The state of Oklahoma’s energy and environment cabinet unveiled a new website this week that hosts scholarly articles and an interactive map of earthquake and injection well locations. The conclusion: the frequent earthquakes that have been hitting the state are mostly due to the underground disposal of billions of barrels of wastewater from oil and gas wells according to scientific consensus. This is a departure from years of official skepticism from the state government.
A residential model unit built exclusively out of recycled steel shipping containers is now a reality on the southwest corner of Trumbull and Pine, just north of Interstate 75, in Detroit. The housing unit consisting of three storie was constructed in the record time of six hours and 15 minutes and will serve as an example of what this new building approach is all about.
Track for Detroit’s M-1 Rail, a new light rail line on the city’s lower Woodward Avenue, is projected to be laid before Thanksgiving of this year. The M-1 Rail will be the first streetcar line in Detroit since the last remnants of a sprawling system was torn up in the 1950’s. The cost of the project is expected to total $140 million and will stretch for 3.3 miles from downtown Detroit to Grand Boulevard in New Center. Total completion of the rail is expected around the end of 2016, shortly before a massive Detroit Red Wings arena and entertainment district along its route is supposed to be finished. The new rail will service 12 stops with 20 stations via a 60-foot-long, driver-operated train.
The project is seen as a major catalyst for development along the Woodward corridor. “This is not just a transit project, it really is to drive economic development,” M-1 Rail president and CEO Matt Cullen remarked earlier this year.
According to the UK exploration company, Oil & Gas Investments, a major oil reserv has been recently discoveres very close to Gatwick Airport in West Sussex. The discovery news caused both excitement as well as some sceptisism by industry experts with regards to the exloitability of the reserve, while environmentalists express their own concerns over the impact to the local ecosystem.
A pedestrian bridge connecting the new Minnesota Vikings Stadium to the Downtown East light rail system is being discussed among the Metropolitan Council, the Minnesota Vikings and the Minesota Sports Facilities Authority. Total cost of the bridge is estimated at $6 million.
According to environmental activists, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection has issued an order that will stop the building of a hydroelectric dam near the western city of Chongqing on the upper Yangtze River. The proposed dam, Xiaonanhai Dam, would have been Chongqing’s largest infrastructure project and was expected to cost billions of dollars to build and operate. The project was fiercely opposed by environmentalists for years while supported by the politician Bo Xilai, who was given prison time for corruption charges in 2013.
Construction on the massive Inga 3 dam, which is expected to produce 4,800 megawatts of power for the Democratic Republic of Congo, won’t begin until 2017 at the earliest. This is according to a Thursday statement by the World Bank and signals a fresh delay in the project.
“Work should get underway in 2017,” said the World Bank’s DR Congo manager Ahmadou Moustapha Ndiaye. “there are still a lot of technical questions to be resolved,”