All Posts

An Ill-Conceived Tax Idea

February 8, 2016 by Geoffrey Styles
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Oil Industry Tax and Climate Security

Recently we learned that President Obama's final budget proposal includes a plan to raise money for transportation projects and other uses by imposing a per-barrel tax on US oil companies. Here are a few quick thoughts on this ill-conceived idea.[read more]

Canada Makes Big Decisions to Further Strengthen its Commitment to Nuclear Power

February 8, 2016 by Milton Caplan

Canada Nuclear Policy

When we think about nuclear power around the world these days, two things come to mind – the rapid growth in Asia led by China fueling the industry forward, and the challenges facing the industry in the west with some plants closing early in the USA and new build projects in Europe being delayed.[read more]

Is Carbon Capture for Natural Gas the Missing Climate Solution?

February 8, 2016 by Alex Gilbert
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Could Carbon Capture and Storage Work?

 

Natural gas with carbon capture and storage could be an ideal long-term cheap and reliable low-carbon energy source. When most people in energy policy or markets hear “carbon capture and storage” (CCS), they think of coal generation. And rightly so.[read more]

It's All About the Transition

February 8, 2016 by David Hone

Transitioning Away

The ambition embodied within the Paris Agreement argues for the need to reach a state of net zero anthropogenic emissions around the middle of the century, although the text of the Agreement is less stringent and points to the second half of the century for a balance between sinks and sources.[read more]

Realizing our True (Solar) Potential

February 8, 2016 by Energy @ MIT

Widespread Solar Deployment

Nations worldwide are increasingly embracing solar power as an alternative electricity source for homes, buildings, and even the grid. Since 2008, installed solar capacity in the United States alone has grown 17-fold, from 1.2 to 20 gigawatts (GW), according to the U.S. Department of Energy.[read more]

California Leads on Reducing Methane Emissions from Oil and Gas Operations

February 8, 2016 by Briana Mordick

California and Emissions Prevention

California took a big step forward to reduce emissions of potent, heat-trapping methane pollution from the oil and gas industry. Joining states like Wyoming, Colorado, and Pennsylvania, California is proposing strong but sensible rules to control methane across the oil and gas supply chain.[read more]

Save Diablo Canyon So It Can Continue to Supply Massive Quantities of Clean Power

February 8, 2016 by Rod Adams

Diablo Canyon

California has one of the most confusing energy policies in the country. Though it loudly proclaims itself as an environmental leader, with some of the most strict air and water pollution regulations in the world, it has a state law that prevents consideration of new nuclear power plants.[read more]

What EPA Should Consider on Their Final "Fracking" Assessment

February 8, 2016 by EDF Energy Exchange

EPA and Fracking Rules

Questions about if and how hydraulic fracturing activities (what is called “fracking” by some) can contaminate drinking water have been top-of-mind for many since the practice started getting widespread public attention about a decade ago.[read more]

Electricity Generation from Renewable Sources Expected to Grow 9% This Year

February 8, 2016 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Renewables and Electricity Generation

Electricity generated from utility-scale renewable plants is expected to grow by 9% in 2016, based on projections in the latest Short-Term Energy Outlook. Much of the growth comes from new installations of wind and solar plants and increases in hydroelectric generation after a relatively dry 2015.[read more]

India Takes Another Step Toward Deals With U.S. Nuclear Vendors

February 8, 2016 by Dan Yurman

Nuclear India and American Partners

In a step towards opening its market to the nuclear reactors vendors of western nations, India recently finally signed off on to an international agreement on liability for damages in the event of a nuclear accident. The action has been pending since 2007.[read more]

Proposing an Overdue Oil and Climate Security Fee

February 8, 2016 by NRDC Switchboard

Obama Climate Plans

The President proposed a 21st Century Clean Transportation Initiative loaded with interesting policy, the most attention-grabbing of which is a $10-per-barrel oil fee to be phased in over 5 years. The revenue from it drives a portfolio of investments in better, cleaner transportation.[read more]

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Renewable Jet fuels: The Current State of Affairs

February 8, 2016 by Kapil Lokare

Renewable Jet Fuels

Jet fuel conventionally is produced from petroleum crude refining. Its composition depends on the raw crude oil, but the composition is typically around 20% paraffins, 40% isoparaffins, 20% naphthenes and 20% aromatics. Each of these components has a very specific role.[read more]

Bipartisan Support for Advanced Nuclear Energy Development

February 7, 2016 by Rod Adams

Nuclear and Third Way

Third Way bills itself as a centrist think tank that is not satisfied with just thinking; they take action that gets results. The Jan 27th Advanced Nuclear Summit and Showcase provided an excellent example of Third Way’s ability to seek common ground among people from both major political parties in the United States.[read more]

3 Ways the Texas Grid is Getting Smarter Thanks to the DoE's SunShot Initiative

February 7, 2016 by EDF Energy Exchange

Texas Smart Grid Development

Recently, GridWise Alliance released its 3rd Annual Grid Modernization Index (GMI), a ranking of every state’s progress toward the improvement and modernization of our nation's electric system – and Texas impressively placed third.[read more]

San Diego Gas & Electric to Use Electric Cars to Integrate Renewable Energy

February 7, 2016 by Max Baumhefner
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Urban Renewables Integration

 

California just took another key step in expanding the market for electric vehicles (EVs); 3,500 charging stations will be installed in the San Diego area under a "Vehicle Grid Integration" program approved by the California Public Utilities Commission.[read more]

EPSA: Great for Demand Response and Nothing for States to Fear

February 7, 2016 by NRDC Switchboard

Demand Response

There were many cheers over last week's Supreme Court decision in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) because of its positive effect on energy prices, reliability and the fight against climate change.[read more]

Warmest End to the Warmest Year on Record

February 6, 2016 by Tom Schueneman

Temperature Records in 2015

The latest State of the Climate report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) continues with its broken record of broken records. The NOAA report states that not only was 2015 the warmest year on record, it broke the record by the widest margin ever.[read more]

Strong Fuel Economy Standards Needed Even When Oil Prices Are Low

February 6, 2016 by NRDC Switchboard

Fuel Economy Standards and Oil Prices

Now that pump prices have dropped so low, automakers are once again rushing to sell the public on gas-thirsty Sport Utility Vehicles and heavy pickups and calling for a weakening of the coming historic 54.5 miles-per-gallon fuel economy standard.[read more]

BLM Tackles Waste, Methane Pollution on Federal and Tribal Lands

February 6, 2016 by EDF Energy Exchange

Waste on Tribal Lands

In an important step forward in curbing methane emissions from the nation’s oil and gas sector, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently announced a regulatory proposal aimed at wasteful practices that shortchange taxpayers, squander energy resources and threaten the Earth’s climate.[read more]

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3 Ways To Get Closer to the Smart Home with Modern Techniques

February 6, 2016 by Ryan Kh

Green Home Ideas

Quality of life is a difficult category to quantify. It has to do with health and well-being. It also has to do with how you benefit or detract from the world around you. This is not about adding the perfect lamp to a space. For these improvements, you have to think bigger, longer term, and in more holistic terms.[read more]

Corporate Interest In Green Energy Requires New Thinking From Electric Utilities

February 5, 2016 by Dennis Wamsted
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Green Corporate Efforts and Utility Response

There was a news nugget in the American Wind Energy Association’s latest market report, released last week, that should be required reading for electric utility executives everywhere. Basically: Corporate America is going green and if you don’t give them what they want, they are going to get it on their own.[read more]

The Future of RPS Policies

February 5, 2016 by Alex Gilbert

Future RPS Policies

State renewable portfolio standards are widely recognized for their critical role in driving renewable energy growth. However, their full impacts on future renewable energy development have not been fully recognized, even by key government agencies.[read more]

Going Off Grid: Tata Researchers Tackle Rural Electrification

February 5, 2016 by Energy @ MIT

Rural Electrification

More than 300 million people in India have no access to grid electricity, and the problem is especially acute in rural communities, which can be difficult and expensive to reach with grid power. But researchers are exploring ways to extend electricity access to such communities using microgrids.[read more]

High Inventories Help Push Crude Oil Prices to Lowest Levels in 13 Years

February 5, 2016 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Crude Oil Inventories

Several factors have played a part in pushing U.S. crude oil prices below $30 per barrel (b), including high inventory levels of crude oil, uncertainty about global economic growth, volatility in equity and nonenergy commodity markets, and the potential for additional crude oil supply to enter the market.[read more]

Laying it All Out: How Low Income Communities can Win with the Clean Power Plan

February 5, 2016 by NRDC Switchboard

Clean Power Plan Impacts

A hidden gem in the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan (CPP) is the potential to benefit low-income communities. However, residents and advocates of these communities - often the hardest hit by dirty power - need to be ready in order to realize these benefits.[read more]

Understanding the Clean Energy Incentive Program

February 5, 2016 by Frank Swigonski

Clean Energy Incentives and Analysis

EPA’s greenhouse gas regulation, the Clean Power Plan, won’t take effect until 2022, but planning is already well underway in states across the country. Initial state compliance plans are due in September of this year but many states will opt for an extension and submit final plans in 2018.[read more]

Preventing Future Aliso Canyon-Sized Gas Leaks: the Importance of Well Integrity

February 5, 2016 by EDF Energy Exchange

Leaks and Well Integrity

Southern California is now in month three of one of the country’s worst environmental disasters. In October 2015, a natural gas storage well operated by SoCal Gas sprung a massive leak hundreds of feet underground, releasing nearly 1,400 tons of gas into the air each day at its peak.[read more]

Keystone Redux: TransCanada is Now Seeking An Ocean Route for its Dirty Tar Sands

February 5, 2016 by Danielle Droitsch

Tar Sands Risks

The company that eventually lost a bid to build the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline (and has filed a lawsuit against the United States government for $15 billion for lost profits) is eyeing to get its tar sands oil to the Gulf Coast another way: by sea.[read more]

A Global Agreement on Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

February 5, 2016 by Henry Auer

Paris Agreement and Greenhouse Gases

2015 was the warmest year on record, using temperatures measured over the entire year on both land and ocean surfaces. The high temperatures averaged worldwide have produced large numbers of extreme weather events, especially heat waves, over the last five years.[read more]

Virginia Legislators Look to Tax Breaks and Barrier-Busting to Boost Renewable Energy

February 5, 2016 by Ivy Main

Virginia Energy Legislation

The orchestrated mayhem of the Virginia General Assembly session is well underway. Weeks have passed and not much time remains until what’s known as “Crossover,” after which any bill that hasn’t passed its own chamber is effectively dead.[read more]