Rye Development, a company based in West Palm Beach, Fla., that is working on several projects in the Pacific Northwest.

geothermal power; old coal power plants as sites for large batteries; and old coal mines for solar farms. Such conversions could reduce the need to build projects on undeveloped land, which often takes longer because they require extensive environmental review and can face significant local opposition.

“We’re in a heap of trouble in siting the many millions of acres of solar we need,” Mr. Reicher said. “It’s six to 10 million acres of land we’ve got to find to site the projected build out of utility scale solar in the United States. That’s huge.”

Other developers are hoping the government will help finance technologies and business plans that are still in their infancy.

Timothy Latimer is the chief executive and co-founder of Fervo Energy, a Houston company that uses the same horizontal drilling techniques as oil and gas producers to develop geothermal energy. He said that his firm can produce clean energy 24 hours a day or produce more or less energy over the course of a day to balance out the intermittent nature of wind and solar power and spikes in demand.

Mr. Latimer claims that the techniques his firm has developed will lower the cost for geothermal power, which in many cases is more expensive than electricity generated from natural gas or solar panels. He has projects under development in Nevada, Utah, Idaho and California and said that the new loan authority could help the geothermal business expand much more quickly.

“It’s been the talk of the geothermal industry,” Mr. Latimer said. “I don’t think we were expecting good news a month ago, but we’re getting more ready for prime time. We have barely scratched the surface with the amount of geothermal that we can develop in the United States.”

For all the potential of the new law, critics say that a significant expansion of government loans and loan guarantees could invite more waste and fraud. In addition to Solyndra, the Energy Department has acknowledged that several solar projects that received its loans or loan guarantees have failed or never got off the ground.

A large nuclear plant under construction in Georgia, Vogtle, has also received $11.5 billion in federal loan guarantees. The plant has been widely criticized for years of delays and billions of dollars in cost overruns.

“Many of these projects are funded based on political whim rather than project quality,” said Gary Ackerman, founder and former executive director of the Western Power Trading Forum, a coalition of more than 100 utilities and other businesses that trade in energy markets. “That leads to many stranded assets that never live up to their promises and become examples of government waste.”

But Jamie Carlson, who was a senior adviser to the energy secretary during the Obama administration, said the department learned from its mistakes and developed a better approach to reviewing and approving loan applications. It also worked more closely with businesses seeking money to ensure that they were successful.

“It used to be this black box,” said Ms. Carlson, who is now an executive at SoftBank Energy. “You just sat in purgatory for like 18 months and sometimes up to two years.”

Ms. Carlson said the department’s loans serve a vital function because they can help technologies and companies that have demonstrated some commercial success but need more money to become financially viable. “It’s there to finance technologies that are proven but perhaps to banks that are perceived as more risky,” she said.

Energy executives said they were excited because more federal loans and loan guarantees could turbocharge their plans.

“The projects that can be done will go faster,” said William W. Funderburk Jr., a former commissioner at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power who now runs a water and energy company. “This is a tectonic plate shift for the industry — in a good way.”

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Judge Puts Utah Ban On Transgender Kids In Sports On Hold

By Associated Press
August 19, 2022

Similar cases are underway in states such as Idaho, West Virginia and Indiana.

Transgender kids in Utah will not be subjected to sports participation limits at the start of the upcoming school year after a judge delayed the implementation of a statewide ban passed earlier this year.

Judge Keith Kelly’s decision Friday to put the law on hold until a legal challenge is resolved came after he recently rejected a request by Utah state attorneys to dismiss the case. Most Utah schools students head back to classes this month.

Attorneys representing the families of three transgender student-athletes filed the lawsuit challenging the ban last May, contending it violates the Utah Constitution’s guarantees of equal rights and due process.

Similar cases are underway in states such as Idaho, West Virginia, and Indiana.

The issue of whether transgender girls should be allowed to participate in female sports has become a flashpoint across the U.S., with Republican lawmakers passing a legislation to block them based on the premise it gives them an unfair competitive advantage.

Transgender rights advocates counter that the rules aren’t just about sports, but another way to demean and attack transgender youth.

As of March, the Utah High School Activities Association knew of only one transgender girl playing in K-12 sports who would be affected by the ban.

The association, which organizes leagues for 85,000 students, has said there have been no publicly made allegations of competitive advantage concerning any of the state’s four transgender youth athletes.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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There Is A Nationwide Shortage Of Monkeypox Vaccines

Health officials are now considering splitting the monkeypox vaccine dose due to a shortage of supply.

There is a shortage of monkeypox vaccines. 

Health officials are now considering splitting the doses. 

Doctor Eric Cioè Peña is the director of Global Health at Northwell Health in New York City. 

“The idea is, is that if you’re able to give someone the smallest amount of dose, that still induces immunity,” Cioè Peña said. 

The new plan under consideration is to split one dose into five, an approach the Federal Food and Drug Administration says is safe. 

Dr. Cioè Peña doesn’t think there’s enough data available on this approach, called dose sparing. 

“Im assuming that it’s based on data that they’re seeing immune response at much lower doses,” he said. 

The Biden administration’s move to declare monkeypox a public health emergency is intended to speed up vaccine distribution.  

Dr. Ashish Jha is the White House COVID-19 response coordinator. 

“About 1.6 million Americans are in that high-risk group that needs to be, and that should get vaccinated,” Jha said.  

Health officials across state lines said that only the most vulnerable should be seeking a vaccine.  

“We’re also giving it out to groups that are at high risk. Where there’s lots of monkeypox transmission right now, which are primarily men who identify as having sex with other men,” Cioè Peña said. 

According to the latest CDC numbers, the U.S. leads the world in infections with more than 7,100 cases. 

Monkeypox is now appearing in wastewater in five states: California, Georgia, Michigan, Texas and Idaho. Wastewater samples are often an early warning of community spread.  

In Chicago, officials are saying to “use common sense” ahead of this weekend’s Market Days Festival. More than 100,000 people are expected to attend this popular LGBTQ+ event. 

The virus is still spreading mostly among men who have sex with men, but health officials advise everyone is at risk because it spreads from close skin-to-skin contact. 

Source: newsy.com

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