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Plenty At Stake: Indicators of American Energy Insecurity

Author(s): Senator Lisa Murkowski (R – AK)
United States Senator, State of Alaska
Chairman, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
Date: September 25, 2014 at 7:05 AM

As articulated in Energy 20/20, my blueprint for a new U.S. energy policy conversation, I believe there is a consensus that it is in our national interest to make energy abundant, affordable, clean, diverse and secure. In addressing these goals, too often affordability is ignored – despite the difficult choices increasing energy costs impose on Americans. In particular, low-income households are highly vulnerable to energy prices because energy bills make up a larger percentage of their living expenses. These families are energy insecure, defined as the inability to afford to maintain a home at a reasonable temperature and the loss… [more]

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What Should Our Policymakers Focus On?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: September 18, 2014 at 4:05 PM

As midterm elections quickly approach, questions and predictions continue about which energy issues will garner the most attention over the next two years from Congress and other policymakers and influencers. While some new topics have emerged to dominate energy headlines more recently, other issues, such as nuclear waste management, continue to be relevant. Please share your input on what topics require attention from our federal policymakers.

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Will There Be Sufficient Electricity?

Author(s): Herschel Specter
President
Micro-Utilities, Inc.
Date: September 11, 2014 at 9:56 AM

An analysis has been made to determine if there would be enough electricity in the US by 2050 to support a carbon-free future to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Assuming that carbon capture and sequestration is not practical, a mix of nuclear and renewable energy power plants was examined. Existing fossil power plants and nuclear plants represent 86% of the electricity that was produced in 2012. By 2050, to be carbon-free, all of these fossil plants would have to be phased out, while all present nuclear plants would have reached the end of their operating licenses. According to… [more]

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Time to Launch a U.S. National Energy Program as a Matter of National Security

Author(s): Lawrence Klaus
Freelance projects of interest
Retired
Date: August 28, 2014 at 7:30 AM

A National Energy Program (NEP) is proposed to eliminate the gap between U.S. oil consumption and production and significantly reduce green house gas emissions in a decade to place our nation on the road to a sustainable energy future. With domestic natural gas plentiful, eliminating the “oil gap” will achieve energy independence. The international Energy Agency forecasts this gap to be approximately seven million barrels and day (MBD) in 2025 [1]. Forecasts vary from 4-7 MBD depending on source used. Current forecasts are “not real world”; because they are based on continuation of business as usual conditions in an increasingly… [more]

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Refueling the Future with Alcohol Fuels

Author(s): Eyal Aronoff
Co-Founder
Fuel Freedom Foundation
Date: August 22, 2014 at 2:56 PM

The lack of alternative energy sources to fuel our vehicles and replace expensive oil, jeopardizes U.S. national security, forces Americans to pay more at the pump, and greatly represses our ability to reduce pollution and address climate change concerns. In my state of California, 74% of all emissions – including CO2, toxic pollutants, ozone forming emissions and more – come from petroleum. Oil accounts for 65% of California’s GHG emissions, compared to 33% from natural gas, and less than 2% from coal. Meanwhile, each year, the U.S. spends more than $600 billion to buy oil and oil products, which is… [more]

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The Challenges Of Integrating Renewables On To The Grid

Author(s): Duncan Callaway
Assistant Professor, Energy and Resources Group
University of California, Berkeley
Date: August 14, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Wind and solar capacity have grown significantly in the last decade, and many believe that significant reductions in carbon emissions require continued expansion of their capacity (see for example recent papers by Jim Williams et al and Jimmy Nelson et al[1]). With the declining cost of wind and solar, the economic case for increasing production from sources whose fuel is free is getting better. But getting these energy sources on to the grid is not without its engineering and economic challenges. Wind and solar production is both variable and uncertain, and grid system operators need to make sure they have… [more]

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Protecting Our Climate and the Middle Class

Author(s): Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
Member
U.S. House of Representatives
Date: August 4, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Two of the most pressing issues facing us today are the need to address the economic costs and public health risks associated with climate change and strengthening the middle class. Over 97 percent of climate scientists agree that our planet is warming, primarily as a result of fossil fuel combustion, and that this warming is already causing more frequent, dangerous, and expensive extreme weather events. At the same time, our middle class is struggling. While the productivity of our economy increased by 75 percent between 1979 and 2012, wage growth for middle class workers increased by only 5 percent during… [more]

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Would a carbon tax effectively combat climate change?

Author(s): Lee Lane
Visiting Fellow
Hudson Institute
Date: July 24, 2014 at 9:30 AM

A number of scholars, from the left and the right have floated versions of a carbon tax. Henry Paulson has also weighed in, favoring a tax. In theory, a uniform comprehensive carbon tax enforced among all major global emitters might have great advantages. Such a tax, if linked to a stringent accounting system, could be more transparent than any other approach to greenhouse gas control. In contrast to command-and-control schemes, a tax would target abatement resources to where they would be most cost-effective. A tax, unlike the 2009  cap-and-trade bill, would make it harder for proponents to falsely promise both… [more]

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Examining The FERC-NERC Relationship & Setting Grid Reliability Standards

Author(s): Thomas Popik
Chairman
Foundation for Resilient Societies
Date: July 16, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Through the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Congress formed a hybrid system for setting electric grid reliability and security standards; a private corporation, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), writes grid standards, while a government agency, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) reviews and approves NERC’s standards. FERC and NERC appear to have a close working relationship in jointly developing grid standards. During an April 10, 2014 Senate Energy Committee hearing “Keeping The Lights On—Are We Doing Enough To Ensure The Reliability And Security Of The U.S. Electric Grid?” both Cheryl LaFleur, Acting Chair of FERC, and Gerry Cauley,… [more]

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A Standard That Makes Sense for Natural Gas Vehicle Customers

Author(s): Kathryn Clay
Vice President for Policy Strategy
American Gas Association
Date: July 7, 2014 at 4:50 PM

There is currently no national standard for dispensing liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a motor fuel. In July, the National Conference of Weights and Measures (NCWM) will consider requiring retail natural gas dispensers to use kilograms as the primary unit of sale for liquefied natural gas (LNG). The same regulators and officials advocating for that approach are encouraging that CNG no longer be sold in gasoline gallon equivalents as well. This would be a drastic departure from the current practice of using diesel gallon equivalents (DGE) for the sale of LNG, since it primarily competes with diesel fuel for trucking.… [more]

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