Georgia & Vermont: A Contrast in Energy Policy Leadership

Georgia & Vermont: A Contrast in Energy Policy Leadership

In the energy policy space, as it pertains to the power sector, Georgia’s government leaders, its Public Service Commission and its electric power sector are of a different fabric and a different economic orientation than states such as Vermont where nuclear is being abandoned and rates are some of the highest in the country. The numbers bear out that Georgia is providing real leadership for a stable and reliable electricity future that will attract industry and support Georgia’s economic growth while keeping rates affordable for Georgia citizens.

Vermont, the Green Mountain State, is often touted as one of the more progressive states in the U.S. with respect to energy use, particularly in its power sector. On the surface, Vermont’s in-state power generation credentials are impressive (Table 1): Continue reading “Georgia & Vermont: A Contrast in Energy Policy Leadership”

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CO2 Intensities: Top 7 GDP-Producing Countries

What Would Our Carbon Intensities Be Without Nuclear Power?

Normalizing CO2 emissions to overall energy consumption is a reasonable indicator of a country’s carbon intensity. Low values indicate a greater dependency on low- or zero-carbon resources whereas higher values indicate a greater dependency on fossil fuels. This figure is for the top 7 GDP producing countries in the world, constituting about 60% of total global GDP. The figure includes nuclear and combined solar/wind as percentages of the respective generation portfolios as well as each country’s residential price per kWhr.

top-7-gdp-co2-intensity

Some notable points: Continue reading “CO2 Intensities: Top 7 GDP-Producing Countries”

EPA’s Clean Power Plan: We Can Do Better

How Can Someone Who is Concerned About Carbon Emissions and the Potential Impacts of Climate Change Be Opposed to EPA’s Clean Power Plan?

[A version of this post entitled, “U.S. Missing the Mark on Climate Policy” was published in GeorgiaPol as a guest Op-Ed]

The old expression, “Every little bit helps”, doesn’t hold true for global CO2 emissions if the little bit that helps in one country doesn’t translate and scale up to something systemic and impactful in emerging economies throughout the world where billions live in energy poverty and more energy is needed, not less. EPA’s Clean Power Plan is such an example as it gives the appearance of commitment to addressing climate change issues, yet will have little-to-no impact on the actual issues of energy, carbon, and climate at the scale of concern: the global scale. We don’t need this sort of regulatory greenwashing to respond to an issue of this magnitude.
We can do better than this…we have to.

Top 15 GDP’s in the world (based on 2015) ranked by CO2 intensitytop-15-gdp-for-cpp-blog Continue reading “EPA’s Clean Power Plan: We Can Do Better”

Pragmatism and Stability in Energy Policy for the U.S. Power Sector

Energy Policy Recommendations
for the Trump Administration

This is a summary of a paper (In-Press Article Here)that will be published in the January-February 2017 issue of The Electricity Journal.

Overview
The 2016 U.S. presidential election has generated concern within the environmental community, particularly with respect to climate change, as President-elect Trump has conveyed his intent to address what he considers regulatory overreach in the U.S. energy sector and unleash an energy revolution in America (Trump, 2016a). This includes expanding U.S. oil and natural gas development, reviving the coal industry, rolling back EPA’s Clean Power Plan, and withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement (Mufson and Dennis, 2016; Schoof, 2016; Trump, 2016a). All combined, this would extract from current U.S. energy policy the core of President Obama’s climate agenda and effectively put the Obama climate legacy into hibernation—a legacy that, if elected, Hillary Clinton would have likely kept intact and expanded upon (Clinton, 2016). How this projects forward remains in question. What is clear is this: the election of Donald Trump has triggered what will be an ideological shift in energy policy. While this may bode well for upstream and midstream oil and gas sectors in the near-term the impact on the power sector is not as certain (Rapier, 2016). Continue reading “Pragmatism and Stability in Energy Policy for the U.S. Power Sector”

U.S. Energy Policy: Setting Carbon Goals Without Nuclear Isn’t Global Leadership

U.S. Energy Policy: Setting Carbon Goals Without Nuclear Isn’t Global Leadership

(Published as an editorial in the Athens Banner-Herald on November 17, 2016.)

Since 2000, CO2 emissions in the U.S. have decreased 8% and are trending down while global emissions have increased 40% and are trending up. Does this represent global leadership by the U.S. with respect to energy policy and carbon goals? Continue reading “U.S. Energy Policy: Setting Carbon Goals Without Nuclear Isn’t Global Leadership”