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Setting State Carbon Pollution Targets

July 23, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

In June, the EPA proposed the first-ever carbon pollution standards for fossil-fuel power plants. Since then, a bevy of pundits have been busy finding fault with various aspects of the proposal. For the most part, these critiques are off-base, failing to highlight the most important issues.[read more]

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Should the U.S. Implement a New 'Value-Added Carbon Tax' to Replenish the Federal Highway Trust Fund?

July 23, 2014 by John Miller
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Carbon Taxes and Highway Funding

As Congress struggles to develop revenue generation solutions for needed Highway and Roads infrastructure projects the Federal Highway Trust Fund is going broke. Is it time to consider generating needed, long-term revenues by implementing a new tax such as a ‘value-added carbon tax’?[read more]

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Power Over Pollution: How Legal Enforceability Will Drive Implementation of EPA's Power Plant Rule

July 23, 2014 by Ari Peskoe

Under EPA's Clean Power Plan proposal, states will submit plans to the EPA describing how they will meet 2030 carbon intensity targets. A state can include any strategy that will produce a quantifiable and verifiable reduction in carbon intensity, so long as it has legal authority to enforce its implementation.[read more]

High-Energy Africa

Africa and Energy Development

Six of the best performing economies have come from Africa in the past six years, but energy poverty continues to be a significant barrier for development goals. Sub-Saharan Africa will need to power its factories, hospitals, schools, and other foundational infrastructure with cheap and reliable sources of electricity.[read more]

The Climate Protection-Urban Expansion Nexus

July 23, 2014 by Roman Kilisek

Climate Change and Urbanization

Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities and this urban growth trend continues uninhibited at a fast clip. By 2050 it is projected that 67 per cent of the world’s population will consist of urban dwellers. They will have to deal with Climate Change.[read more]

Why we Need CCS - Part 5: Bridge to a Sustainable Energy Future

July 22, 2014 by Schalk Cloete
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Carbon Capture and Sustainable Energy

If climate science is correct, the world has little choice other than aggressive pursuit of the bridge technologies of CCS and bio-energy through a true technology-neutral CO2 mitigation framework. Pursuing renewables and nuclear power as a primary climate change mitigation strategy can do much more harm than good in the long run.[read more]

Daniel Yergin: US Oil Output Helping Avert Crisis

July 22, 2014 by Edward Dodge
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US Oil Production and Crisis Aversion

Daviel Yergin stated that if not for the recent domestic boom in tight oil production the U.S. would be in trouble. “I’m convinced we’d be looking at an oil crisis,” he said. “We’d have panic in the public. We’d have inflamed congressional hearings and we’d have the U.S. economy falling back into a recession.”[read more]

Geoengineering - Insanity? All the More Reason to Discuss It

July 22, 2014 by Tom Schueneman
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Geoengineering and Hard Choices

Is geoengineering the key to solving the global climate change problem? That’s the kind of question that evokes a knee-jerk reaction from those who consider it, including me. I believe we’re already doing enough geoengineering on the planet, albeit unplanned and perhaps unintended.[read more]

The Secret Art of Solar Finance

July 22, 2014 by Nigel Morris

If you're like me, practical with a mild hint of creative mania, then understanding how the widening array of solar financing products work can be tricky at best, boring at its worst. But no one in Australian solar can overlook the growth rates and new business opportunities that solar finance is bringing.[read more]

Four Reasons Why Energy Efficiency Programs Fail

July 22, 2014 by Nick Blandford

Efficiency Failures

So you’ve decided to take the initiative to achieve sustained energy savings at your organization. By addressing every source of electricity consumption your goal can be achieved in a relatively short amount of time. But for every goal, there’s a wrong and right way to reach it.[read more]

Third-Party Financing Was Solar's Catalyst. Can Energy Efficiency Find the Same Model?

July 22, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

Energy Efficiency and Third-Party Investment

Energy efficiency professionals are increasingly looking to the success of third-party financing in the solar industry as a model for attracting large investors. Is it working? If a new survey of hundreds of project developers is any indication, the efficiency industry still hasn't found financing momentum.[read more]

"At Some Point of Time We Will Go With This Proposal" - Despite Opponents, Sense of Inevitability Grows at Talks on Curbing the Super-Warming HFCs

July 22, 2014 by David Doniger

Countries jousted again over proposals to replace the super-potent heat-trapping chemicals called hydrofluorcarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol, the world’s most successful environmental treaty. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait emerged as the most vociferous opponents.[read more]

Steam from the Sun

July 22, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Steam and New Materials

A new and innovative material structure developed at MIT generates steam by soaking up the sun. The structure, which consists of a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam, is a porous, insulating material structure that floats on water.[read more]

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Why Does Politics Keep Getting in the Way of Pricing Carbon? - Part 1

July 21, 2014 by Jesse Jenkins
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Carbon Pricing and Politics

If you ask an economist the best way to combat climate change, you are very likely to get a pretty simple answer: put a price on carbon. Tax fossil fuels in proportion to the amount of carbon they release. Make coal, oil and natural gas more expensive.[read more]

Condensate Pries Open the Oil Export Lid

July 21, 2014 by Geoffrey Styles
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Last month we learned that the Commerce Department gave two US companies permission to export condensate that would otherwise be trapped here under a 1970s-vintage ban on oil exports. This validates the view that the administration has the statutory authority necessary to allow such exports.[read more]