Electricity CO2 Emissions Down As Switching and Demand Reductions Increase

U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) have declined in five of the past eight years primarily because of demand reductions. At the same time generation switching from coal to natural gas and renewables has added to a reduction in 2013 totaling 2,053 million metric tons (MMmt), about 15% below their 2005 level. According to EIA, […]

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Energy Costs Really Matter in Farm Operations

U.S. farm country used nearly 800 trillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy in 2012, about as much energy as used by 3 million Americans. Agricultural energy consumption includes energy needed to grow and harvest crops and energy needed to grow livestock. Crop operations consume much more energy than livestock operations, and energy expenditures for […]

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Platt’s Oil Big Five Trends

Platt’s does a great job identifying recent trends in the oil and gas business. Here is a summary of their latest thinking on oil as we roll into midterm elections in the United States. 1. Middle Eastern sour crudes under pressure, despite rising margins. Even though there’s been a recent improvement in cracking margins, lukewarm […]

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BSEE Needs to Act on IG Recommendations on Permitting

As a former state regulator overseeing oil and gas drilling, I was concerned to read the report out this week evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of the U.S. Department of Interior’s (DOl) offshore oil and gas permitting program managed by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). The BSEE was created following the Deepwater […]

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In A Dsyfunctional Congress, Advantage Goes to the Regulator

As you can see in the chart, the President and his Administration have a distinct advantage when Congress cannot work through the regular order to get legislation enacted. It defeats the checks and balances built into our Constitution when Congressional oversight cannot function. And the effect of regulation is the same as legislation enacted. 
 […]

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Scottish Vote on Secession a Key Energy Vote

The vote next week on Scottish independence from the UK has had financial markets roiling given Britain’s current status as an economic, diplomatic and military power, a leading NATO and EU country, and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. But, independence would also certainly impact energy because the North Sea still produces […]

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Creative Use Of Stealth Technology On Turbines Addresses Radar Interference

One of the major concerns for the wind industry has been the radar signature of their wind turbines which has the potential to confuse the signals of other objects. This has been a particular concern when those proposed wind farms were close to military bases. Because of the concern, many wind farms were cancelled or […]

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New Investment in Transmission is Good News

A new analysis out by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports a five-fold increase in new electricity transmission investment in the United States by major investors and privately owned companies from 1997 to 2012. This is very good news because in the three decades before, that investment declined. While he data reflects investor and privately […]

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New IRS Guidance Eases Concerns of Wind

Good news for the wind industry came last week when the IRS finally issued new guidance on qualifying for the production tax credit’s “physical work” test indicating that the agency will evaluate projects with an eye toward the nature of work developers completed before the end of 2013, rather than the amount of work or […]

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