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Discussion

Drilling in the Arctic

Author(s): Robert Grant
Director of International Public Policy and Advocacy
Global Innovation Policy Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Date: July 28, 2015 at 8:00 AM

In June, Shell kicked off its controversial Arctic program to conduct exploratory operations in the Chukchi Sea and the Arctic Ocean. Shell plans to drill two wells beginning in August 2015, when ice clears. Shell initially purchased leases to drill in the Arctic in February 2008 from the Bush Administration’s Interior Department, leases that have been repeatedly endorsed by the Obama Administration, most recently in March 2015. The success or failure of these operations could significantly affect future efforts to explore for hydrocarbons in the region. Shell previously abandoned its Arctic exploration program in the 1990s due to high comparative… [more]

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American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: July 21, 2015 at 4:39 PM

American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) represents more than 400 companies that encompass virtually all U.S. refining and petrochemical manufacturing capacity. Refiners and petrochemical manufacturers make modern life possible by using advanced technology to produce the energy and essential products that we use every day. Our members keep America moving and growing as they meet the needs of the nation, its families, businesses, and local communities, strengthening economic and national security, and supporting nearly 2 million American jobs.

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Methane Emission Reductions: An Industry Success Story

Author(s): Erica Bowman
Vice President, Research & Policy Analysis and Chief Economist
America's Natural Gas Alliance
Date: July 20, 2015 at 8:00 AM

The Obama administration recently announced forthcoming standards for methane emissions from new and modified oil and gas production sources, despite saying “voluntary efforts to reduce emissions in a comprehensive and transparent manner hold the potential to realize significant reductions in a quick, flexible, cost-effective way.” The natural gas industry has already dramatically reduced methane emissions even as production and use have soared. New regulations will take too much time and yield too few benefits, compared with a collaborative approach. Because methane is the product we sell there is great motivation to capture as much as possible. Innovations have led to… [more]

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Increasing U.S. Energy Security and Reducing Greenhouse Gases in the Transportation Sector: Electricity vs. Biofuels

Author(s): Dr. Bruce Dale
University Distinguished Professor
Michigan State University, Dept. of Chemical Engineering
Date: July 14, 2015 at 8:00 AM

U. S. renewable fuel policy has two primary objectives: 1) to reduce petroleum imports, increasing energy security and 2) to reduce greenhouse gas generation in the transportation sector. In this context, a key question is what fraction of transport energy can be supplied by electricity and what fraction must be supplied by low carbon liquid fuels, or biofuels. Two recent papers, one focused on the U.S. and another with a global perspective, show that the ability of electricity to serve the light duty fleet is much less than previously thought if both energy security and GHG reduction are to be… [more]

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Discussion

Tax Pollution, Not Profits

Author(s): Congressman John Delaney (D-MD)
Member
U.S. House of Representatives
Date: July 7, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Climate change is a threat to our environment and our economy, and we cannot afford the risk of inaction. With our free market economy, the best solution is a simple, transparent tax on carbon that unleashes the power of the market and enables America to lead the way toward a new, clean energy economy. Importantly, a carbon tax produces revenues that can be used to help American businesses and families. But there are many options for how to use these revenues. Critics of carbon taxes frequently cite slower economic growth, increasing taxes on the poor, and hurting coal workers as… [more]

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Discussion

Loss and Damage under the UNFCCC

Author(s): Wil Burns
Co-Executive Director
The Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy, American University
Date: June 29, 2015 at 10:00 AM

The focus of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) originally was the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as emissions associated with land-use change and forestry. However, by the 2000s scientists and policymakers realized that emissions targets were too low to avoid serious negative impacts, necessitating the development of adaptation responses as a complement to mitigation. In the past few years, it has become clear that historical emissions have “locked in” a certain level of climatic change, making some serious impacts unavoidable. Moreover, the feckless response of the world in arresting emissions makes even graver unavoidable… [more]

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Examining an Energy Storage Standard

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: June 23, 2015 at 8:00 AM

The Energy Storage Promotion and Deployment Act of 2015, recently introduced by Sen. Marin Heinrich (D-NM) and Sen. Angus King (I-ME), seeks to create a National Energy Storage Standard. Similar to a Renewable Portfolio Standard, the storage standard would require electric utilities to meet a percentage of their generation via storage, in this case 1% of peak demand using any energy storage technology by 2021 and 2 percent by 2025. In real terms, utilities would have to add 8 GW of storage by 2021 and 18 GW by 2025. Available technologies range from electric and thermal salt batteries to pumped… [more]

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Niskanen Center

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: June 16, 2015 at 2:12 PM

The Niskanen Center is a libertarian 501(c)(3) think tank that works to change public policy through direct engagement in the policymaking process: developing and promoting proposals to legislative and executive branch policymakers, building coalitions to facilitate joint action, and marshaling the most convincing arguments in support of our agenda.  The Center’s main audience is the Washington insiders – policy-oriented legislators, presidential appointees, career civil servants in planning, evaluation and budget offices, congressional committee staff, engaged academics, and interest group analysts – who together decide the pace and direction of policy change.

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Preparing the Next Generation of Energy Leaders

Author(s): Gernot Wagner
Lead Senior Economist
Environmental Defense Fund
Date: at 8:00 AM

What determines the cost of a ton of coal? Is OPEC an oligopoly? Should we subsidize low-carbon energy or tax fossil fuels? Do Prius owners drive more? These are among the questions I cover in my Economics of Energy class. I’ve taught this class at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs for the past five years. I hope to receive your feedback on how to improve this course. The course has two goals: to provide a set of tools to approach these and many other fundamental questions in energy economics, and to do so in plain English. Last… [more]

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Energy Transformation: Finding Policy and Finance Solutions

Author(s): Matt Futch
Vice President, US Retail Regulatory Strategy
National Grid, US
Date: June 10, 2015 at 8:00 AM

We hear about the promise of transforming America’s infrastructure every day. But if we’re going to capitalize on that promise, we need to reverse the 20-year trend of underinvestment in energy networks. Greater overall resiliency, reliability and innovation come with a sizeable price tag; it is estimated that U.S. energy infrastructure needs $2.5 trillion in investment by 2035. If we don’t meet this challenge, the growing limitations of our current system threaten to derail progress toward our long-term energy sustainability and security goals. We either invest now, or pay that much more later. The current regulatory landscape also complicates this transformation.… [more]

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