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Coronavirus Pandemic Highlights Need to Address Mineral Security

Author(s): Senator Lisa Murkowski (R – AK)
United States Senator, State of Alaska
Chairman, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
Date: May 11, 2020 at 11:09 AM

    Preface from OurEnergyPolicy In the time since our November 2019 critical minerals discussion, COVID-19 has decimated global supply chains. Factory shutdowns in China, which accounts for 40–50% of the global wind power supply chain, have caused supply shortages of wind turbine components and massive financial losses, threatening current U.S. projects. China’s outsized market share is also affecting the solar market, although some analysts say a U.S. tariff on imported solar panels may have blunted the impact. “If coronavirus has shown us anything, it’s that we are far too reliant on China and other countries for key minerals like… [more]

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Curbing Emissions with Electric Vehicles

Author(s): Joel Levin
Executive Director
Plug In America
Date: April 6, 2020 at 11:47 AM

Transportation accounts for more greenhouse gas emissions in the United States than any other sector and, within that, light-duty vehicles account for 59% of all transportation emissions. In order to reduce the effects of climate change, we must encourage more Americans to switch to plug-in vehicles. On average, the climate pollution created from driving an electric vehicle (EV) is equivalent to driving a gasoline vehicle that gets 88 miles per gallon. That figure continues to improve as our electric utilities increasingly switch to renewable energy. Electric vehicles also offer other benefits, including utilizing domestic energy, lower fuel and maintenance costs,… [more]

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A Pandemic, a Price War, and the Future of America’s Oil Industry

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 19, 2020 at 11:42 AM

Travel and business slowdowns across the world, in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, have caused a sharp decrease in global oil demand and the lowest oil prices in 17 years.  On March 5, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries attempted to reach a deal that would extend the current 1.5 million barrels per day (MB/D) production cut in an effort to shore up prices. The talks failed, however, when Russian and Saudi energy ministers were unable to reach an agreement. Russian officials subsequently announced significant increases in their production levels, with Saudi ministers following suit… [more]

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A Grand Challenge to Commercialize Energy Storage

Author(s): Faith Martinez Smith
Environmental Permitting Specialist
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; formerly Policy Analyst at ClearPath
Date: March 5, 2020 at 10:12 AM

Note: At the time of this discussion, Faith Martinez Smith was a Policy Analyst at ClearPath, managing the organization’s energy storage, geothermal, and hydropower portfolios.   Grid-scale energy storage is critical for decarbonizing our economy and merits high-profile attention from our policymakers. Storage is technology agnostic—it can be used with any generation technology, provides ancillary services, and can reduce demand charges. As climate change policy continues to take center stage, the commercialization of U.S. energy storage technologies can play a pivotal role in enabling higher integration of variable renewable resources (wind and solar power) and addressing grid reliability. Thus far,… [more]

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Time for a Price on Carbon

Author(s): Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL-22)
Member
U.S. House of Representatives
Date: February 3, 2020 at 11:29 AM

You don’t have to search hard to find an American community already experiencing, firsthand, the devastating impact of climate change. The question is no longer if, but how to respond. For too long, damaging carbon emissions have been left off the balance sheets of the world’s largest polluters. Instead, we are all paying the price. That’s why we need a market-driven solution that will get us to zero emissions. I introduced a bipartisan plan—the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763)—to put a price on carbon and send a signal across the economy that it is time to switch… [more]

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Realizing the Promise of Offshore Wind

Author(s): Laura Morton
Senior Director, Policy and Regulatory Affairs for Offshore Wind
American Wind Energy Association
Date: December 12, 2019 at 4:19 PM

Offshore wind is the next major source of American energy. Realizing offshore wind’s potential will generate clean electricity near many of the country’s largest population centers, revitalize coastal and port communities, and create thousands of jobs and a new U.S. supply chain. In fact, offshore wind could create 46,000 jobs over the next few years according to the U.S. Department of Energy, and it represents a $70 billion supply chain opportunity. And these jobs aren’t just on the East Coast—offshore wind offers legacy energy firms the chance to diversify. For example, Falcon Global and Gulf Island Fabrication, two Louisiana-based firms… [more]

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National Council for Science and the Environment

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: November 21, 2019 at 10:24 AM

The mission of the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) is to improve the scientific basis of environmental decision-making. NCSE fosters collaboration between the institutions and individuals creating and using environmental knowledge, including scientists in higher education and decision-makers at all levels of government, to strengthen the role and increase the use of science in decision-making.

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Critical Minerals: The Achilles Heel of America’s Clean Energy Future?

Author(s): Morgan D. Bazilian
Director, Payne Institute and Professor of Public Policy
Colorado School of Mines
Date: November 4, 2019 at 10:37 AM

In 2017, the Trump administration issued Executive Order 13817, which states “The United States is heavily reliant on imports of certain mineral commodities that are vital to the Nation’s security and economic prosperity. This dependency of the United States on foreign sources creates a strategic vulnerability…” Of the 35 critical minerals designated in a 2018 Department of Interior (DOI) report, the United States is 75-100% reliant on 24 of them. Many of these are essential inputs to clean energy technologies such as lithium-ion batteries, solar modules, and wind turbines. We can expect that the tremendous growth and innovation in resource-dependent… [more]

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Climate RFI: Decarbonizing Electricity with Standards,Taxes, and Transmission Lines

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: October 22, 2019 at 12:18 PM

The U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis is requesting information around policies that Congress should adopt to solve the climate crisis and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Committee staff told us they would welcome feedback from OEP experts. Four specific questions from the committee’s request for information are outlined below. We will compile and send to the committee substantive comments posted to this discussion by November 11.     U.S. electricity generation from wind power is more than 7 times higher today than it was in 2017, and U.S. solar power generation is 100… [more]

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A Framework for The Green Real Deal

Author(s): Ernest J. Moniz
President and CEO
Energy Futures Initiative
Date: October 8, 2019 at 9:00 AM

I recently unveiled the framework for a “Green Real Deal” on behalf of the Energy Futures Initiative at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Energy Innovates conference in Washington, D.C. Building upon several months of analytical work, the Green Real Deal framework offers broad principles that are based on a commitment to realistic, actionable, and meaningful progress towards a low-carbon economy.  The Green Real Deal must be a very pragmatic program data-driven, science-based, and analytically supported. Principles like innovation are at the core of the solution. A wise and just transition to a low-carbon economy, moving as fast as is technically… [more]

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