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governmental regulations

Can Energy Companies Legally Use Drones?

August 27, 2014 by Kate Rosow Chrisman
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Dones and Energy Companies

Over the past few years, drones have undergone a radical transformation. Once the purview of the military and hobbyists, drones have become big business, with companies as diverse as humanitarian groups to big oil trying to cash in on the promised efficiency. For the energy industry, the uses are well documented.[read more]

Carbon Pricing vs. Regulation

May 19, 2014 by Gernot Wagner

Ask any economist about the most efficient way to tackle climate change, and the response will be clear: put a price on carbon. Cap or tax carbon pollution, and then get out of the way. It’s the most effective policy. It’s cheap. It works. Except for when politics gets in the way.[read more]

RET Review Process Simply Delays the Inevitable

April 29, 2014 by Nigel Morris

The first in a series of RET Review public consultation meetings was held in Sydney yesterday. Consultation defined is “a formal discussion between groups of people before a decision is made about something” but that definition doesn’t apply to this process if reports on the meeting are anything to go by.[read more]

Friday Energy Facts: Extending Residential Energy Policies Affects some End Uses more than Others

April 25, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Residential Energy Policies

Many federal energy programs target residential energy consumption and efficiency, such as appliance standards, building energy codes, and tax credits for energy efficient equipment. These policies tend to affect certain end uses more than others.[read more]

Exporting US LNG to Prized non-FTA Countries: Bottlenecks in the Approval Process

April 25, 2014 by Roman Kilisek

Exporting LNG Problems

In the wake of the Ukraine crisis and amid heightened pressure on the Obama Administration to speed up the approval process for new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plants, the geopolitical argument over LNG exports has gained traction in Congress.[read more]

RET Review: Roadblock or Opportunity?

April 24, 2014 by Nigel Morris

Sometimes I wish I had decided to sell solar systems instead of research and advice. From the outside, it often seems like you guys are all making the big money and I’m just fiddling round the edges, but then I look at the volatility and complexity that you face and think I made the right decision.[read more]

White House Attacks Heat-Trapping Methane, Second Biggest Climate Pollutant

April 3, 2014 by David Doniger
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The White House recently released its long-awaited Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions. Promised in President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan last June, the methane strategy is a big step in the right direction to curbing heat-trapping emissions.[read more]

Coal Ash Ponds: How Power Companies Get a 'Bypass' on Regulations Against Pollution

March 26, 2014 by Bill Chameides

Coal Pollution and Regulation

When we think of electric power plants and pollution, we often think of air pollution and climate change, and especially when it comes to coal-fired power plants. But power plants are also huge polluters of our waterways — our streams, rivers and lakes.[read more]

exclusive

What are the Realistic Costs and Benefits of the New EPA Tier 3 (Reduced) Gasoline Sulfur Regulation?

March 12, 2014 by John Miller
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EPA Gasoline Sulfur Regulation

The EPA finalized new regulations to further reduce gasoline sulfur and mitigate possible health impacts on the Public. Are the EPA’s estimated compliance cost of less than one cent per gallon and primary claimed benefits reasonably accurate? And, are there more cost effective alternatives?[read more]

Carbon Copy II: Six Quick Impressions from Climate Change's Latest Day in the Supreme Court

February 27, 2014 by David Doniger

We’ll have to wait and see for the final outcome on the scope of the Clean Air Act’s permitting provisions in the Supreme Court. But it’s clear that the EPA’s authority to set standards for carbon pollution – the basis of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan – is firmly settled on solid ground.[read more]

Coal Ash: Why it is Better Recycled Than as a Waste

February 19, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Coal Ash Waste and Recycling

EPA has announced that the two primary encapsulated uses of coal ash are safe, so recyclers have no legitimate remaining arguments to support their previous requests for a weak coal ash rule. Coal burning utilities stated that regulating coal ash waste would hurt the market for recycling of coal ash.[read more]

Three Important Energy Reality Checks

February 18, 2014 by Christine Hertzog

There were three important reality checks in the energy sector last week. First, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Edison Electric Institute issued a joint statement of eight recommendations aimed at policy-makers about redefining regulated electric utility business models.[read more]

EPA Releases Final Guidance for Fracking with Diesel

February 13, 2014 by Briana Mordick

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released final permitting guidance for wells that will be hydraulically fractured with diesel fuel. The guidance contains many important protections, based on solid science and EPA’s long experience with underground injection.[read more]

On the Inefficiency of Fuel Efficiency Standards

February 11, 2014 by Meredith Fowlie
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Inefficient Efficiency Standards

Imagine you have just been pulled over for exceeding the speed limit. The officer explains that the penalty for speeding decreases with engine size. Why? Because it is relatively more difficult for drivers of high performance cars to exercise restraint and drive the speed limit. What?![read more]