An independent study commissioned by several California agencies could help state officials justify ambitious new renewable electricity and biofuel programs policymakers are seeking as they debate ways to achieve a strict new greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target for 2030. The study, by consulting firm Energy & Environmental Economics (E3), was requested by California agencies — including the state air board and energy commission — as part of their PATHWAYS project to support setting a 2030 GHG target, which is expected to be debated by state lawmakers this year.
“It is time … to do real cost accounting. The bottom line is that we can’t only factor in the price of immediate energy needs. We have to include the long-term cost of carbon pollution. We have to factor in the cost of survival,” he said. “We’ll have to stop government money from going toward nonrenewable energy sources, like coal and oil. It makes no sense to be subsidizing that.”
Global energy emissions stayed stable last year even though the economy grew, according to data released Friday that could boost chances for a landmark climate accord later this year. The rising use of renewable energy, particularly in China, played a role in keeping emissions from the energy sector to 32.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide last year, the same as in 2013, the International Energy Agency said.
Somebody tapped the brakes. Carbon dioxide emissions from the world’s energy producers stalled in 2014, the first time in 40 years of measurement that the level did not increase during a period of economic expansion, according to preliminary estimates from the International Energy Agency.
What changes should U.S. EPA make to its Clean Power Plan proposal to add clarity and flexibility on multi-state and regional program options? During today’s OnPoint, Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, discusses expected changes to the power plan as the agency prepares its final proposal. Nichols also responds to the growing momentum surrounding the “just say no” option for state compliance.
The full implications of S.B. 310 and H.B. 483 will become clearer over the course of the coming year. However, the initial evidence indicates that the legislation is saddling Ohioans with economic harms and will come to represent a missed opportunity for Ohio to lead the country in building a clean energy economy. Other states across the country are currently considering similar actions to roll back or repeal their renewable energy standards, energy-efficiency standards, or programs to promote clean energy. For those states, Ohio should serve as a cautionary tale about the detrimental consequences of regressive energy policies.
“I imagine that as long as there are ALEC members in Colorado, they’ll continue to push the priority agenda that ALEC has,” Elsner says. “And right now, a lot of ALEC’s energy members have an interest in weakening clean energy policies.”
“Coal and oil are only cheap ways to power a nation in the very near term. But if you look a little further down the road, you begin to see an entirely different story,” he said. Kerry said the real costs of oil and coal “actually pile up very quickly” in the effects of climate change and pollution, both of which are much greater with fossil fuels than with other energy sources.
It is “viable” and “economically compelling” to push for deployment of wind at that level as consumers would see almost $800 billion in benefits from avoided greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Those benefits would include an increase in the amount of natural gas available — lowering prices — for uses outside of the electric sector such as heating or chemical products, according to the main projection of Wind Vision’s report.
“Want to put people to work? This is the way you put people to work,” Kerry said in the speech to the Atlantic Council. “The global energy market of the future is poised to be the largest market the world has ever known. This is not a choice between bad and worse,” Kerry said. “Pursuing cleaner, more efficient energy is actually the only way that nations around the world can build the kind of economies that are going to thrive for decades to come.”