Nuclear power phase outs, good and bad news there; Obama backs fracking; and another look into whether or not wind turbines have much affect on human health (study says no...). Here's what we're reading this morning:
"No Evidence" Found To Support Wind Turbine Syndrome
The latest look into whether living in too close proximity to commercial wind turbines has a negative effect on human health—what has been called "wind turbine syndrome" by those convinced that it does—finds "there is no evidence for a set of health effects...that could be characterized as 'Wind Turbine Syndrome'." The study, done by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, does say more research is needed on the effect of wind turbines disrupting sleep of some people however. Read more at Renewable Energy World.
Federal Judge Says Vermont Can't Shut Its Only Nuclear Plant
US District Court Judge J Garvan Murtha has upheld Vermont Yankee operator Entergy's request to prevent the state government from forcing the 40-year old nuclear plant to shut down after March of this year. In the ruling, Judge Murtha said that the federal Atomic Energy Act trumps state law. h/t Seven Days, which has the full ruling as well.
Germany's Third Change in Nuclear Policy Examined
NRDC Switchboard has a good overview of the changes that have taken place in German nuclear policy over the years, which is a good read in understanding the shifting energy landscape there—particularly since Germany will phase out nuclear power by 2022, while simultaneously trying to reduce carbon emissions 40%. Read more.
Obama Backs Fracking For First Time
Sorry to sober you up after the post-Obama-just-blocked-Keystone-XL party, but Think Progress has an important piece talking about what they describe as the Obama administration first formal statement supporting fracking. The conclusion:
We're at the beginning on an American natural gas boom/glut/bubble. The Obama administration seems to be making an awfully big assumption that shale gas can be extracted in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, and it's presumptuous to be pushing shale gas as an investment before the EPA weighs in.