March 8, 2019
The abundant natural gas produced in Pennsylvania and West Virginia could do a lot of good for East Coast states—reducing electric bills, improving reliability, and even helping create manufacturing jobs. But it can only do those things if the gas can get to where it is needed.
March 5, 2019
Beginning in the 1970s, many policymakers became concerned that the refrigerants used in most air conditioners and refrigerators were leaking into the air and depleting the Earth’s ozone layer. This led to the negotiation and signing of the Montreal Protocol, a 1987 United Nations treaty phasing out the use of these chemicals.
March 4, 2019
The Department of Energy (DOE) has been regulating the energy efficiency of home appliances since 1987, ostensibly for the benefit of consumers, but the Obama-era DOE transformed the program into a climate change policy tool. It did so both explicitly by including the social cost of carbon into its analysis of new and amended standards, and also implicitly by putting a finger on the scale, favoring sharply more stringent standards.
March 1, 2019
The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced that it is taking comment on the air quality impacts of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and will complete a study of such impacts by 2020. This agency action, in response to a lawsuit from the Sierra Club, may finally result in the EPA meeting statutory duties whose deadlines have long passed.
February 22, 2019
New England continues to struggle with barely-adequate electric reliability, especially during the region’s winter cold spells. This is due in large part to the retirements of coal-fired generation across the region over the last decade. Natural gas-fired generation has taken up much of the slack, but the limiting factor is pipeline capacity into the region.
February 15, 2019
The Department of Justice is pushing back against a federal court decision that could jeopardize the future availability and affordability of natural gas across America’s east coast.
January 22, 2019
The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held its confirmation hearing for acting Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler on January 16th. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was a significant part of the discussion. Several corn-belt senators—Joni Ernst (R-IA), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)—focused particularly on two RFS issues: year-round sales of E-15 and small refinery exemptions. Both sought administrative changes by EPA that would favor corn growers and ethanol producers.
January 17, 2019
Wealthier is healthier—and environmentally cleaner as well. Despite the fact that the most prosperous nations are also the cleanest, and that prosperity is best achieved through free markets and limited government, Washington, D.C. insists on an intrusive approach that does more economic harm than environmental good. This is especially so regarding costly federal interference in energy markets, as energy is the lifeblood of the economy and its affordability is critical to growth.
December 17, 2018
The Obama-era Environmental Protection Agency cranked out so many bad major rules that it was hard to pay attention to all the also-bad, but relatively small, rules. One such measure set emissions standards for wood heaters. Thankfully, the Trump administration has proposed some useful revisions.
December 13, 2018
Enacting legislation will be more difficult in next year’s divided Congress, but an infrastructure bill is something that could get done. Democrats and Republicans may be able to agree on a list of popular projects to fund, and President Trump has signaled his willingness to address perceived infrastructure shortcomings.