Archive for October, 2013

As an accomplished welder, Gary Butkowski decided long ago to share his knowledge and spent more than 20 years teaching the profession at a prison and a military base. He continues to teach today, giving high school students the benefit of his experience and know-how.
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The health care mandates under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have posed a challenge for small manufacturing businesses that look to or are hoping to expand. In response, many staffing firms are stepping up to offer specialized services that can help the businesses save money while complying with the law.  Read more

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Could the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new regulations actually increase oil dependence? That’s what some are saying about the agency’s latest attempt to tamp down on coal-fired CO2 emissions.

According to The Motley Fool’s Matthew DiLallo, the EPA’s latest proposal requires new coal-fired power plants to be built with cutting-edge carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

The Wall Street Journal reported in September that the Obama administration’s EPA rules on carbon emissions threaten to “block the construction of new coal-fired power plants unless they are built with novel and expensive technology to capture greenhouse-gas emissions.”

As has been reported here on Green & Clean Journal, CCS has not been proven at commercial scale. It’s also not cheap, and has no proven economic value for the plant’s builders, which leads many to see the regulation as designed to phase out coal power.

DiLallo, however, writes that Southern Company’s Kemper County facility in Mississippi is using the technology, and is “working with enhanced oil recovery, or EOR, specialist Denbury Resources to put the captured carbon dioxide to good use.” Read more


Recent college graduates might be a bit too confident about their workforce skills, a survey of students and hiring managers indicates. However, students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) seem much better prepared to embark upon their careers.
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Lean manufacturing tends to be associated with large-scale, mass-production manufacturing. But can smaller-scale job shops benefit from such process-improvement programs as well?  Read more


Manufacturing output registered a slight uptick of 0.1 percent last month, indicating that the U.S. economy was sputtering even before the government shutdown.  Read more



As the national debate on hydraulic fracturing continues, a growing number of published studies point to potential dangers linked to the process. Among them is a paper written by two Duke University professors who report high levels of radioactivity in river water near a fracking site in western Pennsylvania.

Professors Robert Jackson and Avner Vengosh write in Environmental Science & Technology journal that they found highly elevated levels of radioactivity, salts, and metals in river water and sediments at the site where treated water from oil and gas operations are discharged.

“Radium levels were about 200 times greater in sediment samples collected where the Josephine Brine Treatment Facility discharges its treated wastewater into Blacklick Creek than in sediment samples collected just upstream of the plant,” Vengosh said. “We expected to see some radioactive material, but nowhere near that much.” Read more

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