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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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DOE-backed Firm Claims Battery Breakthrough

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 28, 2012 at 8:08 AM

As reported by the New York Times, Envia Systems, a California-based battery manufacturing company, announced yesterday what it calls a “major breakthrough” in battery technology that is “poised to revolutionize cost, range and safety in electric vehicles.” According to Envia’s press release, the breakthrough is a world record 400 Watt hour/kg lithium-ion battery, at a cost of $150 per kilowatt-hour, which is expected to “slash the price of a 300-mile range electric vehicle by cutting the cost of the battery pack by more than 50 percent.” Envia was awarded $4 million by DOE’s ARPA-E in 2009, and later received $7… [more]

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Obama: No ‘Silver Bullet’ for Gas Prices

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 27, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Addressing high gasoline prices at a February 23 speech in Miami, President Obama made a case for continued investment in fuel economy and alternative fuel sources like algal biofuels and natural gas. The U.S. cannot drill its way out of high gas prices, he said, adding that anybody who says otherwise “doesn’t know what they’re talking about or just isn’t telling you the truth.” [Fox News] “It’s the easiest thing in the world to make phony election-year promises about lower gas prices,” Obama said. “What’s harder is to make a serious, sustained commitment to tackle a problem that may not… [more]

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Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 24, 2012 at 8:00 AM

On February 28th and 29th a federal appeals court in Washington, DC will hear oral arguments in Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA, an aggregation of lawsuits challenging U.S. EPA’s authority to regulate climate change pollutants. The suits have been brought by industry and free-market groups seeking to overturn EPA’s greenhouse gas endangerment finding, clean car standards crafted under the Clean Air Act, and efforts to reduce industrial emissions. EPA’s endangerment finding for climate change pollutants, required by the Supreme Court case Massachusetts v. EPA, established that “greenhouse gases …  in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of… [more]

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Transcript: Jobs, the Energy Sector & Government

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 23, 2012 at 8:47 AM

“Jobs, the Energy Sector, and Government” February 16th, 2012 Capitol Hill, Washington, DC   Opening Remarks: WILLIAM SQUADRON, President, OurEnergyPolicy.org Speakers: KENNETH P. GREEN, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute JIGAR SHAH, CEO, Carbon War Room ROBERT H. TOPEL, Professor, Urban and Labor Economics, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago YOSSIE HOLLANDER (moderator), Founder and Chairman, OurEnergyPolicy.org   MR. SQUADRON:  Thank you all for coming.  There’s still a few people outside coming in, in a little bit of a line, but we should get started, because I know all of you have busy schedules, and we appreciate your taking the… [more]

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U.S., Mexico Reach Gulf Drilling Agreement

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 22, 2012 at 8:38 AM

U.S. and Mexican negotiators on February 20th reached a deal – called The Transboundary Agreement – that would regulate oil and gas development along the countries’ maritime border in the Gulf of Mexico. The Agreement would allow each country to oversee the environmental and safety protocols of the other, and could by June open 1.5 million acres of U.S. offshore territory for oil and gas development. The U.S. Interior Department estimates that the area in question “contains as much as 172 million barrels of oil and 300 billion cubic feet of natural gas, relatively modest amounts by the oil-rich gulf’s… [more]

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Obama’s FY2013 Budget Heavy on Energy R&D, Renewables, Efficiency

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 16, 2012 at 8:00 AM

President Obama sent his requested FY2013 budget to Congress Monday, and requested, among other energy-related items, significant increases to energy R&D, renewable energy investments, and energy efficiency programs. From the request: “In light of the tight discretionary spending caps, this increase in funding is significant and a testament to the importance of innovation and clean energy to the country’s economic future.” Among the energy-related budget requests: $27.2 billion to the Department of Energy, a 3.2% hike over FY2012 $5 billion for DOE’s Office of Science $2.3 billion for DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office – a 29% increase –… [more]

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NRC Approves First Nuclear Reactors in more than 30 years

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 10, 2012 at 8:20 AM

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved by a 4-to-1 vote Southern Company’s bid to build two nuclear reactors along the Georgia-South Carolina border. These are the first new reactors to be approved by the NRC in more than 30 years. The reactors will cost a Southern Co. led investment group around $14 billion, and will begin producing power as soon as 2016 or 2017. “Today’s licensing action sounds a clarion call to the world that the United States recognizes the importance of expanding nuclear energy as a key component of a low-carbon energy future that is central to job creation,… [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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