natural gas

Gone, Baby, Gone: The Death of Appalachian Coal

It’s not just cheap natural gas. Even a coal industry revival wouldn’t help Appalachia.

Trump has promised to end the “war on coal” and bring the industry roaring back. The NY Times appropriately called this a “cruel promise,” because cheap natural gas has driven coal to its knees economically.  That won’t change under Trump, who has promised even more fracking and gas production.  But, as it turns out, even …

CONTINUE READING

Guest Bloggers Alice Kaswan and Kirsten Engel: Untapped Potential: Emissions Reduction Initiatives Beyond Clean Power Plan Are Warranted, Workable

New Report Analyzes Potential for Further Emissions Reduction from Existing Sources

Guest post by Alice Kaswan (University of San Francisco School of Law), Kirsten H. Engel (University of Arizona School of Law) It’s been a month since the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments on the Clean Power Plan, and the nation is in wait-and-see mode. But our report, Untapped Potential: The Carbon Reductions Left Out of …

CONTINUE READING

Creating An Exit Strategy for Our Use of Natural Gas

To meet long-term greenhouse gas reduction goals, all fossil fuels have to go, even natural gas.

Coal is the climate’s Public Enemy #1. The use of natural gas has helped to ensure that the coal problem has not become even worse. Without natural gas, we would use more coal for space heating and for many more industrial processes than is currently the practice. Without natural gas, our reliance on coal for …

CONTINUE READING

Public Prosecutors Zero In on SoCal Gas, Porter Ranch Disaster

California Attorney General, L.A. District Attorney File New Enforcement Prosecutions

The massive leak from Southern California Gas Company’s Aliso Canyon natural gas field in northwestern Los Angeles County was discovered on October 23rd of last year and, more than three months later, shows no sign of abating.  Public prosecutors have pretty clearly lost patience with SoCal gas and its ineffective remediation efforts to date.  This …

CONTINUE READING

Fracking and the Environment

A new RFF report sheds light on the critical issues.

There are a lot of unanswered questions about natural gas and fracking.  A recent report by Resources for the Future sheds light on some of the answers.  RFF is unusual among Washington think tanks — an honest broker that uses expertise to try to answer hard questions.  The report reaches three important conclusions. The first …

CONTINUE READING

A Bridge Made of Natural Gas Is a Shaky Thing

When will we start to manage our natural gas resources?

For the last half century, domestic natural gas policy has looked something like this: Natural gas is the cleanest of the fossil fuels. It is versatile and economical. So, let’s pull it out of the ground and use it as fast as we can. In the last decade, the policy has been appended to include …

CONTINUE READING

Ten Energy Stories to Watch in 2014

What will shake the energy world this year?

In our energy law classes at Cal, we like to start the day by talking about Energy in the News. The media never fails us. Every day, there are multiple energy-related stories of significance touching on resource development, new technologies, policy shifts, jobs, regional politics, prices, international relations, or the environment. Once you start looking …

CONTINUE READING

With Utility Power Purchases, Does the Environment Matter?

When does the approval of a contract trigger environmental review?

If an electric utility asks regulators to approve a contract to purchase power from someone else’s power plant, should the regulators consider the environmental implications before saying yes or no? Of course they should. But let me ask the question again, using a bit of California legalese: Does a decision by the California Public Utilities …

CONTINUE READING

Not Enough Money in the Pipeline

When regulators approve rates for a utility such as Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), they are making their best guess as to how much money the company will need to cover various kinds of activities. The utility starts out the process by offering its position on how much it will need for things like …

CONTINUE READING

King Coal’s Fading Grip

According to a new study from Duke, coal may be on the way out. as “[l]ow natural gas prices and stricter, federal emission regulations are promoting a shift away from coal power plants and toward natural gas plants as the lowest-cost means of generating electricity in the United States.” The authors estimate that “the economic …

CONTINUE READING

TRENDING