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Energy

In our everyday lives it is easy to take energy for granted. When we want light, we just flip a switch; if it’s cold, we turn up the thermostat; and when we want to head to work most folks just hop in the car.  On the trail, far from the nearest power grid or road, our muscles propel us from place to place, and power for heating, cooking, lighting, and charging our computers and other electronics is hard to come by.

We use solar panels and batteries, small camp stoves, and good old-fashioned campfires. Trail life makes you slow down and realize where your energy is coming from in addition to conserving the little power that you use, whether it is white gas for cooking or solar power for camera batteries and computers.  

Wilderness preservation starts at home with energy conservation and the use of clean renewable power. We hope this section of our website will provide you with energy-saving resources and encourage you look for ways to reduce and refine your energy consumption.  Small changes can have a big impact on your wallet and the environment.

Editor's picks

Energy tax credit overview

Database for state incentives for energy savings

Fuel effecent driving techniques

Easy home energy saving tips that save money

Energystar lighting (easy way to save money and energy)


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China says dams not to blame for low Mekong levels

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China on Monday denied that its dams were reducing water levels on the Mekong River and blamed problems along the river on unusually dry weather, but it also offered to share more data with its neighbors. Leaders of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, badly hit by the Mekong's biggest drop in water levels in decades, met in the Thai coastal town of Hua Hin to discuss management of Southeast Asia's longest waterway. Some 65 million people depend on the river. China sent vice foreign minister Song Tao to rebut criticism of the eight hydropower dams it has built or is building in its south.

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How Wind Farms Affect the Global Climate

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Wind energy has been a fast growing sector of the overall energy market. It is renewable energy that can be produced on an industrial scale that can rival the older established energy sources of coal, gas, oil, hydro, and nuclear. Now, it accounts for only two percent of the whole energy market, but government officials expect wind to produce one fifth of the total electricity supply in the United States by 2030. Proponents claim wind power can reduce the threat of global warming. However, a recent study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has found that the opposite is true. Mass produced wind farms can actually affect climate in a negative way.

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Masdar: Abu Dhabi's carbon-neutral city

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The oil-rich United Arab Emirates is the last place you would expect to learn lessons on low-carbon living, but the emerging eco-city of Masdar could teach the world. At first glance, the parched landscape of Abu Dhabi looks like the craziest place to build any city, let alone a sustainable one. The inhospitable terrain suggests that the only way to survive here is with the maximum of technological support, a bit like living on the moon.

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How Will New CAFE Standards Change Cars?

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How will new fuel efficiency requirements that went into effect last week change the look, feel — and price — of your next car? Experts say expect prices to rise, and smaller, lighter, technologically advanced vehicles to grow in number. New Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards published last week require most automakers to raise the average fuel efficiency of the vehicles they sell to 34.1 miles to the gallon by the 2016 model year rising to 35 mpg when efficiency gains in air conditioning are included. Currently, the CAFE for cars stands at 27.5 mpg, and 23.1 for light trucks. The standards are expect to reduce CO2 emissions by about 30 percent between 2012 and 2016, and save the country $240 billion from fuel savings, pollution reduction and reduced imports. Automakers have accepted the new standards because they are firm, ending a period of uncertainty; and nation-wide, so manufacturers do not have to contend with a patchwork of different state requirements.

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Cooling Towers for Indian Point?

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Entergy Corp was denied a request for a water-quality certification for its Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York, setting back efforts for a 20-year renewal of its license to operate the controversial plant. The company said on Sunday it plans to appeal the decision by New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation. The state on Friday concluded that the plant's cooling systems, whether operated as they have been for decades or modified under a proposal by Entergy, "do not and will not comply with existing New York State water quality standards." Entergy said the ruling could force it to spend $1.1 billion over 19 years to build new cooling towers.

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Forecast for Cape Wind, unsettled

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A federal advisory panel urged the U.S. Interior Department on Friday to block a $1 billion wind project off Cape Cod opposed by local business leaders and politicians but seen as helpful to the Obama administration's energy strategy. Cape Wind Associates LLC has proposed building 130 wind towers that would soar 440 feet above the surface of Nantucket Sound near the popular Massachusetts tourist areas of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island.

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Alaska drilling will expand due to Administration Decision

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Oil companies with their sights on drilling for oil off Alaska on Wednesday said President Barack Obama's offshore oil announcement allows them to press ahead with big projects there. Two companies -- Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips -- have spent large sums to secure drilling rights in the remote Chukchi Sea, only to see their plans put on hold by court challenges. Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil Co, Shell's U.S. arm, said Obama's plan clears the way for the company to begin exploration drilling this year off Alaska's northwestern coast.

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