While public opinion is fairly skewed against the fracking process, policy actors in New York State can best be described as polarized. Predictably, the pro-fracking group generally disagrees with environmental groups while the anti-fracking group generally disagrees with the oil industry. Policy actors in New York had stark differences in answers on a wide variety of questions.
Ten years ago, hydraulic fracturing barely existed. Today 45,000 fracked wells produce natural gas, providing energy for millions of homes and businesses, and nearly a quarter of the nation’s electricity. But scientists are far behind in understanding how this boom affects people near wells. Geochemists Beizhan Yan and James Ross of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are trying to fill in this gap.
On Monday, June 2, President Obama will announce proposed federal rules aimed at curbing carbon emissions from existing U.S. power plants–possibly a landmark in U.S. climate policy. It is uncertain how far the rule will go, and the announcement is being closely watched around the world.
Should Ozgur Sahin, associate professor of biological sciences and physics of Columbia University, continue expanding upon his work in researching how the tiny movements of microbes can be harnessed to create electrical and mechanical energy, it may pave the way for a world fueled by bacterial spores.
Carbon capture, storage and reuse has the potential to help us reduce CO2 emissions and combat global warming. The Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy is bringing together experts from an array of fields to assess the state of the technology April 14-16.
As the arctic region loses ice in a changing climate, the economic and social tradeoffs are unclear. How will we balance economic, social and environmental functions? The Center on Global Energy Policy and the Consulate General of Canada in New York will examine these questions in a discussion on March 26: “Understanding the Arctic Resource Challenge: Canada and U.S. Perspectives.”
In a groundbreaking agreement, Consolidated Edison, one of New York’s major utility companies, will incorporate plans to protect the power system from the effects of climate change as part of a new multi-year rate plan.
The Earth Institute is grateful to its many partners for their important role in the effort to develop the science and solutions necessary for sustainable development. Please visit the interactive digital 2013 Annual Report to read more about how we are forging partnerships across disciplines and sectors to advance the global effort to guide our planet onto a path toward sustainability.