Statewide, Nevada, January 30, 2015 — USDA Rural Development will be holding 14 energy grant workshops across rural Nevada beginning in late February. At the workshops, Energy Coordinator Mark Williams will provide a brief overview of the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), a USDA grant and loan program that can pay up to 25% of the project costs to build a renewable energy system or improve energy efficiency. Small rural businesses, farmers and ranchers are eligible to apply.
The systems the grant can fund are either for renewable energy systems, like solar, hydro and wind power, or for systems that increase energy efficiency—such as variable speed drives for well pumps or new energy efficient lighting, heating or air conditioning systems. In addition, USDA RD offers a guaranteed loan for energy efficiency improvement or renewable energy projects. Rural business owners who want to upgrade their HVAC systems, for example, may be able to save up to 25% of the project costs by pursuing a grant/loan combination.
For more information contact Mark Williams at (775) 887-1222 Ext. 116.
Two new U.S. Geological Survey publications that highlight historical hydraulic fracturing trends and data from 1947 to 2010 are now available. Hydraulic fracturing is presently the primary stimulation technique for oil and gas production in unconventional resource reservoirs. Comprehensive, published, and publicly available information regarding the extent, location, and character of hydraulic fracturing in the United States is scarce.
“These national-scale data and analyses will provide a basis for making comparisons of current-day hydraulic fracturing to historical applications,” said USGS scientist and lead author Tanya Gallegos.
“We now have an improved understanding of where the practice is occurring and how hydraulic fracturing characteristics have changed over time.”
This national analysis of data on nearly 1 million hydraulically fractured wells and 1.8 million fracturing treatment records from 1947 through 2010 is used to identify hydraulic fracturing trends in drilling methods and use of proppants (sand or similar material suspended in water or other fluid to keep fissures open), treatment fluids, additives, and water in the United States. These trends are compared to peer-reviewed literature in an effort to establish a common understanding of the differences in hydraulic fracturing and provide a context for understanding the costs and benefits of increased oil and gas production. The publications also examine how newer technology has affected the amount of water needed for the process and where hydraulic fracturing has occurred at different points in time. Although hydraulic fracturing is in widespread use across the United States in most major oil and gas basins for the development of unconventional oil and gas resources, historically, Texas had the highest number of records of hydraulic fracturing treatments and associated wells documented in the datasets.
These datasets also illustrate the rapid expansion of water-intensive horizontal/directional drilling that has increased from 6 percent of new hydraulically fractured wells drilled in the United States in 2000 to 42 percent of new wells drilled in 2010. Increased horizontal drilling also coincided with the emergence of water-based “slick water” fracturing fluids. This is one example of how the most current hydraulic fracturing materials and methods are notably different from those used in previous decades and have contributed to the development of previously inaccessible unconventional oil and gas production target areas, namely in shale and tight-sand reservoirs.
The USGS report Scientific Investigation Report is available along with the companion Data Series online.
WASHINGTON – Capping a year of progress for public land priorities, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Neil Kornze today highlighted major accomplishments of the BLM in 2014, including major steps forward for energy, conservation, and public engagement.
“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the professionals at the BLM, last year saw some remarkable successes for the responsible management of our nation’s public lands,” said Kornze. “These accomplishments underscore the importance of public lands to the American people. I could not be prouder of our work this past year and look forward to a very productive 2015.”
Kornze identified significant progress in a number of priority areas, including:
· Providing an economic boost to Western communities;
· Institutionalizing responsible renewable energy development;
· Enhancing conventional energy opportunities and management ;
· Building lasting partnerships for meaningful conservation;
· Enhancing the connection between the American people and their public lands; and
· Improving the way the BLM does business.
A summary outlining the BLM’s major milestones from 2014 is available here.
Last year, the BLM announced that public lands under the bureau’s management had contributed $107 billion to the U.S. economy in fiscal year 2013. During that time, public lands and resources managed by the BLM supported more than 440,000 jobs throughout the country.
In renewable energy, the BLM built upon its impressive legacy of clean energy development with its first successful solar auction. As a result of the work done under the Western Solar Plan, projects proposed in solar energy zones are being permitted in months instead of years. “In 2014, the BLM delivered on the promise of the Western Solar Plan, achieving better environmental outcomes while providing industry with a more predictable, streamlined process,” Kornze said. “The advance planning and stakeholder outreach of the Western Solar Plan has proved to be a win-win approach for responsible solar development on public lands.”
The BLM Director also identified progress in conventional energy development and drew special attention to the agency’s strengthening of its oil and gas inspection efforts. Domestic production from Federal onshore oil and gas wells accounts for 11 percent of the nation’s natural gas supply and 5 percent of its oil. The Bureau offers millions of acres for lease each year and has already approved nearly 6,000 drilling permits that are ready for immediate use by industry. “The BLM is proud to be part of America’s resurgence in oil and gas. We are working with partners in states all across the country to ensure that development takes place in the right places and is done safely and responsibly,” Kornze said.
Also of note, Kornze cited progress in a number of conservation efforts, including increased rangewide protections for the Greater Sage Grouse and new additions to the National Conservation Lands. “Our field and district office teams do extraordinary work,” Kornze said. “Because of the strength of their relationships in communities across America, we made major strides in 2014 in providing meaningful protections for sage grouse habitat and other critical landscapes.”
Kornze also stressed the importance of connecting Americans of all ages to their public lands. “In 2014, the BLM took important steps forward in engaging with the public,” Kornze said. “Through new efforts like our Planning 2.0 initiative, the BLM is finding ways to make our planning efforts more efficient and more meaningful for the public.” The BLM also stepped up its efforts to get information out to the public using popular online tools like Google Maps, Facebook and Tumblr.
Kornze predicted further progress on these priorities for 2015. “In the year ahead,” Kornze said, “the same principles that have guided our work in the past – thoughtful stewardship of our nation’s resources; meaningful collaboration with stakeholders at the local, state, and national levels; and using the best science and technology available – will help us take great strides.”
For a full list of bureau announcements from the year, please visit the BLM Newsroom.
From Conservation Magazine:
The discussion surrounding the future of our energy supply tends to focus on carbon emissions. This is logical and probably the right way to look at things, given that climate change caused by those carbon emissions is the backdrop for virtually every other environmental (and geopolitical, and health, and economic, and so on) issue we will confront in the coming decades.
A new paper, though, examined the potential future energy sources based on their effects on biodiversity. “For the least direct harm to biodiversity, the best energy options are those that use the least amount of land and fresh water, minimize pollution, restrict habitat fragmentation, and have a low risk of accidents that have large and lasting regional impacts on natural areas,” wrote authors Barry Brook and Corey Bradshaw, both of the University of Adelaide in Australia. Based on reviews of varying scenarios of energy usage in the future, they found that nuclear power is among the best possible options.
Nuclear, depending on who you ask, is either lying dead by the side of the road as an option or is set to explode. Thanks in large part to a spate of nuclear reactor plans in China, the world’s total capacity will certainly expand, but the pace will slow as countries like Germany begin to phase out the power source in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. So why does nuclear do so well from a biodiversity perspective?
Learn more here: http://conservationmagazine.org/2014/12/is-nuclear-power-key-to-biodiversity/
Local group invites community to the third annual Solar Festival
The Conservation District of Southern Nevada invites the community to attend the third annual Solarbration Solar Festival which will be held at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Lifelong Learning Center located at 8050 Paradise Road. The Festival runs from noon — 4 p.m. The purpose of the festival is to blend art, technology and outreach to promote renewable energy, inspire conservation and support sustainable communities.
The Solar Festival, free to the public and all ages are welcome, will offer the community the opportunity to enjoy solar-powered art, live music, food and fun. Plus there will be solar demonstrations, and the latest information on sustainable energy.
“We promise to deliver a fun-filled family event that will be a one-stop location for everything related to going solar,” said Chris Magee, Chairman of the Conservation District of Southern Nevada. “We will have all the latest information regarding energy rebates, tax credits, solar financing and lots of hands-on activities for all ages.”
Learn more here: http://www.unce.unr.edu/news/article.asp?ID=1975
Prepare your favorite Dutch Oven recipes and see how you stack up to other Dutch Oven enthusiast. Participants may compete in teams or individually and are allowed unlimited entries in four categories: bread, dessert, main/dish/meat, and side dish/vegetable. Please go to www.parks.nv.gov for entry forms and a full description of the contest rules. This event is open to the public, and is a family friendly event for all ages. Learn some new ideas for fun ways to cook outdoors during camping trips or get-togethers.
In celebration of Nevada’s 150th anniversary of statehood, Nevada State Parks is hosting a series of Dutch oven cook-offs throughout 2014 at state parks across Nevada. Winners from each cook-off will be invited to compete in a statewide finale at Cathedral Gorge State Park on September 20, 2014, with $1000 in prizes donated by Sportsman’s Warehouse.
WHAT: Dutch Oven Cook-off
WHEN: Saturday, August 16, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Contestant Check-in 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Award announcement at 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: Lahontan Dam River Camp, located at 16799 Lahontan Dam Road, Fallon 89406. From Hwy 50, in between Silver Springs and Leetville Junction, turn south onto Lahontan Dam Road. Continue on Lahontan Dam Road, past the bridge, over the Carson River and stay on the paved road to the main entrance of the park.
WHO: This event is open to the public. Participants may enter as individuals or teams. Anyone entering under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and teams must consist of at least one adult (someone over the age of 18).
COST: There is an entry fee of $5 per dish; no limit. There is no cost to attend the event; however, there is a per vehicle entrance fee of $7; Nevada residents receive a $2 discount.
CONTACT: Brad Larkin or Tabitha Coughlin, 775-867-3500, email@example.com
Imagination and renewable efforts converge as the Summer of Sustainability kicks off at the University of Nevada, Reno. The series of events run from July through September and is designed to highlight the University's significant conservation efforts, which have been supported by a $951,000 grant received by the University's Academy for the Environment within the Office of Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Research from the United States Department of Energy in 2009.
Since 2009, the Academy for the Environment has been hard at work on this demonstration project, helping to advance the University's sustainable efforts in places that would offer the most benefit. One example is the installation of energy efficient LED lighting in all three on-campus parking garages: Brian J. Whalen Parking Complex; Sierra Street Parking Complex and West Stadium Parking Complex.
"With the replacement of existing light fixtures, the project has saved the University approximately $125,000 per year in electrical costs," Brad Taylor, University Facilities, Planning and Construction electrical engineer, said.
In addition to energy efficiency and conservation, the grant supported the initial installation of an extensive solar array system in 2010 at the University's Valley Road Field Labs and Greenhouse Complex. An effort to enhance the campus recycling program included the purchase of a cardboard baling machine which reduces the volume of cardboard for storage and cuts disposal costs, plus allows the University to receive money back for its baled cardboard.
See more here: http://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/news/2014/summer-of-sustainability
The Bureau of Land Management, Elko District, Wells Field Office signed a decision record on Noble Energy’s (Noble) proposal to conduct oil and gas exploration drilling in the Tabor Flats area, approximately four miles northwest of Wells, as part of Noble’s oil and gas exploration lease.
Noble plans to drill and complete a maximum of 20 wells on public and private lands and conduct oil and gas exploratory drilling in the project area. Noble has identified 35 potential well pad locations, 20 of which may be constructed over a two-year period or more.
The project area includes 39,445 acres, including 20,622 public land acres (52 percent of the project area), 2,603 acres (7 percent) of private surface with BLM-administered subsurface mineral rights, and 16,220 acres (41 percent) of private lands and minerals. The operations will comply with all applicable federal Onshore Oil & Gas Orders and do not include any Wild Horse herd management areas.
An Environmental Assessment (EA) was prepared and released for a 30-day public review period on March 24, 2014. The EA, Noble’s Gas Exploration proposal and master surface use plan are available at http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/elko_field_office/blm_information/nepa/noble_o_g_exploration.html.
For questions regarding the EA, please contact Bryan Mulligan, at (775) 753-0200 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Clean Power Plan proposal:
“The President understands that we have a moral obligation to future generations to leave our land, water, and wildlife better than we found it.
"From standing up homegrown renewable energy and transmission infrastructure, to reducing methane emissions while supporting safe and responsible energy development, to making lands and waters more resilient in the face of climate change, the Interior Department is committed to being a strong partner in cutting carbon pollution and creating American jobs.
"The common sense steps being taken by the Environmental Protection Agency will protect public health while providing states with the flexibility they need to make informed decisions about the mix of energy sources that works best for them."
LAS VEGAS, NV— On Monday, May 7, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will visit the Enbridge Silver State North Solar Project where he will “flip the switch” on the first large-scale solar energy project located on U.S. public lands to deliver power to American consumers.
Located in the Ivanpah Valley south of Las Vegas, the 50-megawatt solar project will use photovoltaic technology to generate enough power for approximately 9,000 Nevada homes. The project, developed by First Solar and owned by Enbridge, employed over 380 construction workers during peak construction.
During his visit, Salazar will meet with senior representatives from Enbridge, First Solar, and NV Energy before participating in the dedication ceremony.
Under Secretary Salazar’s leadership, Interior has authorized 29 large-scale renewable energy projects on public lands, including 16 solar projects that, if built, will provide more than 5,500 megawatts of power to communities across the West. Prior to 2009, Interior had not authorized a single solar project on public lands.
WHO: Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior
Bob Abbey, Director of the Bureau of Land Management
Al Monaco, President, Enbridge Inc.
Frank De Rosa, Senior Vice President, First Solar
Tony Sanchez, Senior Vice President, NV Energy
Bonnie Lind, Renewable Energy Advisor, Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development
Enbridge Silver State North Solar Project Dedication Ceremony
Monday, May 7, 2012
10:00 a.m. PDT Walking Tour of Site
10:30 a.m. PDT Dedication Ceremony
WHERE: Silver State North Project Site
1250 East Primm Boulevard
Jean, Nevada 89019
Media interested in attending, please RSVP to Tiffany East at 775 250 8092 and meet at the Silver State North Project Site no later than 9:30am for required site orientation.
Media interested in listening to the ceremony remarks may participate by dialing: 1-888-232-9795 and providing the access code INTERIOR.
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The Basin and Range Project
We love the Basin and Range region and work to promote appreciation and respect for the area. We encourage all users to learn about, play in and protect this amazing resource.
We currently focus primarily on issues in the Nevada region of the Basin and Range, but are looking to expand soon.