The Keystone Pipeline controversy appears ready to boil over even as the Obama Administration gives every indication it will postpone a decision as long as possible. The approval by Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman has left the ball in The President's court. A majority of U.S. Senators has now indicated its approval, but the normally-staid Sierra Club has endorsed civil disobedience in opposition. Stay tuned.
The battery fire that forced down a Boeing 787 in Japan has cast a long shadow over the entire green energy effort. Lithium-ion batteries are the frontier of electric vehicles and efforts to store utility-scale quantities of electricity. But some have always noted that their parts are flammable. They are definitely still a work in progress.
The EPA has opened a can of worms by demanding an 84 percent reduction in carbon emissions from the giant Navajo coal station in Arizona. The effort would cost at least $1 billion, casting the future of the plant in doubt. Even though the EPA has moved back the date to 2023, Arizona politicians are objecting. Some say the federal government should shoulder the costs if it wishes to impose such costly regulations.
Finally, the world of physics has bee shaken up by a report that the proton turns out to be much smaller than anticipated. The measurement may upset the standard model of the atom. At the other end of the spectrum, NASA has agreed to join the European Union in probing the mystery of Dark Energy. And the American Physical Society will try a new method this year in asking it's members whether the believe the earth is warming. Last year's report called the evidence "incontrovertible," which raised various objections in the press and among some members. Who said physics is a dull subject?