The relatively clean gas is replacing dirty coal-fired power plants. That's good news for the environment. But in the long run, cheap natural gas might delay the transition to even cleaner sources of energy, such as wind and solar power.
The once-booming clean-tech industry is facing hard times, in part because of cheaper natural gas, the effects of the financial crisis, China's growing solar industry and the Solyndra bankruptcy. Reporter Juliet Eilperin, who covers the industry's struggles in Wired's February issue, explains.
Last year it looked like stricter controls would be put in place to limit workers' exposure to dangerous silica dust. But for almost a year, the proposed regulations have been stalled at the White House Office of Management and Budget. Worker safety advocates are growing frustrated, but industry stakeholders say current regulations are sufficient.
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