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Electrification Nation: Buildings and Energy

Author(s): Ralph DiNola
CEO
New Buildings Institute
Date: July 15, 2020 at 4:52 PM

Residential and commercial buildings are responsible for almost 40% of total carbon emissions in the United States. Policymakers with a focus on climate action are taking notice; they are advancing both policies that reduce emissions from the built environment and that favor electric technologies.  Momentum to “electrify everything” has taken hold as states and cities like California and Seattle introduce policies to enable beneficial electrification by fuel switching (see chart below). Electrification can help reduce emissions from buildings as we “green” the grid. American member states and jurisdictions of the International Code Council have signaled support for this movement nationally… [more]

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Are We Energy Independent?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: July 6, 2020 at 9:42 AM

Energy independence has been a goal of the United States since the oil crisis of the 1970s. And while 2019 saw record domestic oil production, the United States was still a net importer of oil with net imports totaling $192 billion. In an OurEnergyPolicy webinar on June 24, 2020, Yossie Hollander—Co-Founder and Chairman of The Fuel Freedom Foundation—discussed energy independence and current efforts to achieve it. He explained how in today’s interconnected world,  reducing U.S. dependence on global oil prices requires more than just increasing domestic oil production. To make energy (oil) independence a reality, we need a broader approach… [more]

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The Future of Powering Transportation

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: June 15, 2020 at 2:02 PM

The transportation sector is responsible for almost a third of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions, more than any other sector. Between 1990 and 2017, emissions from transportation increased more than any other sector in absolute terms, underscoring the importance of addressing sector emissions to help meet climate change goals. There are more reasons to reassess how we power transportation beyond just reducing emissions. As explained in our recent webinar series, some experts say that diversifying our choice of fuels could help support the American economy and potentially free us from dependence on foreign oil.  The global market for alternative fuels is currently growing at a compound annual rate of 13.1% and is expected to… [more]

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Preventing Disaster by Securing Our Grid

Author(s): General Wesley K. Clark
Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander &
Founder, Renew America Together
Date: June 2, 2020 at 11:46 AM

The security, economy, and general welfare of the United States are critically dependent on electricity. Transportation, pipelines, communications, and other essential services would all fail without a continuously operating electricity grid. It’s fair to say that the grid is the most essential of all our critical infrastructure, which is why it is of the utmost importance that it be adequately protected.      While the grid is vulnerable to numerous and ever-changing threats — including physical sabotage, cyber sabotage, and destruction by electromagnetic pulse (EMP) — important steps have been taken to improve grid security in recent years. Key information about the… [more]

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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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