Volkswagen agrees to pay billions to drivers over emissions scandal
The Washington Post, feat. John DeCicco
Volkswagen has agreed to pay $10.2 billion to settle its U.S. emissions scandal case, according to the Associated Press, citing two anonymous people briefed on the matter, in what would be one of the largest payouts by an automaker in history.
If EVs are critical to significantly reducing or eliminating carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles over the next three decades – and I believe they are – we need to think about ways to appeal to desires and interests not only of consumers, but of public and private institutions with a stake in our energy and transportation systems. In short, we should extol EVs not for their low-carbon virtue, but as a way to create and to satisfy demand in both the electricity and transportation sectors.
This week, nine U-M faculty individuals and teams were awarded the first round of seed grants to conduct exploratory research on various aspects of carbon dioxide removal- a climate change reversal strategy aimed at reducing the amount of greenhouse gases entering the environment. Administered by the University of Michigan Energy Institute, the project is called Beyond Carbon Neutral.
Professor Bartlett is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and serves as Associate Director at the Energy Institute, working in inorganic material synthesis. Bartlett’s research focuses on two main areas of renewable energy: investigating artificial photosynthesis for the purpose of solar conversion, and newer, more efficient batteries. The solar conversion team uses their knowledge of inorganic materials for the purpose of investigating catalysts able to perform the complex series of biochemical reactions that leaves use to convert water into oxygen. Bartlett’s team is investigating ways to implement Magnesium, which is more abundant and more energy dense than Lithium, in rechargeable batteries.
Keith Watson, the Vice President of Corporate Research and Development at Dow Chemical Company, and Kevin Self, Senior Vice President Strategy, Business Development & Government Relations at Schneider Electric, have joined the External Advisory Board of the Energy Institute.
Chemists settle longstanding debate on how methane is made biologically
U-M News Service, feat. Stephen Ragsdale
Like the poet, microbes that make methane are taking chemists on a road less traveled: Of two competing ideas for how microbes make the main component of natural gas, the winning chemical reaction involves a molecule less favored by previous research, something called a methyl radical.
Over roughly the past 10 years, the United States has experienced remarkable growth in the production of natural gas and oil. This growth has taken place across dozens of regions, from the scrub of west Texas to the plains of North Dakota to the pastoral hills of Appalachia. It has sparked economic growth, raised environmental concerns and reduced energy prices.
Oil and gas development has increased substantially in the United States over the past decade, largely due to production from low-porosity rock formations subjected to hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. This rapid growth has created a variety of opportunities and challenges for local governments across the country. Experts at this seminar will explore the key issues facing local governments in this new era. RFF’s Alan Krupnick will describe RFF’s Community Impacts Initiative.