power: BBC News reports scientists from the Netherlands have developed a technique for extracting energy from wastewater. Usually reverse electrodialysis requires seawater and fresh water to harvest small amounts of energy through a semi-permeable membrane, but by adding ammonium bicarbonate to wastewater, the need for salt water is bypassed.

USGS Warns New York Over Fracking's Water Hazards
Environmental Working Group sums up:

The U.S. Geological Survey has warned New York state regulators that their plan to allow drilling and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale could endanger private water wells, municipal aquifers and New York City’s drinking water supply.

The assessment of the USGS, widely regarded as impartial and authoritative on drilling issues, intensifies pressure on Gov. Andrew Cuomo not to proceed with a drilling plan drafted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Cuomo has pledged to “let the science and the facts make the determination, not emotion and not politics."

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