Cutting 290,000 Tons of Water Pollution a Year, One Coal Plant at a Time
Coal is a dirty fuel. It’s not just air pollution or climate change.
EPA proposed new regulations next week to reduce the water pollution impacts of coal-fired power plants. As EPA regulations go, these count as fairly minor. They got a bit of news coverage in coal country and industry publications. But they will eliminate the discharge of thousands of tons of pollutants, including a lot of metals …
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A Taste of Things to Come
Welcome to 2023. It’s going to be a wild ride.
In the past week, we’ve gotten a glimpse of what the next two years will look like. On the one hand, chaos in Congress. On the other hand, quiet progress toward environmental goals by the Biden Administration. Both trends are likely to continue throughout this Congress and the second half of the presidential term. The …
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Emissions by the Big Utilities: Where They Are, What They’re Aiming For
Almost all the top ten utilities are big emitters today but looking to cut back.
There’s a lot of discussion of how the private sector is supporting renewable energy, but it’s almost all about power consumers like Apple and Walmart. But what about the companies who are selling the power? As a first step to getting a better sense of where the utility industry is going, we accumulated some basic …
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Ways of Price Making, Inflation, and Energy Price Shocks
This post was originally published on the Law and Political Economy blog as part of a symposium on inflation. Energy prices have been much in the news over the past several months, occupying a prominent place in mainstream discussions of inflation. Higher prices for oil, natural gas, coal, and electricity are all pushing up inflation across …
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Aggregating the Harms of Fossil Fuels
They’re even worse than you probably thought.
The decision at the Glasgow climate conference to phase down fossil fuels is an important step forward — and not just because of climate change. We think of fossil fuels as a source of climate change, but that’s only a one part of the problem. From their extraction to their combustion, everything about them is …
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Guest Contributor Jetta Cook: Greater Than the Sum: Sub-national Renewable Energy Policy during the Trump Administration
Even Red-States Supported and Increased Renewable Energy during the Trump Administration
Below the federal level, it’s difficult to discern the impact that the Trump Administration had on energy policy. To take a closer look, I conducted a fifty-state survey to discern how state, local, and public utility actions affecting energy policy came together as a whole over the past four years. Across the nation, I found, …
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Creating New Jobs in Coal Country and the Oil Patch
How can we help carbon-dependent communities transition economically?
One of the goals of Biden’s clean energy and infrastructure proposals is to provide an economic boost to people who will otherwise lose out in the transition to a sustainable economy. He has similar plans for “environmental justice” communities. This is a great goal, but it may be more difficult than it seems. In a …
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Keeping It All In the Ground?
Exploring legal options for congressional and executive actions to terminate existing fossil fuel leases on federal lands.
The Biden Administration has set aggressive goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the United States. And a necessary component for any long-term plan to address greenhouse gas emissions from the United States is reducing and ultimately eliminating the emissions from fossil fuels produced on federal lands. Why is this such a critical …
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Where “Old King Coal” Still Holds Court
Use of coal is dwindling across the country, but very unevenly. We need to give it a good shove.
The NY Times ran a story last week about a coal area in Wyoming that is embracing renewable energy as its economic future. Residents of Carbon County, WY, aren’t necessarily happy about it but they recognize that the times are changing. As one county commissioner said, “You can stand at the tracks when the train …
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Renewable Energy in the Midwest
Under Trump, it’s been a mixed picture, with progress except in two states. What were Midwestern states doing during the four years Trump was busy promoting fossil fuels? States with Democratic governors are making progress. Of the three states under unified Republican control, two are trying to prop up coal. Ohio has decreased support for …
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