Energy policy

For clean energy advocates and members of the public who aspire to see markets for solar energy, energy efficiency and cleaner transportation enabled in Virginia, it remains to be see how thorough this effort by the McAuliffe Administration will be.

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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 tally of utilities and governments around the world imposing or boosting fixed charges for grid-supplied electricity is rising to make up for the decline in traditional, rate-based revenue.  In the U.S. this has been due primarily to ever-improving energy efficiency and the end of year-to-year increases in electricity usage. Now, the demand curve looks…

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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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The absence of a viable means to store a significant amount of electricity generated from renewable resources is one of the tallest hurdles limiting their growth.  After a series of financial setbacks and exhaustive regulatory deliberations, energy storage fed by renewables  is set to earn a scalable role due largely to a new mandate in…

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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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Complaints by both sides over the Obama administration’s newly updated draft rules regulating the hydraulic fracturing of shale natural gas and oil on public and Indian lands signals the Interior Department has found enough common ground to raise the bar — albeit slightly — on drilling operations. Because the updated draft rules would only apply…

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Since its launch about one month ago (see The Energy Fix, March 22), the Center for Sustainable Shale Development has been met with accolades from entities such as The Washington Post to harsh rebukes by the likes of the Sierra Club. It’s not surprising that these and other parties differ on the Center’s potential for…

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You may have heard it before from Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens about the potential for natural gas produced in the U.S. But featuring him at this year’s ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit Tuesday near Washington, DC put a new spin on the benefits of America becoming more energy self-sufficient on the backs of the lower-emitting…

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