New drilling technologies and rising fuel prices have generated a boom in U.S. oil and gas drilling. It is also creating many high-paying jobs for young people. The average starting salary for petroleum engineering grads is nearly $79,000.
Grid operators constantly match what power plants are producing with what people and their TVs, microwaves and air conditioners need. But when the electricity comes from unpredictable sources, like wind or solar power, balancing the grid is a challenge, a new study finds.
All of Japan's nuclear power plants will be offline by April and might never restart. That's forcing the country to increase its reliance on coal, oil and natural gas. This could cost the country an extra $100 million per day and significantly increase carbon dioxide emissions.
Though the immediate nuclear crisis in Japan has passed, the process of securing and stabilizing the radioactive materials from the melted-down reactors will be a long, expensive slog. Recovery workers will also need to decontaminate the area surrounding the plant.
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