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July 16, 2018 at 9:48 AM

Fugitive Emissions and the Future of Gas

by: Robert Grant
Former Energy Adviser to US and UK Governments
Corporate Advisor

It’s hard to overstate the growing importance of natural gas in the global energy marketplace, and the scale and mood of June’s World Gas Conference in Washington DC bore witness to the resurgent confidence of the global gas industry. With over two thousand delegates and 300 companies exhibiting in the hall, the conference reflected an industry that feels positive about its future.

In 2011, the International Energy Agency talked about a potential “Golden Age of gas”. That suggestion attracted some derision at the time, as the flattening costs of renewables and the persistent growth of Asian coal use

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July 9, 2018 at 11:11 AM

The Ineffectiveness of Renewable Portfolio Standards

by: Josh Smith
Research Manager
The Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University

Renewable portfolio standards (RPS) require a certain percentage of the electricity sold by utilities to be from qualifying sources as determined by state statute. RPS are one of the most common state-level environmental policies; 29 states and Washington DC have mandatory standards. Despite their popularity, however, renewable portfolio standards may not achieve their environmental ends in a cost-effective manner.

Basic analysis of the effects of implementing RPS shows only a nominal impact on carbon emissions, but a large impact on electricity prices. Professors at Louisiana State University compared states that had enacted RPS to states that had not, and showed …

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June 25, 2018 at 2:13 PM

Can the US Phase Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies?

by: Han Chen
International Climate Advocate, Global Advocacy, International Program
Natural Resources Defense Council

The use of fossil fuels drives climate change. Unfortunately, the path to clean sources of electricity, heat, and transport is impeded by the continued government subsidization of fossil fuels. In our recent Scorecard measuring the US against other G7 countries on progress in eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, the US ranked last, spending over $26 billion a year to prop up fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies waste money and come at the expense of public health, local communities, and the climate.

The US still provides subsidies for fossil fuel exploration, mining, production, and consumption. The US subsidizes more oil and gas

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June 18, 2018 at 10:30 AM

Carbon Tax: Barriers and Solutions

by: Mike Shatzkin
Founder & CEO
The Idea Logical Company, Inc.

Although there is a broad consensus that we need to “price carbon” to enable markets to account for the external costs of burning fossil fuels, no proposed national legislation has received significant traction since the failure of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill in 2010.

One formula, long advocated by the non-partisan Citizens’ Climate Lobby but never proposed as legislation, is to simply refund the tax revenue in equal shares to individuals. CCL proposed starting at $15 per ton (which equates to 15 cents per gallon of gas) with an annual increase of $10 a ton forever. CCL has been instrumental

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June 11, 2018 at 10:22 AM

Coal, Nuclear, and National Security

by: Devin Hartman
Electricity Policy Manager
R Street Institute

On June 1st President Trump directed Energy Secretary Rick Perry to halt the closure of competitive coal and nuclear power plants, which are being pushed offline by less expensive energy sources. A leaked memo outlined a plan to subsidize these facilities using Energy Department emergency authorities under the Federal Power Act and a Cold War-era defense law enabling the Department to nationalize parts of the power sector. The memo claimed that saving these “fuel secure” plants is a matter of national security.

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation and regional grid operators have not found evidence that a grid …

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