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Ohio Senate President Stacks the Deck against Renewable Energy

Ohio’s clean energy standards may never get the evidence and science-based review that was promised. Last week, Ohio senate president Keith Faber appointed outspoken opponents of renewable energy and energy efficiency to a committee supposedly intended to do an objective review of Ohio’s clean energy standards. Most disappointing is the inclusion of Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), who has waged a biased and misleading campaign against Ohio’s clean energy standards for the past two years. Read More

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Climate, Carbon, and Clarity

Guest Bogger

Christopher Gambino, Ph.D. Candidate
Nitrogen Systems: Policy-oriented Integrated Research and Education (NSPIRE) IGERT Fellow, Washington State University

Pullman, WA

I’m as passionate as anyone about the reality of climate change (no really, it’s real) and the need to adapt now to its threats and alleviate the major drivers. Yet, as our nation and its leaders narrow the debate around one particular cause, vital sign, metric, or goal, we fall short in truly protecting and preserving our world for future generations. Read More

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The Colorado Oil and Gas Task Force: Still a Chance for Science to Inform Fracking Policy

When news broke last month that the state of Colorado would be creating a blue-ribbon task force to study the impacts and inform regulation of hydraulic fracturing in the state, I wrote about the opportunity for science. In a state that has been ground zero in the fracking debate in many ways, this is a chance, I wrote, for Colorado to take a step back and consider how science can better inform oil and gas development there. Unfortunately, yesterday’s announcement of the task force membership shows this has yet to be the case. Read More

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Cap and Trade: Alive and Well

After reading his obituary, Mark Twain famously remarked that “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” When a national climate bill failed in 2010, a lot of people said that so-called cap and trade programs to cut heat-trapping gases were dead. The claim was exaggerated then, and proven wrong now. Recent results in the northeast and California show that cap and trade is alive and well, and poised to expand in the next several years. 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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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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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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Pennsylvania and the Clean Power Plan

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed the first-ever limits on carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, designed to begin to address the consequences of climate change. The agency has proposed a flexible framework that allows states to decide for themselves how to meet the emissions reductions targets. For many states, the required emissions reductions are actually quite modest, and at UCS we see an opportunity for states to be more ambitious in developing renewable energy in particular. Here I explore what the carbon standard means for Pennsylvania. Read More

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As EPA Hearings Begin, Colorado Makes Strides toward Reducing Carbon Emissions

On July 30, I will be testifying in support of the EPA’s power plant carbon standard at a hearing in Denver. As one of four locations where the EPA will be seeking public comment on the draft rule this week, Colorado is a mighty fine choice. The Rocky Mountain State is well positioned to exceed its proposed carbon emissions reduction target and serves as an excellent example of how a state can successfully transition toward a low-carbon, clean energy economy. Read More

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