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

The Status of Clean Coal

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: July 10, 2012 at 7:36 AM

Coal is one of America’s most abundant and affordable energy sources, and has served for decades as the country’s primary base load electric fuel. Coal comes with significant environmental trade-offs, including local air and water pollution, deforestation, and mountaintop removal from mining process, and greenhouse gas and toxic particulate emissions from burning it to generate electricity. Given plentiful U.S. supplies of low-cost coal, there is clear economic and energy security rationale for continuing to use coal, and government and industry have worked for years to promote and demonstrate “clean coal” technologies. It is hoped that these technologies will capture CO2… [more]

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Discussion

A Strong Case for Energy Storage?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: May 25, 2012 at 7:56 AM

Last month, the National Alliance for Advanced Technology Batteries released “Distributed Energy Storage: Serving National Interests,” a white paper which outlines the benefits of distributed energy storage (DES) and its relationship to the nascent electric vehicle (EV) industry. According to the paper, DES systems can increase grid reliability, stability and security because of their “ability to provide… electric supply capacity and energy time shift, ancillary services, transmission and distribution (T&D) system support, electric utility customer energy cost management, and renewable energy integration.” These advantages may be necessary if the U.S. were to increase integration of renewable energy sources, see a… [more]

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Discussion

With Cheap Natural Gas, Who Needs Anything Else?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: May 10, 2012 at 7:46 AM

Domestic natural gas production continues to expand, while natural gas spot prices are at historic lows. Many utilities are responding to these changing market dynamics by building gas plants or “fuel-switching” existing power plants from more expensive fuels to gas. As a result, coal generation continues to fall. Due in part to price competition with natural gas, some Congressional “clean energy” subsidies may not be renewed. EIA projections suggest that domestic production will continue to increase, and that natural gas prices faced by electric utilities will remain below $7.00/mBtu, through 2035. [Source: EIA] What does near- to mid-term domestic natural… [more]

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Discussion

Best Practices for Shale Development, Fracking

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: May 7, 2012 at 7:52 AM

Three recent efforts – two private, and one public – could shape the future of U.S. shale gas and oil development. The Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), an industry group, released Recommended Practices: Site Planning, Development and Restoration, offering general guidance for natural gas professionals developing or restoring shale plays in the Marcellus. Days later, the Appalachian Shale Responsible Producers Group (ASRPG), led by Andarko Energy, released their Recommended Standards and Practices, which again provides general guidance to well operators and shale play developers. Ohio Governor John Kasich has pushed legislation to the state’s legislature that the his office hopes will… [more]

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Discussion

Developing U.S. “Tar Sands”

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: April 30, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Eastern Utah may see tar sand production begin later this year. A private company, the Alberta-based U.S. Oil Sands, has invested $6 million since 2005 to test the oil sands at its 6,000-acre lease in eastern Utah and develop pilot projects on state land. They were granted preliminary permits to begin production in 2009, and have been raising capital and developing plans to begin production. “We would expect to hopefully to have this up and running by about September of next year,” said Cameron Todd, CEO of U.S. Oil Sands. The Bureau of Land Management estimates that the sands could… [more]

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Discussion

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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Discussion

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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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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Discussion

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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Discussion

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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