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Reconsidering the Indian Point Nuclear Plant Shutdown

Author(s): Herschel Specter
President
Micro-Utilities, Inc.
Date: March 27, 2017 at 9:30 AM

In January, New York Governor Cuomo, Riverkeeper, an environmental group, and Entergy, a nuclear utility, announced a joint agreement to shut down the two nuclear reactors at Indian Point (IP) by April 2021. Replacement power will be provided by clean energy sources consistent with New York’s Clean Energy Standard, which requires 50% of the State’s electricity to come from renewable energy by 2030. It is claimed that this can be achieved with a negligible cost to ratepayers. The plant currently provides carbon-free and low cost electricity for about one quarter of the power consumed by New York City and Westchester… [more]

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Withdrawing Federal Funding for ENERGY STAR

Author(s): Scott Sklar
President
The Stella Group, LTD
Date: March 20, 2017 at 10:30 AM

This month, reports surfaced that critical energy savings programs like ENERGY STAR could be defunded as part of the Trump Administration’s FY’18 budget. Last week, the President’s Budget Blueprint confirmed the rumors to be true. According to E&E news, a draft of the proposed budget cuts contained language stating “EPA should begin developing legislative options and associated groundwork for transferring ownership and implementation of ENERGY STAR to a non-governmental entity.”  Today, millions of consumers and businesses choose ENERGY STAR—demonstrating that the program has earned credibility in the marketplace. When the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency developed the… [more]

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Border Adjustment Tax: Will Consumers Pay At The Pump?

Author(s): Robert Grant
Director of International Public Policy and Advocacy
Global Innovation Policy Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Date: March 13, 2017 at 10:45 AM

In June 2016, House Republicans introduced their vision for comprehensive tax reform. Premised on a simpler, fairer code than today’s, the GOP’s plan looks to promote economic growth and create jobs. It also proposes taxing imports at 20%. As part of the plan, Republican Speaker Ryan introduced a border adjustment tax (BAT) that taxes imports but excludes exports. The Tax Foundation concluded that a BAT could generate roughly $1 trillion in revenue over the next decade. According to some oil market experts, “the bottom line with a BAT is the price of crude oil rises.” And with almost a fifth… [more]

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Is Over-Regulation Holding Back Energy Storage?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 6, 2017 at 11:15 AM

Energy storage, a potential solution for integrating intermittent renewables and improving grid stability, again saw rapid growth this past year. A “transition year” for U.S. energy storage, 2016 saw a more diverse market emerge “both in terms of the types of systems (market segments) deployed and the business models.” These trends are expected to continue in the U.S. with combined residential, commercial, and industrial energy storage deployments predicted to surpass 2 GW by 2021. Despite this rapid growth, there are those who claim that the adoption of energy storage has been slowed by a “web” of regulations at all levels.… [more]

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What Cars Will We Be Driving in 2050?

Author(s): Mark Drajem
Editor
Bloomberg's First Word Energy
Date: February 21, 2017 at 1:30 PM

Over the course of his first weeks in office, President Trump has outlined an America-first energy policy that appears to mean essentially one thing: More U.S. oil production. His policies are decidedly aimed at boosting oil production: green-lighting more drilling on federal lands, building more oil pipelines, and rolling back rules that harm the oil industry. But America First doesn’t necessarily mean a focus on American oil. From a different perspective, the Fuel Freedom Foundation aims to boost the American economy and cut its dependence on OPEC by expanding the fuels available for automobiles. Fuel Freedom, argues for “ending our… [more]

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A Carbon Dividends Plan

Author(s): Dan Miller
Managing Director
The Roda Group
Date: February 14, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Climate change poses a threat to the safety and prosperity of America’s and the world’s citizens. Every major scientific academy agrees that global warming is real, is mostly caused by humans, and requires urgent action. The signs of climate change are all around us. For example, the volume of the summer Arctic sea ice has dropped about 70% in the past 30 years and global temperatures have set records for the past 3 years in a row. And while most world leaders and climate scientists agree that we should not let the world warm more than +2ºC, we are on… [more]

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Can Nuclear Power Rise From The Chaos In Washington?

Author(s): James Conca
Senior Scientist
UFA Ventures, Inc.
Date: February 8, 2017 at 10:00 AM

In January, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Advanced Nuclear Technology Act of 2017 (ANTA). At the same time, the latest version of the Interim Consolidated Storage Act (ICSA) was introduced. These bills address two of the most important recommendations made in 2011 by then President Obama’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future (the BRC). The nuclear industry has also been waiting for legislation to break the logjam of bureaucratic red-tape that has hamstrung developing and building new-design reactors as well as to create a central place for used fuel that can be burned later. ANTA would speed… [more]

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President Trump’s Executive Actions Revive Keystone and Dakota Pipelines

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 1, 2017 at 10:45 AM

On the fourth day of his administration, President Trump signed multiple executive actions designed to advance the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, since related memos specifically invited project developers to re-submit applications for permits and approvals to begin or continue construction. Many view these decisions as a signal the president intends to fulfill campaign promises promoting the oil and gas industries, as described in his America First Energy Plan. Pipeline opponents, however, are already preparing for legal battles seeking to block these projects. Keystone XL proponents have consistently argued the pipeline will create thousands of good paying jobs while… [more]

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States’ Environmental Commitments Are Key to Nation’s Clean Energy Future

Author(s): Rory Christian
Director, New York Clean Energy
Environmental Defense Fund
Date: January 23, 2017 at 10:00 AM

While it is clear that energy and the environment did not play a decisive role in the election, 2017 will nevertheless bring a new set of challenges for energy policy, and elevate the conversation to a higher level. At the federal level, the fight to stop climate change looks bleak. Clear and deliberate leadership at the state and local levels will become essential to advance clean energy goals. Fortunately, New York’s history of advancing favorable environmental policies has resulted in valuable lessons that can be adapted and implemented in other states to increase economic development, create jobs, decrease pollution, and… [more]

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What To Expect From Pruitt and Perry on Energy Policy?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: January 3, 2017 at 11:00 AM

President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and former Texas Governor, Rick Perry, as the next Secretary of the Department of Energy. Some observers have noted that these nominations suggest that Mr. Trump intends to follow through on campaign promises to pursue energy policies supporting the development of fossil fuels. Scott Pruitt and Rick Perry each hail from states with strong oil and gas industries and both are known for their at-times skeptical views regarding the EPA and DOE, respectively. Mr. Pruitt describes himself as “a leading advocate against… [more]

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