Pennsylvania’s Act 13 of 2012 created a three-year Natural Gas Energy Development Program that will allocate $20 million in grant funds to purchase or convert vehicles to natural gas. The goal of Act 13 is “to help the state’s ongoing effort to move towards energy independence.” Last week, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection issued the first $6.7 million of the competitive grant funds to 18 organizations across the state. The grant money comes from Pennsylvania’s drilling impact fee, which has raised $200 million from the gas industry flourishing in the Marcellus Shale. The grants are capped at 50 percent … [read more]
The new Secretary of Energy and MIT physicist, Ernest Moniz, has often cited nuclear power as an important means of developing a low-carbon future for America. Moniz has also advocated the use of natural gas for its economic, environmental and energy security benefits, as outlined in a report he authored while at MIT, “The Future of Natural Gas.” So what can we expect from the next Secretary of Energy?
Throughout his confirmation process, which has taken place over the past six weeks, Secretary Moniz reiterated the need for an “all-of-the-above” strategy, while expressing his belief that the government … [read more]
The crude oil price spikes and high fuel costs experienced in the U.S. over the past ten years have encouraged many attempts to identify the underlying causes of these trends. Diminishing oil resources, slowing rates and increasing costs of production, financial speculation and geopolitics are all common arguments used to explain the recent volatile price changes in oil. But is there a correct answer?
According to a recent MIT study, one theory can be ruled out: financial speculation. “We show speculation had little, if any, effect on prices and volatility,” and may have even decreased prices, wrote the authors … [read more]
According to a recently released Harvard Law School report, the website FracFocus.org “fails as a regulatory compliance tool” for energy companies developing oil and gas wells using hydraulic fracturing. FracFocus, an online national hydraulic fracturing chemical registry managed by the Ground Water Protection Council and Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, was established to provide the public with access to reported chemicals used for hydraulic fracturing within their area.
Currently 11 of the 18 states that require disclosure of hydraulic fracturing chemicals allow companies to use FracFocus as their reporting method. FracFocus was also proposed by the Bureau of … [read more]
Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) recently reintroduced the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESICA), S. 761. This bipartisan legislation will spur the use of energy efficiency technologies across residential, commercial and industrial sectors, while fostering job creation. Energy efficiency is the best way to address our energy needs, increase the competitiveness of our businesses and create sustainable jobs. ESICA is supported by over 200 entities, from industry to environmentalists, ranging from Dow Chemical to the Sierra Club. This broad support illustrates the value of identifying points of consensus and how energy efficiency is such an area … [read more]