Search Results for coal
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Discussion

AEP CEO Urges Comprehensive U.S. Energy Policy

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: May 1, 2012 at 7:40 AM

In an April 26th speech to business leaders at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Nick Akins, President and CEO of American Electric Power, urged the U.S. to develop a comprehensive energy policy. Akins explained that a recent “perfect storm of circumstances” – including EPA regulations, diminished reliance on nuclear power, and low natural gas prices – are making natural gas the de facto favored fuel for power generation. This is a concern for Akins, who points out that natural gas prices have been volatile historically, and that relying on a single fuel source for power generation is risky. [Columbia Dispatch]… [more]

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Cheap Natural Gas & U.S. Power Supply

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: April 18, 2012 at 7:16 AM

Last week the EIA reported that natural gas-fired power generation will increase by as much as 17% in 2012, while coal is expected to decrease 10%. This shift away from coal and toward natural gas is largely tied to gas’ low price, as well as projections of the impacts of increasingly strict federal regulation on power plants. In March, natural gas spot prices averaged $2.18MMBtu, their lowest level since 1999. Then on April 11th, the NYMEX May gas futures contract settled at a 10-year low of $1.984/MMBtu [EIA]. Despite low gas prices, some utilities express hesitancy about over-committing to gas-generated… [more]

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Lomborg: Wind Energy “A Very Poor Choice”

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: April 4, 2012 at 7:47 AM

A recent op-ed by noted academic Bjorn Lomborg questions the idea that renewable energy – wind, in particular – is up to the task of mitigating climate change. Renewables are not cost-competitive with traditional energy sources, he argues; and because renewables are intermittent and must be backed-up by base-load or peaker power plants, their true costs per kWh is often understated and their CO2 reduction potential overstated. Much of Lomborg’s argument focuses on the UK’s plan for a 20% reduction in CO2 by 2020 that, according to the op-ed, would require that wind account for 31% of the country’s electricity… [more]

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Impact of EPA’s Proposed Greenhouse Gas Rules

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 29, 2012 at 7:56 AM

On March 27, 2012 the Environmental Protection Agency, under the authority of the Clean Air Act, released proposed greenhouse gas standards for newly constructed power plants. The rules would require that “new fossil‐fuel‐fired power plants meet an output‐based standard of 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt‐hour (lb CO2/MWh gross).” Combined-cycle natural gas plants should be able to meet this requirement, and coal- or petroleum coke-fired plants would be able to with emerging technologies such as carbon capture and storage. The proposed rules elicited varied response from advocacy groups, many of which were highlighted in this Los Angeles Times article. Environmental… [more]

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Focus on Methanol

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 28, 2012 at 7:43 AM

At the Methanol Policy Forum – held March 27, 2012 in Washington, DC – energy industry and policy experts convened to discuss the fuel’s potential as a transportation fuel. The Forum’s opening remarks were made by DOE Assistant Secretary David Sandalow, who offered that methanol offered advantages as a transportation fuel but also brings along some challenges. Among the advantages: “First, and perhaps most important, methanol is inexpensive to produce. At today’s low natural gas and high oil prices, methanol could help reduce fuel costs consumers pay at the pump. “Second, methanol is a liquid at room temperature. It doesn’t… [more]

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Is Carbon Capture A Viable Option?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 27, 2012 at 7:19 AM

In a study of U.S. carbon capture and storage (CCS) potential published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found “that the United States can store enough CO2 to stabilize emissions at their current rate for over a hundred years. This result suggests that with a favorable political and economic framework, carbon capture and storage can be a viable climate change mitigation option in this country for the next century.” The video below explains their findings:  

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Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 Introduced

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 2, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Senate Energy & Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) has introduced the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012, which would require electric utilities to derive increasing percentages of their supply mix from low-CO2 sources. The bill would take effect in 2015, and would require that by 2035 84% of power from large utilities come from low-CO2 sources. Sources eligible under the legislation include: renewables, such as wind and solar, “qualified” renewable biomass and waste-to-energy, hydropower, natural gas, and nuclear. Facilities with CO2 capture and storage, and some combined heat and power facilities, are also eligible. The bill establishes a market-based… [more]

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Coal Companies Shuttering Mines on Low U.S. Demand

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 9, 2012 at 7:59 AM

Alpha Natural Resources, the nation’s third-largest coal producer, has announced that it will “close four mines in Kentucky and West Virginia and idle two more over the next 12 months.” [E&E ClimateWire (sub. req.)] 152 Alpha employees will lose their jobs, while another 182 will be offered reassignment. The coal industry has been challenged recently by low natural gas prices and new federal clean air regulations. These factors have compelled some electric utilities to close their coal-fired power plants, or to switch them to natural gas or other, cleaner coal sources. Utilities such as FirstEnergy, Duke Energy, and American Electric… [more]

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U.S. Approaching Energy Self-Sufficiency?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 8, 2012 at 8:51 AM

According to data collected and reported by Bloomberg News, the “U.S. is the closest it has been in almost 20 years to achieving energy self-sufficiency”. In the first 10 months of 2011, 81% of U.S. energy demand was met by domestic sources, up from a record low of 70% in 2005. If the 2011 numbers are accurate, this would be the highest proportion of U.S. energy demand met by domestic sources since 1992. This upward trend in energy self-sufficiency is due in large part to increased oil and natural gas development, and low natural gas prices. “Domestic oil output is… [more]

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Natural Gas and Hydrofracking

Author(s): David J. Manning
Director, Stakeholder Relations/External Affairs
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Date: January 6, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Hydrofracking for natural gas in shale formations has generated a heated national debate, complicating and in some cases preventing efforts to extract the resource. Critics of hydrofracking cite the process’ uncertain environmental and geologic risks. Meanwhile, natural gas developers and policymakers have been working to identify and implement technical standards and best practices to overcome or reduce these risks to negligible levels. In my home state of New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has said of hydrofracking: “Let’s get the facts. Let the science and the facts make the determination, not emotion and not politics.” I agree. State of the art… [more]

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