Tag archives for economy

Which is more important: Meeting energy demand, lowering carbon emissions, or conserving water? How about all three? The Three Big Challenges Facing the Electric Power Industry The U.S. electric power industry has huge challenges to meet in the coming decades. First and foremost it has to meet growing demand for electricity. By 2050 it is…

The United States and China are talking different languages when it comes to reducing carbon emissions.

Peak Oil Flip-Flop

There’s a new twist in the “peak oil” debate. Is it good news for the climate? Peak Oil Question Remains, Debate Continues Ever since M. King Hubbert advanced the theory of peak oil in 1956, experts and non-experts alike have been debating about timing and relevance. (See here, here, here and here.) Hubbert’s argument seems like a…

Hoping for lower prices at the pump? Don’t hold your breath. Here’s why. During presidential election years, pretty much anything can become a political football. And so it‘s not surprising that with gasoline prices well above $3 a gallon, the cost of gasoline has become a topic on the stump. Mitt Romney and his fellow…

Oil, gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, efficiency. Which are the Republican hopefuls’ priorities? This week, it’s convention time for the Republican presidential and vice presidential nominees. Last week, the Romney-Ryan team rolled out its energy policy [pdf] for the nation. Entitled “The Romney Plan For A Stronger Middle Class: ENERGY INDEPENDENCE,” the new plan, running…

Congress, businesses, and consumers show an appetite for the proverbial low-hanging fruit. Remember the Brouhaha Over the Light Bulb Efficiency Standard? On December 19, 2007, the Energy Independence and Security Act [pdf] became law with bipartisan Congressional support and a stroke of President George W. Bush’s pen. The bill attempts to reduce energy consumption and…

Our neighbor to the south plans to swim against the tide. The tide in question is the world’s rising emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), and with the March 2012 data from the Mauna Loa Observatory now in, that tide has risen to new heights. At 394.45 parts per million, it is the highest monthly average…

Can jobs be more than a talking point in the debate over energy? It’s not just a rhetorical question. It’s not a surprise that jobs and the economy consistently show up as the number-one issue for voters this election year. It’s also no surprise that the both sides of the energy debate use estimates of…

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released long-awaited greenhouse gas rules for new power plants this week. Using the Clean Air Act, the agency standard would set the first national limits on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions new power plants can emit. The EPA proposed the rule after delaying it several times since July 2011. Power plants are the largest…

It’s probably a safe bet that nearly everything this election year, including energy policy, is going to be viewed through the prism of jobs. And fair enough: the Great Recession cost us nearly 8.4 million of them, after a decade where America barely broke even on job growth. Surveys show the economy as the public’s…

In the past, it was unions vs. mining companies. Today, environmentalists are lining up against mining companies over the practice of large-scale surface mining, aka mountaintop removal, in the Central Appalachians. Environmentalists claim the process permanently scars the land and pollutes the water. Mining interests maintain that pollution is limited, the land can be reclaimed, and coal mining is critical to West Virginia’s — and the nation’s — economic health.

Today, America relies on oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear to power our country. But our aging infrastructure demands refurbishment to meet 21st century needs. As Amory Lovins explains in his upcoming book, Reinventing Fire, efficiency and renewables can end our addiction to fossil fuels, create the core industries of the new energy era, generate…

Whether at Christmas time or in the heat of summer, nobody likes a lump of coal. Unfortunately, that’s what the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is delivering in its latest report.

A city of 300 in Alaska is at the cutting edge of bioenergy. The Backstory It’s ironic. In resource- and fossil fuel-rich Alaska, Tanana residents are paying more than seven times the national rate for their electricity and are shipping in diesel fuel to heat their buildings and water. Probably the name Tanana (pronounced TAN-uh-naw)…

The Shale Quandary

Does the good outweigh the bad? The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s report on “Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 2009” was officially released on March 31st. Two of its key conclusions: Total U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases were down by about 5.8 percent relative to 2008 — a…

The people who spend their lives buying and selling oil are making big bets that the price is going up, with a number of analysts predicting the return of $100 per barrel oil within months. This makes a lot of people nervous, for good reason. When oil gets expensive, life tends to get ugly. The…