This summer, in most parts of the country, average pump prices have been nearly a dollar per gallon lower than the previous three years. But the price of oil can be quite volatile, and so what do consumers say they'd do if gasoline became unaffordable?
Personal vehicles are a staple form of transportation for most U.S. consumers, whether for traveling to work or escaping to distant places. Moreover, cars have a long-standing symbolic link with Americans’ sense of independence. Not surprisingly, pressures to reduce car use often evoke psychological resistance.
Since its inception in October 2013, the University of Michigan Energy Survey has asked U.S. consumers, in an open-ended format, about what they would do differently to get around if gasoline prices reached a level that they thought would be personally unaffordable. Understanding consumers’ responses can shed light on this important energy-related aspect of decision making.
A new piece on Energy Institute Research Professor John DeCicco's blog, Cars and Climate, explores the flow of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon dioxide during the life cycle of biofuels. It is excerpted below.
"After all that's been written about the pros and cons of biofuels over the years, it's fair to ask whether there's anything left to say. It turns out that there is, and a new insight comes from evaluating what actually happens on the earth, that is, on the land where the plants used to make biofuels are grown.
An interdisciplinary team of University of Michigan researchers have released a detailed draft analysis of policy options for hydraulic fracturing, the natural gas and oil extraction process commonly known as fracking.
The draft final report of the U-M Hydraulic Fracturing in Michigan Integrated Assessment consists of seven chapters totaling more than 270 pages. Its key contribution is an analysis of Michigan-specific options in the areas of public participation, water resources and chemical use related to high-volume hydraulic fracturing.
Mayors from across the Great Lakes region met this fall to discuss a response to this summer’s Lake Erie toxic algae outbreak that shut down the water supply for almost half a million people in Toledo and the surrounding suburbs. Bottled water ran out in stores across the area, and residents fled the city in search of clean water – an option not available to Lake Erie’s diverse and fascinating array of wildlife.
At the close of this week's Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade summit in Beijing, President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions and detailed an agreement that includes a renewed five-year commitment to supporting clean vehicle research efforts via the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center.
Officials from the U.S. Department of Energy, China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, faculty and students from the University of Michigan- led Clean Energy Research Center- Clean Vehicle Consortium (CERC-CVC) and industry partners met in Ann Arbor on August 11th and 12th to review progress on the initiative's joint clean vehicle energy research projects.
This piece was first published on The Hill; see the original here.
No, the proposed Keystone XL pipeline will NOT carry black tar heroin. But whether you think that diluted bitumen from the Canadian oil sands is better or worse than heroin, there may be a lesson from the “war on drugs.” No, I haven’t been smoking anything, although this morning my hybrid did inhale gasoline and exhale CO2, some of whose carbon probably came from Alberta.
The U.S. Department of Energy today announced that Margaret Wooldridge, a University of Michigan Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Mechanical Engineering, is one of six 2013 recipients of the prestigious E.O. Lawrence Award, the agency’s highest award for mid-career scientists. Created in 1959, the award celebrates contributions in research and development that support the Energy Department’s science, energy and national security missions.
Shale gas is changing the American energy economy at a breakneck pace, and its rapid, widespread domestic utilization is redefining the questions our government must address about energy security, policy and the environment. Shale gas as an energy source poses a huge potential boon to American manufacturers of all stripes, but the relationship between the shale gas boom and U.S manufacturing competitiveness needs clearer understanding.
Nathaniel Szymczak, the Dow Corning Assistant Professor of Chemistry and an Energy Institute Faculty Affiliate, was named a 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation research fellow, along with two other U-M scientists. The award comes with a $50,000 research boost.
Frank Markus of Motor Trend magazine explains why every carbon molecule in a liquid biofuel, such as ethanol or biodiesel, can't be counted "as an ecological freebie." He reports on the debate about the Renewable Fuel Standard that took place during a panel discussion at this year's Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Government-Industry Meeting in Washington, DC.