Energy

Got oil?

According to research compiled by the staff at The Oil Drum, we may have hit peak oil production in 2008. Many experts predicted that peak oil would happen sometime around now, although perhaps not for another decade or so. If this research is correct, then we should expect a corresponding decrease in the supply of …

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DiFi defends the Desert Tortoise

As one example of the growing conflict over use of sensitive lands for renewable energy projects (Ann recently blogged about this tension here), check out Sen. Feinstein’s letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asking that the BLM suspend consideration of proposed leases on federal lands near Joshua Tree National Park being considered for solar energy fields.  “While …

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Renewable Energy and Economic Stimulus: Better Luck This Time Around

The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, better known as the economic stimulus package, throws 11 billion dollars at infrastructure development to support renewable energy, particularly improvement and expansion of transmission grids.  It’s characterized as a win-win scenario, getting people back to work while smoothing the way for substantially less carbon-intensive energy generation.  That’s quite a …

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An Invitation to Explore the Connections Between Constitutional & Environmental Law

These days, more and more of the most important environmental law disputes arise in the crucible of constitutional law.  Preemption, the Dormant Commerce Clause, the foreign powers doctrine, constitutional principles of standing to sue and the separation of powers doctrine are all doctrines of constitutional law that have been invoked in much of the most …

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U.S. state insurance regulators take step toward addressing climate risk

I’ve spent some time over the past two years studying the relationship between the insurance industry and climate change.  Yesterday there was an important development in this area: the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) , the group of state regulators that collectively regulate insurance in the U.S., adopted for the first time a requirement that large insurers …

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Must Be Green to Apply — Unless You’re Not Green

Not all “green” transmission lines are good for the environment. E&E Daily reports on Thursday’s hearing before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Commitee discussing separate transmission siting and planning bills circulated by Senators Reid and Bingaman.  Both would expand Federal siting authority and require regional planning for transmission lines intended to deliver renewable …

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Environmentalists v. Environmentalists: The Case of Alternative Energy

A shift to alternative forms of energy and away from conventional carbon-intensive fuels like coal forms the centerpiece of virtually all carbon-reducing strategies.  28 states have enacted mandatory renewable portfolio standards (RPS) (requiring their utilities to procure a set percentage of energy from alternative/renewable sources); the President’s stimulus package includes block grant money and tax …

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From Our Far Flung Correspondents: Copenhagen Day 3

A  Ph.D student in the Berkeley Energy and Resources program  writes: The third & final day of the climate conference dawned bright & sunny in Copenhagen, and I jammed myself & my poster onto a packed subway car for the trip back to the Bella Center. Trains run every 2-4 minutes in Copenhagen at rush hour; …

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Failing to “Do the Math”

Remember that DOE canceled the demonstration project for carbon sequestration in Matton, Illinois because of cost over-runs.  It turns out that they screwed up the numbers, according to GAO.  Now that DOE has a Nobel prize winner at the helm, maybe its math skills will improve.

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Van Jones to CEQ

Another potentially great Obama appointment today to CEQ — a White House entity that might as well stand for Climate and Energy Questions these days.  This from Greenwire: Author and activist Van Jones will serve as a special White House adviser for “green” jobs, enterprise and innovation. Jones, 40, will work within the Council on Environmental …

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