energy conservation

Why Energy Conservation Will Remain Crucial

Even after switching to clean power, we’ll still need to limit energy use.

If we switch to renewables, we won’t need to worry about saving energy. Right? Wrong! One reason to save energy is to limit carbon emissions from the energy we  use. That’s going to important until the energy system has been completely cleaned up. But energy conservation is important for reasons that go beyond the direct …


An Inconvenient Logic

Justice Scalia’s argument in the FERC case contradicts his attack on Obamacare.

They say consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. If so, Justice Scalia is in good shape. His argument last week in the FERC argument was totally inconsistent with his argument against the constitutionality of Obamacare. Both cases involve change in the incentives to enter a market in the first place. In the Obamacare case, …


Mayor Villaraigosa, This is NOT How You Do Environmental Policy

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa likes to talk green at every opportunity, but most of his environmental initiatives fall flat due to lack of follow-through (no one has ever accused him of too long of an attention span), his own political incentives, or both.  He pushed a charter amendment to mandate the development of solar power for the …


New Energy Publications from the National Academy of Sciences

Assessment of Technologies for Improving Light Duty Vehicle Fuel Economy estimates the potential fuel savings and costs for three types of engines: spark-ignition gasoline, compression-ignition diesel, and hybrid.  Adapting the full combination of improved technologies in medium and large cars and pickup trucks with spark-ignition engines could reduce fuel consumption by 29 percent at an …


Cool Cars For California

Those California environmental regulators: there they go again… This past week, California’s Air Resources Board adopted first-ever regulations requiring auto manufacturers to include sun-reflecting window glass for all cars and light trucks sold within the state. The new rules take effect in 2014. It turns out that conventional vehicle windows waste a lot of energy. …


The Bush Legacy

The New York Times has a story this morning that tries to summarize Bush’s environmental legacy.  As the story points out, there are positive notes, like the diesel regulations and the last-minute designation of marine sanctuaries.  Yet, the overall message is negative.  The Bush Administration will largely be remembered as a time of environmental setbacks …