Bloomberg, Naureen Malik: Natural gas surged to 60 times the going rate as howling blizzard conditions stoked demand for the furnace fuel across the U.S. Northeast. The gas squeeze underscores the lack of adequate pipeline capacity to haul enough gas from Appalachia and points farther afield to Northeast metropolises where households have been scrapping heating-oil tanks for gas-fired furnaces. As a result, gas in the region is the world’s priciest, commanding 14 times more than U.K. futures price and about nine times more than Asian imports of the liquefied version of the fuel.
Bruno Comby, President of Environmentalists for Nuclear: I discovered a new local radiation hot spot in France in nature (publicly accessible) near the former Areva uranium mine of Lodeve. The radiation count there goes up to 4.8 microSv per hour, that’s a 100 times more than in the middle of the Salagou lake, and 50 times more than the usual background radiation, but still 20 times less than I measured inside an inhabited house in Ramsar near the Caspian sea.
Somini Sengupta: This summer of fire and swelter looks a lot like the future that scientists have been warning about in the era of climate change, and it’s revealing in real time how unprepared much of the world remains for life on a hotter planet. Scientists point out that with significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and changes to the way we live — things like reducing food waste, for example — warming can be slowed enough to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.
Institute for Energy Research: Coal-fired electricity generation is far cleaner today than ever before. The popular misconception that our air quality is getting worse is wrong, as shown by EPA’s air quality data. Modern coal plants, and those retrofitted with modern technologies to reduce pollution, are a success story and are currently providing 30 percent of our electricity.