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Energy Security

Shrinking the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

November 24, 2015 by Geoffrey Styles

Last month's Congressional budget compromise included plans to sell 58 million barrels of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The world has changed enormously since the SPR was established in the 1970s, but the realignment of such an asset for the 21st century deserves a full strategic review and debate.[read more]

The Small Steps That Will Lead to a Low-Carbon Economy

November 24, 2015 by Steven Cohen

The world heads toward the Paris Climate talks in a few weeks, but after the conference, when everyone comes home, these large-scale policy discussions will be replaced by small-scale management decisions and the day-to-day actions that will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.[read more]

Let the Planning Continue, Part 2: Even in States that have Sued EPA, Progress Toward Compliance

November 24, 2015 by Frank Swigonski

State Policy and the CPP

The publication of the final Clean Power Plan prompted a suite of suits from states, both in opposition and in support of the rule. However, the vast majority of states have started some part of the process of convening stakeholders, soliciting public input, and talking with EPA - even if those states that are suing.[read more]

Paris Can Be a Key Step

November 23, 2015 by Robert Stavins

My purpose today, in this essay, is to explain why I believe that the Paris climate talks may in fact turn out to be a key step in the international negotiations, and more important, a significant step in efforts to address the threat of climate change.[read more]

While You Were Distracted by Keystone XL

November 23, 2015 by Robert Rapier

Earlier this month, after a debate that spanned nearly the entire duration of his presidency, President Obama finally rejected the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project. He had been heavily criticized on this issue from many angles, including by me, for his long-running failure to make a decision.[read more]

Let the Planning Continue, Part 1: With Lawsuits as Backdrop, States Make Progress on Clean Power Plan

November 23, 2015 by Frank Swigonski

Clean Power Plan and State Choices

The publication of the final Clean Power Plan (CPP) in the Federal Register on October 23rd prompted a suite of suits from states, both in opposition and in support of the rule. This post provides a scorecard on the states currently involved in the legal action — 45 in all.[read more]

Nuking Clean Energy: How Nuclear Power Makes Wind and Solar Harder

November 20, 2015 by Ivy Main

Nuclear and Renewables

Dominion CEO Tom Farrell is bullish on nuclear energy as a clean solution in a carbon-constrained economy, but he’s got it wrong. Nuclear is a barrier to a clean-energy future, not a piece of it. That’s only partly because new nuclear is so expensive that there’s little room left in a utility budget to build wind and solar.[read more]

John Holdren on Nuclear Energy's Importance as Ultra-Low Carbon Power Source: White House Summit on Nuclear Energy

November 20, 2015 by Rod Adams

Nuclear Energy and Carbon Reduction

John Holdren holds what might be the longest title available in the current Administration. He is Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.[read more]

Jacopo Buongiorno: Bringing Outside Knowledge to the Nuclear Industry

November 20, 2015 by Energy @ MIT

Nuclear Industry Knowledge

Here’s a paradox facing today’s nuclear power industry: On one hand, an exciting range of new fission and fusion reactor technologies has spawned a number of startups. But market dynamics have conspired against the uptake of enabling technologies developed in other fields that could bring new options to nuclear.[read more]

The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum: And Now for Something Completely Different

November 20, 2015 by David Hone

CCS Conference

The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum held its 6th Ministerial Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The conference offered considerable opportunity for governments and companies to showcase their achievements in carbon capture and storage and to highlight areas in which R&D was proceeding.[read more]

North Dakota Natural Gas Flaring Targets Challenged by Rapid Production Growth

November 20, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Gas Flaring and Production Risks

Increases in North Dakota's crude oil production have resulted in increased associated natural gas production from oil reservoirs. Because of insufficient infrastructure to collect, gather, and transport this natural gas, about one-fifth of North Dakota's natural gas production is flared rather than marketed.[read more]

Symbolic Politics, the Keystone Pipeline, and Climate Policy in the Real World

November 18, 2015 by Steven Cohen

From burying a car at the first Earth Day to the campaign to ban the Keystone Pipeline, United States environmentalists have long demonstrated an affinity for symbolic politics. Symbols have meaning and can influence perceptions and values.[read more]

Utilities, RTOs/ISOs Eye Clean Power Plan Compliance, Regionally and Individually

November 18, 2015 by Frank Swigonski

EPA Reglation and Clean Power Planning

While states ponder their role in compliance with the now-final Clean Power Plan, the ultimate action will be in the electric power sector itself. Utilities and other generators are making early moves to prepare for, if not get ahead of, EPA requirements.[read more]

One Million Tonnes of CO2

November 18, 2015 by David Hone

Carbon Capture and Storage

The first week of November sees Shell officially open its first major carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility, called the Quest project. It is in Alberta, Canada and will capture and store about one million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum.[read more]

Uses of Revenues from Carbon Pricing

November 17, 2015 by Adam Whitmore

The introduction of carbon pricing is often accompanied by concerns about the effects on energy prices on lower income households. Rises in electricity prices to households due to pricing of power sector emissions are of concern even under schemes such as the EUETS which do not directly cover households.[read more]