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Environmental Policy

Grid Modernization and Public Lands

October 23, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard
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During my career I have worked as an advocate for protecting wild places and creatures as well as a proponent of sustainable energy development. While there has seldom been conflict between these two goals, the overshadowing issue of global climate change has forced them together in unexpected ways.[read more]

Benefits of Clean Power Plan Are Measureable, Drop for Drop

October 23, 2014 by Kate Zerrenner

Clean Power Plan Benefits

Since the EPA released its proposed Clean Power Plan in June, the plan has been a hot topic in every state. In Texas alone, the state has held a joint regulatory agency hearing and two days of legislative hearings. Unfortunately, in both cases, the general tone of testimony was that of Chicken Little.[read more]

Will Improved Energy Efficiency Lead to Increased Energy Consumption in the Developing World? Quite Possibly

October 23, 2014 by Steve Sorrell

A new report from the US Breakthrough Institute provides evidence that historical improvements in the energy efficiency of lighting, steel and electricity production have led to greater energy consumption that would have been the case in the absence of those improvements.[read more]

A Climate Mitigating Energy Strategy

October 23, 2014 by Jim Baird

Belaboring the obvious, Haewon McJeon, an economist with the U.S. energy department and lead author of a new report in the journal Nature, 'Climate change: A crack in the natural-gas bridge' says in a Scientific American article, "The climate change problem requires a climate change solution.”[read more]

Call for Action Intensifies from Multiple Directions: EPA Needs to Regulate Methane Pollution from Oil and Gas

October 22, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange

EPA Action on Methane

Cutting methane from the oil and gas sector is particularly important for slowing the rate of climate change. About one-quarter of the warming we are experiencing today is a result of methane, and the oil and gas sector is the largest industrial source of methane emissions in the nation.[read more]

Plug In Hybrid: Saving Carbon and Dollars?

October 22, 2014 by Maximilian Auffhammer
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I'm in the market for a new car. At a recent visit to a dealer I was confronted with the choice between the regular hybrid-electric version of the C-Max (think standard Prius but made in the USA!) and the plug-in hybrid electric version of the same model. The difference between the two is the plug-in, well, plugs in.[read more]

Why We Are Working With Colleagues in China to Develop Sustainability Metrics

October 22, 2014 by Steven Cohen

Developing Sustainability Metrics

I visited Beijing last week to finalize a partnership between Columbia University and the China Center for International Economic Exchanges. Our goal is to develop a set of sustainability metrics that can be used by businesses and governmental agencies in China, the United States, and around the world.[read more]

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The Alternative to the Climate Nuclear Option is Innovation

October 22, 2014 by Matthew Stepp
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Climate Nuclear Option Alternatives

Out of fear the world is running out of time to act on climate change, some advocates are calling for the nuclear option: limiting economic growth to deeply decarbonize the global economy. It’s easy to see why: world leaders continue to propose weak policy options that guarantee dangerous global warming.[read more]

The People's Climate March: Why You Can't Please All the People, All the Time

October 22, 2014 by Katharine Hayhoe
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I was sitting in church last Sunday. Someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around: it was an older lady I didn’t know very well, but her face was familiar. “I’m reading your book,” she whispered, “and I just wanted you to know it’s changed my mind about all this climate stuff. You just make so much more sense."[read more]

Germany's Energiewende Proves Electricity can be Clean and Reliable

October 21, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange
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Germany's Energy Transition

Since 2004, the year of the first major revision of Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG), the country has added at least 35 gigawatts (GW) of solar and 35 GW of wind to its electric grid, which is enough energy to offset upwards of 35 coal plants.[read more]

New Gas Plant Venture Aims at Carbon Capture From a Different Angle

October 21, 2014 by Christina Nunez
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Carbon capture and storage is often promoted as a way for coal power to be made “clean”: Projects such as the Kemper power plant in Mississippi and the Petra Nova project in Texas aim to trap the carbon dioxide and then store it into underground storage or into previously depleted wells to extract more oil.[read more]

Will the Export-Import Bank's Office of the Inspector General Ignore Human Rights Violations?

October 21, 2014 by Justin Guay

Energy Development and Human Rights

Sudarshan Rajak disappeared under suspicious circumstances after protesting the relocation of families for Reliance Power's 4,000-megawatt Sasan coal project in Singrauli, India. Some of his neighbors believe he was in his house when it was bulldozed by Reliance.[read more]

From Artisanal to Integrated: How Data Is Remaking the Efficiency Industry

October 20, 2014 by Wego Wise

Data and Efficiency

The past few years have seen an abundance of software innovations designed to enhance the efficiency of the built environment. Taking advantage of inexpensive computing power and storage, these platforms are leveraging the torrent of data generated by and about our buildings.[read more]

Pentagon Sees Climate Change as Immediate Security Risk

October 20, 2014 by Peter Lehner
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Defense and Climate Risk

The Department of Defense released its 2014 Climate Change Adaption Roadmap on Monday, outlining how the U.S. military plans to adapt to the impacts of climate change. For the first time, the Pentagon discusses climate change as an immediate risk.[read more]

Deniers Mistakenly Say that Global Warming Has Ended

October 20, 2014 by Henry Auer
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Climate Denial and Global Warming

The global average temperature has increased by about 0.7-0.8ºC over pre-industrial temps. A pause of annual global temperatures began after 1997 even though the atmospheric concentration of CO2 continued to increase. Global warming deniers have seized on this to say that warming of the Earth has ended.[read more]