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A Look at the New Energy Leaders

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 13, 2013 at 5:33 PM

President Obama has announced his choices to replace the outgoing energy and environment Cabinet members: Ernest Moniz, Director of the MIT Energy Initiative, has been nominated as Secretary of Energy; Gina McCarthy as head of the EPA, where she is currently the assistant administrator for air and radiation; and Sally Jewell, CEO of REI, for Interior Secretary. If confirmed, how would you expect these new officials to approach major policy issues from domestic oil and gas exploration to hydro-fracturing to climate change to nuclear energy, and more, both absolutely and in comparison to their predecessors?  What would you recommend for… [more]

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How Will “Sequestration” Impact the Energy Sector?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 5, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Sequestration’s $85 billion automatic spending cuts began going into effect on Friday, but the timeline and full extent of the cut’s impacts are still somewhat vague. So what’s at stake for energy and environmental programs and the energy industry at large? Here’s what major department leaders have said about the likely effects of sequestration: In a letter to the Appropriations Committee, outgoing energy secretary Steven Chu  highlighted a concern  with the structure of the $2.4 billion in DOE budget cuts, explaining that “The effects of sequestration are particularly damaging because, by law, they apply equally to each program, project, and… [more]

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Another Oil-Related Recession?

Author(s): Herschel Specter
President
Micro-Utilities, Inc.
Date: February 26, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Are the United States and other countries facing a looming threat of another oil-related recession? Prior to the economic crash in 2008 the price of oil steadily increased. As the world margin between supply and world demand approached zero, oil prices rose. When this margin went to zero, oil prices hit $147/barrel and the recession began. Unlike many politically initiated oil recessions of the past, a major recession trigger in 2008 was a “physically” initiated event — the disappearance of the margin between world supply and demand. Physically initiated oil recessions do not have the post-peak, national, debt-free “stimulus package”… [more]

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Is Illinois Set to Take the Lead on Fracking Regulation?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 22, 2013 at 1:15 PM

A bill, recently introduced by Illinois State Representatives John Bradley and David Reis, to regulate hydraulic fracturing in the state is attracting support from both industry and environmental groups. The bill, House Bill 2615, introduced on February 21st, 2013, would impose new requirements on the oil and gas industry, such as: Public disclosure of all fracking chemicals before fracking begins Presumed liability of the oil and gas drillers for any environmental contamination near fracking sites, until proven otherwise Restrictions on venting and flaring of natural gas The bill’s supporters believe that it outlines an effective compromise that could open up… [more]

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Can We Double U.S. Energy Productivity by 2030?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 19, 2013 at 3:37 PM

A diverse coalition of energy leaders put together by the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) recently unveiled a set of recommendations for “Doubling US Energy Productivity by 2030.” Chaired by Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) and National Grid U.S. President Tom King, the Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy calls for growing the U.S. economy through investments, modernization and education. The Commission’s goal of doubling U.S. energy productivity (GDP/Btu) by 2030 was alluded to by President Obama in the State of the Union as was one of the Commission’s recommendations, an energy productivity “race to the top” type program. ASE… [more]

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Aligning Federal Policy with America’s Energy Priorities: A Blueprint

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 11, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Last week Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the senior Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, published a blueprint for energy policy, titled “Energy 20/20: A Vision for America’s Energy Future.” The blueprint offers ideas to “align federal policy with… our national interest to make energy abundant, affordable, clean, diverse, and secure.” Among the main ideas in Sen. Murkowski’s blueprint are: Establishing a national goal to become independent of OPEC imports by 2020 by increasing domestic oil, biofuel and synthetic fuel production. Approving the Keystone XL pipeline. Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling and… [more]

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The End of Cheap Oil and How It Is Changing Our World

Author(s): Dr. Bruce Dale
University Distinguished Professor
Michigan State University, Dept. of Chemical Engineering
Date: February 7, 2013 at 12:40 PM

The last century can rightly be called the Age of (Inexpensive or ‘Cheap’) Oil as world oil consumption grew from about 20 million tons per year in 1900 to just under 400 million tons per year in 2005. Since 2005, however, world oil consumption has been nearly constant despite high demand and record high oil prices, which indicates that we simply cannot produce oil any faster. And since oil is not renewable, eventually the production (and therefore the consumption) of oil must decline. Declining oil production will be an extremely painful reality for the U.S. because not only does the… [more]

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What’s in Line for Keystone XL?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: January 30, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Last week Governor Dave Heineman of Nebraska approved the Keystone XL pipeline along a revised route, “which avoids the environmentally-sensitive Sand Hills region of Nebraska.” The final decision now rests in the hands of President Obama, who last year rejected the previous route on grounds that construction of the pipeline and the possibility of a spill could contaminate the Ogallala Aquifer in the Sand Hills region. For many environmentalists and opponents of the Keystone XL project, however, this revised route doesn’t address the bigger climate argument: Due to the high level of greenhouse gasses emitted during production of oil from… [more]

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The PTC and the Future of the Wind Industry

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: January 24, 2013 at 1:35 PM

After seeing the Production Tax Credit (PTC) extended through 2013 in the recent “fiscal cliff” legislation, the wind industry is now looking ahead to the tax reform debate. According to E&E Publishing several industry lobbyists are preparing for a renewed push for a longer-term extension of the PTC that would phase out over time. Based on industry analysis of the impact of the PTC, the American Wind Energy Association proposed a six-year tax credit phaseout, which specifies that “The tax credit would start at 100% of the current 2.2 cents a kilowatt-hour for projects started in 2013, and be phased… [more]

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Coal’s No Way to Make the Job Market Hop

Author(s): Daniel Kammen
Distinguished Professor of Energy
University of California, Berkeley
Date: January 16, 2013 at 3:08 PM

If Peabody Energy, SSA Marine and Goldman Sachs really want to stimulate jobs in Washington State, as they claim in their support of the Gateway Pacific project, they can find much better ways to do so than building the sprawling $665 million coal terminal northwest of Bellingham, WA. They could use the money instead to fund energy-efficiency and renewable-energy projects, which per dollar invested, would create twice as many jobs at minimum. Modern coal terminals are highly mechanized facilities, and few workers are needed to operate them. As estimated in official project documents, the Gateway Pacific Terminal would support only… [more]

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