Weekly Post: Nov. 8-14

CARBON AND CLIMATE

  • Paris Climate Talks
    The Paris climate talks begin in a couple of weeks and some encouraging news from a recent study shows that CO2 emission intensities (on a per capita basis) are decreasing in 11 of the G20 countries. At the same time, the sticky issue of money and financing has moved to the forefront of pre-talk chatter.

Continue reading “Weekly Post: Nov. 8-14”

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Weekly Post: Oct. 18-24

REGULATIONS

  • THE CARBON RULE IS LAW
    EPA Carbon Rule Hits the Federal Register: Is Now Federal Law
    This past week in energy (at least in the U.S. and in Georgia) was punctuated by what happened toward the end of the week: EPA’s carbon rule for power plants (aka, the Clean Power Plan) was posted on the Federal Register and, thus, becomes federal law. Before the CFR could hit the final HTML button to post it electronically, 24 states and a coal mining company filed lawsuits challenging the rule’s legality. Georgia, one of the 24 states filing suit, has the support of Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division in its challenge to EPA. In the days leading up to the rule’s publication, EPA’s chief air regulator, Janet McCabe, expressed confidence that the rule would withstand the legal challenges. Time will tell—albeit a very long time. While I can’t attest to all the legal grounds on which these lawsuits are being filed, from what I understand about 111(d), states traditionally have had a significant role in developing and implementing the standards for sources, and I’m not sure EPA maintained that role for states when they came up with this rule. EPA has a Clean Power Plan website where you can peruse through the technical details and EPA’s promotion of the rule. Legalities aside, my own assessment of the rule is that it’s just bad energy policy. You can read my editorial at Insider Advantage’s James Magazine, starting on page 10.
    Though states have filed suit, the timing of this CFR publication more than likely circumvents any court action prior to the Paris talks. Politics matters. So does timing.

Continue reading “Weekly Post: Oct. 18-24”

Commentary: Nuclear Support

While nuclear has plenty of detractors, it also has key support from well-informed individuals from environmental and climate change camps. Former EPA Administrator Carol Browner promoted the obvious in September of 2014: Nuclear energy as a fundamental tool in addressing climate change (1) and, more recently, another former EPA Administrator, Christine Todd Whitman, added her support to nuclear as a key energy resource that meets power generation needs in ways renewables can’t (2). This places Browner and Whitman in camp with other pragmatists such as climate change pioneer James Hansen, who also supports the deployment of nuclear power in addressing climate change issues (3, 4). Continue reading “Commentary: Nuclear Support”

California’s SB 350 Legislation

Post written by Haley Daniel

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed new legislation, SB 350, to set renewable energy goals for the state to be reached by 2030. The new legislation builds off of California’s existing Renewable Portfolio Standard of 33%. SB 350 sets a new goal for 50% of energy to be generated from renewable sources by 2030 and for the rate of energy efficiency savings in California buildings to double by 2030. This legislation is part of an overall goal for the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by the year 2030, and also before the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. The image below shows current trends and forecasted plans for the percentages of various renewable sources in California’s energy mix. Continue reading “California’s SB 350 Legislation”

Straight Outta Reagan

In 1980, the year I was eligible to vote in my first presidential election, Ronald Reagan accomplished at least two things. He convinced a good number of people in my generation that the Republican Party had the best ideas for America, and he convinced a good number of people from an older generation, folks who were, perhaps, wavering in their political leanings, to accept conservative principles as the best way forward for America. Continue reading “Straight Outta Reagan”

Engineering Georgia: Editorial on Energy

Engineering Georgia is the official magazine of Georgia’s engineering industry. The July/August 2015 edition had a significant emphasis on energy in Georgia. I was invited to write an editorial on energy and environmental issues as well as comment on the additional units currently under construction at the Vogtle nuclear plant.
My editorial is here: Gattie Editorial (Engineering Georgia July-August 2015)

My comments on Vogtle are in the article on Georgia Power’s CEO, Paul Bowers.

Engineering Georgia Magazine is a nice publication and is available on-line.