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How do the GOP and Democratic Energy Platforms Stack Up?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: September 6, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Both the Democratic and Republican parties have released their platforms, each offering a vision of the American energy landscape in the coming years. Both parties promote distinct visions of an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy. The end goal for both parties is U.S. energy independence, with the GOP’s vision seeming to rely primarily on the development of America’s fossil fuel resources and a business-friendly regulatory regime, while the Democrats’ platform promotes a “move towards a sustainable energy-independent future” that would allocate resources between fossil fuel and renewables development, alongside to a variety of “green” initiatives. GOP Democrats Fossil Fuels Supports “new, state-of-the-art coal-fired… [more]

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Administration Releases New Fuel Economy Rules

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: September 3, 2012 at 8:49 AM

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Transport Safety Administration (NHTSA) have released new rules for a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard that will increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon and reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions to 163 grams of carbon dioxide per mile by 2025. The EPA is establishing national GHG emissions standards under the Clean Air Act, and the NHTSA is establishing Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. Both programs will give flexibility to manufacturers to achieve compliance, including the use of a credit… [more]

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Hurricane Isaac & the SPR

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: August 30, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Over the past month, as oil prices have climbed, rumors  of a release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) have circulated. This week, the G7 released a statement indicating the group’s readiness “to call upon the International Energy Agency to take appropriate action to ensure that the market is fully and timely supplied.” Hurricane Isaac makes a release seem more likely, as it has suspended operations of Gulf refineries with a combined refining capacity of 1 million barrels of oil per day, according to the St. Louis Post. Dan Kish of the Institute for Energy Research said on Fox Business… [more]

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Romney Camp Unveils Energy Plan

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: August 28, 2012 at 7:48 AM

Last week, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced his energy platform, which emphasizes the goal of U.S. energy independence through increased offshore drilling, particularly in the mid-Atlantic, an “energy partnership” with Mexico and Canada, and through greater control over energy production on federal lands for states. “States are far better able to develop, adopt and enforce regulations based on their unique resources, geology and local concerns,” said Romney. Enacting these policies would lead to over $1 trillion in revenue for federal, state, and local governments, more than 3 million new jobs, and a resurgence in U.S. manufacturing, according to the… [more]

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Water-Energy Nexus Debate Heats Up

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: August 20, 2012 at 10:44 AM

As drought continues to affect much of the U.S., many observers are thinking critically about the water-energy nexus. A New York Times article points out the myriad ways in which water shortages can threaten energy, from low river levels reducing hydropower output, to cities banning the use of municipal water for hydraulic fracturing. Although we have yet to see water access limit our ability to produce energy, it could lead to higher energy prices, particularly for natural gas, which will increasingly require water recycling and freshwater transport from non-local sources. Biofuels will also increase in price, if crops fail and… [more]

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Encouraging Grid Security with Distributed Generation

Author(s): Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)
Member
U.S. House of Representatives
Date: August 9, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Along with Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), I recently introduced H.Res.762, with which we mean to express “the sense of the House of Representatives regarding community-based civil defense and power generation.” The Resolution is intended to “encourage community based civil defense preparations, including distributed generation of 20% of local electricity needs.” The U.S. electric grid is one of our nation’s most critical infrastructures—none of the other 17 critical infrastructures will function properly without it. America’s grid is vulnerable to widespread blackouts of extended duration from any and all of the following threats:… [more]

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Can We Get It Right on Gas?

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

In an August 5th op-ed, the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman urges America to “Get It Right On Gas.” While noting domestic natural gas development’s potential to address a host of energy policy issues – the trade imbalance and job creation, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy security – Friedman quotes Energy Innovation’s Hal Harvey in asking if natural gas offers “a transition to a clean energy future, or does it defer a clean energy future?” “A sustained [natural] gas glut could undermine new investments in wind, solar, nuclear and energy efficiency systems – which have zero emissions – and thus… [more]

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Is Carbon Pricing Back on the Table?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: August 6, 2012 at 7:33 AM

Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) has introduced legislation that would put a price on CO2 emissions. Known as the Managed Carbon Price (MCP) Act, the bill is structured more as a cap-and-dividend program than cap-and-trade, and is intended to reduce emissions while also directing revenue towards deficit reduction and reimbursing consumers for costs. The bill would have a target of 80 percent CO2 reductions by 2050. “My bill would reduce carbon emissions, and it returns all the money to consumers and deficit reduction. Businesses want this kind of predictability, consumers need to be protected, and we need to step up and… [more]

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Impacts of the Section 1603 Program

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: August 2, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was designed to attract private investors to renewables projects by offering investors a cash reimbursement equal to and in lieu of the 30% federal Investment Tax Credit. According to a recent NREL report, the program has awarded $11.6 billion to around 38,000 projects – which have received $38.6 billion in total investment – and has supported the installation of 16.9 GWs in new renewable capacity. To put that in context, in 2007 third-party tax equity financing provided about $6.7 billion to renewable project developers. In 2009, in the heart of the financial… [more]

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The State and Stakes of the Climate Discourse

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: July 31, 2012 at 7:21 AM

Despite a comprehensive climate bill passing the House in 2009, the enactment of some policies that may reduce CO2 emissions over the long-term, and continuing Congressional discussion of a clean energy standard, it seems that clear paths forward on climate change are not emerging. Nevertheless, in spite of some debate as to the phenomenon’s authenticity, climate change does not seem to be going away. June 2012 was the 328th straight month above 20th Century temperature averages, Greenland’s glaciers are melting more than ever due to “freakish weather,” and the UT Energy Poll reports that the American public’s belief in the… [more]

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