Climate policy

Virginia has steered clear of clean energy policies that are creating jobs and businesses in dozens of states. Perhaps the biggest reason is that the state’s energy policy – and the only market for electricity – is run by investor-owned Dominion Virginia Power which serves 70% of the state’s electricity load. Curiously, that’s not the case for natural gas, where households and businesses can shop prices and supply contracts offered by several for suppliers.

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The revived Virginia climate commission can make all recommendations it wants. If stakeholders who agree with them don’t persuade their lawmakers to act, don’t expect any substantive progress in protecting Virginia from hurricanes.

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For all of the fiscal and environmental logic that supports the case for a carbon tax in the U.S., the politics keep getting in the way. Besides the opposition from most elected conservatives, two developments looming in the future could change all this. One is the currently low interest rates on U.S. Treasury securities making…

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The number of companies taking tangible steps to prepare for and prosper in a lower-carbon economy is growing — even absent a national carbon tax or cap-and-trade regime.  Their actions speak much louder than the hyperbole that many advocates are using to argue for and against paying for carbon emissions. One of the most instructive…

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The U. S. Senate’s confirmation Tuesday of Patricia Millett to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, along with two other confirmations to that court expected by year’s end, increase the odds that stricter regulations on power U.S. plant emissions that President Obama has not been able to accomplish through legislation will stand up in court….

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UPDATED . . . whether the U.S. and more governments will focus their nation’s economic priorities on a cleaner energy future and a healthier environment with a carbon tax or cap and trade program seems as bleak as ever. But for how much longer? If you know of others, help me keep track here of…

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There is a lot of innovative thinking about the next generation of nuclear power plants. With so many bright minds, an extensive supply chain and some far-sighted research and development work underway throughout the world, I wonder how long we’ll have to wait until a truly bigger, better, game-changing nuclear power process or technology grabs…

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Buoyed by low prices, environmental benefits and thousands of newly created jobs, the push to produce more natural gas in the U.S. is reaching its stride thanks largely to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. But do we understand the implications, some of which might negate the environmental gains? The answer to many objective analysts is:…

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To save you time searching for the energy and climate portion of Obama’s February 12, 2013 State of the Union address, which occurred not quite half way through the speech, here it is, courtesy of ABC News: “After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce…

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Think the U.S. could use tens of billions of dollars of brand new revenue to address its budget and debt challenges? And do you think newly re-elected President Obama might take a run at a bonafide climate strategy as part of his legacy by 2016? The answer to the first question is easy. But answering…

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