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Drillers repairing roads, and federal investment in energy research

road_ Nick-K (Nikos Koutoulas.jpg
Nick-K (Nikos Koutoulas)
via Flickr
A natural gas driller in Pennsylvania has rehabbed more than 300 miles of roads.

G. Jeffrey Aaron reports at the Star-Gazette that gas company Chesapeake Energy says it's spent more than $92 million to repair infrastructure in its drilling areas:

The Oklahoma-based energy company said it has repaired and upgraded about 300 miles of roads on 40 state routes and 80 township roads throughout Bradford, Wyoming, Sullivan and Susquehanna counties. Chesapeake works with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and local road supervisors to identify roads that need repairs or upgrading to handle the heavy truck traffic associated with drilling.

Kate Sinding at the Natural Resources Defense Council's Switchboard blog says the New York Times' series (here and here) about fracking demonstrates a number of negatives about the practice.  Those include the increasingly cozy relationship between regulators and the industry, and local communities not being informed about the dangers they face

Following the release of those NYT articles, the Pittsburgh City Council has passed a resolution urging the local sewer authority to test drinking water for radioactivity, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Federal energy research
Rather than getting cut, the federal Advanced Research Agency for is getting a boost in the federal budget, reports Kevin Bullis at Technology Review.  The agency invests in risky energy research that has the potential to shift paradigms.  The Innovation Trail's Zack Seward chatted with Eric Toone from ARPA-E back in January - you can read the results of that conversation here.

New cleantech chief
Arthur Anthonisen will be the new head of the Hudson Valley Center for Innovation, reports the Poughkeepsie Journal.  The center helps bring cleantech and energy businesses online.

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