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China's First 3rd-Party Study on Regional Air Quality Management Across 30 Provinces

September 2, 2015 by Jenny Tang

China Air Quality

In 2013, China State Council issued the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan 2013-2017 (aka “Ten Measures of Air”), setting a new precedent for governmental air pollution management efforts. One year after the Action Plan’s launch, what have China’s provinces and cities done to meet these requirements?[read more]

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Nuclear Retirements Would Sabotage Clean Power Plan Carbon Reductions

September 1, 2015 by Jesse Jenkins
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Nuclear power and the EPA Clean Power Plan

The EPA believes it’s new regulations will cut carbon emissions 32% by 2030. Reaching that goal depends on nuclear continuing to supply one-fifth of U.S. electricity. Retirements of existing reactors could sabotage the Clean Power Plan's emissions goals—and the EPA can't stop it. Here's why...[read more]

3 Months to Paris: Why the Inevitable Disappointment in the Paris Round is a Sign of a Maturing GHG Management Landscape

September 1, 2015 by Dan Zilnik
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The environmental community is sure to be disappointed by the Paris UN Climate Convention. The headlines after the November/ December 2015 UN Climate Convention in Paris are sure to be identical to the headlines for the last 15 years: “climate activists disappointed," etc.[read more]

A "Great Reversal" in China? Coal Continues to Decline with Enforcement of Environmental Laws

August 31, 2015 by Hao Tan
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China Coal Reversal

Two stories dominate China’s energy trajectory right now. The first is that reports from three agencies all point to the continuing decline in use of coal in the first half of 2015, continuing a trajectory already notable in 2014. The other side of this story is the determination to enforce pollution regulation.[read more]

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Mexico's Energy Reforms: Is the Country Now Open for Business? [PODCAST]

August 28, 2015 by Robert Rapier

A Discussion of Mexico's Energy Reforms

In August 2014, Mexico enacted a series of comprehensive energy reform laws, promising to radically transform the electricity and oil and gas sectors. Long controlled by state-owned companies, Mexican President Peña Nieto intended the reforms to open his nation's energy sector for new investment.[read more]

The Best Shot for Slowing Climate Impacts in Alaska and the Arctic

August 28, 2015 by Durwood Zaelke
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Arctic Melting and Risk in Alaska

I worked in Alaska many years ago as a young attorney defending the forests, fisheries and other remarkable natural resources of the last frontier. The “termination dust” that fell every fall ahead of the deep freeze of winter made my job easier, providing an annual pause in development.[read more]

Hottest Month On Record Portends Global Warming Speed Up

August 25, 2015 by Joseph Romm
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Monthly Temps and Global Warming Risk

Last month was not just the hottest July on record. Since July is “the warmest month of the year globally,” NOAA’s latest monthly State of the Climate Report, notes that July 2015 “was also the highest among all 1627 months in the record that began in January 1880.”[read more]

Assessing the INDCs

August 24, 2015 by David Hone

Countries and their Contributions

It is now just 100 days until COP21 in Paris. The summer months have seen many INDCs submitted to the UNFCCC prior to the assessment deadline of October 1st. This is the date when the UNFCCC secretariat will start work on a synthesis report on the aggregate effect of the INDCs.[read more]

Major Fossil Fuel-Producing States Rely Heavily on Severance Taxes

August 24, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Fossil Fuel Production and Taxes

Severance taxes accounted for less than 2% of state tax collections in 2014, but in three states severance taxes provided a much larger share of total state tax revenue in that year. Pennsylvania is considering a severance tax, and currently derives less than 1% of its revenues from a well head fee.[read more]

EPA Methane Rule: A Good Start Toward Meeting Administration's Landmark Goal

August 24, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange

EPA Methane Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took a big step recently, announcing the nation’s first methane pollution standards for the oil and gas industry. But to understand the impact of these new draft rules, it’s important to look at what they do – and what they don’t.[read more]

Troubles With America's First Clean Coal Plant Put Mississippi Power 'on the Brink of Bankruptcy'

August 20, 2015 by Stephen Lacey
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Months after a landmark carbon capture project in Illinois was scrapped after losing government funding, the builder of America's first commercial-scale clean coal project in Kemper County, Mississippi is facing financial troubles due to soaring costs and long construction delays.[read more]

Syria Diplomacy and Oil: Geopolitics May Change Oil Outlook Dramatically Again

August 19, 2015 by Amy Myers Jaffe
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As the U.S. Congress gears up to debate the merits of the nuclear deal signed between Iran and the P5+1 powers last July, the Obama Administration is working overtime to get Mideast diplomacy off the ground to prove that the politically controversial deal is paying the way for a better Middle East.[read more]

Out On A Limb: Energy Storage To Track Rapid Development Of Marcellus Shale, PV

August 19, 2015 by Dennis Wamsted
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Storage and Energy Development

Predicting the future is hard, I get it, but it shocks me how abysmally wrong some of the smartest people in the business can be, even with the best information, such as a recent interview with John Rowe, who acknowledged that he and his executive team essentially missed the coming shale gas revolution.[read more]

Why the Pope is Wrong on Markets

August 18, 2015 by Maximilian Auffhammer
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Pope Francis, Climate Change, and Markets

I recently read the 'Laudato Si,' which carries the subtitle “On care for our common home”. This is a well researched position paper which touches on a variety of topics and makes it very clear that the pope cares much more about distributional issues than the average economist.[read more]

Earth Overshoot: Running on Empty

August 18, 2015 by Tom Schueneman

Earth and the Limitations of Resources

According to data from the Global Footprint Network, August 13, 2015 was officially “Earth Overshoot Day.” We have now used nature’s entire budget for the year. Global Footprint Monitor tracks humanity’s demand on natural resources against nature’s ability to accommodate that demand, also known as biocapacity.[read more]