This ELEEP Virtual Discussion took place on July 26, 2016 and dealt with the topic of "citizen monitoring of fracking activities".The discussion included presentations by Sister Elizabeth Riebschlaeger, an environmental advocate in the Eagle Ford Shale basin of Texas, Samantha Rubright from the organization FracTracker Alliance, as well as input from Zachariah L. Hildenbrand from the organization Inform Environmental, LLC. The video and slides below highlight some of the challenges facing communities impacted by fracking activity and the potential for citizen monitoring of fracking through innovative technologies. The event was moderated by Max Gruenig, President of Ecologic Institute US.
This ELEEP Virtual Discussion took place on July 28, 2016 and dealt with the topic of "Regulating Coal: Lessons from the North Carolina Coal Ash Spill." On February 2, 2014, North Carolina became the site of the second largest coal ash spill in US history when a stormwater pipe under coal ash impoundments at Duke Energy’s retired Dan River plant ruptured. The Dan River was fouled by an estimated 140,000 tons of coal ash and contaminated wastewater, spurring significant public outcry and uncovering questionable practices on the part of the energy utility Duke Energy and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. After the spill, the NC General Assembly passed a law to establish a process for cleaning up coal ash throughout NC. However, state and federal enforcement actions dealing with 10 North Carolina sites remain pending. Conservation groups continue to push in court and publicly for cleanup of primitive coal ash storage and pollution at these sites.
This ELEEP Virtual Discussion took place on July 12, 2016 with an excellent speaker working on one of the most high profile CCS (Carbon Capture & Storage) technologies currently being piloted in the US - NET Power. David Freed works on energy innovation and commercialization for 8 Rivers Capital, a Durham, NC based company focused on commercializing industrial scale technology. David was one of the earliest employees and continues to serve as project manager for NET Power, a clean power generation technology that is in the process of constructing a 50MWt demonstration plant with Toshiba, CB&I and Exelon. The eventual technology will capture 100% of all emissions including CO2, does not need water and compete economically with best in class technologies that do not capture emissions. David also works with and is currently deploying several pilot water technologies in treatment for municipal, agricultural and industrial end-users.
On May 23, 2016, ELEEP hosted a luncheon discussion on “G7 Energy Priorities” with representative speakers from the Embassies of Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Spain, as well as the US Departments of State and Energy. The discussion was moderated by current ELEEP Fellow Catrina Rorke, Senior Fellow at the R Street institute in Washington, DC.
After the UN climate summit and the adoption of the Paris Agreement last year, market-based approaches to climate mitigation are being discussed with renewed interest. On Wednesday, April 27th the ELEEP Network hosted an ELEEP Virtual Discussion centered on the topic of carbon markets with guest speaker Lambert Schneider (Associate, Stockholm Environment Institute).
The second study tour of the 2015-2016 ELEEP Fellowship Class took place from 22 until 26 February 2016. On the study tour 16 ELEEP Members visited numerous cities in the state of Texas to explore the driving forces of the US energy transition. Key themes of the tour included wind and solar development, power markets and hydraulic fracturing.