Join
Search

Michigan Needs a Stronger Renewable Energy Standard

Guest Bogger

Dr. John Patten
Professor and Chair, Department of Manufacturing Engineering, and Director, Manufacturing Research Center, Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, MI

The idea of switching over to renewable energy really came together for me during the oil embargoes of the 1970s, while I was in college and working at General Motors. I could not get gas for my car and we could not get enough oil for lubricants, cutting fluids and hydraulics at work. These events put me on a 40-year career path working in clean energy, starting with studying solar energy at the University of Florida and Oakland University, to working as an energy engineer, and I’ve been practicing and implementing what I learned ever since. Read More

Bookmark and Share

Supreme Court Decision in Favor of the Cross State Air Pollution Rule Is a Major Win for Public Health

Today’s Supreme Court ruling reinstating limits on sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from coal-fired power plants, as required by the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), is a significant victory for our public health. Read More

Bookmark and Share

Earth Day Ideas: Looking for Air Leaks in all the Right Places

Still looking for an impactful Earth Day activity? You could do a lot worse than enlisting the family to spend a few hours finding and sealing up air leaks in and around your home. While often considered a fall-time endeavor, air sealing now can make a discernible difference with the hot summer months right around the corner. It’s one of the quickest, easiest, and most cost-effective ways to lower your carbon emissions and get a little Cooler and Smarter in the process. Here’s the why and how. Read More

Bookmark and Share

Power Outages, Extreme Weather, and Climate Change: How Smart Energy Choices Will Help Keep the Lights On

Our nation’s aging electricity system is increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather events — including flooding, extreme heat, drought, and wildfires — which often cause power outages. Today UCS released a new report called Power Failure, which describes how extreme weather events are likely to increase in the future as global temperatures continue to rise, with major consequences for the electricity sector. Read More

Bookmark and Share

Which Costs More? Transmission Lines for 10x More Renewable Energy, or Pipelines for 2x More Natural Gas

Two recent reports make clear that long-distance gas pipeline infrastructure will cost more than the transmission investment needed for achieving 80% renewable electricity. The Keystone XL pipeline is just one new pipeline – let’s think about the energy system we are building. Read More

Categories: Energy, Fossil Fuels, Global Warming  

Bookmark and Share

President Obama’s Plan to Cut Methane Emissions Will Help Reduce Climate Risks of Natural Gas

On Friday, the Obama Administration released a multi-sector strategy to cut methane emissions from agriculture, landfills, coal mines, and oil and gas production. This is an important step to reduce the climate risks of natural gas — as long as we get the details right — and to create a more level playing field for cleaner, less risky options like renewable energy and energy efficiency. Read More

Bookmark and Share

Proposed Freeze of Ohio’s Clean Energy Standards is Misguided, Not in the Best Interest of Consumers

The defeat last year of Sen. Seitz’s efforts to undermine Ohio’s clean energy laws was a hard won fight and was good news for Ohio. And with the recent approval of Ohio’s newest wind farm, a new  report showing how energy efficiency is our cheapest electricity resource, and the Kansas legislature smartly refusing to roll back their renewable energy standard, you would hope that opponents of clean energy would finally get the message that the public knows that investing in energy efficiency, wind, solar and other clean energy resources is good for Ohio.

But the Ohio legislature is once again considering legislation that would roll back the state’s successful renewable energy and energy efficiency standards. Read More

Bookmark and Share

Renewable Energy Opponents at it Again in Kansas, but Wind (and Solar!) Power Forge Ahead

ALEC and their fossil fuel-funded cohorts are taking yet another crack at undermining renewable energy policy in Kansas. Fortunately, their ill-conceived antics are not distracting wind and solar development from moving full steam ahead. Read More

Bookmark and Share

How the EPA Can Set a Strong, Flexible Power Plant Carbon Standard

A draft of the EPA’s carbon standards for existing power plants is due on June 1, 2014. There’s been a general call for flexibility in the design of these standards, which the EPA has committed to. Great River Energy Cooperative, Minnesota’s second-largest electric power supplier, recently proposed a regional carbon cap accompanied by a fee as one possible way to meet the upcoming standards. It’s a positive step, showing leadership and highlighting the importance of diverse regional approaches for getting significant, cost-effective reductions in carbon emissions. Read More

Bookmark and Share

The Social Cost of Carbon: Counting the Costs of Climate Change and the Benefits of Cutting Carbon Pollution

Last November the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) solicited comments on the administration’s social cost of carbon (SCC) calculations. Today, as the extended comment period closes, the Union of Concerned Scientists filed joint comments with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Institute for Policy Integrity (Policy Integrity), and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in support of the SCC. The current SCC value is an important start for measuring the benefits of cutting carbon pollution. At $37 per metric ton of CO2 in 2015 (2007 dollars, using a 3% discount rate), it is also almost certainly an underestimate of the costs of climate change and can be improved in the future. Read More

Bookmark and Share