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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeks additional details about Tennessee Gas Pipeline

Friday, October 9, 2015

Federal regulators have sent the proponents of a roughly 420-mile natural gas pipeline planned to cross western Massachusetts a 32-page list of issues they want addressed in the report filed with the formal application for the project later this month. The comments on draft resource reports for the Northeast Energy Direct project proposed by Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. include a call for listing soils, water sources, endangered wildlife and other …

Sleeping Idaho hunter wakes up to black bear biting his head

Thursday, October 8, 2015

BOISE, Idaho — A hunter asleep in the remote Idaho wilderness woke up when he felt something tugging on his hair. Then he heard the black bear breathing. Stephen Vouch, 29, reached behind his head and felt it was wet. He yelled when he realized a bear was biting at his head. “He …

State DPU allows utilities to sign long-term contracts with gas pipeline companies

Monday, October 5, 2015

To help reduce winter electricity price increases, the state’s utility regulators will allow power generators to sign long-term contracts with gas pipeline companies. But what seems like good news for consumers is being criticized by some as a potential backdoor benefit for those arguing for construction of new pipelines such as the one proposed through western Massachusetts. Six months after being asked by …

Unusual California algae bloom that can produce deadly toxins worries researchers

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

RIO VISTA, Calif. — On a sunny August afternoon, a team of federal researchers cut a circuitous path through the heart of California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta doing real-time monitoring of water quality. Again and again, they made the …

Survey finds dark, star-filled skies draw visitors to national parks

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What do you look for in a vacation — rest and relaxation? Gorgeous vistas? Cultural experiences? How about a view of the cosmos? A new study suggests that gazing upon a naturally dark sky that is unpolluted by artificial light plays a significant role in visitors’ enjoyment of …

Northampton chooses Framingham-based Ameresco to build solar array at former landfill

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A major city solar project moved one step closer toward ground-breaking Tuesday, but still faces a potential stumbling block in the form of a cap on the state’s solar net-metering program, which reimburses solar energy users who provide electricity to the grid. Mayor David J. Narkewicz …

Theme parks tout their contributions to scientific research

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

By Sandra Pedicini Orlando Sentinel (TNS) ORLANDO, Fla. - In Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, curious tourists can peer into a lab where researchers’ work includes studying hormones extracted from monkey droppings. A few miles away at SeaWorld, a Pennsylvania researcher recently scrutinized dolphins’ and whales’ …

California climate fight down to late negotiations

Sunday, September 6, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Jerry Brown has made climate change the centerpiece of his final tenure by laying out the most aggressive benchmark in North America, which would reduce California’s carbon footprint and boost the state’s renewable energy …

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission extends public comment period on gas pipeline to Oct. 16

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has extended the public comment period of its scoping process for Kinder Morgan’s proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline until Oct. 16. The decision comes amid criticism that Kinder Morgan’s release of nearly 6,500 pages of information related to the project in late July …

Earth Talk: Verticle growing offers high-production, pest-free crops

Friday, September 4, 2015

Dear Earthtalk: What advantages do so-called “vertical farms” have over traditional gardens and farms? — Sylvia Pleasant, Washington, DC When Dickson Despommier’s book The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century was first published, there were …

Valley Views

Friday, September 4, 2015

Cowbirds Quabbin Reservoir, Belchertown Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely, South Hadley I seem to be seeing an abundance of brown-headed cowbirds this year, but maybe I’ve just never paid that much attention before. While driving through …

Bird sightings

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A black-crowned night-heron has been seen for several days at Forest Park in Springfield. Two olive-sided flycatchers were reported in Belchertown and another two …

Loan from Common Good Finance boosts completion of Northeast Biodiesel plant in Greenfield

Friday, September 4, 2015

Long in the planning to ensure it is locally owned, the Northeast Biodiesel plant nearly ready at the Greenfield Industrial Park is getting a final boost from a 160-member, community-based nonprofit finance system. The $200,000, seven-year loan is provided by Ashfield-based Common Good Finance to Co-op Power, a …