Energy in the US: Where are the Largest Oil Deposits?

The United States has proven oil reserves in excess of 36 billion barrels. There’s also an estimated 198 million barrels of recoverable oil still undiscovered. There are several very productive sites throughout the United States where oil companies are tapping into those reserves with great results. In 2012 oil production rose by 800,000 barrels as more companies got involved in drilling for oil in the U.S. It was the largest increase in oil production in a single year ever recorded. Industry analysts say the U.S. could potentially surpass Saudi Arabia and become the largest oil producer in the world.

The Illinois Basin
The Illinois Basin is another region of the United States where there are large oil deposits being accessed by oil companies. Since 1905 when major oil production began in the region, over four billion barrels of oil has been yielded. Cunningham Energy is one energy company that has had shallow leases there since 2008. They have a number of very productive wells and offer a variety of oilfield equipment and services including the drilling of horizontal and vertical wells. Cunningham Energy plans to increase its oil production there.

Montana and North Dakoda
There are oil reserves all over the United States. The ability to get oil from shale has made Montana and North Dakoda major oil producing areas. Oil was discovered on the region’s Bakken Formation in 1951. There is potentially as much as 4.3 billion barrels in that area alone. Marathon Oil Corporation, EOG Resources and a number of other companies have large oilfield development holdings in the region.

Oil deposits offshore in the Gulf of Mexico is estimated to be as much as 115.1 billion barrels. BP and other major oil companies have been taking oil out of the region for years. The oil industry has helped to bolster the local economy significantly. And with such vast reserves drilling and other oil extraction efforts will continue in the region for a long time.

The Arctic

It has been estimated that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has about 16 billion barrels of recoverable that hasn’t yet been tapped. The National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska has 6.7 to 15.0 billion barrels. There also a large accumulation of oil in the Prudhoe Bay oil field where Exxon and other oil companies have been working. These regions offer high quality oil that easy to process into diverse oil, gas and other petroleum products.

Port Townsend Paper Earns Sustainability Honor

The Olympia, Washington-based Northwest Pulp & Paper Association (NWPPA) has presented its 2016 Environmental Excellence Award to Port Townsend Paper of Port Townsend, Washington.

In addition to consuming considerable amounts of recovered fiber, the Port Townsend Paper mill has, over the past 10 years, reduced greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels by nearly 60 percent, according to the company.

“Three hundred employees of Port Townsend Paper accomplished this,” says Colin Fernie, president of Port Townsend Paper and Crown Packaging. “We appreciate the recognition and are committed to continued environmental stewardship.”

Steve Klinger, Crown Paper Group CEO, adds, “When Crown Paper acquired the mill in 2015, we said we would invest to transform it into a high performing business. This award is a milestone in that transformation, and there are more milestones to come. We are optimizing our Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Standard boiler. We are accelerating settlement pond remediation. We are converting to compressed natural gas. Port Townsend Paper is on an upward trend.”

Read the full article.


Economic, Environmental and Societal Benefits of America’s Fracking Boom

Beyond enhancing our domestic energy supplies, the U.S. fracking boom has had a transformative, positive effect on the economy – creating opportunities for consumers and young professionals alike. Even further, fracking has created widespread health and environmental benefits. The supply of natural gas produced from hydraulic fracking is helping displace the burning of dirty coal, which contributes to the death of thousands of Americans each year. If our national priority is to continue to reduce our reliance on coal in order to meet ever-stricter emissions guidelines, fracking offers gigantic improvements, even if energy consumption increases overall. Fracking doesn’t use as much water per energy unit as other carbon-based fuels or nuclear, helping to preserve other natural resources as well. Hydraulic fracturing has proven, following a five-year information gathering period from the Environmental Protection Agency, not to threaten our drinking water as energy production from fossil fuels does.

Safe and responsible fracking methods help to lower carbon dioxide emissions while unlocking valuable shale gas energy and economic opportunity. There is a natural connection between energy security and job growth, as improved access to energy and electricity provides more chances for private sector expansion and upward social mobility. Hydraulic fracking is not a new technology – it’s been in use for over 60 years – having made “sense” and “cents” for decades already. Looking to the future we can expect to see our use of natural gas continue, assisting more and more families and individuals across the country. A wide variety of hydraulic fracking jobs exist within the industry, and these positions are almost guaranteed to remain secure. During the recent economic down turn, employment in the natural gas industry remained a consistent bright spot.

Hydraulic fracturing is responsible for America’s energy independence. It’s helped prices at the pump stay lower than ever before, helping families in a time of need. Looking at the big picture, it’s clear that we need fracking tools and technology to continue improving so that we may preserve its benefits and continue to build on its efficacy for the years ahead.

Why Recycling Polystyrene Foam Works

Polystyrene is the material that composes all sorts of foam products that you typically see when you get takeout food, when you grab a coffee, and is used in all sorts of other things. One of the biggest problems with these types of products it the fact that there have not been efforts to recycle foam, although there are absolutely ways to do it.

In the past, polystyrene products were simply dumped in landfills and there has been a massive accumulation, which has led major cities all over the country to declare that they would be officially banning the material. This includes a proposed Louisiana foam ban that has concerned a lot of businesses, as the material is extremely cheap, leading to lower overall costs to run their businesses. Once the bans take place, business owners would be hit with hefty fines if they are caught using foam based products, and they will also have to incur the higher costs of substitute materials.

Recycling polystyrene on a large scale would work and should be implemented within each city. Additionally, the landfills that have already been loaded will polystyrene can start to be emptied and recycled, which would be great for the environment. A lot of states are taking active measures to prepare for this transition to recycling foam on a large scale, one of which is Louisiana. They have been conducting tests to attempt to recycle foam as efficiently as they possibly can, but the problem still involves getting the public aware and developing recycling centers that are easily accessible.

Recycling polystyrene products is a much better route, as there are ways that it can easily and efficiently be recycled. The first problem is the mere fact that few people even know that you can recycle foam and just assume that it is trash. The first thing that would have to change is the public perception on foam, which could only be done by educating people about the ability to recycle. Many people think that a ban on the material is the best way to address the problem, as they feel that this will decrease the amount of trash that is ending up in landfills, which ultimately are going to stay there for over five hundred years, until the products finally degrade. However, a lot of people do not realize that we already have a huge problem with the drastic volume of polystyrene based products that are already occupying landfills.

How Environmentally Green Buildings Help the Environment

When thinking about New York City, the term environmentally green buildings does not seem to resonate through the minds of most residents. The city offers numerous entertainment venues and sight seeing ventures for everyone. In light of all the fun things to do, it is beginning to be a heighten awareness of trying to conserve the natural resources in New York. The population in this city is growing by leaps and bounds each year.

The major leaders in the construction industry are focusing more on constructing environmentally friendly office buildings along with residential dwellings. It is hard to believe that Battery Park in New York City is one of the largest areas that has been deemed environmentally friendly. This is done by being considerate of the natural resources like the land and water that surround this location, as Anthony Malkin did with the Empire State Building.

Owners of large apartment buildings understand the importance of using eco-friendly appliances that conserve usage of electric especially during peak hours. Energy efficient windows are the standard for most new residential homes. New York City is densely populated and the thought of running out of a vital natural resource like water is a reason for concern.

During the summer months certain areas experience black-outs or brown-outs. These occurrences are the warning signs that something is definitely wrong. Another alternative such as solar panels and wind turbines have been incorporated into the scheme of producing electricity. In the height of the summer months during heatwaves, many electrical outages are experienced on a daily basis.

The shortage of water and the limits put on the usage of water have caused world wide alarm across the nation. Many architects have incorporated methods of recycling rain water along with using solar panels to conserve electric and water. Building that have solar panels for electricity are protecting the environment for the next generation. Concrete and asphalt are in the places where grass would be. Plants in a planter box can be placed on the deck of a high-rise energy efficient green building. The plant will help keep the surrounding air clean.

The belief has been that the earth’s natural resources would not ever run out. Society realizes that this is not the case anymore. Oil and natural gas are on the list of resources that need protecting also. Water, gas and electric are rare commodities that need to be protected. Battery Park is a reminder that green is beautiful.

Myths about Hydraulic Fracturing

One of the most prevalent myths about hydraulic fracturing is that it is a new tactic. The process of hydraulic fracturing has actually been around for over 60 years, and leaders in the industry have made huge steps in their progress to optimize the methods. In a hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” job, fluids that consist mainly water and sand are injected under high pressure into the producing formation, creating fissures that allow resources to move freely from rock pores where energy sources were trapped.

Opponents also seem to dwell on the environmental repercussions of hydraulic fracturing, yet the safe and responsible energy extracted from shale has actually lessened the carbon footprint of U.S. energy companies like Cunningham Energy, over the last two decades. Fracking and oil industry regulations continue to be improved, and each company undergoes rigorous regulation and review before implementing new methods. The  environment is actually one of the leaders in the fracking industry’s main priorities, as they are looking for long-term, lasting solutions to our energy issues.

Lastly, fracking has allowed for strides in energy independence. As President Obama recently stated, “for the first time in 18 years, America is poised to produce more of our own oil than we buy from other nations.”

Since 2006, no country on Earth has reduced its total carbon pollution by as much as the United States of America.” This shows how hydraulic fracturing made such a difference in where the U.S. gets its energy–on its own soil.

France Passes Law to Promote Green Roofs

Environmentalism is fast becoming a top concern in France – a rooftop concern, to be precise. Excitingly, the nation has just passed new legislation that will require all upcoming commercial construction projects to feature either green roofs or solar panels above their top floors.

By now, most people are at least passingly familiar with the benefits of solar panels, but green roofs remain unknown to the general public. A green roof is one that is covered in lush plant life, and the perks extend well beyond the aesthetic. Because green roofs help to insulate, buildings are able to slash seasonal energy costs for both heating and air conditioning by approximately 25 percent.

That alone should be incentive for buildings to add a “plantscape” to their roofs, but the advantages don’t end there. Green roofs also help to reduce water runoff during rainstorms, combat air pollution, provide food for the buildings’ residents, and even make a good home for birds that are normally displaced by urban development.

Originally published on


Focus on Eliminating Litter Rather than Eliminating Foam

Florida has recently talked about the prospect of implementing a foam ban across the state. This Florida foam ban would not only affect small businesses and schools, but the whole tourist economy of Florida. The reality is that even if Florida was to ban foam and switch to more costly alternatives, wouldn’t those be littered as well? Rather than ban foam to prevent the wellbeing of Florida’s terrain it is important to create more recycling centers where foam can be recycled and inform Floridians on the resourcefulness of foam.

Foam is a 100 percent recyclable and currently there are four Dart recycling centers for foam in Florida. They are located in Jacksonville, Miami, Plant City and Tampa. The community can work together to build even more recycling centers where foam can be recycled rather than just tossed on the beach. Florida is a huge tourist destination where people go to enjoy the terrain of the state. Between the wildlife creatures of the sunshine state, the beaches, and the 12 national parks of Florida it is important to preserve this resourceful state. Banning foam does not have to be the solution to do this though.

There are several reasons why we should recycle, but first and foremost it is because it is good for the environment. By recycling you are saving resources, energy and money. Recycling leads to getting rid of less trash, which reduces air and water pollution that is circulating in the environment. By reducing the amount that you dispose of each day you are actually helping the landfills. The size of landfills benefit from the amount of waste we are recycling rather than disposing of. If landfill sites are inundated with waste it can have negative affects on the environment and its surroundings.

Recycling foam can also lead to the prospect of more jobs for people in a community, which is always a positive side! It is important to look at the pros and cons to the foam ban and realize that foam might not be the issue, but litter is the larger issue at hand.

Top ways your business can save energy

From the obvious offense of leaving lights on when no one is in the room to the sneaky energy suckers like incandescent “exit” signs that use up ten times the energy as an LED one, most businesses and organizations have some room for energy efficiency improvement. Below are some tips to get started:


Replace all your inefficient, outdated or underused lighting throughout the building. When replacing it, consider newer technologies, such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). These can also be used with compatible dimming systems to maximize efficiency by only using what is necessary. Similarly, utilizing sunlight when it’s available for the workspace can be a huge benefit. Not only does it save energy, but it is also healthier for employees.

Temperature Control

Installing either programmable thermostats or locking devices to prevent changes can save a ton of money and energy. When the temperature is at an adequate place, such as around 63 degrees during business hours and 68 degrees during nonbusiness hours, the space will remain comfortable and consistent, as well as allowing the unchangeable thermostat to prevent any tampering.

Fun fact: A one degree change in your thermostat may save you 3% off your energy bill.


Simple changes like turning off all computers, monitors, printers and copiers during nonbusiness hours can make a huge difference. Or, try switching to laptops, which can save 80-90% of the power that a desktop uses. Additionally, many businesses have had success with installing sensors that automatically turn off lights and other equipment when it is not in use.

Employee Education

Lastly, ensure that your employees thoroughly understand why your goal is to save energy and the environmental and financial repercussions of using energy irresponsibly. Several organizations, such as Cenergistic, formerly known as Energy Education Inc., exist to help organizations conserve energy through customized plans. These are often coupled with employee education, which may show why they are so effective, in addition to the customized services they offer.

Go Green, Think Locally

Polystyrene foam is 100 percent recyclable, which makes it a multi-use material made for long durations. Foam products are heat resistant, insulated and more affordable than other materials. In schools alone, using foam trays saves schools tremendous amounts of money a year compared to using compostable trays, which are a more pricey option.

As more states are quick to add foam bans it is important to think about the impact it will have on small businesses and organizations across states. The prospect of a Connecticut foam ban will put hardworking people out of jobs and increase costs for a lot of companies who rely heavily on foam.

The concept of a foam ban was created in an attempt to both eliminate litter and “go green,” but in turn it is worse to eliminate foam all together. Consumers will start to use other products, which will also be littered just like foam and it will create a vicious cycle.

So, what is a better solution?

Foam recycling centers are popping up around North America and are continuing to expand. In Massachusetts there are currently six foam recycling locations, which are located in Carlisle, Leominster, Newburyport, Reading, Newton and South Hadley. There is room for more recycling centers across New England, which will support all of the smaller states as well.

Recycling centers are a more practical solution than a foam ban since foam is more functional and affordable than its alternative options. Recycling centers are a place where people can come and bring polystyrene foam products that they are no longer using and in turn their products will be refurbished into either hangers, picture frames, rulers or much more.