natural gas

New Report: Accelerating Building Decarbonization

Solutions to drive the electrification transition / Expert webinar February 23

Today, the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) at Berkeley Law and the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA Law are releasing a new report, Building toward Decarbonization, which highlights the key barriers and policy solutions to accelerate building electrification retrofits in California’s high-priority communities. California’s ambitious commitment to …

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Renewable Energy in the Southwest

Despite Trump, the needle has kept moving in the right direction.

The sun is intense in the desert Southwest.  During the Trump years, the federal government has hard worked to promote fossil fuels. Trump also has been no friend of renewable energy. This has not stopped progress toward a cleaner energy mix in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. Arizona Arizona’s current power mix is about …

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Coal Takes a Nosedive

Despite Trump’s efforts to save it, the most environmentally destructive fuel is fading quickly.

In the 2016 election, Trump pledged to save coal. Since then, his Administration has pulled out all the stops in this effort, including repeal of dozens of environmental regulations.  All for naught. In 2021, U.S. coal use will be 30% below what it is when Trump took office. Coal’s immediate situation is even worse, due …

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Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste

Coronavirus, Climate Change, and the Global Energy Transition

There has been no shortage of commentary on what the Coronavirus pandemic means for climate action and for the energy industry.  Obviously, it is too early to draw firm conclusions, but the last several weeks have made clear that the crisis is affecting the entire energy economy in profound ways and that our collective response …

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Deregulating Methane No Matter What

Emmett Institute faculty submit letter opposing Trump’s proposed rollback on methane regulations

Recently, my colleague Sean Hecht and I jointly submitted a comment letter opposing a new EPA Proposed Rule that would roll back standards limiting methane emissions from oil and natural gas production, processing, transmission, and storage facilities. This Proposed Rule essentially revokes two Obama-era regulations, finalized in 2012 and 2016, that first established these methane …

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: Methane, Black Carbon, and HFCs

Post #5 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the fifth post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world. The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] One of the most important actions we can take to combat climate change is to halt the emission of …

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Renewable Energy on the Lower Mississippi

From Missouri to Louisiana to Alabama, fundamental similarities but individual differences.

The states in the lower Mississippi basin have a lot in common. From Missouri down to Louisiana and Alabama, they all voted for Trump. These states – Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee – were all part of the Confederacy. (I’m stretching geography a bit by including Alabama, since only the top of the state …

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The Federal Government Has *Always* Shaped the Energy System

Obama was criticized for intruding the federal government into energy policy. But that’s nothing new.

To hear some of the debate, you’d think that the Obama Administration breached some longstanding barrier that left energy policy to the states and the market. If there ever was such a barrier, it disappeared over a century ago, with the onset of World War I.  Ever since then, the federal government has been actively …

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The Growing Schism Between Coal and Oil

They’re both fossil fuels, but their producers don’t always have the same policy views.

Bush’s environmental policies were bad, but Trump’s policies are way worse.  One reason is that Bush and Cheney were oilman, and Trump is obsessed with coal. Yes, oil and coal are both fossil fuels, but they have different economics and different policy stances. These are two very different industries. The U.S. coal companies are in …

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Cheaper, Cleaner Power

The cheapest new power today: gas, wind, solar. Almost never coal.

What’s the cheapest way to add power to the grid where you live?  Unless you live near Lake Superior, the answer isn’t coal — not even in West Virginia or Kentucky. Beyond that, the exact answer depends on just what you means by cheap. A major study from UT Austin digs deep into this question. …

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