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The Case for Nuclear Central Station Power

Author(s): David Hammer
J.C. Ward Jr. Professor of Nuclear Energy Engineering
Cornell University
Date: September 9, 2015 at 9:30 AM

 “Sustainable future” advocates seem to believe that solar, wind and hydro-electricity will eventually make up close to 100% of our energy generation, but there are benefits to having “central station” power plants in addition to distributed power generation. If the goal is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while assuring the health of our economy, the most viable way of generating central station power at present is nuclear fission. Central station power complements distributive power generation in two important ways.  Central station power plants are better able produce power on a small area relatively close to where the energy will… [more]

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What Will EPA’s Ozone Rule Mean for the Energy Sector?

Author(s): Mark Drajem
Editor
Bloomberg's First Word Energy
Date: September 1, 2015 at 8:00 AM

After years of discussion and delay, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to finalize ozone standards in the coming weeks. It’s a rule long in the making: EPA’s decision during the Bush administration to set the standard at 75 parts per billion was challenged in court by health and environmental organizations as insufficient. At the beginning of the Obama administration, the EPA said it would reconsider the standard, but that initiative was tossed out by President Obama in the lead up to 2012 election. The move summed up the discord between the president and environmentalists in his first term.… [more]

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Thermoelectrics: Converting Waste Heat to Power?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: August 24, 2015 at 12:30 PM

NASA has used thermoelectric energy, or the conversion of waste heat to electricity, for decades to power spacecraft and the Mars Science Laboratory Rover. However, thermoelectric energy has attracted minimal attention in the alternative-energy world due to its limited commercial viability, until recently. Last year, Michigan State University (MSU) with the support of the Lawrence Berkley National Lab developed a new class of thermoelectrics using a compound called tetrahedrite that is believed to be more cost-effective and has the potential for everyday use. One start-up finding success building on the findings from MSU is Alphabet Energy. They have developed a stand-alone… [more]

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Fuse

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: August 21, 2015 at 9:30 AM

The Fuse (www.energyfuse.org) is a trusted online resource that presents timely written analysis, visual data, infographics, interviews, videos, and other content on a wide range of issues related to oil markets, alternative fuel vehicles, domestic energy policy and national security.

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A Regional Approach to Offshore Wind?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: August 18, 2015 at 12:00 PM

According to The Department of Energy (DOE), the United States has 4,000 GW of offshore wind energy potential, with the strongest winds located off the North Eastern Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). There are currently no operational offshore wind farms in the country, but the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has identified 18 states which are involved in early stage offshore wind projects. High profile offshore projects like Cape Wind have faced stiff opposition over the last decade and the first project to begin construction, Block Island, has only recently done so. Utilities and regulators have raised concerns about… [more]

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What’s on the Fall Congressional Agenda?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: August 10, 2015 at 12:00 PM

While the Clean Power Plan has attracted a great deal of attention in recent weeks, a number of Congressional initiatives may well be the focus of the fall legislative session. With both the House and Senate considering what would be the first comprehensive energy packages since 2007, energy promises to play a prominent role when the congressional session resumes in September. A few potential initiatives include: Senate Energy and Natural Resource (ENR) Committee: ENR passed the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015. The bipartisan bill includes five titles focused on Efficiency, Infrastructure, Supply, Accountability and Conservation. House Energy and Commerce… [more]

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House Coal Ash Bill is a Step Backwards in Public Health

Author(s): Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY)
Chair, Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Environment & Climate Change, U.S. House of Representatives
Co-Chair, Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition
Date: August 4, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Recently, House Republicans passed H.R. 1734, the so called Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015, a direct attack on public health and the environment. This bill undermines important health protections in EPA’s final coal ash rule from last December by delaying implementation of coal ash disposal restrictions, letting utilities avoid publicly posting contamination data and allowing companies to continue dumping coal ash into leaking surface impounds for as many as eight years after contamination is documented. It enables harmful substances to remain in contact with aquifers, wetlands, and in seismic impact zones with serious implications for cleanup requirements,… [more]

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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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