Barrels of Oil and Jugs of Urine
The oil boom in North Dakota has led to an influx of mass litter as the number of trucks coming into the area has rapidly increased. The worst of it? Plastic jugs of urine pitched out windows of truckers passing through the once picturesque prairie sides of the state.
Why? Apparently, North Dakota lacks the funds to build new rest stops and the once eager community volunteer trash collectors want nothing to do with human waste. Called “trucker bombs,” the jugs often explode under heat, so handling the waste means risking receiving an unpleasant shower. Some tractors in the area have even upgraded with cabs to protect operators from getting sprayed with urine when the jugs get hit with a blade. But little else has been done.
With only three rest stops within hundreds of miles of highways, truckers are less willing to pull over in the middle of nowhere to politely relieve themselves. Catching them isn't easy, either. In the last few years, troopers have issued an average of only a dozen littering tickets each year. The fines are small and lawmakers refuse to put up distasteful signs portraying that dumping human waste is illegal.
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The number of trucking companies operating in the state increased from 600 to 6,000 in the last year alone. The state has become the nation's No. 3 oil producer since 2006, but it is suspected that North Dakota will soon surpass Alaska, coming only behind Texas.
The oil rush, although great for the state's economy, is drastically changing North Dakota's landscape. Some volunteer waste pickup groups remain hopeful, but participation is waning. Perhaps some of that oil money should go into taking better care of the industry's truckers and, respectively, the environment.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.