Tim Profeta

Study Finds RGGI Benefits Economy, Cuts Emissions

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a nine-state carbon cap-and-trade program, continues to help lower emissionsof carbon dioxide and benefit local economies, according to a new study by the Analysis Group. The study estimates that RGGI states gained $1.4 billion in net economic value from program during 2015–2017. “I think this provides evidence of the fact that you can…

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EPA to Roll Back Car Pollution Standards

Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday announced that greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and light duty trucks should be revised. “The Obama Administration’s determination was wrong,” said Pruitt. “Obama’s EPA cut the Midterm Evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality, and set…

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Report Says Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions on the Rise

The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) first Global Energy and CO2 Status Report, released last week, had two major findings: preliminary estimates for 2017 suggest that global energy demand rose 2.1 percent—more than twice the previous year’s rate—and carbon dioxide emissions rose 1.4 percent, the first time they’ve increased in three years. Although emissions increased in most countries, they decreased in…

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Study: Cutting Emissions Sooner Could Save 153 Million Lives This Century

A new study suggests that premature deaths linked to air pollution would fall across the globe if nations agree to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels rather than postponing emissions cuts and allowing warming to reach 2 degrees Celsius. The research funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), led by…

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Regional Grid Operators Weigh in on Resilience

Regional grid operators filed comments on efforts to enhance the resilience of the bulk power system in a proceeding initiated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) after rejecting a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants. The comments by the nation’s federally overseen regional transmission…

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Some Say Planned Steel, Aluminum Tariffs May Add Up to Losses for U.S. Energy

On Monday, President Donald Trump said “we’re not backing down” on his intent to propose steel and aluminum tariffs that some legislators and analysts worry could have a negative effect on the U.S. energy industry and undercut the president’s goal of “energy dominance.” Trump shared his desire for the tariffs—25 percent on steel imports and…

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Tax Credit Could Help Increase Carbon Capture and Storage, Some Say

As part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, Congress gave a boostto carbon capture—a method for diverting emissions from crude production and coal- and gas-fired power plants—through the so-called 45Q tax credit. For every qualifying project, the boosted 45Q doubles a pre-existing tax credit to $50 per ton of carbon dioxide buried in underground storage and to $35 per ton that is used in…

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Complicated Economics Challenging Nuclear

Speaking at the International Petroleum Week conference in London on Wednesday, International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol voiced concerns that the United States and Europe aren’t investing enough in nuclear power, while China is charging ahead. “China is coming back strong. Today there are about 60 nuclear power plants under construction and more…

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Cuts for EPA, DOE in Trump Budget Proposal, as Congressional Budget Passes

President Donald Trump’s $4.4 trillion 2019 budget proposal, released Monday, echoed themes from the previous year’s budget priorities: steep cuts to domestic programs with large increases for defense. It outlines leaner budgets across federal agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Trump’s proposed budget, which was assembled before the…

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Coastal States Oppose Offshore Drilling Proposal

Attorneys general of a dozen coastal states—North Carolina, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Virginia—are expressing opposition to the Trump administration’s proposal to expand development of oil and gas in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, calling it “outrageous” and “reckless.” In a letter, they called on U.S. Department of…

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EIA: Coal-Fired Electricity Generation, Coal Production to Decrease in 2018

A near record amount of coal-fired electricity is poised to go offline this year, according to recently released data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Set to retire in the United States this year are some 13 gigawatts (GW) at more than a dozen units—that’s an amount second only to the nearly 15 GW of…

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FERC Rejects Proposed Grid Resiliency Rule, Issues New Order

The five members of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Monday unanimously rejected a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from the Department of Energy (DOE) to change its rules to help coal and nuclear plants in the electricity markets FERC oversees (subscription). Instead it opened a new proceeding in which it calls on regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system…

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Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

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Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

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