Wednesday, September 06, 2017

This week's takeaways: 

  • -  Our thoughts are with the people of Texas as they struggle to recover from the ravages of Hurricane Harvey. The recovery has begun; the road ahead is long and arduous.

  • -  The concentration of energy assets in the area hit by the hurricane adds to the challenges, though many have displayed remarkable resilience. 

Friday, September 01, 2017

Harvey adds new urgency to climate change debate

The Hill, feat. Barry Rabe

Barry Rabe, an environmental policy professor at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy, said past extreme weather events have not moved the needle much on the public’s perception of climate change.

“People are extremely confident, increasingly so, one way or the other on this. And it’s not clear that past singular weather disasters have had an enduring effect,” Rabe said, citing polling data from past disasters.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

This week's takeaways: 

  • Energy exchange traded funds have exploded in recent years.
  • In principle, this is a positive development because it has made investing in the energy sector less expensive, thereby providing more funds for capital spending in the sector.
  • Most recently, investors are voting with their purse: year-to- date returns on “alt energy” bets are in the plus column. 
Friday, August 25, 2017

Are environmental rules really job killers?

E&E News, feat. John DeCicco

Shortly after last year's election, President-elect Trump pledged to "cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy."

Rolling back these federal regulations, Trump said in a video, would lead to the creation of "many millions of high-paying jobs."

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

This week's takeaways:

  • - Energy price inflation at the retail level collapsed in the mid- 2014 through mid-2016.
  • - Overall consumers are facing attractive pricing across the board, from the pump to the grid.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Red team-blue team? Debating climate science should not be a cage match

The Conversation, feat. Richard Rood

Scott Pruitt, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has called for a “red team-blue team” review to challenge the science behind climate change. “The American people deserve an honest, open, transparent discussion about this supposed threat to this country,” he said on a radio show, adding he hoped to hold the exercise in the fall.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

This week's takeaways: 

  • -  Electric vehicle sales are growing at a double digit pace.

  • -  Electrified vehicles are one pathway to increased vehicle automation and cutbacks in emissions.

  • -  But this trend will likely play out over several years, even if you think autonomous vehicles are coming quickly. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Gas mileage hits best mark in three years

University of Michigan News, feat. Michael Sivak

Fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. last month reached its highest level since August 2014, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) in July was 25.4 mpg—up 0.3 mpg from June and just 0.1 mpg less than the peak of 25.5 mpg three years ago.

Friday, August 04, 2017
Energy Economics Weekly Briefings, by UMEI Senior Economist Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, will feature an economist's look at the national transportation, energy, economic, and environmental landscape.
Ellen Hughes-Cromwick
Friday, August 04, 2017

'Missing lead' in Flint water pipes confirms cause of crisis

University of Michigan News, feat. Brian Ellis

A study of lead service lines in Flint's damaged drinking water system reveals a Swiss cheese pattern in the pipes' interior crust, with holes where the lead used to be.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Ethanol friends and foes spar in House hearing

E&E News, feat. John DeCicco

Advocates and critics of biofuels brought their disagreement over the alternative fuel to a congressional hearing yesterday, as Congress remains stuck over tinkering with federal ethanol mandates.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

It is difficult to imagine a more precipitous pivot from the energy, environment and climate policies of the Obama administration to those of the Trump administration. Coal, domestic oil and gas, and pipelines are in; the Clean Power Plan and CAFE standards are in suspended animation; the U.S. has announced its withdrawal from the Paris agreement, and climate change is not to be spoken of in Federal agencies. One could be forgiven a feeling of whiplash. Against this backdrop, the work of the Energy Institute and its faculty affiliates has taken on new urgency.

Energy Institute Director Mark Barteau