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August 14, 2017 at 11:00 AM

The Future of Fossil Fuels: Trailing and Leading Indicators

by: Carl Pope
Former Executive Director
Sierra Club

In late July, Hunter Harrison, the CEO of CSX railway corporation, declared that his railroad, founded to haul coal, and still getting a fifth of its revenue from coal, would no longer invest capital in its coal business – neither new locomotives or track investments designed to support its coal business. Harrison was blunt as to the reason. “Fossil fuels are dead,” the CSX CEO said. “That’s a long-term view. It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s not going to be in two or three years. But it’s going away, in my view.”

The same week, Morgan Stanley …

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August 7, 2017 at 11:00 AM

What is Next for the Clean Power Plan?


The Clean Power Plan (CPP), the signature piece of environmental regulation from the Obama Administration, is now facing an uncertain future. Following President Trump’s request for a review of the rule and the June 1st announcement that the U.S. will be leaving the Paris agreement, the President is widely expected to eliminate or significantly change the CPP. Review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) typically takes about 60 days, meaning that the review period may be drawing to a close.

The CPP has faced criticism from both sides of the aisle, as well as from industry and environmental …

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August 1, 2017 at 11:00 AM

How to Pack More Power into NYC’s Energy-Efficiency Bill Package

by: Abbey Brown
Former Clean Energy Project Manager
Environmental Defense Fund

Earlier last month, the New York City Council introduced a package of bills designed to make buildings more energy efficient. Given that about 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the City come from heating and cooling buildings, regulating how buildings manage energy is crucial to reaching Mayor Bill de Blasio’s goal of reducing citywide emissions 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.

While these bills represent an important step in the right direction, there are opportunities to strengthen them so the intended reduction in pollution is more effective and long-lasting. For example, Int. 1644 proposes the establishment of a …

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July 19, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Climate Scientists Challenge ‘100% Renewables’ Paper

by: Rod Adams
Atomic Insights LLC

In 2015, Mark Z. Jacobson released a report claiming via modeling that 100% of the energy – not just the electricity – needed by the U.S. could be reliably provided at a reasonably low cost by a mixture of wind, water and solar energy. Jacobson’s paper, Low-Cost Solution to the Grid Reliability Problem with 100% Penetration of Intermittent Wind, Water, and Solar for All Purposes, was recently challenged when the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a paper titled Evaluation of A Proposal for Reliable Low-Cost Grid Power with 100% Wind, Water, and Solar. The new …

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July 10, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Targeting Corporate Climate Risk

by: Sharon Reishus
Reishus Consulting, LLC

With American federal climate policy in retreat after President Trump announced his intention for the US to withdraw from the Paris Accords, where will climate change activists focus their efforts? While recent announcements coming from local politicians indicate that cities from Portland to Pittsburgh, plus many states, are intent on moving forward with strategies to decarbonize, corporations form a key sector whose willingness to embrace strategies to avoid climate risk matters greatly.

Do shareholder activists play a critical role in forcing large businesses, especially those firms holding fossil fuel assets, to acknowledge risks and adopt strategies that directly address climate …

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