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Public Health

Keystone XL Pipeline Veto: Right Decision at the Right Time

February 26, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard
1

Obama and the Keystone Veto

We don't need Congress to be a pipeline permitting agency. And, there's a good process in place that lets president decide whether transboundary energy projects are in the national interest. The Keystone pipeline has repeatedly been shown to be dangerous to our water, communities, and climate.[read more]

Will the EPA's Carbon Rule Hurt the Grid?

February 25, 2015 by Katherine Tweed

Could the reliability of the electric grid could be compromised if the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed regulations to cut carbon dioxide emissions to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 is implemented as written? This is the conclusion of various independent system operators.[read more]

Preventing Sea Level Rise in New York City While Cleaning the Air in India and China

February 25, 2015 by Steven Cohen
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The New York City Panel on Climate Change predicted a hot and stormy future for the city. They are spending $20 billion to help ensure it can adapt to a more difficult future, but if the panel's prediction of two feet of sea level rise comes to pass, we will need many multiples of $20 billion to protect New York.[read more]

Let's Talk About Solar Energy and Equity

February 24, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange
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Solar and Energy Equity

We need to have “the talk” about solar power and equity, because ignoring uncomfortable questions will invite misinformation and bad decisions. We need an informed dialogue about how local solar power can impact low-income communities and communities of color in the U.S.[read more]

How Can Nuclear Energy Build Trust in a Time When Denying Science is Rampant?

February 24, 2015 by Milton Caplan
36

Science and the Nuclear Industry

Building trust in science is a task that goes well beyond the nuclear industry. Yes, scientists have much work to do to build that trust with the public and government, but governments must then ensure that they use science as a basis for policy.[read more]

The Growing Risk of Transporting Crude Oil by Rail

February 24, 2015 by Robert Rapier
17

Crude Oil Rail Risk

By now you have probably heard that a CSX train carrying Bakken crude from North Dakota’s shale oil fields derailed and caught fire. While the cause is still under investigation, the train was carrying 109 tankers of crude oil. 26 of the cars left the tracks, and several caught fire.[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: On 'No Regret' Negative Emissions Technologies

February 21, 2015 by Edward Dodge

Negative Emissions Technologies

A new report from Oxford University says that the most promising “Negative Emissions Technologies” (NETs) for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in the near term are also among the simplest: afforestation, soil carbon improvements and biochar.[read more]

How Do Fast Reactors Respond to Rapid Reactivity Insertion Events?

February 20, 2015 by Rod Adams
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Fast Reactor Response

Fast neutron spectrum reactors offer one answer to the trump question that is often used to halt informative discussions about using more atomic energy to reduce our excessive dependence on burning hydrocarbon based fuels — “What do you do with the waste?”[read more]

Educating Sustainability Professionals: Learning By Doing

February 20, 2015 by Steven Cohen

As Columbia University's Earth Institute works with schools at Columbia to develop a comprehensive set of offerings in sustainability education, we have emulated role models in pro bono work and developed a "workshop" requirement in our undergraduate program in sustainable development.[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: Big Oil Addresses Climate Change

February 19, 2015 by Edward Dodge
5

Big Oil and Climate Change

This speech is important. Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden says that it is time for the oil industry to join the debate over climate change. Shell has long advocated for a price on carbon, but in a speech Thursday in London he took the message farther.[read more]

No China Coal Peak in Sight: Carbon Capture Will be Necessary to Tame Emissions in this Century

February 19, 2015 by Armond Cohen
1

China Coal Consumption and Capture Necessity

In late 2014, China pledged to peak its emissions by 2030, and achieve 20% of its primary energy from non-fossiCO2 l energy sources. While these developments are to be celebrated, the reality is there's still a lot of headroom for China to expand its coal power plant capacity between now and 2030.[read more]

Meeting the Challenges of a Sustainable Energy Future

February 18, 2015 by Maarten Wetselaar
3

As the world’s population increases and economic growth leads to a rising middle-class, there will be a greater desire for products and lifestyles with one thing in common: they require energy. In fact, the increase in population and prosperity is going to lead energy demand being 37% higher in 2040.[read more]

Americans Support Action on Global Warming

February 18, 2015 by Henry Auer
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Recent reports have shown that global warming and its worldwide effects on human lives have become more common in recent months and years. In this article, we summarize the results of some polling of American public opinion on this subject.[read more]

Nuclear Energy: The Sixty-Year Pitch

February 18, 2015 by Peter Dykstra
22

Nuclear Energy Planning and History

In 1954, Atomic Energy Commission Chair Lewis Strauss envisioned a day when “our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter.” Strauss was placing his bets on nuclear fusion, which, sixty years later, is still on the drawing board. And the meters are still ticking away.[read more]

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Sustainability pros and advocates in Southwest Virginia persevere amid skepticism, Tea Party opposition

February 17, 2015 by Jim Pierobon
1

Politics and Health in Virginia

Few Virginians believe working on sustainability initiatives in the southwestern part of the state is easy. Many from there know elected officials who are openly skeptical about global warming, and with it doubts about the benefits of conserving energy, curbing harmful emissions and cleaning up waste streams.[read more]