Search Results for environment
28 item(s) were returned.
Discussion

Climate Impact of Canada’s Oil Sands

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 14, 2012 at 7:48 AM

A paper by researchers at the University of Alberta, Edmonton found that the impact of Canadian oil sands mining, and subsequent land restoration, on carbon release has been significantly underestimated. This is due to the mining process’s destruction of peatland – bogs, swamps, etc. that host partially decayed organic matter – which, when destroyed, releases high levels of carbon. From the paper’s abstract in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science: “We quantified the wholesale transformation of the boreal landscape by open-pit oil sands mining in Alberta, Canada to evaluate its effect on carbon storage and sequestration. Contrary to… [more]

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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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Energy Policy & Environmental Risk

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 29, 2012 at 8:39 AM

In an opinion piece in the New York Times, writer David Ropeik argues that the nature of how humans perceive risk has led to some impractical, and potentially counterproductive, energy and environmental policies. According to research cited by Ropeik, the following factors make people more likely to perceive higher levels of risk: “Human-made risks upset us more than risks which are natural; Risks imposed on us are scarier than those we take by choice; Risks grow scarier the greater the pain and suffering they cause.” These perception factors percolate into our energy and environmental policy, Ropeik argues, sometimes leading to… [more]

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Keystone XL Pipeline Rejected

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: January 23, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Last Wednesday, the Obama administration officially denied approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. A rider included by the GOP in the payroll tax plan President Obama signed last month required the Administration to decide on the pipeline within a 60-day window. In rejecting the pipeline, the White House said “imposing an arbitrary 60-day deadline on this process would make it virtually impossible for an adequate review [of the pipeline] to take place.” House Speaker John Boehner criticized the decision saying “President Obama is destroying tens of thousands of American jobs and shipping American energy security to the Chinese. [There’s] no… [more]

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Discussion

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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Discussion

Outcomes from Durban

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: December 27, 2011 at 8:55 AM

The UN climate change summit in Durban, South Africa, wrapped earlier this month with two notable accomplishments: a pledge to create a new international treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol in 2020, and the creation of a multi-billion dollar fund to help developing nations adapt to the effects of climate change. Some have expressed disappointment in Durban’s outcomes, and have pointed to the challenges inherent to the current UN negotiating framework. Among the challenges: asking national environmental ministers to hammer out an international framework that must go well beyond environmental concerns to be effective, and the tiered system of “developed”… [more]

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Keystone XL Pipeline Debate Heats Up

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: December 20, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Earlier this year, the Obama Administration announced that it would be delaying its decision on the Keystone XL pipeline until after the 2012 election, drawing criticism from some pipeline proponents. In negotiating the FY2012 spending bill, the House and Senate have included language that would require the Administration to decide on the pipeline within 60 days. Republican lawmakers have made the Keystone XL pipeline issue a centerpiece of the spending negotiations. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) described his party’s spending-debate concessions on this issue as “giving the sleeves off a vest” because the State Department has said that they will withhold… [more]

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Keystone XL Pipeline Decision Delayed

Author(s): Matthew Jordan
Program Manager
CLASP
Date: November 10, 2011 at 6:42 PM

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Obama Administration has decided to defer its decision on the Keystone XL pipeline until after the 2012 election. The decision came through the State Department, which in a statement said that it would be evaluating alternative routes that might avoid an environmentally sensitive region of Nebraska. The decision has been described as a “victory for environmental groups,” many of which have been highly vocal in their opposition to the proposed pipeline. The decision drew criticism from oil industry representatives and unions, who had argued that the pipeline “will create thousands of jobs… [more]

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