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The Most Important Post-Election Energy Issues

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: November 8, 2012 at 7:05 AM

The election is over.  What comes next for energy policy? Some environmentalists have already answered that question by planning a demonstration outside the White House to press President Obama to prevent the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. They’re also likely to push the President on continuing support for renewables and taking concrete action on climate policy. Meanwhile, Jack Gerard, President and CEO of API, offered this take : “Right off the bat, the president can approve the Keystone Pipeline and put thousands of Americans to work immediately. He can acknowledge the effective role states are already playing in regulating… [more]

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Transportation To Benefit from Shale Boom?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: November 5, 2012 at 8:52 AM

The burgeoning U.S. shale industry that has helped reduce natural gas prices to record low-levels now may benefit U.S. commuters and the transportation sector. Oxford Catalysts Group Plc and Sundrop Fuels Inc., backed by Chesapeake Energy Corp., are planning to build factories in the U.S. to make more affordable diesel, gasoline and jet fuel from cheap gas. This gas-to-liquids technology has proven successful at locations like Royal Dutch Shell’s Pearl GTL plant in Qatar, where gas feedstock prices are also relatively low. According to Bloomberg, with access to gas at $3.89 per mmBtu, Oxford Catalysts would be able to produce premium… [more]

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Achieving Emissions Targets Without Cap-and-Trade

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: November 1, 2012 at 7:21 AM

A new report from RFF points out that despite the absence of cap-and-trade legislation, the United States is on course to reach the same emissions reduction goal – 17 percent fewer emissions from 2005 levels by 2020 – that would have been mandated under the Waxman–Markey cap-and-trade proposal [H.R. 2454], if it had become law in 2010. The report identified three factors contributing to the emissions reductions projections: Regulations under the Clean Air Act that were set to take effect without cap-and-trade legislation, particularly expected operating performance standards for new and existing stationary sources and vehicle efficiency standards; trends in fuel… [more]

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Algae Biofuels: A Way Forward or A Dead End?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: October 29, 2012 at 7:05 AM

Proponents of algae biofuels have stressed its low environmental impact, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced dependence on foreign oil, and utilization of marginal lands. However, a recent report from the U.S. National Research Council has found that algae biofuels cannot currently be produced on a large scale without using unsustainable amounts of energy, water, and fertilizer – exactly the kinds of impacts algae biofuel production was intended to avoid. Notwithstanding this, the report’s authors do not write off the technology. Jen Stutsman of the Department of Energy said in a statement “[The] report outlines the need for continued research and… [more]

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Digging a Hole with Natural Gas?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: October 25, 2012 at 7:15 AM

Pundits, politicians, and many in the energy industry have largely applauded the surge in natural gas production, pointing to the cheap and abundant resource as providing a much needed boost to the economy, as a potential tool in achieving greater energy security, and as a means to address climate change and transition to cleaner forms of energy. But as natural gas plants become increasingly widespread, they are displacing other power sources, such as coal, an increasing number of renewables and now a nuclear plant. Observers have noted that cheap natural gas has turned the tide in favor of natural gas… [more]

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The Energy Diplomacy Tightrope

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: October 23, 2012 at 7:30 AM

2012 brought into stark relief the ways in which energy influences U.S. foreign policy. Decisions on trade sanctions in Iran, natural gas exports, and drilling for oil in the arctic are good examples of scenarios in which domestic policy goals and U.S. foreign interests were deliberated by the current administration, and a course for the country’s energy and foreign policy future was laid out. Hillary Clinton, in speaking recently at Georgetown University, highlighted the ways in which energy development and consumption will continue to be an issue facing the U.S. and its foreign policy efforts, even as the U.S. continues to… [more]

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The Presidential Debate and Gas Prices

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: October 18, 2012 at 11:19 AM

In the second presidential debate of 2012 an attendee asked President Obama, “Your energy secretary, Steven Chu, has now been on record three times stating ‘It’s not policy of this department to help lower gas prices.’ Do you agree with Secretary Chu, that this is not the job of the Energy Department?” The question went essentially unanswered as both candidates took the opportunity instead to promote their energy platforms. The answer to this question may be simple, as OurEnergyPolicy.org Expert Joel Brown explains in a tweet: “The unanswered question answered: the DOE does NOT have the charge to lower gasoline… [more]

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The Impact of Climate Policy on Natural Gas Development

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: October 15, 2012 at 7:25 AM

The rapid proliferation of natural gas development has led to a variety of environmental concerns, such as air and water pollution, increased geological activity, and greenhouse gas emissions. A new paper from John Bistline, a doctoral candidate in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, investigates how “uncertainties in future natural gas prices, upstream methane emissions, the global-warming potential of methane, and the stringency of federal climate policy will influence optimal (GHG) abatement efforts” and the “future deployment of energy technologies.” Generating capacity decisions are made along long and largely uncertain planning horizons, and plants often come online into very… [more]

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The Future of Enhanced Oil Recovery

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: October 10, 2012 at 7:30 AM

Denbury, a small energy resources firm focused on oil and natural gas, sees a bright future in enhanced oil recovery (EOR), a process that pumps CO2 into oil wells to release hard-to-reach oil. EOR has been promoted as a way to simultaneously address climate change and improve recoverable oil reserves. The company surprised many recently after it traded its Bakken Shale assets – some of the most productive in the country – to Exxon Mobil in exchange for $1.6 billion in cash and parts of Exxon Mobil’s Texas and Wyoming stakes. Denbury will instead focus on utilizing EOR in its… [more]

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Will EPA’s 4-Gallon Minimum Mandate Cause More Harm Than Good?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: October 8, 2012 at 7:20 AM

A new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandate under the Renewable Fuel Standard will require a minimum four-gallon purchase of the E10 ethanol-gasoline blend at service station pumps selling both E10 and E15 fuel from the same hose. E15 is an 85% gasoline, 15% ethanol fuel blend, and has only been approved for use in vehicles manufactured after 2001. Roughly two-thirds of gasoline pumps in U.S. gas stations use one hose to dispense different blends of fuel. This has lead to concerns that residual E15 could end up in the engines of vehicles not designed to run on the higher blend, such… [more]

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