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There Oughtta Be a Law to Fix the Grid—and There Is!

Federal policies to introduce more choice in electricity supplies, and competition from new technologies and companies, continue to evolve and improve. These reforms have greatly fostered the growth of renewable energy across the United States. And a court decision today will help ensure that they continue to do so.
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The Economist Ignores Reality, Highlights Flawed Renewable Energy Study

A recent article in The Economist covers a study comparing the costs of solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, and natural gas. Alas, the study starts with a fundamental misunderstanding of how our electricity system works, and goes  downhill from there. And The Economist’s attention unfortunately helps to perpetuate those errors. Here are five examples of what went wrong. Read More

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Fracking: Energy Abundance or Crisis?

As the boom in fracking wells in the northern Appalachian Marcellus shale region now produces seven times more natural gas (methane) than in 2010, the implications for policy and impacts on the energy market are starting to show. Read More

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The Colorado Hydraulic Fracturing Deal: Amidst Politics, A Chance for Science

News broke this week of a controversial deal in Colorado around hydraulic fracturing. In exchange for the withdrawal of four ballot propositions (two promoting oil and gas development and two regulating it), the state agreed to convene a blue-ribbon panel of stakeholders to discuss how the state should handle oil and gas development. The panel will make policy recommendations to the state legislature and Governor Hickenlooper early next year. What does this mean for fracking in Colorado? Read More

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5 Reasons New Jersey Should Rejoin RGGI

Today the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is holding a public hearing on regulations to formally withdraw the state from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a market-based program designed to reduce carbon emissions from power plants in the Northeast. New Jersey needs the economic, public health, and climate benefits that RGGI brings. Here are five reasons why the state should rejoin RGGI: Read More

Categories: Energy, Global Warming  

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Solar Power on the Rise: Rooftop Solar, Large-Scale PV, CSP, and the Solar Revolution

Shining. Soaring. Skyrocketing. Solar is so exciting, we’re running out of adjectives.

The what, the why, and the where-to of America’s solar power revolution are the subjects of a new UCS report and infographic. It’s a story worth celebrating.

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Bio-what? Organic Waste Can Provide Clean Energy

Before I became president of UCS, I served as Massachusetts’ environmental commissioner, and I pushed hard to turn an environmental problem (food waste) into a clean energy solution (biogas). It is great to see that the federal government has signed on to this idea.

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Los Alamos Firing Demonstrates Exactly What’s Wrong with Scientific Integrity at the Department of Energy

Yesterday, my colleague Lisbeth Gronlund wrote about the unjust firing of James Doyle, a 17-year employee of Los Alamos National Laboratory. The PhD political scientist was fired over an academic article he wrote on his personal time—not as an official representative of the national lab—that argued for eliminating nuclear weapons. Read More

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House Testimony: Renewable Electricity Standards are Delivering Significant Economic Benefits Across the United States

Last week, I was invited to testify at the U.S. House of Representative’s Energy and Commerce Committee, Energy and Power Subcommittee’s hearing on “Laboratories of Democracy: The Economic Impacts of State Energy Policies.” My remarks focused on the tremendous success story of state renewable electricity standards (RES) and the important economic benefits they are delivering to state and local economies, as described in more detail in this 2013 UCS report. Read More

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Hot Models Try to Forecast CO2 Reductions

A hot chase over models began soon after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released draft CO2 rules June 2. Reducing CO2 (carbon-dioxide, the climate-altering pollution) in the electricity sector is not a mystery, but expecting too much from a model can be frustrating. With the CO2 rules, we have entered a new era, triggering a great clamoring amongst policymakers and advocates to get comfortable with the models. Temperatures are rising, and it is not just the hot summer weather. Read More

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